resident Trump on Wednesday announced that the military would no longer allow transgender people to serve, citing both “the tremendous medical costs and disruption” that would be caused by their integration into U.S. forces.

But at least two studies in recent years have found that the cost of medical care for transgender service members would be minimal.

A June 2016 study from the RAND Corporation estimated that there were between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender active-duty service members — out of 1.3 million service members in total — and noted that not all of them would seek treatment related to gender transitioning. The study also estimated that the cost associated with medical care for gender transition would only increase military health care expenditures by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million each year — an increase of between 0.04 and 0.13 percent.


As for the disruption caused by gender transitions, the study found that fewer than 0.1 percent of military members would seek treatments that could delay deployments.

A September 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reached similar cost estimates.

The study estimated that there were about 12,800 transgender service members who would be eligible for medical care. But it hypothesized that fewer than 200 would require care for gender transition each year, based on the percentage of transgender people who sought such care outside the military and the percentage of Australian service members who sought transition-related care.

The overall estimated cost to the Pentagon: $4.2 million to $5.6 million — what the study’s author called “little more than a rounding error in the military’s $47.8 billion annual health care budget.”

The Obama administration announced last year that the Pentagon would cover the cost of gender-reassignment surgery with a doctor’s recommendation and approval from the military. It also said current transgender service members would be allowed to serve openly, and that the Pentagon had a year to devise a plan for enrolling new transgender military service members.

But before Trump’s announcement Wednesday, the Pentagon last month said that it was delaying allowing transgender people to enlist in the military by six months.

Still, there has been pushback from some Republicans. Earlier this month, an effort led by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) to stop the military from covering gender transition-related care failed in the Republican-controlled House, with 24 GOP members joining Democrats in opposition to the measure, according to the Associated Press.

Hartzler had estimated that covering such treatment could cost the military $1.3 billion over a decade, and said that troops who underwent surgery would be out of service for months.

“It makes no sense to create soldiers who are unable to fight and win our nation’s wars,” Hartzler said.

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  • Trump had a bad week , his health care got shot down.his budget didn’t come together the way he wanted. the Russian thing is still going on. He throws out this new trans thing and it’s simple to divert what is really going on. We need to get back to controlling this guy. and stop jumping on everything he says. He is controlling the conversation. What is going to happen next week. He is running the country like his show.

  • Oh please – here’s your argument; a soldier shouldn’t be allowed heart surgery because omg that costs so much money and other soldiers don’t get that kind of benefit. Life ain’t fair, let’s live in the real world, shall we?

    • You’re the only one with sense here, Joe. If these people are truly that prejudice against transgender men and women, perhaps the military shouldn’t pay for any medical cost that is not the direct result of serving in the military. That way, the transgender men and women that put their goddamn lives on the line for a country that deems them worthless can pay for their own medical expenses. You know, if it’s such a huge issue. But then again, I’m pretty sure they’d come up with some other excuse as to why they’re not allowed in the military. “Transgender people commit suicide!” So do soldiers suffering from PTSD. I guess we shouldn’t allow anyone to serve then.

    • There’s a difference between needing a surgery and wanting a surgery… Not sure why that needs to be pointed out…

  • So what about the other 1.292 MILLION soldiers? What additional benefit do they get? Dems always want to ignore the majority to prop up the minority. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME

  • If the government can afford to pay $2.4m for elective surgery then the slippery slope would be why not every American get the opportunity in their health care to have this elective procedure?

    • Leanne, here’s the difference; those in the military volunteered to put their lives on the line to protect you and every other American. Not sure why I even have to call that out.

  • I noticed you never actually admitted how much the cost is for sexual reassignment. It is between 125,000 to 150,000 for the basic surgeries required. That doesn’t include hormone replacement costs or the handling of mental problems that seem to plague people who do this. Our military is in place to protect our country and win wars…not to coddle confused people and pay for unnecessary expensive medical procedures.

    • Also the fact that many of these people are dealing with emotional issues like depression. There are certain physical and mental health guidelines that should be taken into consideration.

    • Then maybe the military shouldn’t provide free viagra just because men think they need it. I’ve seen articles that the military spends almost $85 billion on erectile dysfunction problems for men.

    • Leslie, watching Fox News again?

      It’s just under 85 MILLION, not billion. And as two others have pointed out here, erectile dusfunction is a side effect of the drugs used to treat PTSD.

      The men and women of the military put their lives on the line to protect us. Can we PLEASE keep that in mind here, please?

    • Transgender people are not confused. They know EXACTLY who they are. The military IS here to protect our country . . . but they’re also here to protect our rights. A military that does not allow certain people to join because of who they are goes against everything they and the country they’re defending is supposed to be about. The amount they would pay for transgender medical expenses is minuscule compared to the amount they spend on other issues. People just don’t want it to be paid for because of prejudice. These people put their lives on the line for you and you sit there behind the comfort of your computer screen while they’re getting blown up and try to come up with excuses as to why they shouldn’t be allowed in the military and why they’re “confused” and “unnecessary?” If transitioning is “unnecessary,” then why does it have such a positive impact on the individual? Do you know what I think? I think our draft-dodging president should get off his wrinkly white ass and serve the way these brave men and women do. Until then, both you and that douchebag should shut your mouths. Even the military doesn’t have a problem with allowing transgender service members. Check your privilege and call it for what it is: bigotry.

    • I had the surgery for about $23,000.00. Hormones cost $10/month. Many cisgender men and women use HRT too. Probably a higher rate in the military than transgender. I would love to know that statistic. Your numbers are off by 500% because you did minimum research first. There are plenty of transgender individuals that have honorably served and fought for your right to be a little b**** to them. Look up some of the transgender ex navy seals out there and go tell them they did not protect our country or help us win wars. The soldiers have contracts with the US Government, and state and federal resources that will be wasted losing those breach of contract lawsuits, costing the taxpayers far more than 8 + million dollars. But yeah clearly we are just confused people plagued by mental problems. The only problem we as a class of persons are plagued with is discrimination and segregation by people like you. Shame on you. It is 100% unconstitutional to tell any single class of persons that they are wholly segregated from any profession.

    • Because, Barb, erectile dysfunction is one of the primary side effects of the drugs prescribed for PTSD. Does it seem fair to send men & women into war, have them get blown up, shot at, and see their friends die, then make them come home and, due to seeking treatment for what they’ve been through, have them unable to have solid romantic/sexual relationships?

  • Why should the military have to pay for transitioning? Let transgenders join military but let them pay for their own surgery.

    • I agree some what. If military signs up soldiers giving bonus sign ups, I’ve heard 30,000 not sure of exact figures, pay schooling & many benefits well deserved for their services to keep us safe. I admire each and everyone of them. I believe that the Men & women that risk their lives, s/b the ones to answer the ? Of trangenders as they in trust their lives with them. If the medical treatment is done after their service then I can’t see why they can’t serve.

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