On Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed that an active-duty United States Military member underwent sex-reassignment surgery which was funded by taxpayer dollars.
"Pentagon confirms an active-duty military member received sex-reassignment surgery today, and it will pay for the procedure for the first time," reports BuzzFeed's Jon Passantino.
According to Defense Department spokesman Dana White, the surgery was determined to be "medically necessary" and was thus paid for by the Military's Supplemental Health Care Program.
"Military hospitals do not have the surgical expertise to perform this type of surgery, therefore it was conducted in a private hospital," said White, in a statement. "Since this service member had already begun a sex-reassignment course of treatment, and the treating doctor deemed this surgery medically necessary, a waiver was approved by the director of the Defense Health Agency. The Supplemental Health Care Program will cover this surgery in accordance with the Department's interim guidance on transgender service members."
In July, President Donald Trump restored a longstanding ban on individuals who suffer from psychological disorders like gender dysphoria from serving in the military, reversing a last-minute Obama Administration directive which lifted the exclusion of transgenders.
"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," wrote Trump, via Twitter. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."
As noted by Fox News, the president directed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to pause federal funds paying for sex-reassignment surgeries and medications "except in cases where it is deemed necessary to protect the health of an individual who has already begun the transition."
The Pentagon was given six months to form and implement the ban Trump announced on Twitter. In September, General Mattis released a memo indicating trans folks could continue to enlist until the Trump Administration's plan is finalized.
As reported by The Daily Wire on October 30, a federal judge temporarily blocked Trump's proposed transgender plan "as a case against his ban works its way through court."