Los Angeles In a series of tweets today, President Trump announced that the United States will not "accept or allow" transgender people to serve in the U.S. military in any capacity. According to a recent study from Williams Institute scholars, an estimated 15,500 transgender adults are currently serving on active duty in the military or in the National Guard or Reserve forces. In addition, approximately 134,400 transgender adults are military veterans or retirees. Thus, approximately 150,000 transgender adults have served in the U.S. Armed Forces or are currently on active duty.
In support of banning military service by transgender people, President Trump asserted that transgender service members would have "tremendous medical costs." However, research suggests that cost related to health care for transgender service members would be negligible. In a Williams Institute study of employers, including large, self-insured employers, they reported little to no costs associated with providing transition-related health care for employees. Furthermore, a study by the RAND Corporation estimated that costs associated with transition-related health care in the military would be at most $8.4 million over the course of one year, representing 0.13% of the $6 billion annual health care expenditure for active duty service members.
"It is a consistent finding in research that has been conducted over many years that transgender people serve in the military at rates even higher than the U.S. general population," said Jody L. Herman, a Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. "A ban on military service by transgender individuals would negatively impact thousands of transgender people who are already serving and in no way would such a ban be a cost-saving measure."
Related coverage, Trump announces ban on transgender people in U.S. military. at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Trump-announces-ban-on-transgender-people-in-US-military/59935.html .