President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning declaring a ban on transgender people from serving in the military.
Trump stated the reason for the ban is due to "the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
The tweets have received a lot of backlash and one specific reason is the president did not mention any statistics or information behind the claims of potential medical costs.
A 2016 study done by the Rand Corporation, which offers research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces, provided in-depth estimates of potential costs for transgender people in the military.
"There are an estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender service members in the active component, but not all will seek gender transition–related treatment," according to the study.
Estimations of active duty transgender people and general healthcare costs for a gender transition showed treatments would annually increase between $2.4 million and $8.4 million — which represents "a 0.04 to 0.13 percent increase in active-component health care expenditures."
However, the military spent nearly $42 million on Viagra and approximately $84 million on erectile dysfunction prescriptions, according to a 2015 analysis by the Military Times.
This annual cost on those type of prescriptions is nearly 10 times the amount when comparing the annual cost of gender transition–related treatments.