US House may ban healthcare for transgender military personnel

Bill Clark  CQ Roll Call

Hartzler says her amendment is meant to prevent the military from paying for transgender surgeries but explains that her motive is "to ensure that our military is the most effective, efficient and well-funded fighting force in the world".

"It you're going to decide to serve the United States military, figure out whether you are a man or a woman before you join up", he said.

The US House of Representatives could vote today (13 July) on an amendment that would bar transgender people serving in the military from receiving medical care related to gender transitioning.

A Missouri Congresswoman is seeking to bar federal funding from being used for healthcare related to transgender servicembers' unique healthcare needs, a discriminatory and unconstitutional move.

In pushing the amendment, Hartzler also argued that the surgery is "very costly".

Transgender people have been allowed to serve openly in the military since October 2016. To prepare for "transgender inclusion", the Army is reportedly instructing women soldiers to accept sharing public showers, restrooms and barracks with gender-confused "transgenders", including men who call themselves "women" yet still possess their inborn male genitalia intact.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gave a tepid appraisal of the Hartzler amendment ahead of the vote on Thursday, stopping short of a clear endorsement.

Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system.

"By recruiting and allowing transgender individuals to serve in our military we are subjecting taxpayers to high medical costs including up to $130,000 per transition surgery, lifetime hormone treatments, and additional surgeries to address the high percentage of individuals who experience complications", she said in a statement.

After Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) pointed out the "bigotry" of the measure, Democrats gained support from 24 Republican representatives, resulting in a 214-209 vote against the bill. It would have caused the immediate discharge of the estimated 15,000 transgender people now serving.

"This amendment would put the health of members of our military and their families at risk by undermining the ability of military doctors to provide care for their patients", Thompson said in a statement.

Rep. Hartzler stated that she was pleased with the decision to delay the enlistment policy, and will continue to press for a full reversal of the Defense Department's transgender policy. Although the committee never voted on the Hartzler amendment, Republican leadership made the amendment in order backstage as part of the rule for floor consideration.

During the Rules Committee hearing, Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, attempted to remove Hartzler's amendment from the bill.

"Make no mistake, the effect and the intent of this unjust and mean-spirited amendment is to ban patriotic Americans from serving our country", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN. She said the amendment to the annual policy defense policy bill would have reversed the Obama-era practice of requiring the armed forces to fund medical procedures.

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