Lindsay Kimble
July 26, 2017 10:50 AM

President Donald Trump claimed that transgender service members would plague the military with “tremendous medical costs” when he announced a sweeping ban on Twitter Wednesday morning.

2016 RAND study – which was commissioned by the Defense Department – concluded quite the opposite, however, finding that the medical costs of trans service members represented an “exceedingly small portion of active-component health care expenditures.”

According to the study – which analyzed private health insurance data on gender transition-related expenditures – the Military Health System costs would only increase by $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year if the care were extended to transgender service members.

The study concluded that these increases would only represent between 0.005 to 0.017 percent of overall Department of Defense health care expenditures, which totaled $49.3 billion in 2014.

In all, the study estimated that there was between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people in the military.

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RAND also estimated that only between 29 and 129 service members in active duty would seek any type of gender transition-related care in a given year.  Estimates from self-reported National Transgender Discrimination Survey data were also studied, with researchers estimating that 30 to 140 personnel would seek hormone therapy. Further, only 25 to 130 personnel would seek actual surgical treatment.

Other military expenditures have cost must more – including the 59 Tomahawk missiles that the U.S. fired on a Syrian air base earlier this year. According to MarketWatch, those missiles likely cost $1 million each – meaning the entire operation cost the U.S. around $60 million.


In addition, Bloomberg reported in July that that the DoD’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program – which is the most expensive U.S. weapons program ever – may cost around $406.5 billion.

Interestingly enough, the Military Times found in an analysis that DoD spends around $84 million annual on just erectile dysfunction medicines, according to the Washington Post.

Viagra, alone, costs the military $41.6 million annually – which is around five times the estimated cost of transition-related healthcare for trans personnel, said the Post.

Trump’s frequent Mar-a-Lago trips have also totaled up to even more than the lower level transgender military healthcare cost estimates, with just one back-and-forth trip from D.C. to Florida estimated at around $1 million, reported NBC News.

Further, when the First Lady Melania Trump and the president’s youngest son Barron were still residing at Trump Tower, the New York Police Department said it was spending up to $146,000 a day just to protect them, according to Fortune. The first lady remained at the residence until June.

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