Taxpayers will soon foot the bill for gender reassignment surgery for America’s service members in an order some fear will cost the nation in terms of money and military readiness.
But deep in the language of that order was a clause that read, “The Secretary of Defense also concluded that it was appropriate to create a process that would enable service members to take steps to transition gender while serving.”
Thus, the order requires “establishing a process by which transgender service members may transition gender while serving.” Officials were given 60 days to implement the Jan. 25 order.
To that end, newly appointed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin promised in a statement released the same day his goal is that “all medically-necessary transition related care authorized by law is available to all Service members.”
Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough last month mandated that the VA “examine the entire slate of services that the department provides to Veterans to ensure maximum equity and inclusivity, including the delivery of medically necessary, gender affirmation care and procedures.”
That’s not going to be cheap.
The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery collected data that shows multiple forms of gender reassignment surgeries for men and women typically amount to anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000, according to the Washington Examiner.
In 2019, USA Today reported that the Pentagon spent approximately $8 million on gender reassignment surgery costs for 1,500 transgender military personnel.
Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said there is a distinction between welcoming transgender individuals into the military and paying for gender reassignment.
“This is radical and new territory for a presidential administration to force taxpayers to fund sexual reassignment surgeries for those in the military,” Banks told the Washington Examiner.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
One retired military man said the combat implications of the order are staggering, as well.
Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, who commanded Army forces in Iraq and is now affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, said Biden’s order makes it seem that going for gender reassignment could take precedence over combat.
“I would like to think the Pentagon would come up with a procedure … It’s completely irrational to change your gender right in front of a conflict,” Spoehr said.
“A lot of people [in the military] are outraged by this idea that you can just come in and get this [surgery] and be gone from your unit. Someone has to pick up the slack while you are gone.”
Spoehr noted that other recruits who might need ongoing medical treatment are not accepted into the military and voiced his belief that many people might be tempted to join simply to receive gender reassignment surgeries on the country’s dime.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, attacked Biden for using the armed forces as part of the president’s “social experimentation.”
“By 2019, the Defense Department announced that it had redirected funds from salaries, equipment, and trainings for 22,992 psychotherapy visits, 9,321 hormone prescriptions, and a whopping 161 surgeries (ranging from hysterectomies and breast augmentation to ‘male reproductive’ construction),” Perkins said in a Jan. 25 statement.
“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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