Since the 2016 Pentagon decision that allowed trans people to openly serve in the military, health care costs have risen by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year, according to one estimate. A separate study from 2015 predicted that additional health care costs for trans soldiers would come to just $5.6 million a year ― “little more than a rounding error” in the context of the military’s nearly $50 billion health care budget.
For perspective, here are a few other things that cost way, way more than health care expenses for trans troops:
Trump’s trips to his properties
Congress also allocated $41 million to reimburse places that Trump visits, like Palm Beach and Bedminster, New Jersey, where he owns another club. The funds cover security costs when Trump comes to town, which he has done frequently.
The New York Police Department spent $24 million from Election Day until the inauguration to protect Manhattan’s Trump Tower. The city’s fire department expects to spend another $4.5 million on security there in 2017. The Los Angeles Times estimates that travel and protection costs for the Trump family during Trump’s first 100 days in office came to at least $30 million ― compared to an average $12 million a year for President Barack Obama and his family.
A border wall with Mexico
An internal report by the Department of Homeland Security estimated that building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would cost $21.6 billion. Senate Democrats have estimated the wall, one of Trump’s signature campaign promises, could cost $70 billion to build and $150 million a year to maintain.
Erectile dysfunction medication
In 2014, the Defense Department spent $41.6 million on Viagra and $84.24 million in total on erectile dysfunction medication. From 2011 until 2015, the Defense Department spent $294 million on erectile dysfunction drugs, according to the Military Times.
A Defense Department study last year found the Pentagon could save $125 billion over five years by making its operations more lean. Officials buried the report amid concerns that lawmakers would use it as an excuse to cut defense spending.
A “clean coal” plant
A Mississippi “clean coal” operation conceived under President George W. Bush closed last month, having cost $7.5 billion in all. The plant was supposed to provide a viable energy alternative, but it failed.