Transgender activist Sarah McBride: Trump's "cruel" ban is based on "negligible" medical costs
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From the July 26 edition of At This Hour with Kate Bolduan:
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KATE BOLDUAN (HOST): Sarah, I just want to get your reaction to the president's announcement. What do you think this means? [CNN Pentagon reporter] Barbara [Starr] raised a bunch of important questions. What does this mean for transgender people serving in the military today?
SARAH MCBRIDE: Well, what's clear is that for the roughly either 6,000 to 15,000 transgender people who are actively serving in our military right now, this policy change would have sweeping impacts on their lives, their careers, their families. This is really a mean-spirited, unpatriotic, and dangerous attack on people who are bravely serving their country right now. And while it's still early in terms of what the policy will actually shape up to be, what it threatens to be is an attack on as many as 15,000 active duty transgender service members, people who are bravely serving this country, something that I will remind President Trump he failed to do after five deferments to Vietnam.
BOLDUAN: The numbers, of course, Rand Corporation doing an estimate, but it is thousands. Thousands, between the number of 6,000 and 15,000. We don't need to debate that.
BOLDUAN: In the president's statement, he talks about the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Speak to that.
MCBRIDE: Well, first off, every person who serves our country deserves access to comprehensive medical care, medically necessary health care that every person needs to live and thrive. And to the major general's point, this would have a serious consequence for so many people serving. It's cruel. But the medical care that transgender people need to access, the same Rand Corporation study found that the cost for providing medical care would be negligible. We've seen that across the board when we see inclusive health care instituted. These are people who want to serve their country. These are people who want to provide for their families. They deserve health care just like everyone else. But at the end of the day, this isn't just about health care. This, according to Donald Trump's tweets, is about not allowing transgender people to serve at all. And we've already seen bipartisan rebukes from members of Congress after the announcement. It was clearly an ill-advised announcement, something that was done spur of the moment maybe even. And it's undermining, I think, our national defense.