Professor Belkin: Military Transgender Health Care Costs 'Too Low to Warrant Consideration'

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Photo of Aaron Belkin standing outdoors

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL -- Since 2011, the U.S. military has spent $294 million, the equivalent of four U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, on drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, the Military Times reported in 2015. And the Department of Defense spent $41.6 million on the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra alone in 2014.

This cost, for one drug, stands in stark contrast to the estimates of military spending annually on transgender-related healthcare and transition costs, according to a study by the Rand Corporation.

"Having analyzed the cost that the military will incur by providing transition-related care, I am convinced that it is too low to warrant consideration in the current policy debate," San Francisco State University Professor Aaron Belkin wrote in a 2015 analysis in The New England Journal of Medicine.