Posted on Aug 12, 2015
SPC Angela Burnham
How much will it cost us to let trans people serve openly? It's a valid question and I worked out some of the math down below. Some things to take into consideration before though, there are only around 15,000 trans people currently serving, we don't know how many veterans but it's probably around 75,000. Not all trans people get "the surgery" for various reasons, and the recovery time is typically 3 months. If half the current trans .mil population had sexual reassignment surgery, it would cost around $150,000,000 (assuming the cost for surgery remains around $20,000, which around North America is usually the case).

Now, the average length of enlisted service in the U.S. is around 7 years rounded up, and an average of 188,000 people join every year. Trans people make up .6% of the military population (rounded up), and therefore we could expect another 1,128 transgender recruits to join every year. Again, lets say half have SRS, the total estimated annual cost would be around $11,280,000. If we say 50,000 (66%) trans vets want the surgery (a very liberal estimate), that would be around $1,000,000,000. We might expect half the recently separated trans vets who didn't get it while in to get it through the VA while out.

Lets just assume for the sake of convenience that the same number of trans people that enter each year also leave (actually more people have been leaving than joining lately but w/e). So a quarter of those might want SRS (remember half would have already got it while in). That number is 282, and the cost would be $5,640,000 a year.

So to recap:
Initial wave of surgeries for active duty under Tricare - $150,000,000
Initial wave of surgeries for veterans/retired personnel - $1,000,000,000
Annual cost of surgeries for active duty under Tricare - $11,280,000
Annual cost of surgeries for veterans/retired personnel - $5,640,000

Sounds like allot of money, but how much will it increase our budget? In 2012, the DoD spent $52,000,000,000 on healthcare for service members. The Department of Veteran Affairs spends 42% of it's budget on healthcare, and it's budget was $168,800,000,000, with $70,896,000,000 spent directly on healthcare.

If we spend $150,000,000 more dollars in the initial wave of providing service members with SRS, it would reflect an overall budget increase of .3% (rounded up). The annual cost spent providing new recruits with SRS would be $11,280,000, which would reflect an overall annual budget increase of around .022% (rounded up).

If we spend $1,000,000,000 on the initial wave of surgeries for veterans (again a very very liberal estimate), it would reflect an overall budget increase of 1.4%. If we spend around $5,640,000 annually on surgeries for new veterans, it would reflect an increase of .008% (rounded up).

One more fun figure:
The total initial cost between both the DoD and DVA would be around $1,150,000,000. Out of the total amount of national debt, $18,342,202,555,158, this would reflect an overall increase of .0063% (rounded up).

My personal opinion is slanted on whether or not trans people should serve openly (I'm trans myself, left the service 4 days ago). So with the above numbers in mind, I'd love to hear from you. Do you support allowing transgender people to serve openly?
Posted in these groups: A_yin-yang-yuan_transgender-symbol TransgenderMoney-budget Budget
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