Jul 26, 2017

Study: Transgender military members don't drive up costs

Csaba Krizsan / MTI via AP

President Trump's announcement this morning banning transgender individuals from military service stated that their service would cause the military to be "burdened with tremendous medical costs and disruption." However, a 2016 study by the nonpartisan RAND Corporation on the topic indicated just the opposite.

Why it matters: The reasons that Trump and his "generals and military experts" gave for the ban don't stand up to scrutiny, and the announcement seems more of a play to his base and a distraction from his growing discontent with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

  • The numbers: RAND estimates that there are about 2,450 transgender individuals in active duty assignments and another 1,510 in the Selected Reserve.
  • The medical costs: The study showed that not all transgender individuals seek out gender transition-related health care, estimating that the total costs from gender transition among military members would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million — 0.005% to 0.017% of all Department of Defense health care spending.
  • The disruption: Using their highest estimates, RAND found that gender transition-related health care would prevent less than 0.1% of military forces from deploying — compared to the 14% of active duty Army members prevented from deploying because of routine legal, medical, or administrative reasons.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Caring for older adults was already expensive, emotionally taxing and logistically difficult — and the coronavirus is only making it worse.

Why it matters: People older than 65 have the highest risk of dying from the virus, and outbreaks have been rampant in long-term care facilities. That is creating anxiety for seniors and their families.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 5,508,904 — Total deaths: 346,508 — Total recoveries — 2,234,510Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 1,662,768 — Total deaths: 98,223 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy