Viagra costs the military five times as much as transgender troops' medical care would

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter he would ban transgender individuals from serving in the military because of their “tremendous medical costs.” 

Trump’s announcement did not cite specific numbers, but the military has looked at the cost of medical care for transgender servicemembers before. 

study by the Rand Corp. estimated transgender troops would cost the government $8.4 million per year, based on the number of transgender servicemembers and the cost of gender transition-related treatments. 

For perspective, the military spends $6.4 billion annually on troops’ medical care. This includes $84 million on erectile dysfunction medicines, ten times as much as the total cost of care for transgender servicemembers. An analysis by the Military Times found Viagra alone cost the military $41.6 million - approximately five times what the government would spend on transgender troops. 

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