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The Latest: Military spent nearly $8M on transgender care

February 27, 2019

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on transgender troops’ impact on the U.S. military since the policy was changed in 2016 under then-President Barack Obama allowing them to serve openly, (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

The Pentagon has spent nearly $8 million to treat more than 1,500 transgender troops since 2016 when the Obama administration changed the policy to allow them to serve openly.

The data from the Defense Department was given to the House Armed Services Committee ahead of a hearing Wednesday in which transgender service members are scheduled to testify before members of Congress for the first time.

The Trump administration is pushing to reinstate the ban on transgender personnel, citing medical costs as a reason. The ban remains blocked by litigation.

The military’s health care budget tops $50 billion.

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11:05 p.m.

Transgender troops will testify about their service for the first time before Congress as the Trump administration pushes to ban them.

Among those set to testify Wednesday before lawmakers of the House Armed Services Committee will be five active-duty transgender service members and Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, a Navy Reserve commander who helped push to remove the military’s last barrier to service under the Obama administration.

Also testifying will be Pentagon officials.

They are expected to be questioned about whether transgender troops have affected the military’s warfighting abilities and whether any medical evidence supports excluding them.

Since the U.S. military welcomed transgender people in 2016, they have served without incident. Many have earned medals from a military that only recently denied them the chance to serve.