On Friday President Trump signed a directive instructing the military to stop paying for medical treatment for transgender people currently serving in the U.S. military and halting an Obama-era plan that would have allowed transgender people to be recruited into the U.S. armed forces. The move follows Trump’s announcement last month on Twitter that he’d ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. Among those who have criticized Trump over the ban is Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s daughter Jennifer Detlefsen, who is a Navy veteran, and said of Trump, “This man is a disgrace.” This is ACLU attorney Chase Strangio, speaking on Democracy Now! on Friday, just before the memo was signed.
Chase Strangio: “The reality is that the military has $1 billion in its budget for healthcare, and this is a fraction of that. And what it reflects is a misunderstanding and discrimination of transgender individuals.”
The U.S. military currently spends about $8.4 million on medical services for transgender troops—a fraction of the military’s budget. In contrast, the Center for American Progress says President Trump has run up a $29 million budget on his 11 trips to his private golf resorts Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster so far this year.