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The Sad Truth about the Recent Effort to Raise Tricare Fees

"In fact, the medical budget saved $500M in 2011 and $708M in 2012 from what was budgeted!"

Saying Goodbye! See Below for Photo Credit
We are a military family blog team! We care about the team – the military team! Yes, we write about their family needs, job search ideas, issues for veterans and post numerous articles about the military lifestyle and its unique challenges on MilitaryAvenue.com. Today I write as a member of that team with a bit of anger toward the military leadership that we normally so appreciate (I did let this sit for a while so I did not use any inappropriate language, etc).

The Department of Defense recently paraded a number of military leaders through Congress explaining why they needed to raise Tricare fees for the community. Large new fees for Tricare Standard, increased fees for pharmacy needs and Tricare Prime were at the top of their list to solve the military medical crisis that they claimed was exploding! The DoD speakers included civilian budgeters, general officers and senior enlisted members. All testified under oath, which, we as a military community recognize, as our word, our ethos, simply put: our way of life!    Please continue reading "The Sad Truth about the Recent Effort to Raise Tricare Fees"


Now the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) discloses that new government documents from the DoD budget office asked the Congress for permission to move money from the military medical budget to meet other Department of Defense needs. How could that be?  The retiree medical bill was breaking the bank according to earlier testimony, possibly placing stress on programs that would save active duty military lives, etc. Here is what the DoD reprogramming document said:

"The FY2012 budget estimate assumed private sector care cost growth of 12.9% for active duty and 8.5% for all other beneficiaries... .Through the first six months of FY2012 [costs actually] are growing at historically low rates of 0.6% for active duty and -2.7% for all other beneficiaries."  In fact, the medical budget saved $500M in 2011 and $708M in 2012 from what was budgeted!  Don't we wish the rest of the federal government was making money? 

MOAA commented, "So in other words, all the time those leaders were claiming retiree health costs were exploding, the costs actually were...going down. …” DoD Memo Totally Discredits TRICARE Cost Claims

Placing the blame of DoD budget woes on the backs of service members, their families and in particular the retirees was not just wrong in the first place but now we find out that it was based on inaccurate data or ... ? 

General Dempsey, see below for photo credit
Only those that testified will know for sure. General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior leader of our armed forces even said he would accept an increase in his medical fees and according to the Army Times (Feb 14th, 2012), "That sentiment is shared by all members of the Joint Chiefs and senior enlisted leaders, according to a member of the Joint Staff."

They should be looking in the mirror tonight and wondering whose responsibility was it? Maybe it is time for a retirement so they can see on the other side of the wall? Your testimony was misleading and would have had a negative impact on the troops’ morale.


Is that enough said?

Col K is a retired Air Force pilot, cancer survivor and tries to keep up with issues that affect the military community.  He writes for MilitaryAvenue.com's blog about military benefit issues, attends DoD Blogger Roundtables on hot topics and enjoys interviewing those who can help make your life a bit easier with better or new information.  


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Photo Credit:  U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerome Cinco holds his 3-year-old daughter close before he leaves Marine Corps Base Hawaii on a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan, April 25, 2011. Cinco is a hospital corpsman with Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reece E. Lodde

Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey takes questions as he and Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta appear before the Senate Budget Committee to testify on the President's FY 2013 budget request on Feb. 28, 2012. DoD photo by Glenn Fawcett. (Released)


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