It's not uncommon for President Donald Trump's tweets to get the Twitterverse in a tizzy, but no one — not even GOP leaders — saw this announcement coming on July 26:
"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump wrote in a series of three tweets. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you"
Um, "tremendous medical costs?" "Disruption?" "BURDEN???" Just how much are trans soldiers costing us each year?
According to one study, health care costs have risen by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year since the Pentagon decided in 2016 to allow trans people to openly serve in the military. Another estimate from 2015 puts that number closer to $5.6 million a year.
That may sound like a lot to the average person, but when you consider the fact that the Defense Department's health care budget is almost $50 BILLION — that's billion with a "B," people — transition care for trans troops is actually "little more than a rounding error" in terms of overall military medical spending.
As of now, the Pentagon hasn't yet enforced Trump's order to kick out the 15,500-plus trans troops estimated to be currently serving in the military. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday that the Defense Department and the White House still have to "work out the details" of the ban on trans soldiers.
So to help them (and you) get some more perspective on the issue, we've rounded up a list of ten things that cost a whole lot more than medical expenses for trans troops. (Warning: Some of these numbers might INFURIATE you.)