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Draft dodger says trans soldiers “burden” U.S. military

Photo: Ralph Freso / Getty Images

President Donald Trump, a draft dodger notorious for not following through on his business obligations who has never once shown one ounce of the commitment and bravery it takes to be transgender in America in the face of bigotry, discrimination, and high rates of anti-trans violence, nevertheless has reinstated a ban on trans people serving in the U.S. military. He announced this, naturally, during his morning Twitter dump, citing unnamed “Generals and military experts” who, if Trump’s past social-media screeds are any indication, he probably saw on Fox News:


Also typically, there doesn’t seem to be a real plan in place on how to implement this ban, given that transgender people currently serve in the U.S. military. (The Pentagon has announced that it will defer enlistments by transgender applicants, according to NPR.) The ban on transgender soldiers was lifted in June 2016 by then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who basically said at the time that the U.S. military was in no position to turn away qualified applicants. Decisive and overwhelming, indeed.

As for the whole “burdened with the tremendous medical costs” thing, Human Rights Campaign says that, while individual procedures can be quite expensive, particularly gender reassignment surgery, the overall institutional costs of covering trans medical needs are minimal. For example, after the city of San Francisco expanded its employee health insurance to cover transgender-related medical procedures in 2001, it installed a surcharge to offset anticipated additional expenses. In 2006, seeing that it had only spent $386,417 of the $5.6 million it had collected, it ended the surcharge.


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