Supporters of Trump's proposed transgender military service ban say providing transgender-specific health care is too costly, but how much would it cost to replace every transgender service member?
The Palm Center took an in-depth look at the subject and found that the staggering cost of Trump's ban would overwhelmingly outweigh the cost of providing transgender-specific health care.
You can read their full report here.
Our estimate is that the cost of discharging all transgender personnel from the military would be $960 million. We arrived at our estimate by multiplying the per-person cost of recruiting and training replacements by the number of currently serving transgender service members: $75,000 x 12,800 = $960 million.
In addition, we compare the cost of fully implementing the President’s ban with two related figures. First, according to analysts at the RAND Corporation, and as addressed above, the cost of providing medically necessary transition-related health care to transgender personnel is, at most, $8.4 million per year.
When accounting for the fact that not all transgender service members require transition-related health care while serving, the Palm Center found that simply banning service members who require transition-related care would not save the service money because the cost of training is still higher.
The average total per-person cost of care for those who need it ($31,931) is higher than the average annual per-person cost of providing care for the entire population of transgender service members ($656) because most transgender personnel do not require transition-related care during their military careers.
Thus, even when focusing exclusively on those transgender service members who need transition-related care, President Trump’s announced ban does not make financial sense. On a per-person basis, the military would spend $75,000 to achieve a savings of $31,931.
I think we all know cost is not the true concern of people who support anti-transgender policy. If that were really the case, you'd expect similar resistance to insanely costly weapons procurement programs that grow tens of billions of dollars over budget.