President 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.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • The military will not pay for dental implants or nose jobs yet they pay for a cosmetic surgery? Service members are government property and they know it. An elective surgery that puts them out of work to recover is ridiculous. There are people joining the service just for the free surgery then I am sure when it’s time to deploy they could easily have the surgery to get out of the deployment and I am sure that is happening

  • All of the articles related to President Trump’s ban on Transgender citizens in the military has opened my eyes concerning the military budget. I work long, hard hours and pay quite a bit in taxes. Not only do I not want my tax dollars going to the medical costs of Transgenders in the military, do I really also have to pay for acne treatments? Strapped in without a vote for the Affordable Care Act with rediculous deductibles, I can afford very little in my own medical care. Let’s use tax dollars for the old fashioned “good for the majority.” I wish to pay for weapons and the ammunition necessary to use those weapons to protect Americans. I wish to pay for medical care/mental health care for wounded veterans. I wish to pay for routine medical care for our servicemembers. I wish to pay for updated infrastructure to make America strong again. I wish to pay for housing for the elderly and those in recent poverty caused by loss of jobs. I wish to pay for good education for our children. I suggest putting the issue to a vote. What do we taxpayers wish to pay for? Perhaps I am wrong and taxpayers do wish to pay for for the above medical costs? As we saw in the election of President Trump, Veterans have a huge voice, they will be voting also. Put it to a vote and then we will know more than what mainstream media thinks is appropriate.

    • Well said, Sue.
      BTW, Viagara is given because of side effects from PTSD. A world of difference from transgender or cosmetic changes.
      Our Armed Forces are volunteers. They deserve the best medical treatment for wounds fought to keep our country safe. Transgender hormone therapy, surgery, etc can be done when one re-enters civilian life. We are having discussions that concern so very few. Get whatever you want done before you enter or leave the military. We will not pay more taxes for transgenders to “feel better in their skin”. Let their families and friends chip in.

    • Sam, I agree with one thing you said – we’re talking about very few people here. Personally I’d much rather fund the treatments we’re talking about here than pay for organ transplants for convicted felons still in prison, who by the way get moved to the top of the waiting lists for availabile organs. You do realize we’re all paying for those, right? Let’s see, a convicted murderer or someone putting their life on the line to protect us all … tough choice.

  • I agree with President Trump. Transgenders are too expensive to be in military. President Trump and the American loyal people want a GREAT & POWERFUL MILITARY with real men.

  • This issue should be categorized mental health not sexual health. Removing healthy organs and consigning someone to a lifetime of destructive drugs to validate delusions is not health, in any manner.

  • Well that is ridiculous that the military should pay for sex change operations regardless of the cost.

  • I don’t think Trump really cares if there are transgender troops. He only wants to obliterate anything that Obama passed into law. Same thing with healthcare he doesn’t know anything about it doesn’t care that he is going against his campaign promise for better and cheaper healthcare for all Americans. He just wants to destroy everything with Obama’s name attached to it.

  • Another example of a big number scaring people. Rep Hartzler thinks $1.3 billion over a decade is a lot of money. If we currently spend $47.8 billion ANNUALLY then $1.3 billion over a decade is 0.0027% And that doesn’t account for inflation on the $47.8 billion annual #.

  • You know what we REALLY cannot afford? We can’t afford a Command-In-Chief who is too craven to serve when he had a chance to do so to be in charge of anything having to do with our troops.

    • Michael… you know what the military is really not a place for? It is no place for people who don’t want to serve… like any and all of the Trumps.

    • Obama, Bush II, and Clinton didn’t serve either (well Bush II service record is still debated). As a matter of fact, Clinton dodged the draft. It was okay for them to be in charge of anything to do with our troops. Now it’s an issue?

    • What would make you think that it was OK with us for Clinton, Bush II and Obama?

      Bush II got the US into a mess with the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses. Obama did a crappy job trying to get us out of an impossible situation.

      The only one that did a GOOD job was Bush I (by stopping and NOT invading Iraq after achieving a clear objective)…and he DID serve.

      As for Clinton, why would you think we would defend his avoidance of a draft?

      A bullet doesn’t care if you are a man, woman, or anywhere along the spectrum. Those who want to serve, if they are able, should be able to do so.

  • Should have put the amount in context: the military spends more than $80M of taxpayer money *per year* on Viagra, Cialis, etc.

    It was never about the money. It’s all about being cruel, trying to solidify a conservative base that’s showing signs of cracking, and emphasizing culture wars to take the attention off health care and economic issues.

    • or the outrage is to divert against Wasserman-Schultz’s IT guy getting nabbed fleeing the country or those pesky smashed hard drives. Grab your Kleenex, Dems, your salty tears are just begining

    • i rather pay for Viagra than the operations………we need real men out there fighting for our country not people who are not even sure if they’re men or women…..

Comments are closed.

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy