08192017Headline:

Letter: Obama administration’s health care budget hurts veterans, military families

The Senate Armed Services Committee is drafting its version of the FY 2014 defense authorization bill. President Obama’s administration proposed including disproportionate TRICARE fee increases that will dramatically increase health care fees paid by military members and retirees.

The House Armed Services Committee followed the lead of the House Military Personnel Subcommittee by rejecting the administration’s proposals to raise TRICARE Prime (active duty military dependents and retirees under age 65 not on Medicare) enrollment fees and pharmacy co-payments and to establish enrollment fees for TRICARE for Life (Military retiree supplemental insurance for Medicare) and TRICARE Standard.

The House draft exceeded the sequester budget caps by roughly $ 52 billion. Any optimism generated by the legislation must be tempered by the reality Congress must find a fix to sequestration this year or more drastic cuts will be required.

Interestingly, nothing in either bill would offset the rising costs of military health care by reducing benefits to those who have done nothing to earn them. That includes not only benefits to welfare recipients, but also benefits to illegal aliens, foreign nations — some of which desire our complete destruction — and grants to students for free college educations.

All this flies in the face of what our military personnel and retirees were promised by the U.S. government in return for 20 years of honest and faithful service. Retirees were promised free health care for life in exchange for 20 years of military service. Considering that to obtain the health care one had to put everything, including family, on the back burner for 20 years, I hardly consider the health care to be “free.” It is an earned benefit.

This is no way to treat those who have sacrificed for our nation. Ask your senators to oppose budgetary penalties on the military community.

DOUG MCHATTON, Auburn

What Next?

Related Articles