Trans healthcare costs are just a fraction of the US military budget
President Trump announced a ban on transgender military personnel earlier this week citing “tremendous” medical costs and “disruption” that would be caused.
His tweets came after President Obama asked the Pentagon to lift its long-held ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the military.
The Department of Defense was given until July 1 of this year to implement the policy, with LGBT advocates hopeful that transgender soldiers would finally be able to serve openly.
Trump’s statement served a blow to transgender rights and the move towards equality.
Many have criticised the president for blaming the budget for the decision, and are drawing comparisons between the cost of trans troops and other Pentagon expenses.
From a study commissioned by the Pentagon and carried out by research group the RAND Corporation, it’s believed that there are up to 6,630 trans troops currently on active duty.
Of that number, at most 270 may seek gender transition hormone treatments or surgeries within the next year.
This total sum would cost up to $8.4 million but could be as small as $2.4 million, which is a small portion of the $6 billion total spent on military health care.
A total of $49.3 billion was spent on all health care costs – this covers members of the military, their family members, retirees and their family too.
To really put into perspective how small this cost is in the larger picture, here are some of the other expenses of the Pentagon.
In 2014, The Department of Defense spent FIVE times the amount of expected trans health care costs on medication for erectile dysfunction according to a Military Times article.
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That’s $84 million on medications for ED and $41.6 million on Viagra.
In 2015, $437 million was spent on military music.
The military purchased ONE F-35s fighter plane at the cost of $91.1 million, that’s TEN times the cost of the entire trans troop populous.
Even more staggering is the cost on just ONE Littoral Combat Ship at a whopping $478 million.
Currently, 18 countries allow transgender troops without a strain on their military budgets.
One former Navy SEAL who is now out as trans, Kristin Beck, has challenged President Trump to tell her to her face that she is “not worthy”.
Beck has a point – how can more military personnel not be a cause worth investing in? Especially when it is a cost that will only enrich the US military.