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Transgender Troops: Study Claims Transition-Related Health Costs Are Negligible

A new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine has asserted that hormone therapies and gender surgeries for American servicepeople will have a minimal impact on the military’s overall yearly budget.

The study’s results are particularly pertinent as the Pentagon announced this past month it would lift its ban on having transgender people serving in the military, according to a story CNN published yesterday.

According to the study’s finding, when the military lifts the ban on openly transgender servicemembers, the resulting surgeries and therapies will cost about $5.6 million each year. The amount, divided over the entire military, comes to about 22 centers per servicemember per month.

Furthermore, surgeries and therapies for one serviceperson would cost about $30,000 over the course of six years.

Reporter Haimy Assefa spoke with Kris Hayasha, the executive director of Transgender Law Center.

Assefa was quoted as saying that the report highlights “what we know to be true from the civilian world.”

The report underscores what we know to be true form the civilian world. That health care costs for transition-related care make up a fraction of a drop in the bucket of overall health care expenses for employers.

Politics website The Hill said that the study’s author, Dr. Aaron Belkin, wrote that the cost of transgender medical services would amount to the equivalent of a “rounding error in the military’s $48.7 billion annual health care budget.”

Belkin estimated that there are nearly 13,000 transgender serving in the military, many of whom face a host of psychological and other health-related problems stemming from having to hide their identities.

This struggle to hide the truth can result in “potential medical consequences of its denial.”

There are costs, in other words, of not providing transition-related care, due to potential medical and psychological consequences of its denial, paired with the requirement to live a closeted life.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Belkin as saying that any policy changes by the Pentagon must be accompanied by adequate health services.

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