Rep. Vicky Hartzler Proposes Barring Transgender-Related Healthcare For US Military

After insisting that trans people shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the military, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) has proposed barring access to transition-related care for troops.

The politician proposed the amendment that would bar the Defense Department from providing such care last Friday. The amendment was of of many submitted to the House Rules Committee ahead of a floor vote on major defense policy legislation for fiscal year 2018.

The committee, which is stacked 11-4 in favor of Republicans, is set to review and possibly accept the proposed amendments this week.

If Hartzler’s amendment is successful, transition care such as hormone therapy and gender reassignment would not be covered for transgender military members. Only mental health treatment as it relates to gender transition would still be covered.

Should the committee accept the amendment, this would mark the first time the U.S. House floor considers an amendment against transgender rights.

Writes the Washington Blade:

During the committee markup, Hartzler cited a dubious figure that paying for gender reassignment surgery for U.S. troops would cost $1.35 billion over the next 10 years with only 30 percent of individuals electing to transition. That figure is significantly higher than the RAND Corp.’s estimate that those surgeries consume between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually out of the Pentagon’s multi-billion dollar budget.

It’s unclear where Hartzler came up with her figure. Hartlzer told USA Today she believes the RAND Corp. study was “flawed” and reportedly said her staff came up with its own figure using research from other sources.