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Trump Won’t Stop Lying About the Medical Costs of Transgender Soldiers

The president's trans military ban is hateful, pure and simple.

protesters against trump's trans military ban

As President Trump continues his bad will tour of England, he stopped by for an appearance on Piers Morgan’s television show Good Morning Britain. The two men discussed Trump’s trans military ban, which went into effect in April. Trump, of course, had difficulty telling the truth.

Trump defended the ban with his signature lie on the issue, that the costs of trans healthcare is a burden to the U.S. military. This is, of course, categorically false. According to a RAND study, of the 1.3 million active service members, less than .2% are transgender. An even smaller subset of that .2% would require additional transition-related medical services. The cost of extending that healthcare is between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, or 0.04 to 0.13 percent of the budget.

To put that in perspective, the U.S. military has spent $84.24 million on erectile dysfunction prescriptions in a single year. Or to put it another way, that cost is roughly what the government spends for the President to take two trips to Mar-a-Lago.

But Trump refuses to budge from his lie, now falsely claiming that soldiers can’t take prescription medications, “Because they take massive amounts of drugs, they have to … You’re not allowed to take drugs, you’re in the military you’re not allowed to take any drugs. And they have to after the operation, they have to, they have no choice, they have to. You would actually have to break rules and regulations in order to have that.”

Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, refuted Trump’s claims, saying, “Trump asserted falsely that active-duty servicemembers cannot take even so much as an aspirin … And he repeated the debunked canards that medical care for transgender servicemembers is unmanageably expensive and that trans troops cannot be held to the same standards as other troops.”

Strong words from a man who dodged the Vietnam draft using “bone spurs” as an excuse. Trump had plenty more to say about Vietnam, and it went over about as well as you might expect:

Piers Morgan (a former Celebrity Apprentice contestant) pressed Trump on how he can claim to support LGBTQ rights while supporting the ban, asking “This week, you tweeted your support for the LGBT community around the world where they’re being persecuted or excluded, which does prompt the obvious question: If you feel that protective of the LGBT community, why did you feel the need to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military?”

Morgan brings up the cost, comparing it to the Viagra statistic, saying “So it just seems to me an unnecessary thing for a guy who wants to be supportive of the LGBT rights and the community around the world, that you’ve taken this action.”

All Trump had to say in response was, “It is what it is.”

(via Bloomberg, image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.