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US Military Spends Five Times More on Viagra Than Transgender Services

Military
Maya Alleruzzo/AP

That's $41.6 million on Viagra, of the total $84 million spent annually on erectile dysfunction. 

The US military spends $41.6 million annually on Viagra for its troops, according to an analysis by the Military Times. That's approximately five times more than estimated costs for transgender medical services, which would run the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.

This is a fraction of the military's total spending on erectile dysfunction, which amounts to $84 million each year. Still, President Trump used it as leverage to ban all transgender people from serving. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," he wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.

Related | President Trump Bans Transgender People From Serving in Military

A Defense Department-commissioned study published last year by the Rand Corporation suggests not all transgender service members will seek gender transition-related treatment. "Even upper-bound estimates indicate that less than 0.1 percent of the total force would seek transition-related care that could disrupt their ability to deploy," the report says. But "even in the most extreme scenario," their findings predict a 0.13-percent increase in health-care spending.

At its height, the Rand Corporation's study shows that only $8.4 million would be spent on transgender services of the military's total $496 billion annual budget. "The money is negligible," Kristin Beck, a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs who is transgender, told Business Insider. "You're talking about .000001 percent of the military budget."

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