Just days after Donald Trump made his Twitter policy announcement outright banning transgender people from the military citing the “tremendous medical costs” associated with them, a new report claims that Trump’s ban would actually cost over 100 times more than the purported medical costs he bemoans.
In its report, the Palm Center claims that discharging transgender troops will cost nearly $1 billion — $960 million to be exact. The figure is based on there being an estimated 15,000 transgender Americans in the military, a figure which some have said is as low as 4,000.
But even at 4,000 members, the cost of discharging them would many times the estimated $8 million which the administration claims is the medical costs that would be saved.
The Palm Center also notes that its cost estimate does not even taken into account the costs associated with litigation, which has already begun. The National Center for Lesibian Rights and the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders have already filed suit against the government over the ban.
Trump’s tweet-ban has already been met with significant blowback by military members and lawmakers — even those from his own party. Arizona Senator John McCain who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee spoke out against the ban saying that “Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving.”
Additionally, the United States’ top general, Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that the military has no plans on implementing the President’s ban. “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance,” Dunford said in a message to service chiefs. Simply put, unless and until the administration goes through the proper channels and puts together an appropriate plan with the military, the ban will not and cannot be implemented.
The move by Trump is yet another example of his sheer ignorance of virtually any subject as well as his utter incompetence in actually marshaling forward any agenda. That incompetence has actually saved the nation from some of his most absurd policy decisions.