Thomas Gallatin / March 10, 2021

Taxpayers to Foot Bill for Military ‘Transgender’ Surgeries

Biden repeals a policy preventing government funding of “gender transitioning” treatment for military personnel.

Buried inside one of Joe Biden’s record-breaking stack of January executive orders and actions was a clause repealing an Obama-era policy that prohibited taxpayer funding of “gender-reassignment” surgery. In Biden’s EO, dubiously titled “Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform,” is the provision that the government (read: taxpayers) will foot the bill for any active-duty military personnel and veterans seeking to “transition” genders.

As Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated, “This revised policy will also ensure all medically-necessary transition related care authorized by law is available to all Service members.” This was seconded by Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, who in an email instructed his agency to “perform an assessment of the necessary steps to eliminate the exclusion of ‘gender alteration’ (gender affirmation surgery) in the medical benefits package.”

And just how much would this “necessary” transitioning coverage cost taxpayers? Well, the Washington Examiner reports, “Online charts by the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery show a plethora of elective surgeries for both men and women that add up to $100,000-$200,000. Although Biden stated in his order that the cost of treating transgender troops would have minimal impact on healthcare costs, that is not borne out by a 2019 USA Today investigation. The news analysis revealed that the Pentagon spent $8 million to treat just 1,500 transgender military officials, which included hormone treatments and some surgeries. It was not clear why the surgeries were allowed at that time.”

How many will enlist just for this reason? That’s a hefty benefit. How long will military personnel undergoing such “transitions” be inactive, thus costing taxpayers even more? And why are we funding this when we need money and weapons systems to deter Chinese aggression?

Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks, who has vocally supported the idea of “transgendered” individuals being allowed to serve in the military, objects to American taxpayers footing the bill for these elective and unnecessary surgeries. “This is radical and new territory for a presidential administration to force taxpayers to fund sexual reassignment surgeries for those in the military. I’m compassionate toward those individuals who want to undergo an elective surgery of this nature, but taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook to pay for it. It’s constitutionally dubious that Congress hasn’t passed these measures, but the administration, in a radical way, is pushing through this agenda. I sit on the committee that should debate these issues.”

While Biden’s EO directly changes a Barack Obama policy, he is in fact following in Obama’s footsteps by using the U.S. military for leftist social engineering and as a phalanx in the culture war against our nation’s foundational ethical mores. Marine Corp veteran and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins insightfully observes, “While America faces rising threats from around the world, it’s obvious that Joe Biden is only interested in using our military to fight one war: the culture’s.”

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