The Pentagon has spent nearly $8 million to treat more than 1,500 transgender troops since 2016, including 161 surgical procedures, according to data obtained by USA TODAY.
As of Feb. 1, 1,071 service members have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Public Health Service on active duty and in the reserve force.
Most of them are senior enlisted personnel, but there are 20 senior officers – majors and lieutenant commanders and higher – as well.
Overall, the troops represent a fraction of the total force of 2.1 million. The number of transgender troops serving who have not sought treatment through the military is not known.
Transgender troops and their medical and psychological treatment has been a flash point for controversy since President Donald Trump tweeted in July 2017 that he wanted to ban them from the military. In January, the question reached the Supreme Court, which ruled that a modified ban could take effect while lower court challenges continued.
On Wednesday, the House Armed Services Committee will hear testimony on the military’s policy, which bans most troops with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have blasted the Pentagon policy as bigoted. She invited transgender troops to Trump’s State of the Union address this month.
Through Feb. 1, the cost of treating troops with the diagnosis of gender dysphoria has totaled $7,943,906.75. That included 22,992 psychotherapy visits, 9,321 prescriptions for hormones and 161 surgical procedures. Surgeries performed included 103 breast reductions or mastectomies, 37 hysterectomies, 17 “male reproductive” procedures and four breast augmentations. Psychotherapy sessions cost nearly $5.8 million and surgery cost more than $2 million, according to the data.
Wednesday’s hearing is scheduled to be held before the House Armed Services Committee’s panel on personnel, chaired by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. She has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s efforts to exclude transgender people from serving in the military.
Full story at USA Today.