Viagra costs the military a pretty penny, but no bans have been announced on the erectile dysfunction drug.

Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump says his ban on trans people in the military is cost-based, but no one’s buying it after Twitter pounced on this data nugget: the Pentagon spends more on Viagra than trans medical services.

The Washington Post took a Military Times U.S. Department of Defense spending analysis from 2015 and found that erectile dysfunction drugs cost the military a lot. Like $84.24 million a lot.

Spending on Viagra alone was $41.6 million in 2014. That’s five times what a 2016 Rand study estimates transgender health care costs the military — between $2.4 and $8.4 million a year, according to the Washington Post

These numbers put things into perspective, as many noted on Twitter. Looks like Trump was just spinning when he noted in his three-tweet announcement of the ban Wednesday morning that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption” of trans service members.  

The American Medical Association also issued a statement saying that the financial cost “is a rounding error in the defense budget and should not be used as an excuse to deny patriotic Americans an opportunity to serve their country.”

But there’s more. The real reason for the trans ban appears to be political vote jockeying.

Politico reported that GOP leaders wanted to ban military-funded gender confirmation procedures, not ban trans service members outright. 

But here’s the cherry on top, purportedly: Wednesday’s sudden announcement came after Trump was apparently trying to protect funding for the Mexican border wall construction in some delicate political maneuvering.

But Trump doesn’t do delicate. Instead, he’s discriminating against people fighting for the country and spinning them as the costly burden. 

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