When President Trump announced his ban on transgender people in the U.S. military, he cited “tremendous medical costs” and “disruption” as the rationale for his discriminatory ruling. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory,” he argued, indirectly labeling all trans Americans a “burden.” But now, a new Palm Centre report suggests the only burden will be the incredible costs of discharging and replacing trans soldiers: approximately $960 million after it’s fully implemented.
The study based its estimate by multiplying the number of current trans service members (12,800) by the average per-person cost of recruiting a replacement for each discharged soldier ($75,000). According to their findings, the average annual cost of transition-related healthcare is $656 per trans service member, considering most do not require transition-related care during their time in the military. By spending $75,000 to replace each soldier, who only require $656 annually, Trump’s military ban will cost $960 million to save $8.4 million per year—that’s 100 times more expensive than keeping things as is.
“If decisions concerning whether to allow transgender personnel to serve are based on financial considerations, then policymakers should take into account the costs of discharging the service members, not just the costs of retaining them under a policy of equal treatment,” the report says, dismantling Trump’s initial argument about “tremendous medical costs.” You can read the full report, here.