Via Twitter, Trump Bans All Transgender People from Military
Reversing Department of Defense policy setup during the Obama administration, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a ban on all transgender military personnel this morning.
Not unexpectedly, he made the announcement on Twitter this morning (7/26).
In case the Tweets don't load, they read:
"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you"
It's the "Thank you" at the end that really sells it, right?
The move isn't entirely unsurprising. Transgender people were going to be allowed to serve starting July 1 this year, but the policy was put on pause before being implemented.
CNN pointed to a RAND corporation study looking into the potential costs of allowing transgender people to claim medical benefits after enlisting. That would not only include regular hormone treatments, but also sexual reassignment surgeries.
The study put the number of transgender people in the military between 1,320 and 6,630. Gender-change surgery is rare in the general population, and the RAND study estimated the possibility of 30 to 140 new hormone treatments a year in the military, with 25 to 130 gender transition-related surgeries among active service members. The cost could range from $2.4 million and $8.4 million, an amount that would represent an "exceedingly small proportion" of total health care expenditures, the study found. -- CNN, "Trump to reinstate US military ban on transgender people"
In comparison to the total 2014 Department of Defense health care spending, proposed transgender costs would be about 0.004% to 0.017%, according to the RAND study.
What remains to be seen is if someone will challenge Trump's decision. Will it be the courts that actually settle the matter? Only time will tell.