Cost of treating transgender troops may be just 0.001 percent of US military budget

Members of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade disembark upon their arrival by plane at a Polish air force base on April 23, 2014 in Swidwin, Poland.

The cost of treating transgender troops amounts to less than 0.001 percent of US military’s 2019 budget, according to figures published by USA Today.

USA Today published data allegedly obtained from the Pentagon on Wednesday (February 27) regarding transgender troops in the military, as the Trump administration’s ban on trans people in the military continues to face legal challenges.

According to the outlet, there are around approximately 1,500 transgender troops across US military service, comprising a tiny fraction of the total 2.1 million military personnel.

In the active-duty forces, there are 500 transgender troops in the Army, 442 in the Navy, 354 in the Air Force, 101 in the Marine Corps, and 33 in the Coast Guard, USA Today said.

Transgender troops healthcare cost ‘dwarfed by virtually any’ other treatment

The alleged Pentagon data shows that since 2016, just $2 million was spent on surgery for transgender troops—with the cost over three years amounting to just 0.0003 percent of the military’s 2019 budget of $716 billion.

Despite President Donald Trump’s reported rage at transgender soldiers getting “clipped” before announcing the ban, USA Today‘s report claims just 17 genital surgery procedures have been performed since 2016, alongside 37 hysterectomies, four breast augmentations and 103 breast reductions.

Transgender troops also had a total of 22,992 psychotherapy visits and received 9,321 prescriptions for hormones over the period, bringing the total cost of their specific healthcare needs to $7.943 million.

The total cost of treating transgender troops over three years amounts to less than one hundred-thousandth of the 2019 military budget, or 0.001 percent.

The cost of transgender troops is 0.001% of the annual US military budget

The cost of transgender troops is 0.001% of the 2019 US military budget.

Former Pentagon official Brad Carson, who served as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness until 2016, told USA Today that the cost is so marginal that it “is dwarfed by the treatment cost of virtually any ache and pain you can think of.”

It is far less than the $84 million spent annually by the military on Viagra and erectile dysfunction medication, and the $437 million spent annually on military bands.

Democrats seeking to block Trump ban on transgender troops

The US Supreme Court ruled in January that Trump’s policy banning transgender people from serving in the US armed forces can go ahead, while legal action on the issue continues.

In the wake of the decision, lawmakers have brought forward two bills in Congress seeking to avert the ban, which Trump first announced over Twitter in 2017.

Democratic New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Senate version of the bill, which is co-sponsored by Republican Senator Susan Collins, and Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democratic member of the Armed Services Committee.

A parallel bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jackie Speier.

Gillibrand, who is running for president in 2020, said: “President Trump’s ban on transgender service members is discrimination, it undermines our military readiness, and it is an insult to the brave and patriotic transgender Americans who choose to serve in our military.

“The heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have all testified to Congress that transgender service members are serving in our military without any problems. We should end this discriminatory ban for good and ensure our transgender service members can continue to do their jobs, serve with dignity, and protect our country.”