So, our venerated President just sharply changed the military’s policy in regards to transgender personnel in 140 words or less (times 3). He used the thinly veiled excuse of “medical expense” as the reason. He also spoke in an incendiary language with words such as “disruption,” which used to be used to describe gays, blacks, and women in the military as well. How anyone can see this for anything other than what it is–politics as usual–I cannot understand.
First of all, a blanket ban? On every transgender person whether or not they choose to seek hormonal treatment or surgery? How do we know who will? What about all the people who are already serving in the military and have for years? People who, along with their families, have made sacrifices to serve this country, who now may not make it far enough in service to receive benefits that should be due to them because they’re being ejected from the military before their time? Pensions? Healthcare?
Let’s just assume for one second that this actually IS about money. Money that the military is supposedly using to pay for very expensive treatment of transgendered individuals to maintain their “choice” (yes, some people think it’s a choice), so much money that it is taking away from our defense budget. How much money does the military spend on the medical care of transgender personnel? We are doctors and we like evidence based medicine. So, below is the result from study that actually looked into this. You can click to read, but let me save you the time; these were the conclusions:
- There Are an Estimated 1,320–6,630 Transgender Service Members in the Active Component, but Not All Will Seek Gender Transition–Related Treatment. About 29 out 129 did, according to this study.
- The Costs of Gender Transition–Related Health Care Treatment Are Relatively Low. ctive-component health care costs would increase by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in costs.
- The limited research on the effects of foreign military policies indicates little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness. In fact, leadership reported that a more diverse and inclusive force was productive.
The table on the right is from the most prestigious medical journal in the country, The New England Journal of Medicine.
But if it were really about the money, then what about this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/26/the-military-spends-five-times-as-much-on-viagra-as-it-would-on-transgender-troops-medical-care/?utm_term=.68b53a957ab7
Sounds to me like we should be banning impotent men, not transgender people.
And if we’re going to start banning people based on expense, gee, women are pretty expensive to care for as well, what with mammograms, breast cancer, and oh god gross prenatal care and OB care. And they’re certainly a disruption. How can the men concentrate and focus on–what was it?–decisive and overwhelming victory with women around, and their boobs and periods and stuff? And they’re asking to not be harrassed or raped, and there’s that time waste of sensitivity training… One person argued that civilian wives of male personnel also get these benefits, so having women in the military does not actively raise the costs. Well, to that I say, maybe that’s on its way out too? Too expensive! Sorreeee!
There was a ban on women in combat, wasn’t there? I don’t remember, were we upset about that? Oh yea, we were. Enough to go to the Supreme Court. It was deemed unconstitutional.
But all that mumbo jumbo does not matter, because this is not about money. This is about politics and about our President’s heavy handedness and ignorance. Peruse this: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/26/trump-transgender-military-ban-behind-the-scenes-240990
House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked with his campaign promises, including money to build his border wall with Mexico. But there was a debate on whether the government should pay for gender reassignment surgery, and the Republicans couldn’t agree on it, so the bill was in jeopardy. They went to Trump, who swiftly just up and banned all transgender people to put the issue in the grave once and for all.
I don’t understand why this is good – aside from this bill. Like, how is doing a purge of trans people in the military going to help stabilize his power position? It’s going to cause just more serious negative attention because there’s going to be all these sob stories about “patriotic soldiers wanting to serve the country while Trump avoided Vietnam because of foot pain. And also, thre were thousands transgender personnel, and there are thousands less. The costs of recruitment and retention alone are probably more than the medical treatment of transgender individuals. I just don’t understand how someone can suck at his job so much?
And then he busts out with this:
Hey, moron! In America, we worship whatever the fuck we want, because 1st Amendment, or did you not learn that in President school?
Anyway, I know the ACLU has already spoken out about this, and there will be lawsuits. But this is just one link in the chain of the shackle that binds us as we lose more and more civil freedoms and rights.