Health & Fitness | July 27, 2017 10:07 am

How Much Transgender Troops Cost the U.S. Military in Medical Expenses

President Trump banned trans service members due to 'tremendous medical costs.'

A U.S. Soldier with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment marches back to the Joint District Community Center after fortifying a combat outpost , Rajankala, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2009. The U.S. Army operates from combat outposts to add flexibility to operations in their sectors (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II/Released)
A U.S. Soldier with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment marches back to the Joint District Community Center after fortifying a combat outpost , Rajankala, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2009. The U.S. Army operates from combat outposts to add flexibility to operations in their sectors (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II/Released)
Task Force 1-17 Infantry

President Trump surprised military and civil rights leaders on Wednesday when he declared transgender individuals would no longer be allowed in the military, citing the “tremendous medical costs.”

Although President Obama started a plan to cover the cost of gender-transition surgeries, the military has yet to pay for these. According to The Atlanticnot all transgender troops would opt to go under the knife. Some prefer to undergo hormone therapy or hair removal, while many choose not to have any procedures.

A RAND analysis commissioned by the Department of Defense found 30 and 140 service members would pursue hormone therapy while 25 to 130 troops would seek surgery. Associated Press reports 250 service members are currently transitioning between genders.

The number of transgender individuals and associated cost in the military varies. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimates there are 12,800 trans service members, with costs ranging from $4.2 million to $5.6 million. The findings concluded, “doctors agree that such care is medically necessary.”

For comparison, the entire Defense budget is $640 billion—including $84 million spent on erectile dysfunction medication. According to The Atlantic, covering the cost of transgender service members in the military would increase the total military 0.04 to 0.13 percent.