Several analyses suggest, however, that the U.S. military spends far less on transgender-related healthcare than on treatment for erectile dysfunction -- a total of $84 million on erectile dysfunction drugs annually, compared to an estimated $2.4 million to $8.4 million spent per year on transgender healthcare.
In the last several years, the estimates for the annual costs of transgender members of the military is less than one-tenth the cost of development of the F-35 and one-thousandth that of the Pentagon's entire budget, the Washington Post reported.
Since 2011, the U.S. military has spent $294 million, the equivalent of four U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, on drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, the Military Times reported in 2015. And the Department of Defense spent $41.6 million on the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra alone in 2014.
This cost, for one drug, stands in stark contrast to the estimates of military spending annually on transgender-related healthcare and transition costs, according to a study by the Rand Corp.
"Having analyzed the cost that the military will incur by providing transition-related care, I am convinced that it is too low to warrant consideration in the current policy debate," San Francisco State University professor Aaron Belkin wrote in a 2015 analysis in The New England Journal of Medicine.