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Doctor Offers Free Surgery for Trans Military Personnel After Trump's Ban

Olga R. Rodriguez
Olga R. Rodriguez/AP

"If the commander-in-chief won’t take care of our veterans, our veterans will."

President Trump might be opposed to military-funded gender confirmation surgery for transgender service members, but one surgeon is offering to cover the costs for military personnel in her practice.

On Saturday, Dr. Christine McGinn appeared on CNN to discuss her decision to waive surgery fees. McGinn, a trans veteran who runs a surgery practice out of eastern Pennsylvania, promised to waive the fees for the trans patients already scheduled for surgery.

"If the commander-in-chief won't take care of our veterans, our veterans will," McGinn said.

Dr. McGinn, who was invited on CNN to speak with Michael Smerconish about President Trump's ban on trans military personnel, is perhaps the most compelling evidence that trans people should be allowed to serve openly. McGinn, a former flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy, began her transition while still an active service member, and was even nominated for flight surgeon of the year award for the entire U.S Navy.

McGinn also debunked President Trump's assertion that trans military personnel wrack up "tremendous medical costs" for the military.

"I think it's being twisted and spun to make it seem like it would be more than it is," McGinn said. "I think the cost of getting rid of very well specialized, trained military service people is exponentially larger than just taking care of them."

The claim that medical costs are too high for the military to adequately care for openly trans personnel has also been refuted by the Defense Department's 2016 Rand Corp study. The study found that health care for openly trans soldiers would only cost 2.4 -8.4 million, a "exceedingly small proportion" of total medical costs for the military.

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