Compound Drugs Fleece TRICARE, Create Deep Budget Hole

July 30, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Dodgy companies peddling pricey compound pharmaceuticals have fleeced the TRICARE program so severely this year, before tougher screening procedures took effect May 1, that they are … [Read more...]

VA Chief Counterpunches Over ‘Community Care’ Costs

July 23, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott The Veterans Choice, Access and Accountability Act of 2014, which Congress rushed to pass last summer to address a patient wait-time scandal at dozens of VA hospitals and clinics, … [Read more...]

Vet Groups Warn Hill Not to Act on Aging of ‘IU’ Claimants

July 16, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Representatives of The American Legion and Disabled American Veterans have warned lawmakers to reject calls to impose an age ceiling or other new cost control on VA compensation … [Read more...]

Military Hospitals to Seek More Challenging Patient Mix

July 09, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott The Department of Defense will ask Congress for new authorities to funnel more challenging cases into military treatment facilities, a move aimed at sustaining wartime specialty … [Read more...]

Doctor Readiness Factors in DoD Plan to Streamline Inpatient Care

July 02, 2015 | Tom Philpott

Doctor Skills Factor in Plan to Streamline Inpatient Care The number of surgeries and other inpatient procedures done on base by military physicians trails the inpatient workloads of private sector … [Read more...]

Senate Votes to End Hide-the-Food-Stamps Game Stateside

June 25, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott The Senate has voted to end a special food allowance stateside that was conceived 14 years ago primarily to avoid more news reports of military families using food stamps. On that … [Read more...]

Senate Action: Privatized Commissaries Killed; ‘Couples BAH’ Cut Survives

June 18, 2015 | Tom Philpott

Senate Action: Privatized Commissaries Killed; ‘Couples BAH' Cut Survives The Senate voted Wednesday to kill a plan hatched by its armed services committee to privatize five large commissary … [Read more...]

House Supports Biggest Military Pay Raise in Five Years

June 17, 2015 | Terry Howell

[UPDATED: June 18, 2015] Last week the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2016 defense budget (H.R. 1735) , which includes plans to give service members a 2.3 percent pay increase … [Read more...]

DoD: Reshape ‘Blended Retirement’ Plan to Better Protect AVF

June 11, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Military leaders and Department of Defense pay experts have presented to Congress a reshaped version of that new “blended retirement” system for future service members, saying … [Read more...]

White House to Senate: Scuttle ‘Marriage Penalty’ on BAH

June 04, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott The Obama administration applauds several steps the Senate Armed Services Committee has taken to dampen military compensation growth next year, including support for a third … [Read more...]

Access to GI Bill Transferability May Tighten

June 01, 2015 | Terry Howell

A hint that the Congress is seeking budget savings in the form of tightening access to Post-9/11 GI Bill transferability is hidden in the details of the Senate’s version of the 2016 National Defense … [Read more...]

Senate Looks at Slashing Dual-Service Couples BAH and Modernizing Retirement

May 28, 2015 | Tom Philpott

Military Update: Dual-Service Couples Could See Housing Allowances Slashed Many of the 40,000 dual-service couples in the military -- members married to other service members – have for years … [Read more...]