Debt Panel Eyes TRICARE Fee Increases

November 22, 2010 | Terry Howell

Once again the subject of increasing TRICARE costs has hit the news – the latest proposal being offered by the bipartisan Debt Reduction Task Force, co-chaired by former Republican Sen. Pete Domenici and economist Alice Rivlin.

One of the stated goals of the bipartisan task force is to reduce the cost of military health care by imposing greater cost-sharing on TRICARE beneficiaries. The rationale is that the program was originally designed so that retiree’s premiums would cover 27 percent of the total cost of TRICARE. The program fees have not increased since TRICARE replaced CHAMPUS in 1995; in today’s dollars retirees are only covering 11 percent of the program cost.

The task force report states that active duty personnel and their dependents use less than half (42 percent) of TRICARE’s total cost, pay no premiums or co-pays. Thankfully for this group, the Task Force decided to focus “exclusively on retirees and their dependents, for whom benefits have expanded without a significant change in cost-sharing.”

The task force report lays out a plan that would raise working age retiree premiums, cost-shares and co-pays so that working-age retirees would once again cover the 27 percent of TRICARE costs as was part of the original plan. Increasing the fees seems to make sense from a purely economic point of view.

In addition, Medicare-eligible retirees using TRICARE for Life as a supplement to Medicare would be required to begin paying “minimal cost-sharing” amounts under the plan. Based on the language of the report this cost-share increase is to “maintain equity among retirees – both between different cohorts of military retirees and between military and the wider community of seniors that also faces higher costs.”

Some retirees could see their TRICARE premiums increase by as much as $2,000 a year. Tom Philpott recently offered a glimpse at what future premiums, cost-shares and co-pays would look like based on the panel’s suggestions. (Read: New Panel Targets Retirement and TRICARE)

  • A married retiree with less than $20,000 in annual retired pay would pay $730 in year one, $900 in year two.  These larger incremental raises would stop in year five when the yearly fee would hit $1260 an increase of $800 a year.
  • Those with retired pay of $20,000 to $40,000 would pay more.  The highest enrollment fees, for those drawing more than $40,000 in retired pay, would top off in year five at $2460, or $2000 more than they pay now.
  • Fees for outpatient visits would more than double, to $28.
  • Working-age retirees using TRICARE Standard plan or TRICARE Extra would be charged an enrollment for the first time of $150.
  • Pharmacy co-pays in TRICARE retail network – now $3 for generic, $9 for brand-name drugs on formulary and $22 for non-formulary drugs – would be reset at zero for generic drugs, $15 for brand names on formulary and $45 for brand names off formulary.

View current TRICARE Cost Schedules

It seems each year the subject of increasing TRICARE out-of-pocket expenses comes up, and of course ensuring TRICARE sustainability is vital. But the members of so-called debt reduction panels need to remember that eligibility for TRICARE benefits is not based on age, income, or employability – these benefits are earned through service and commitment to our nation’s defense.

Be sure to read about  Congressman Steny Hoyer’s desire to freeze military pay.

Let the DoD and your elected officials know how you feel about these cost cutting proposals.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. tricare for life, as a supplement to medicare, really should remain cost free to retirees. It all ready has a deductible and also tied to medicare fees. It therefore
    is generating some cost benefits to the budget by virtue of those lower set fees it
    will pay.

    • What was promised was a lie, free Healthcare for the rest of our life and your spouse's life unless she was to remarry after your death. To me, we should never have been forced into Medicare. Retired Military should have free medical care as promised. Why don't Congress give us the same medical care they have. Very few of them have served their country as well as we have or as long as we have. What about those who have been declared 100% disabled by the VA, who do not get a Retirement check but rather a VA check because the VA check is more money and tax free. Where will these retiress fall into the scheme of things. Congress will most likely give themselves another pay raise this FY while there will be no COLA for Social Security and a freeze on Military pay, etc.

      • gary gilman says:

        Yes , I'm also mad about the treatment retired military get. I like to know also why a civil service employee thinks he deserves full medical at retirement.

        I would not recommend any one to join the service. The government screws over them.

      • how about veterans that have entered into the va system for health care now that the company they worked 35 or 40 years for took away their insurance. they may have served 2 or three years in the military and almost everything from the va is free. people like us that gave at least 20 years of our life have to pay for tri-care that i have no problem with. you see what i mean. we give at least 20, we pay. they give 2 or 3 they do not pay anyone. they should pay something. smokey

    • Robert Campbell says:

      Ya, Thats what I say to. How can I hold them to the origanal agreament?

    • Right on! I gave 30 years of my life, and had to be parted my family often for war or because I was assigned to a post when they could not follow, If one looks deep into the life of those congressmen that wish to change thing, they are the ones that did not serve on active duty. Just because things have changed and the economy is bad does not mean I should have to pay for it. I pay my way in many other ways (i.e. taxes and services). Also Hoyer who wants to freeze military pay, let us freeze his pay and cut his benefits when retires from the Goverment.

    • Debbie Sparkman says:

      Is there anything sacred anymore! This is earned and the many retired service men and women are the last to even be thanked for all they have done for our country. So,as one of our freedoms is of speech, lets vote to sacrifice your pay since you should be working for the people of this country,and you obvilously did not serve this nation by sacrificing your life or the wellbeing of your family to protect this nation. How dare you mess with the great people who have served our military for many years and many who will never be the same, so that YOU can enjoy freedom at their expense. Now it is your turn. Lets see what you can do to show your appreciation.Take away little by little of what they so deservedly earned . Thats what I thought.. Oh well.

  2. To push health care fees up on retires with fixed incomes may put many of them into Bankruptcy as they may not have the means to continue to pay their bills and those proposed much higher medical premiums. Any new fees would not have been planned for and should not be dropped on them at this critical point in their lives, especially after no COLA for the past 2 years. In fairness, any increase in Medicare or Tricare fees should be tied to the COLA.

    • I certainly don't want 10% of my retired pay going towards health insurance.

      • I hear that. The retirement pay is not that great for many retired military and this would put their monthly retirement pay under a thousand per month. Its terrible.

    • Our "All Mighty" politicians have tries for years to undermine our "tricare for Life" benefits. Let's hope they fail again as this will put us all in a terrable state if affairs, bankruptcy being the primary "means to an end". We gave our country all we had during the Korean War and I find it deplorable that our government cannot. once again, keep their hands off of a once signed promise.

      • Somewhere the law makers lost or forgot the meaning of supplemental. The majority of the cost of medical care for those of medicare age is paid for by medicare. The Tricare for Life suppliments that so that there will be little to no out of pocket expense. It is deplorable what they are talking about doing to the retirees, especially those who are medicare eligible. Remember so many of these law makers today, do not understand the sacrifice that was made by our military retires in past years, because they never served.

      • Sam Armstrong says:

        Doesnt seem to matter that we put our5 lives on the line during the Korean War and Viet Nam just to see promised benefits taken away after most of us gave our young years to the service of our country. Now we are nothing but a burden and cost to them. Most of the politician have never even donned a uniform of any kind put them in one for a couple of years and maybe they will change their minds.

    • David Hudson says:

      I agree that with the way things are set now these fees are going to just about kill our veterans and retirees. I think that the matter should be studied a little more before these increases come about. We are not getting COLA's and we are not getting any increases in anything. You may have a problem with TRICARE and even Social Security but remember Social Security was not planned to be use in the General budget. Lyndon Johnson started robbing this fund to pay for Vietnam. We do not want any increase in TRICARE fee until we are compensated to withstand those fees in our income. We are trying just like you to tighten our belts and make what we get go further. The Veterans are not going to take this lying down and we will fight to protect our lives.

    • TIS IS ALL TRUE..ANY INCREASES ARE BAD.ESPECIALLY SINCE RETIEES EARNED ALL THESE BENEFITS PROMISSED TO THEM FOR SERVING.

    • It is so easy for those elitist rich guys on the panels to look at their little world myopically, and are easily influenced that the military 'just doesn't pay their fair share.' Their problem is that they probably never were in the military and have no freakin' idea how hard it is for most of us retirees to be able to pay costs now, let alone an increase.

    • Why do those "fat cats" we send to D.C. constantly use military pay and benefits as a political football? Again and again, our contract with the government is broken. First, Congress broke trust with the passage of USFSPA, which nullified all of the Soldiers and Sailors act of 1940. Now, Congress wants to cut retired pay and change Tricare, not for the better, but for the worst.. Will our young men and women continue to risk life and limb after such treatment? I wonder!

      USN (RET)

    • I already pay over $100.00 for my family dental, and my husband is a full time student after being medically retired from the military. I can't afford another increase.

  3. I'd pay more for my retiree health benefits, if I saw an increase in my retiree pay. For the past 2 years, there has been no increase in my retired pay, but my expenses ARE increasing.

    • William, how can that be? Our Leader has said that there has been little to no inflation the last two years, so he just can't give us a COLA increase.

      • The reality is our cost of living has gone up dramatically. Our leaders in D.C. have just changed the formula to compute the inflation & thus COLA. How'd they do it? The fomula once included the cost of food and fuels ( both ares continue to skyrocket in $$$. Now these are not included….. hence No inflation….No COLA.

    • I agree, i used to utilize the Naval Hospital, and then Nellis AFB for my medical needs. Then they booted us Retirees out. The Military system is Only for Active duty due to shortages in the Doctor/nursing areas. So now I'm forced to drive 327 miles one way to see the only Doctor that accepts Tricare and is designated a Primary Care Doctor. And they want to increase our fees for service???? Why don't they reimburse us for the travel involved to see the few doctors that still accept Tricare!!!

  4. ROBERT BOUCHER says:

    FOR MANY YEARS OUR MILITARY PEOPLE WERE LEFT OUT OF THE MILITARY HEALTH SYSTEM WHEN THEY TURNED 65,EVEN AFTER IT HAD BEEN PROMISED IF THEY STAYED FOR RETIREMENT. NOW THEY WANT TO CHANGE TRICARE FOR LIFE,AND THE OTHER TRICARE PROGRAMS. LET'S CHANGE THEIR HEALTH CARE PROGRAM.

  5. This would increase the cost of health care to about 10% of your retired pay. That is a huge cost of living adjustment considering that the COLA has been zero for the past two years. We already pay over $100 per month for dental. This is just another example of politicians trying to cut a program to fund something more popular. SecDef Gates has been constructing panels to try and reduce pay and benefits for some time and he is not an elected official. If you don't like non-vets revising your hard earned benefits then do something about it. RUN FOR OFFICE! It is not enough just to vote when less than 1% of Americans have served in the Armed Forces. If we leave it only to the wealthy to run for office then you can expect policy like this. You made a difference when you were in uniform. It is time to make a difference again. The next election is less than two years away. Get organized and let's put in some vets who care more about the country than themselves.

    • Thank you its about time some one said something . Some of the politicians never served and they dont care about the service man / women out there. So the next time you vote remamber this and like its said get the dead wight out of office and put someone that has been in the hermes way. Its said dont forget were you have been from the hell holes of WW1 to the far east . We have to stand up to this NUT CASES and let them know we have had it.

    • They need to throw that sorry ASS BO out on his BUTT!!!

  6. Retired USAF says:

    Shameful!

  7. Retired Navy CPO says:

    Lets make the politicians have the same health care we have/get and see how they like it then– they keep giving themselves raises every year and cutting out cola. If our health care is good enough for us then it should be good enough for them.The politicians get way to many perks now and the tax payers foot the bills.

    • Retired Marine says:

      Amen! Make Congress lead by example. Shouldn't be a strange concept for our elected "leaders." Our country cannot suffer elitism regardless of income bracket, income, or position. We are all Americans first.

    • Chief, you have it right. I was able to look at the schedule of benefits the elected officials in Washington get, and they can actually make as much as, or more, money with their greatly creative use of their expense accounts. And that is pretty much, non-taxable money from US, the taxpayers.

    • Retired Marine says:

      As a Combat 100% Disabled Marine that left a leg in Vietnam, how about Congress cutting their perks…. You are right on Brother,
      Retired Marine

    • Retired ARMY 1SG says:

      I agree a 100% but lets not forget the salaries they are earning, along with the perks. We need to get on board with the tea party and regardless of the party affiliation we need to make it public how those officials voted and vote those politicans out . We need TERM Limits!!

    • AGREED!!!! And I am young enough to get another job to help suplement my tricare BENEFIT, that I worked hard to keep! Let them serve 20 years and see nickels thrown at them every day and then have to pay back half for health coverage and dental. THINK PEOPLE! We voted the idiots in, let's get rid of them!

    • Wayne French says:

      The President hurt us by raising costs into the Trillions, (Hello) as to this Health Care Plan of HIS, not ours but he got his way! Did he ever ask the American People what we wanted? No, However, the Congress and Senate got their pay raises as ususal , did you ever see a year where they didn't approve of their raise?, even in this bad economy that we're in right now, they should have decline their raises 2 years ago, including this year and the next.. They keep getting their raises but freezing our COLA, Social Security , etc. And they keep taking away the promises they gave the American Service man and woman, such as; FREE Health Care for Life. Do you think for a minute that they would enter into our social secuity and health program? Let's not let the Government contol important things we need to protecting our families, and a Health Plan for them is very important, more today than ever and they know that. We are the American Fighting Men and Women of the Armed Services of America, Lets do our part and not agree with, raising costs of our health plan . GOD BLESS AMERICAN AND THANKYOU LORD FOR OUR SERVICE MEN & WOMEN OF AMERICA!

    • Retired E-6 NAVY says:

      You tell em Chief. These greedy self-serving politicians we have unfortunately elected are not doing what we have elected them to do. Much of the country is behind the armed forces that continuely risk there lives in defense of the United States, We have paid our dues and it is time we quit paying higher and higher prices for our dwindling benefits. especially without COLA to help. Let these ladies and gentlemen live with the same healthcare they propose for us.

  8. IS BEING AN IDIOT IN MATH A REQUIREMENT FOR GETTING EITHER
    ELECTED OR APPOINTED TO A POLITICAL OFFICE? WE HAVE NOT HAD
    AN INCREASE IN VA BENEFIT PENSIONS FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS,
    AND YET THE DRAFT DODGERS AND NON VETERANS WHO ARE NOT FORCED TO LIVE ON THE MEAGER INSUFFICIENT VA PESION SNEAK
    THEIR CROOKED PROPOSALS IN EFFORT TO DEMINISH OUR POOR
    STANDARD OF LIVING EVEN MORE BY MUCKING UP HEALTH CARE! iF
    THEIR HAIRB RAINED IDEAS ARE SO GOOD THEY OUGHT TOHAVE TO WORK WITH SOME REAL NUMBERS SUCH AS THE RISE IN RENT, UTILITIES GROCERIES CAR NOTES, CAR INSURANCE GASOLENE,
    COLLEGE TUITION, TEXT BOOKS, HOSPITAL BILLS. PRESCRIPTION
    DRUG COSTS. NERVOUS BREAK DOWNS AND HEART ATTACTS WOULDMORE THAN DOUBLE FROM THE STRESS OF TOO LITTLE TO
    JUST LIVE ON. iT'S LIKE TRYING TO WALK ACROSS THE OCEAN ON
    STILTS: iT CANNOT BE DONE. gET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND
    WASHINGTON . PUT PENCIL TO PAPER AND WORK WITH ACTUAL
    NUMBERS FOR A CHANGE. THOSE DC DAY DREAMS ARE STUPID!

    NUMBERS

  9. Just another way to fix our economy on the shoulders of those who fought, died, and disabled. Boken promises have a way of life for career politicians. And yet they have no guilt at all in keeping their pay raises current. They don't have their raises rounded down to the lowest dollar. And beyond that they mget their retirement for life, along with their health care. No wonder we are in the financial crisis we are in. Fixing the debt should begin by example, from the White House down through the House and Senate, and all the fat cats. Then hey might get some higher ratings and earn our respect, they certainly dont't respect the veteran.

    • I agree totally. It really gets me hot when I read of yet another huge pay raise for the guys on the hill, and next to nothing for the military. Imagine how much the deficit could be cut if they would all take a huge pay cut across the board, and had to find their own health insurance. Deficit cuts should should begin at the top not at the bottom. Did you know that families who have children home and make $40K qualify for EITC? That was established for people in poverty levels. What when we get older, we don't have more expenses? More health concerns? $40K is not afluent by any means. The new proposed rates would really hurt a lot of retiree families.

    • I second that. My husband fought in Desert Storm, came home with injuries due to fighting for our COUNTRY. He now passed away this January. He was only 47 years old. I have a 21 and 14 year old that now can't understand why our country turns its back on our troops.
      K. Little

  10. People that do not work, illegal aliens and those did not serve in the military get free health care. Military personnel that retired from the military earned their benefits the hard way, and some went to war and have physical and mental wounds. Increase in Tricare fees is ridiculous when retirement pay has not increased in 2 years. Retired officers should pay more, not the retired enlisteds who are barely making it.

    • As a senior enlisted if we start down the class warfare road that the dems and Obama are stirring up we're no better than they are. Retired officers served right along with the rest of us enlisted members, and deserve all the benefits that they earned, the same as us.

      • Personally I feel that the TriCare fees shoud be graduated by retiree rank. I am currently unemployed and depend on my retired pay for my family to live on. I cannot afford a massive increase in TriCare fees!

        • I don't like anything that smacks of means testing. Again I go back to class warfare. Just because someone is more successful than someone else they should have to pay more for the same coverage? Or even more onerous, They would pay more and get less return because they were more successful. That goes against what built this country. meaning we reward success, not penalize it.
          But to answer your situation, I don't believe we should have any massive increase on costs because the federal government can't control their spending.

          • military for life says:

            I so agree! The most disgusting thing is that they want to hit the military and other federal employees for what? So they will have more money to SPEND! Watch, there will be no reduction, just more spending somewhere else. If they would focus on the corruption, waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer's dollars they could probably fund not only free health care for the military but also free health care for everyone. Clean house! Start with the White House.

    • Thunderfoot says:

      I disagree completely! This is another way to "share the wealth". I was and E-7 in the USSF. The life my team leader (SF "A" team) usually a cpt O-3, was as valuable as mine. His family depended on him as did mine on me. That is the idea… we all faced the threat. We are all brothers (and sisters) at arms. This should not be pro-rated, in fact, there should be no fees for us to pay. In 1969 when I re-enlisted after returning from RVN I was promised again free health care for life! That is the issue. Do not let those who never made a dedication of their life to the country so many of our friends died for make decisions for us!

      • military for life says:

        Same with us….there was no Tricare, we were told, "you serve your country, put your life on the line, you get free health care for life and your dependents too." That changed with Tricare and I knew as soon as they started it that it would go up. People said, "oh that's still a great deal!" But I knew that it would only go up, I'm just surprised it has taken this long. My husband started as an E1 and retired as an O5, worked hard his entire career, and there is no way he should pay more just because he worked hard enough to make it through the ranks. We went through the same thing everyone, enlisted and commissioned, did. We should have the benefit we were promised….free health care. He kept his part of the deal, now why can't our country keep it's part?

    • As a retired prior enlisted Captain (O3) I barely make above $25000 a year, my expenses seem to keep skyrocketing, but not my pay. I retired from my second career early due to PTSD issues (working age) but will most likely go back to work to make ends meet. This same kind of thinking (less sock it to the officers) had led to some poor legislation in the past that have hurt retired Officers (w1 to O4) in the past. Lets not be suggesting this sort of nonsense again.

    • Enlisted and officers fought together and died together, unless you retired at E-5 or below you should bear the same increases regardless of rank. Retirees deserve more respect than this. I understand an increase to our premiums is probably warranted, but not so much so fast. It should be based on the annual COLA rate, plus perhaps another .05% to gradually cover the expenses. of the program.

    • Adenipfar, I can't agree with all that you said. I know many officers who don't make much, at all. The O-5 and O-6's tend to be pretty well-endowed, but those of us who started enlisted maynot have had the time to get up there.

      A broad brush can cover individuality in a most unfair manner.

    • I work for the Department of Army as a non-prior service civilian and in a career field this is a deployable to AFG and IRQ. I pay $375 per month for FEP Health Benefits that don't cover even basic testing. So don't feel bad we all are getting the shaft except for those on welfare. (I really don't think my health insurance will cover me there even under orders).

    • I'm a retired Officer, CWO-2. Been retired for 17 years. My annual retired pay is less than $15,ooo per year. Yep as an Officer I'm living it up on my huge reitirement income. The fact is I've been unemployed for over 2 years and was never eligible for unemployment benefits.

    • What truth!!!! I am sick of illegal aliens getting a free ride off the sweat of our labor! Our military personnel have given their all, including life and limb, and the thanks is to continue to try to balance the budget by cutting the little bit the get in retirement "benefits" Get your voices out there to your legislatures for change.

  11. what are we do if all of this comes to light. what a crying shame for all vets. we fought for our country and alot of us retired with over 20 yrs and this is what we get…a swift kick in the pants.

    • Linda Gootee says:

      Right gary. When my husband was in the military (now a retiree) he would talk about how in the civilian world he would get a much larger salary for the same work he was doing for the Army. However, we always figured that the retirement benefits were better than what the civilians would get. Now, that doesn't seem to be the case. As a military wife I gave up a lot to follow my husband every time he was transferred to a new post. I didn't have a chance to earn a retirement. That should be worth something now too but instead I'm a "burden" to the system.

  12. They should also pay for their medical care!

  13. William Reid says:

    I agree,let the politicians have the same medical as us retirees from military service and cut their retirements from congress if they have not served a min. of 20 years. They are fat cats living off the backs of us Military Folks.

    • Here's what we do…don't allow Congress members to receive any retirement pay or benefits until they've served at least 20 years. Then pass a term-limit law so they can only serve a maximum of 8 years. I served 30 years so that means I'll be paying $2,000 morepery year for health care, then take another $4,500 in taxes if the Bush-era tax cuts aren't extended. Then make me pay $28 for a doctor's visit. That all adds up to over $500 more per month out of my pocket and I'll never be able to retire. Maybe that's our government's answer to the Social Security dellima..we have to keep working, not draw social security and keep paying into social security until we die.

  14. Michelle R. says:

    Yea that is what you should do! After all our service men and women have sacrificed and you want to raise the cost of getting medical to lower the deficit. How about you do this. Instead of stomping on our service men and women. How about you cut your pay in half and raise your own medical hmm. How about the President cut his $450,000 in half and the senate and congress do the same. Since half of you have never been in a war in your life. Fighting for our freedom and risking your life. All you do is sit behind a desk all day and make up ridiculous laws and ways to spend money. Oh wait you realized you have spent to much of it now you are scrambling to try and fix it. Well here is another great idea. How about you stop sending money overseas for nonsense stuff. Oh yea the truth is out. We all know what you do with our money! Like it or leave it you know its the truth!

    • I think also that a reduction in force should apply to the US Senate and House of Representatives since they are either on vacation, or talking to empty seats on the floors. How about each State having 1 senator and 2 congressmen, and no sub committees. Let every stupid idea from these jerks be brought to the floor for a vote.?

  15. J C QMC USN Ret says:

    Hey!!!

    Ok.. tis the same story as it has been in the past… Espically the last two years…

    our 'fine politicians, from the city councilman up to the bloomin' White House, really don't care what the retired serviceman has done for the country or at what cost. Most of the politicians are law school eduicated…. and have never served in the military. From what I am hearing there is a revolution in the wind. Be it like last months elections or…. (need I say more?) Tis time to really take control of Congress back and return it to the people… As previous people indicated no pay raise for the Retired Military .. no pay raise for those of us on Social security… Forget the $250. "Donut Hole" money…. Never saw it in my Social
    Security…. where are these idiots taking us?

  16. Let's see…
    1. Raise health care costs by $2000.00…
    2. Do away with the Bush Tax Cuts which will cost approx $2500.00…
    3. Raising inflation (don't tell anyone…the Govt does not know this)…cutting away at retirement.
    4. No pay raises for two years and now a possible 3 year pay freeze…
    Why don't they just take all of the retirement money that we get…why I only served for 30 plus years and I am a disabled Vet…why am I entitled to any of it. I am sure that the Govt can spend it better than me…I only need it to feed my family, provide a home for them and pay bills with it!!!!

  17. Thanks for voting Obama in. Now he can retire and have free health care for life for 4 years service. What do we get, nothing but more "hands in our pockets". I'm 100% disabled and 100% ticked off about this. Funny thing is:
    I'd go back to war if I could today for this country! Broken promises are becoming the norm of politics these days.

    • I hear ya, Mark! I'd go back in a heartbeat. The war we are waging (poorly, due to the pols) is as vital and important as any we've ever had. My family history here goes back with some of the original settlers, and every generation of my family has fought wars and battles for this land.

      The politicians frown and whine about how tough their job is. What malarkey! They don't truly understand what it is to put life and limb on the line to save your buddy in the foxhole or jet, yet alone what it takes to meld a group of very dissimilar individuals into one cohesive fighting unit. They need a Really Big Shakeup.

    • I would go back too, but again, they medically retired me because of my injury, and now they want to take what VERY LITTLE compensation they gave in return! GET HIM OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE BEFORE HE DESTROYS THE COUNTRY WE FOUGHT FOR!!!!

      • Sailor6166 says:

        I am upset about the changes they are trying to make. I don't know how you can just blame the president. I blame the senators and congressmen. They are all guilty. They have great healthcare and other benefits. Cut all of their pay and benefits and see how happy they would be. I served proudly for 20 years and would also do it again.

      • Really….you think this is the President's doing? Really..how about the congress and the senate? Maybe we all need a lesson on the powers held by these bodies. In case you forgot, the president only has one vote..(VETO)..he/she cannot pass any law alone. Lay your anger and frustration at the feet of the responsible person, the representatives and senators you voted into office. I proudly served 20 years in the Navy and would gladly do so again if called. President Obama is not the only president getting lifetime retirement for serving in office for "only four years", any president would get the same benefits regardless of lenght of time in officed.

    • chuckncheri says:

      Mark, thank you for your willingness to serve, sacrifice, and be ready to serve again. If no one has said so lately, THANK YOU. And, thanks to ALL who served this once great country. How sad that promises have been broken in the name of fiscal responsibility! Shame on our governing bodies.

  18. The bottom line is that this is NOT what was agreed upon while our vets were serving. This is NOT what they contracted for. If they want to make new rules for those now enlisting, that would be different. But to change what has already been agreed upon is to prove the beancounters dishonest and dishonorable.

    • And this is news how?

    • Unfortunately, while my recruiter sold me on the "free health care for life" song and dance when I enlisted in 1980, I didn't get it in writing, as I'm guessing most others didn't either. Yes, it was told to me, but turns out, they were just spoken words. Legally binding words??? Sure would be NICE if they were!

  19. I can clearly see the need for annual cost increases. If the annual premium had been indexed to the annual COLA, back in 1995, our annual premiums would now be about $700. Obviously, the cost of providing health care for retirees has gone up more than the annual COLA. I wouldn't mind having my annual Tricare premiums adjusted once to catch up and then each year indexed to the COLA, but my dear USA, please remember that I gave you over 27 years of my life and you promised me that in exchange for receiving low pay and working long hours, you would take care of me until I die. So, let's both compromise on this and meet in the middle, OK?

    • You might not mind an adjustment to the Tricare premiums, but for me, a widow of a retired Navy officer, at 62 years old, I make less than $18,000 a year with my combined widow's SS and SBP. I have diabetes and high blood pressure, so use Tricare Standard regularly. What will a $2000 or even $700 premium do to my health care? I'm working part-time just to make enough money to pay my property taxes and car and homeowner's insurance for the year. It's not right that Congress won't share in the belt-tightening they're asking (forcing) us to do.

      • military for life says:

        I agree Phyllis. Those who buy into the "we all need to sacrifice" line have forgotten they have ALREADY sacrificed if they are a retired military veteran. WAKE UP people! There are so many other ways to reduce the deficit and the debt! For one, stop giving illegal immigrants FREE health care that they now want US to have to pay more for! What is happening!!???

  20. I am 70 yrs of age and served in the Navy during the Cuban Crisis and then served in the Air Force and was given the Vietnam Service Medal. I retired after 20 yrs of service. I should not pay more than what I am already paying for my medications unless I am given an increase in my COLA.

  21. Go ahead, take more of my little bit of retirement pay that you have failed to give me an increase on for the past 2 years. I would not mind a modest increase, but don't try to balance the budget on Military! We signed away our lives for 20+ years and this is the thanks we get??

  22. And one other thing while I am ranting…Why are you not allowing my children coverage until age 26 as our great leader mandated in his wonderful health care reform? So you are saving money by dodging what other insurances are forced to do. I guess I will have to pay separate insurance just for my children so they will not be burdened with their not so great wages in their young careers!!

    • If your children have "careers" at age 18 through 26, they should not be allowed on your insurance under ANY administration or plan. I believe that is for dependent children living at home and going to school.

      • Actually, under the new health care reform bill, all private insurers MUST cover your children upto the age of 26 regardless of their job or school status. These insurers must abide by this law and cannot raise the rate. Tricare Prime will also cover this; however, at substatial cost to the beneficiary (more than triples current family cost for each child).

    • 26 years old, they are NOT children anymore.

  23. Wht do we always have to take the cuts or not get our colas. It seems to me that our elected officials just game themselves a pay raise. Let them take a few cuts in there salaries during this time of economic downfall. Now after 30 years of giving for my country we have to give more of what we were promised. Where is this wonderful Obamacare that is going to fix everything. what is going to happen when that gets into full force, I don't think anybody really knows. So lets let the dust settle on that and then see what should be done.

    • Sink Obamacare!!! That is nothing but a recipe to turn our Republic into a Fascistic Socialist or Communist state. Please, there are much better solutions out there.

  24. Robert Graves says:

    Well I am 63 with 32 yrs. service. Am drawing my Army Ret. and ss. Was told since a boy there would be no social security but am getting some. Also was told that the Army would take care of us retirees. When trying to use the doctor last spring on two different bases I was told they do not see retirees. Reason is because we are on Tricare Standard. The Tri-care manuel says on a space availiable basis. The Clinic at Eglin AFB told me that we were not allowed to use this facility. Only if we had Tri-care Prime. Maybe I got a outdated copy of the regs on this. Think many would like to take our benefits and give more to illegals. We should never vote for a person that makes alot of promises." Why don't Congress take some cuts from their fat cat checks. Know they are higher class than us old grunts. Think they could find some other areas to cut. Why are they picking on those who help make our country free. "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND ALL YOU WHO GAVE YOUR BEST. SFC GRAVES

    • Ken Fuchsel says:

      I'm a retired MSG. You should be on Tricare for Life and you soon will be able to get Medicare. Do some research, the benefits are out there, but no will hand them to you, you have to do the paperwork. As for Active duty posts, they will almost never serve retirees because they are overwhelmed with families and wounded warriors. Go to the Tricare website.

    • If you're collecting ssi I don't believe you would be considered for these cost increases. I am going to ask a friend who work with tricare legistration

  25. HELLO COMRADES! SIT DOWN, DRINK SOME TEA. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT THIS COUNTRY IS GOING TO BE LIKE IN TWO MORE YEARS?

    IF YOU HADN’T SERVED, YOU COULD HAVE BEEN NOW RECEIVING A FAT CITY OR STATE PENSION OR TWO AND SEEN YOUR FAMILY EVERY NIGHT.

    I THINK PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T SERVE REALLY DON’T LIKE US. ESPECIALLY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

    WONDER HOW MUCH ALIENS WILL HAVE TO PAY?

    • I agree with everything that has been written in these blogs. Still, we can make a difference. Use the TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) concept developed and used in our military careers: Notify your Congressmen and women and let them know that this TRICARE increase is an absolute abomination! As a Navy veteran of Viet Nam, and an Army retiree (29-1/2 years service), the contracts I signed and honored with my service included (guaranteed) free medical care for the rest of my life (for serving at least 20 years for our U.S.A.). I, for one, do not accept nor should we tolerate TRICARE fee increases that should never have been implemented in the first place. Once any more TRICARE fee increases are approved, it will be like a snowball rolling down! -We won't be able to stop it! Take the necessary time it takes, and let your representatives(?) know how you feel about this subject. While your at it, ask them to reform the cost of living parameters that indicate there has been no inflation in the last two years- What balderdash!

      • Don, I could not agree with you any more! The federal government has failed to honor its obligations to us. And yes, I write to my dimwit Congressman Steny Hoyer every opportunity and I call his offfice as well! Am I pissed?? You betcha!

    • Thank You!!! I just deleted the paragraphs I had just written, as you eloquently and briefly wrote what needs to be said. Perhaps the national media needs to be made aware of these proposals to punish veterans while rewarding blatant law breakers.

    • ElMeroChing says:

      "Aliens, like in Martians?

    • Kurt Johnson says:

      I'm sure all the illegal aliens will continue to receive free benefits.

  26. No Justice says:

    Then it needs to be as other HMO's, it should not be last if you have supplemental insurance. Tricare goes up then our pay should be increased since it has not, it only happens when democrats are in office.

  27. I have been fighting the VA since 1988 for multiple disabilities incurred on Active Duty, and due to my VA 40% disability rating which should be 100% as Social Security granted me, my retired pay is offset so that I only receive $85 after deductions, due to concurrent receipt rules. Tricare for life is only a Supplement to Medicare which reduced my monthly SSDI check by $110 month. And now they want to raise fees on top of that. When I joined I was told that if you stay for 20 years and retire we would receive free medical care for the rest of our lives. More broken promises and totally unfair.

    The only positive light I see to Debt reduction was in President Obama's announcement that all Federal Employees pays are frozen for the next 24 months and that this will not affect Military pay and benefits.

    No COLA for us, rising costs in everything and now they want to take more out of my meager retirement benefit. Only in America, We can give all sorts of benefits to ILLEGAL Aliens but they want to attack those who served with honor to balance the budget. WHODATHUNKIT.

  28. Isn't it nice that Politicians mess with our benefits. I joined the military and was guarenteed medical for life. Thats going away fast and furious. Is health care for the Congress and Senate going up equally or is there's untouchable as is their standard 5% payraises and their yearly cost of living increase of $1,600 bucks? Serve your country and get crapped on.

    • i wonder how many of those persons making decisions against us were in the military — especially the congress.

    • In reading these pages I see one common statement " We were all promised free health care for life when we retired". HEY… ATTORNEYS, WAKE UP…..Could this be class descrimination? or Breach of contract of millions of Military people? Ahhhhh the sounds of a huge LAW SUITE a brewing.

  29. Lets start a web site that can make into law A Law that stops the politations from giving themselves a raise or better health care. That the people of the United States has to vote on any raises they get. It would be "We The People" that would control there incomes not them. Oh you bet they wouldn't like that. So stop messing with us. They stop our cola's , raise our Tricare, tricare for life etc…. We need to turn the tables on them and make them work for us AGAIN.

  30. I did 25 years US Army including 2 Vietnam tours and was promised FREE health care for life..well that was a lie and now they want to screw me again and raise my premiums..makes me pretty darn angry. What they need to do is rework the system a little. My wife and I pay the same amount as a family of 6, that's the kind of thing that should change. military retirees are always treated like poor ugly stepchild..It is shameful and sad.

  31. Soon_to_be_broke says:

    Give you $100 and take back $99. We should join a union, Unions are exempt from higher costs.

    • Union? Seriously? They are the main reason our country is broke.

    • Remember we won't need money when Obama, Reid, Pelosie and Soros announces the formation our "New Progressive Nation" …… The USSA United Socialist States of America.

  32. Redleg Retired says:

    Guys this isn't going to get any better unless we as veterans do something about it. Personally I think that all of congeress should have to live in open bay barracks, draw the federal minimum wage for the first two years in office and have the same health care as we veterans have. Also cut out all the waste there in DC. There should be a change, it should be a requirment to have served in one of the military services in order to hold public office, especially at the federal level. The reason we as veterans are getting screwed is because they can do it and get away with it. We can talk about it on here or to our friends but until we band together, march on Washington, DC and let it be known we wont stand for this, then the pencil necks willl keep on doing what they are doing.

  33. Ironically, you can't remove debt unless you stop spending first. Its a matter of some unsaid law. If you do not tell your money where to go first, it will tell you where it is going an you can't stop it. Credit cards, loans and bail outs will only increase the debt unless you stop spending first. I bet if the government would not spend anything on anything for 6 months (like they do at the end of the fiscal year) then we can actually get out of the entire trillion dollar debt in that 6 months.

  34. The whole medical insurance fiasco misses the point. Medical treatment costs are too high, and they don't need to be. Follow the Money! If you do, you will see that almost half of the cost of medical treatment ends up in a lawyers pocket in the form of malpractice insurance and product liability insurance for drug and equipment suppliers. I've been told that liability insurance alone can be up to $ 40,000 per month per a single hospital bed. Without tort reform, we cannot mend health insurance costs. Too many lawyers in congress will never bite that bullet.

    • You have a point about the needless high cost of Medical insurance and medical care in general. I suppose you could include the cost of malpractice insurance as one of the reasons, but I think you also have to look at what causes high medical malpractice insurance costs, and it is not out of control unjustified lawsuits as the medical industry and the insurance companies would have you believe. Most of the high cost of Insurance and health care is caused by profiteering by insurance executives and doctors and hospital administrators. I am not talking about your family doctor, but next time you go to a specialist, look around their parking lot. Find the car with the Physician on Call sticker on the front bumper. If you don't see it ask the receptionist if the fanciest car in the lot belongs to your doctor. She will probably say yes, but if she does not she will probably tell you which one is his. I will bet you anything it isn't a ten year old Ford.

  35. Pissed Off Retiree says:

    As usual the Military Veteran / Military Retiree gets SCREWED by the
    damm worthless politicians. They don't Care that you as a Military Veteran
    or even Military Retiree gave 20, 30 or more years of your life to the U.S.
    Military. Those scumbag politicians in Washington just say Bend Over,
    Spread Em and Get Ready for another SCREWING. No way I can afford
    a big increase in Tricare cost. Not in this Crappy economy the Bad policies
    of these scumbag politicians have given the country. It is SHAMEFUL how
    Crappy the U.S. Government treats its Military Veterans. Especially the Veterans of Iraq / Afghanistan war. When our young brave men and women return from war overseas and the U.S. Government many times comes up with ways to avoid helping them financially. Denying PTSD or saying there medical problems were Not the result of battle or the war. I have read many books that have come out over the last few years and they show how the government really SCREWS our war veterans.

  36. let the gentlemen in congress, that have never served,pay for the health care they get which is a hell of a lot better thaneven tri care for life,for which we paid for many years of our life,in service to our country, when are they going to get it ,the people that gave of their lives to the military deserve anything we may get now , leave uis along cut somewhere else, 2,000.00 may not be much to a congressman or senator but they make a lot more than we do

  37. Justpissedoff says:

    How much is the congressional, senate and federal employee medical cost going to increase? Hopefully, leadership will "lead the way" with increases greater than 300%. Are we going to cut food stamps, welfare payments and other socialist programs that instill irresponisibilty and laziness by 300%. If the answer is yes, you have my support. Otherwise I am not surprised that career politicians, whom most have never served and scaraficed in the military, expect those that have and continue to server, bleed and die for those that continue to make bad decision for our country and/or live off the sweet of hard working americans. Once again Mr Obama and all those career politician reading this message, I cant wait to vote you out of office in 2012.

  38. Thomas Halcum says:

    When I enlisted in the Air Force in 1962 I was told I would receive full medical when I retired, that is a joke, I spent over 30 year in the Air Force and can not even get my eyes checked at Ft Jackson and I have to pay Delta Dental ins. to get my teeth cleaned. It is a shame that the military always get broken promises. If I was a young man now I would not joined the military in another 20 years they would have to pay the gov. to be in the military. CMSgt ret.

  39. This really is about eliminating the middle class – you are either rich or poor. Most of us will fall into the poor class, the class where survival of the fittest will keep you alive. Before modern medicines and technology came along, people survived or died, much like they do in third world countries. Now the cost of staying alive has escalated. Our social and eating habits have caused considerable harm to the body and frankly, with all of the poisons we are bombarded with, (and the injuries and chemicals the men and women of the military are and were subjected to), the lack of money to pay for healthcare will result in a lesser quality of life, or death. It is what it is – a conundrum.

    • Very inciteful, Ursula. In much of the developing world, even in Brazil, held up as a shining example of an up and coming country, there are only two classes, Upper (5% or less) and Poor (all the rest). Fighting a class warfare like some of our politicians do, is what helps create the climate for institutionalizing a two class country.

      We are well on the way towards two classes, primarily because most of our good jobs have been exported out of here. This has happened in ALL of the administrations after Reagan. The Bushes X2 are as culpable as Clinton and Obama.

      We have elected a group that shold be more in line with what many of us in this blog think about government and staying out of our pockets. Now we must agitate our politicians (Boehner, etc.) and be sure they don't give up the farm to the administration. AND we need to go into 2012 and absolutely blow out all of those politicians who really don't get it – that we absolutely insist on a government that reflects our traditional heritage and values (Pre-1970's).

  40. I'm an active duty spouse & couldn't disagree with this proposal more. If they truly want to reduce military medical costs, they need to start with the active duty. There are far too many who use urgent care centers instead of the military base clinics because it's more convenient. There are far too many who run to the doctor every time they or their kids sneeze because "it's free". Well, it isn't free. Before touching our veterans, they need to take a hard look at those abusing the medical system. Give me a co-pay if I visit the doctor too often. Give me a co-pay if I use urgent care. Stop giving over the counter medications for free. There is no good reason why an active duty member can't go to Wal-mart to buy their tylenol instead of getting it free on base.

    Just my opinion.

  41. Kent Gooch says:

    I did my time in hell, retired, now leave me alone…

  42. When is this government going to live up to its word about taken care of the ones who put their lives on the line each an every day when in the military and they get great medical care because they sit in Washington and never put their lives on the line and give them self pay increases each and every year?????? I served 26 years and lost a brother in WW 2 what have they done? GG Lawrence

  43. Im currently out of work due to the economy with the aviation industry. Living on what is left of my retirment pay. Cant forget to figure in the percentage going to an ex as a property settlement. Worse case, I'll drop Tricare Prime and use the VA…if I can get in.

  44. When I was Drafted and remained in the service for 22 years , I was promised medical care for life. Whats new our goverrnment never honors its commitments.

  45. Folks, someone has to bite the bullet. No pun intended. We ALL want our national debt to be lower, but none of us want OUR benefits to change. I don't like it, but I see the need and I'm willing to take a cut if Congress is willing to match my higher premiums with a two to one cut in spending.

    • Quite inspiring Larry. However, the amount of the budget that would improve by breaking the backs of many reitrees, and placing many others into extreme financial hardship, is almost infinitesimal. I also don't buy the "one little bit of help we can provide is what will matter."

      Horsefeathers! What will make a difference is stop paying for tens of biliions (USD) to subsidize the health care and educational costs for illegals and their children. The massive amounts of money wasted on bigger and more political programs, alone, would reduce our debt to the point we would be close to a deficitless budget.

  46. I served over 20 yrs in the Army then worked for a few years for wages and still not old enough for SS. Based on health and this economy it is hard to find work I can handle so my military pension is my only support. You have allready cut into it with no cola raises for two years and now trying to raise taxes and you want to raise tri care to Five times what I pay now over a few years. That would put me and others having to decide what to give up, our homes, eating,health care. Thats just wrong!!! The pay raises, health care and retirement benefets congress gives them self should be and are criminal. They get retirement and health care for life after four years of service

  47. EVERYONE SHOULD ASK THEIR CONGRESSMAN WHY ALL THE ATTEMPTS TO CUT COST ARE BEING BORNE BY DOMESTIC PROGRAMS WHEN THERE HAS BEEN NO MENTION OF CUTTING FOREIGN AID.

    ASK YOU REPRESENTATIVE WHY/

  48. Richard Tipton says:

    Back in the day (yesteryear) retired military folks were supposed to have free health care for life. Congress has been chipping away at something promised to us for years (decades).

    Before we raise TriCare fees. Congress needs to have the same health care as the rest of us.

    I say no to any increase.

    The reason we are in debt is due to:

    43 milliion people supported by entitlement programs. Lets trim that fat.
    If they can walk, put them to work clean city streets or empting garbage cans.
    They can't opt out by saying I don't like that kind of work or it doesn't pay enough money (tough).

    The size of federal government now stands at 1.4 million employees (way to big a burden on the taxpayers). Government should only be concerned with instate road system and defense of our country.

    We need to reduce the size of the Federal Government by 50%, that will reduce the defict.

    The first lady needs to drive to Walmart to shop, not go to Paris on our dime.

    Veteran organizations need to put up a united front to stop any TRICARE INCREASE.

    CTOC Rick Tipton
    USN/Retired

  49. retired TM1 says:

    Why don't they just take it ALL away and get it over with instead of nickel and diming us to death.
    REALLY? I am so tired of people who have sacrificed NOTHING trying to take away our benefits. We need to pay attention to which politicians are actually looking out for us.
    Cutting military spending and cutting benefits are 2 different things. I think we all know that the military wastes a whole lot of money every day.

  50. Fixing the economy by using the military is not the way to go. These people put their lives on the line everyday some lost it for this country and all they have left is their retirement pension to show for it and you wants to use the military to fix your economy that you all screwed up.

    What do you think will happen if the retiremnet system gets overhaul and people can't pay their mortgages with that pension? Have you taught about people losing their homes to foreclosures. that will happen. These people look forward to that little pension to cover morgages and utilities. At least they deserve that for their sacrifices.
    Why not stop spending money on healthcare for illegal immigrants, stop giving yourselves pay raises, stop giving money that we don't have to other countries, and last but not least, get of of Iraq and Afghanistan and save those billion of dollars and put it in our economy.

  51. Our fore fathers didn't originaly intend for political service to be a means for getting rich off of the american people they are supposed to serve. Most of them only serve themselfs. Most of them are allready rich they don't need more money at the expense of poor americans. If they realley want to cut the national debt cut their pay and benifets. Make them serve 20-30 years for retirement like the Military and cival service does. Stop paying a retirement they didn't earn.

  52. Considering the current rate of benefit erosion I would encourage no one to seek a career in any branch of the armed forces. A grateful nation will be glad to let you serve with distinction and retire in poverty. Why? Recruiters take note.

  53. Maybe if retirees formed a union they wouldn't dare touch the benefits.

    I saw a graph yesterday that showed military health care is only 1% of health care expenditures…while medicaid was something like 17%…why not cut there…military retiree benefits were earned…not just given because you happen to make it into this country illegally or popped out several babies while you sat on your ass and did nothing….

  54. I served 22 years honorably, am 80% disabled caused by A/O, and you want to increase my premiums by 400-500%? Who else in this country is getting such a rate hike? I don't mind an increase, but 400% over three years is too much. Guess I am too young to get Obama's counseling on assisted suicide.

  55. USN Ret w/24 yrs says:

    Instead of writing your concerns and valid complaints here on these pages….write to the Prsident. Let's overwhelm him like Santa claus. Try it you'll like it. Ever see Shawshank Redemption? Just like that and like kids around the world, we amercan Fighting Men and Women have a voice. We need to get it heard by the proper folks like the President. don't bother your lying Congressmen or Senators, write to the White house…watch the results!!!!!

  56. Instead of trying to reduce the deficit on the backs of military retirees, how about reducing the $15,000 a month benefit that is being given to anyone who ever did as little as one term in the House or Senate??? Attacking retiree benefits is just one more way of saying, “retirees are no longer valued by the government, simply a burden”. There are many other ways for the government to save money, many others have pointed this out. We are sending billions of dollars out of the country every year. We can no longer bankroll these other countries at the expense of our own citizens welfare.

  57. As soon as they talk about budget cuts, we get the first ax. Our benefits always go first. Good job Obama. No matter who the clown is across the table from you, he'll get my vote next election. We go 1.3 trillion in the hole every year and your solution is to attack our retiree health care? Where am I to get another $100 bucks a month for flippin health insurance? From the pay raise I got? From the tax cut I got? Someone needs to tell these idiots we've been taking cuts for some time now and they need to cut some of the handouts we give to foreign countries first.

  58. I seldon do this but I am getting on my soapbox:
    My husband is retired from the military. He put in over 20 years in the Air Force. We were promised if we put our lives in danger and gave up our families we would be compensated later. There would be no requirement to pay for our health benefits for the rest of our lives. Well we found out different. We pay a co-pay everytime we go to the doctor, hospital or anywhere else. Grant you we pay less then the public does. But we also gave more than the public has. Wives and children had to go sometimes years without seeing their fathers. It cost alot of marriages and alot of heartache and pain. The things that our service men and women have seen the public would never have to see, because of the courage of our service members.
    I would like to see our government do the things that our service members have done and also have the same kind of healthcare we pay for.
    But that was the price of our service members, so that the public including our government who not have to go through the things they/we went through.

    • Do you know how few sons and daughters of people in Congress are in or have served in the military. Not many!!

  59. San Antonio, TX says:

    I was a draftee in 1968 and we were promised that if we served to retirement, we would receive FREE medical care for us and our families for life. That promise was broken and we had to start paying, first with Champus and now Tri-care. So far, the cost has been affordable, however, this huge increase will surely hurt a lot of vets on fixed incomes. What the Hell are you all thinking? It's getting to the point where it will not be worth staying in the military for retirement, NO BENEFITS.

  60. E. T. Stanfill says:

    Does the current proposed freeze on federal employees' salaries (except military) include members of Congress?? Haven't heard any comment on that!

  61. Why don't we march on Washington DC as a group to show our dissatisfaction? We need to SEND A MESSAGE TO THE POLITICIANS THAT WE ARE A GROUP OF VETS THAT DEMAND TO BE HEARD. WHO IS SPEAKING UP FOR US????
    I was promised free medical the rest of my life back in '71. Got paid $63.00 a pay day. How is Obama care going to pay for its program?????? I guess us vets will still have to pay then too.

  62. Let's see-no SS increase for the last two years, no retired increased for the past 2 years and now let's sock it to the ones who spent 20 years or more defending this country. Anyone see anything wrong? Dental prices high but hard to find dentists who participate in Retired dental care because payback is so bad-they get re-imbursed less than welfare. There are many older retirees out there getting less than $40,00 in retirement. Yep, let's get them with medical bebefits too. Grab you ankles and bend over (once again).

  63. If the Medicare physician fee reductions go into effect, it won't matter, as Tricare is tied to it and there won't be a doctor accepting it accept the butchers and quacks. I am more concerned about that than the premium increases, as bad as they are.

  64. Hanna Browning says:

    Don't believe what the government says, remember, they are not the ones giving their lives, they are the ones telling you to. Power corrupts, we too were promised health care, we haven't seen it yet. We have been told what a great plan Tri Care is, we need someone to tell us how it is so great and why the gov does not honor what they tell their warriors.

  65. I am a disabled vet and as a result of my illnesses, my wife had to go from full-time to part-time and then she was let go. We are surviving on my VA and SS disabilities, and although I do agree with a raise in health care costs, I think it s/b tied in with COLA increases. If this drastic and sudden rise becomes a reality (which is almost a certainty) we would be again in financial dire straits. We just refinanced our home to pay off several bills and have reduced our monthly expenses, but this raise would wipe out that. I also think that Congress should redirect their efforts and if they really want to reduce the deficit, do not bail out companies. If I screw up financially, I am to pay a price for that, why not treat everyone equallY?

  66. Pretty soon we may not have a volunteer force if our government officials continue to take our benefits. Once that happens, I wonder who they think will go to awful places and live in tents, in the heat and cold, eat Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and put their lives on the line, sometimes losing their lives, knowing their sacrifices don't really matter to our government. Our "leaders" should really think about the consequences of their decisions and take their funding from other sources, like our executive and legislative branches pay, bonuses, etc. Does any of this hit home, I hope so. We veterans need to speak up.

  67. Once again, the military, whether AD or RET, get major cuts/increased bills because our civilian counterparts cannot control their OWN spending. Good thing there aren't any wars going on in the world….

  68. Message to parents, young adults, recruiters, educators, veteran’s groups, church groups, flag lapel pin wearers, politicians, football teams with flag stickers on helmets, 911 marketers http://www.nextag.com/patriotic-ribbon/stores-htm… , and “support the troops” promoters-

    Teach your children- “bait and switch” tactics are in effect. Know this before considering serving in the Armed Forces.
    http://tinyurl.com/TriCareFees

    Alex Hepler
    GySgt, USMC (Ret.) '79-'99
    Port Hadlock, WA

  69. I have a solution to the "Debt Reduction" problem facing us at this time. How bout "Former Senator Pete Domenici " and " Econ­o­mist Alice Rivlin" receiving the same health plan they're trying to impose upon us. I guarantee you that it would not be on the table. It amazes me that after 30 years of service to my country I now have to suffer under the stupidity, and non-respect of the military, from our elected officials. Republicans take notice as Former Senator Pete Domenici, listed as a Republican, has disgraced the party, and military, by putting his name on this proposal. If this goes through, I can assure you the military voters will not forget on the next election. There are many other places the "Debt Reduction Proposal' can look other than the hearts, souls and backs of the veterans who have payed the price for America's freedom. Shame on all of you serving in Washington who even remotely support this disrespectful proposal. One last thing Former Senator Dominici, take a good look at the daily casualty list for the 101st Airborne and then tell those veterans and families what they can expect in the future.

  70. Why are these pencil necks wanting to add cost to retirees expenses? Why don't the make changes to theirs? Most of these pencil necks served a day in their lives. They only serve themselves. Why is it they can get free health care and what ever else they can steal from the men and women that put their lives on the line? It's about time these desk jockeys pay up and shut up. I retireed close to 20 years ago and still make less than 20,000 a month. No COLA for 2 years, yet these crooks give themselves pay raises and COLA allowances. Why is that? They are only in office (part time) for a short time and they are ripping us off. Why is it they can pay themselves way more than they are worth? These pencil necks are not worth a penny. They just sit around fat, dumm and happy so they can come up with stupid ideas like raising insurance premiums on the people that actual served thier country 24/7, and they have a 9 to 5 job that requires really no talent.

  71. Politicians who gave this country away years ago. Remember one world order.
    Now want to toy with health care earned by retired members of our ARMED FORCES, I say shame on them but they have no shame they are too busy
    filling their pockets with private sector money .It would not surprise me to see
    this increase be adopted . If they want to do something worth while let them
    bring manufacturing back to this country , without jobs we are doomed to
    become a weak 3rd world country. NAVY RETIRED

  72. You are so WRONG. Those who are the bottom are, first of all, the ones who are working their asses off, while others are sitting on their asses watching. Second of all, they are NOT the ones shopping in the fine jewelry department or driving expensive vehicles. My family and many other families I know are struggling to get by on E-3 pay, while our husbands are putting in the most hours and most work. And if you know anything, you would know that BAH is determined by rank. The higher your rank, the higher your BAH. My child does not have top of the line anything. We buy off-brand diapers, groceries, etc. And we get many of her clothes at second hand stores, so before you go and accuse the lower ranking people of things they are not at all capable of, KNOW YOUR STUFF!!!! Now, do I think it's fair to take from retirees? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But it has nothing to do with lower ranking personnel and their families. It has everything to do with our idiotic government.

  73. VIET With MS says:

    Raising Tricare based on your income is not fair, it should be the same for enlisted as well as officers. We earned the benefits from serving in wars or conflicts. I served 28 months in Vietnam & years active duty and 14 years reserve. Yes I'm retired now one med cost $3010 per month. The retirement pay and Tricare allows my wife and I to have medical.A large increase of out of pocket money fees will hurt just about every military family active or retired.We earned our benefits, loved our country and fought for the freedom for other countries and for our Country. When we returned from Vietnam it was hard to get a job, but most of us fought here to have what we have . Its time our goverment looks after its Vets, active and inactive and retirees. Don't take away what we have earned. GET JOBS BACK TO AMERICA, QUIT ALLOWING WORK TO BE SENT OUT OF OUR COUNTRY. AMERICA SHOULD BE FIRST.

  74. Bornrider47 says:

    why are we concerned about being classified with other seniors? How many of them served their country for 20 years? How many of them served one day?
    If this passes then we may need to start speaking at local high schools and colleges about broken promises. Perhaps picketing recruiting offices as well. No, we were rewarded for being patriotic and aggressive. Pay back will not be pretty.

  75. I read each post. Lots of anger; a few reasonable suggestions. I have no strong objection to paying more for my retirement medical care. I didn't join the military on the basis of retirement medical care.

    The approach of rising fees with rising incomes is defensible. I would suggest that the rare retiree getting $80,000 annual retirement should pay more than the proposed top bracket that stops increasing at $40,000 income.

    I agree with the thought that we all expected better. We just didn't realize the depths and dangers of our present national indebtedness. Change must come and I am sure that many military members understand that harsh reality.

  76. I remember in 1968 when I entered active service we were promised free dental, free medical and a pension if we served at least 20 yrs. The federal government lied! Now we get no dental (or Delta which costs us), TRICARE (which we have to pay for) and a pension. Our promised benefits are slowly being whittled away. Since such a small percentage of politicians have served, they could care less about us vets. They simply make gestures of gratitude. BHO would shove us all in an early grave if he could. Those who voted for this jerk deserve part of the blame as well! What were they thinking when they voted for the weak little man?

  77. A J Grogan says:

    I consider myself lucky. I have my military retirement, one from state and medicare. However, when I first joined I was told ALL medical, dental and vision would be free to me when I retired. I count my blessings for what I have. Could have been worst and I feel for those with less coverage.

  78. As a Mil retiree I agree we should pay our FAIR share but so should congress, GSE's, both active and retired, the president, his family…also he/she should pledge a 50% drop in use of AF-1; Pelosi should be charged the going rate for use of any government plane, Congress should accept a freeze ontheir pay increases until unemployment is below 5.5%. No, earmarks until unemployment goes below 7.5% and then only one per congress person not to exceed $100,000. When it gets below 5% they can have two, not to exceed $100,000 each.

  79. VIETNAM VETERAN,
    I GAVE 23 YEARS OF MY YOUNGER LIFE FOR THIS GREAT NATION.I
    AM NOT CONTESTING THE AMOUT OF MONEY I AM PAYING THE GOVERN-MENT EVERY YEAR.ITS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLES AND HERE THEY ARE,MAKING US PAY MORE FOR OUR SACRIFICES.MOST OF THEM IN WASHINGTON DIDN'T SPEND A SINGLE DAY IN THE MILITARY SO THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. I DON'T KNOW NOW WHO TO VOTE.THEY ARE ALL LIARS AND HYPOCRATES. FED UP.

    • IU agree I gave them 29+ years myself. Nex time they want to play War they can go it them self, No longer will I let any of my chidren or grand children go into the service. I will not recomend millitary life to any one again. Iknow my way to Canada.

  80. . . . and they thought recruitment was down before! Wait to the younger, smarter candidates for military service figure this one out?

  81. James Sager says:

    There is another group that they don't think much of. Those of us that were in the Reserves and those in the National Guard. I'm retired from the Army Reserve with 24 years and two of those years in Vietnam. We serve when called up without complaint and generaly return to find the company we worked for has no placde for us or has gone out of busniess. Our retirement is pay is much lower then those who retire from active duty, but are expected, even with our disabilities that keep us out of a job, to pay more. What's wrong with this picture?

  82. Retired 26.5 years , just want to know where all this blogging is going. Is it reaching the right people or are we just reading each others s….t. Time to start talking to the right people. Skip Congress. Go Direct. Get their attention. Congress and P can be replaced. SOON I HOPE.

  83. Ken Monroe USA Ret. says:

    EVERONE,
    Please go back to the article, at the end there is a link to write to the Dod AN your representatives!!!
    I just did, as well as all of you should let them know how we feel about this idiodicy…..

  84. Once a person gets elected to Congress, they earn a retirement. What does that tell you voters? Their crooks before they ever serve! The Laws they pass are not for them…their worth before they got elected is what? After taking office, what is it worth? Go Figure! In other words, their is nothing any of us, not in office, can do about what is about to happen. I’ve been a third party voter since 1993 and my vote don’t count! Voters keep voting the same people back in office and they are the problem, not the solution. Who created the situation we are in now – do you voters know? Apparently Not…When a Veteran runs for office, take a better look on who’s side he will vote on. Not a Veteran, look elsewhere…ON BOTH SIDES! They give us scraps for retirement, compared to their’s, right – Do you think they are going to touch their retirement funds (Taxpaper Dollars) before touching ours – think again. No raises for the retired for two years now – did the Congressman or Senator get one during the resession we are in now? The only time our congress will remember you is when an election comes up! Anyone for Term Limits with no retirement from the taxpaper? But then, who has to pass something like that? You guessed it! We can keep telling them to look elsewhere for cuts, but watch what happens anyway! Let’s give the illegal’s more per month and some more to a foreign country that hates our country. What to do, what to do…I have to go vote now, see you later!

  85. What age is considered a "working age retiree"? Someone under 60?

  86. RETIRED SERVICE says:

    ONCE AGAIN THE CONGRESS WANTS TO CHEAT THE THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HONORABLY SERVED THEIR COUNTRY. DEFENDING THESE SAME —— WHO HAVE SUFFERED NO LOSS AND WHOSE PAY AND BENEFITS CONTINUE TO RISE.
    IN ADDITION THEY GET ALL THOSE LITTLE "PRIVELIGES THEY VOTED THEMSELVES OVERTIME. BUT WHAT REALLY SMARTS IS THEIR LACK OF WORK ETHICS, AND THEIR TRAVELING ON JUNKETS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, ALL ON OUR EXPENSE.
    LET THEM PUT ON A UNIFORM AND ATTEMPT TO BE A SERVICE PERSON. THEY COULD NOT DO IT. BUT THEY HAVE VOTED THEMSELVES SO MANY GOODIES!
    AND THE WORSE PART – THEY SHOW NO SHAME –

  87. Harry Brantley says:

    Navy Master Chief (Retired)
    I gave my country 32 years of dedicated and faithful service. To even THINK about cutting my benefits is a sin…….should be a crime! All we ask is what we were promised when we signed on! A pay raise for congress when old folks don't even get a COLA" This is an embarrassment to anyone with any integrity at all. Get real!

  88. Sorry, but I agree with ALL OF THE OTHER RETIREES. My sponsor served his 22 years in the Army and we had all the promises of being taken care of for life! Why else would anyone continue in the military for over 20 years. Not for the lousey pay, the so frequent moves which we had no say over. Now using Tricare I can select my own civilain physician…but if only on retiree pay, I couldn't afford that even now!

  89. James Rogers says:

    I am convinced this is just the tip of the ice berg of what is in store for not only the military (active and retired) but the general population of the US. This administration is hell-bent on destroying our country and has made a substantial step in that direction in the past two years. Two more years of this idiocy will cement not only my grand children, but probably my great grand children as well in attempting to pay for this debacle.

  90. What is wrong with this system??? Why do they pick on those who have given so much already for this country? Shame on you!!!
    As all have said, we have seen NO COLA for several years and they propose freezing it for three more and now, increase the cost of Tricare.
    Just SHAME ON YOU ALL!!! You certainly live in the BIG HOUSES, DRIVE THE LUXURY CARS, pardon me, guess that you don't drive, your chauffeurs DO! You get your YEARLY INCREASES IN SALARY! FIRST THING THAT YOU VOTE ON IS IT NOT??????
    How dare you EVEN THINK of taking from those who have given so much to this country???? Especially when most of these RETIREES NOW were given promises of care for life. You want to mess with those who are deciding if they want a career in the military…go ahead…see WHERE YOUR MILITARY GOES????? How many would volunteer? But leave those who have already made their sacrifices with the promise of health care for life alone! When will you ever keep any promises made to us?????????

  91. My husband and I were promised free health care (I thought for life) in 1968. We've purchased Tricare Prime and dental as I am a retired teacher and don't get medical or dental insurance through my work, and realized we needed something. Am I wrong to think that paying a little in these dire times is a problem? No, and am willng to do so…But the increases sought are horrible, and will hurt many older retirees. I am proud to be a military family member, and have a son who just rturned from Afghanistan. We served, now it is time for the government to serve us as promised.

  92. What is happening to the benefits all veterans have worked hard to receive after serving their country. It seems as if less and less politicians are veterans. This means a lack of understanding what it really means to serve your country.

  93. Jim LaFluer says:

    What the hell is going on? When I joined I was told free health care for the rest of my life. NOT!!!! Why is it that those of us that have choosen to serve our country keep geting raked over the coals! Wonder how much our Senators and Congressmen are paying for thier health care at Walter Reed?
    Nice way to say thank you to all us retirees.

  94. Tony De Angelis says:

    Those of us who enlisted prior to 1955 were promised free lifetime medical care as part of our meager pay package. Congress broke that contract in 1955 and then in recent years when those of us affected made such an issue of it that it adversely impacted recruiting, Congress saw the light of their broke promise and produced Tricare for Life to turn off our anger. Now they want to do it again to us. They can start with ACORN funding and illegal benefits before they start messing with those who earned benefits.

  95. I agree with all of the above; Plus do the idiots in Government not realize that the retiree can not even draw unemployment from a civilian job once canned because He/She has "a retirement income" Give me a break… Increase Tricare Premiums? are you freaking kidding? You haven't increase pay as stated over and over above so how the heck can any of us afford the co-pays, the increase in premium, or even the emergency room cost, etc.

    Take a hike Pete Domenici and econ­o­mist Alice Rivlin…. until you've walked an inch in these shoes you shouldn't be writing proposals…

  96. This is ridiculous! They keep changing the rules. When my husband enlisted, we were told our health coverage would be paid for life. It didn't take long for that to change. I don't mind paying what we are paying now, but increasing it by $2,000 a year – that is INSANE! They also changed his retirement since he went in – now his pay is figured on less than it was when he enlisted. How is it they can keep changing the rules – when he had NO break in his 26 years of military service? Don't they have a responsibility to keep their word too? If they're going to change things, the people who made life decisions based on promises made by the Government should be grandfathered. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to have been the wife of a military person, and I'm glad we have a retirement but they keep taking away and minimizing all of the years of commitment and sacrifice. They need to take some of their own benefits away – why is it we are the only ones who feel the pain? Congress continues to give themselves pay raises and exempt themselves from the new health care system – how is that fair? Many of them serve very little time compared to military retirees yet they reap much greater benefits with a lot less sacrifice. There is something wrong here!!!!

  97. One has to be a retiree and over 65 to be eligible for Tricare for Life.

  98. The men and women in uniform built out nation. This is not the way you thank them for their service. Some paid the full price with their lives. There are others who are maimed for life. The irony of the whole can of worms is the politicians can do what they do and make the laws that they enact because of yours and my service.

  99. Want to read some good fiction? Get the "Military Benefit Guide Book"

  100. John Clevenger says:

    Well we had a terrific deal with TFL and it has been wonderful. It was more than I had ever imagined and came about just as I was reaching 65. Now with looking at the things to reduce our deficit it seems obvious that we all have to help in some ways. Now my only thought it seems there are temporary changes and there should be permanent so which are these that are being discussed for military health care?

    I am sure I can afford some added cost but would sure like to see a broader pictures of the whole landscape. I sure don't care for the politics of the whole mess. I would like to feel their is some fairness across all segments.

  101. When I joined it was FREE forever. Then, we got a president and congressmen (lawyers) that NEVER served their country and they started CHAMPUS/TRICARE we had to pay some money. Now with Obama; who also NEVER served his country or ours we are getting the shift again and having to pay more money. Why not just create a law; since all the congressmen are lawyers; to kill those that retire from serving their country honorably so the country we served doesn’t have to pay retirement pay or benefits and you’ll get the country out of debt and maybe we may not have a free country anymore because no one will want to serve because there will be no benefit to serving for with that new law you’ll kill us the day we retire. It seems that the only people who get the shift are military and civilain employees. Why not put a freeze on everything including lawyers fees so that everyone suffers not just the normal people. Across the board everyone suffers equally since nobody can make a profit for at least 3 years. I don’t think the Oil companies will like that freeze either. Before you know it the new class of people will be just like Mexico-those with and those without!!!

    I can’t wait for the next two years to be over!! REPUBLICANS forever!!!!

  102. Funny that they state we have not had any "increases" over the years when I'm sure these same people forgot that there use to be a time we could go to the local base for non-emergency issues and they would see both dependents and retired folks. Then, it was only retired members. Now, it's none. Telling you to go to your MTF is a friggin joke. But, as our services got less, the cost of medical needs didn't get less. Once again, beating the drum that ALL of congress on capital hill should be on tricare. They wouldn't be so quick to jack up the costs. But hey, I'm a fair guy, jack up my pay 40% and I'll gladley pay the extra money. :-)

  103. Paulmarkar says:

    I have a better proposal for the congressmen. Eliminate all congressional staffers to one per congressman/senator. Eliminate the federal employee's health care and retirement system altogether and put them in medicaid and on social security. That includes the congressmen and senators. Cut all salaries except for the top executive in each huge bureaucracy (such as Sec. of Defense, Surgeon General etc.) to less than $100,00 per year. Cut the Presidential staff by 75%. Get rid of aid to universities and colleges for useless grants. Eliminate healthcare and schooling for illegals. Increase the penalties for hiring illegals to include prison time for owner/managers who hire them.
    Then we can talk about increasing costs on people who put their lives on the line defending this country and were guaranteed free health care for life as part of the deal.

    • Steve austin says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!!!!! I’m beyond angry on this, these tools have been eroding our benefits for years… And now they take aim at us again.

  104. JE NICHOLSON says:

    CUT GOV. COST????? LETS START WITH THE DEPT. OF EDUC. EVERY
    STATE,COUNTY,& CITY HAVE ONE SO I THINK THE FED.EDUC. WOULD BE A START THEN LETS CHECK ON ALL OF THE CIV>EMPLOIES THAT THE OB AD HIRED RIGTH AFTER HE HE TOOK OFFICE. HOW BIG IS HIS PERS. STAFF? LETS JUST ASK THE OVER ALL STAFF IN TEH WH. I DON'T THINKBO WAS EVER IN THE SCOUTS JIM NICK RET.USN

  105. Time for a REAL Million Veteran March on the WHITE HOUSE!
    And ALL OF US who wore the Uniform of this Nation, who were promised what they are now trying to CHARGE us for…Should be visiting our VA offices with our CONTRACTS in hand…DEMANDING that the GOVERNMENT honor THEIR Original Contract as well.
    We all have those yellow papers within our Service Records. Time to hold OBAMA, and CONGRESS responsible….FOR ONCE.

  106. My major concern hgere is: Just when the hell arfe the elected officials gou gto LOOK at their benefit package and their "rate of premiums" for way oversdue INCREASE, along with those of the military families, active or retired???? All this crap about debt reduction is fine manure, if it excludes the politicians????? who happen to get the BEST for FREE not one penny of share payments!!!!! On the otjher hand they mnever lose their OLA whie the military retiress have seen otherwise? Why is all of this corrective measures being applied to the military, all of a sudden??? Is this another of governmnetal robbing Peter to pay Paul????? Especially by the current powers in office, that show their hatred for the militaty, each day they gather their Socilaist/Liberal heads to gether????? Smells so much of the Soviet Union's operational handbook?????
    Steve, Retired

  107. Please excuse my many spelling errors due to my inflamed thoughts…..
    Steve, Retired,

  108. We have been blessed for many years with a low cost coverage as a part of our benefits package. I don't understand how the retirees can afford this type of money. and… i especially don't see how we widows and widowers can afford it either. I vote no!! or maybe they won't touch Champ VA! Question: was my husband's life and that of all of our other faithful servants sacrifices to the military in vain? Think about it my Government.

  109. My father died after serving this country for 30 years. My brother died after contracting an infection following surgery for combat related injuries. My husband is now disabled due to his contracting a blood born disease while trying to take care of a brave Marine.

    Don't you think we have more than paid the price? I am sickened and frightened, not knowing if we will be able to afford my husband's meds and possible future surgery. Why, in God's name, does this country continue to ask for the ultimate risk, and then punish those who answer the call? I would not encourage my sons, nephews or nieces to put their lives on the line for these pitiful excuses for humans that decide they can break promises, break hearts, break lives…this is not the country I loved. It looks more and more like a country that discards its bravest without a thought. Count me as a wife, daughter and sister that will do all she can to see that these vile, idiotic, government robots have their cherry jobs taken away, and that we manage to find humans that CARE about our military…THIS current government does not represent me or mine. Stay viligant for our brave men and women and their families, and get rid of these cockroaches.

  110. i agree!!!!

  111. Why did I give 26 years of my life to my country, had I seen this coming 22 years ago I would have joined the private sector. What more can my greatful
    country take away from my family. There isn't very much of an incentive to join the Military anymore. After this there won't be anything else to take away

  112. When I enlisted in the 60's, I was promised free medical for life if I stayed for 20 or more. Every sense the end of Viet Nam, our "reps" have been going back on this and so many other promises. Too bad we don't have laws that make the Senators and Congressmen subject to the same laws and changes – Do they pay for their medical?!?!?

  113. Wayne L. Stuhr, MSgt USAF Ret. says:

    I, like so many others, served my country honorably and proudly for 20 plus years. I put my flag out every day and sometimes get tears in my eyes when I hear the StarSpangled Banner. Now I feel anger when I hear what our Commander in Chief and our elected officials are doing and trying to do to retirees, both civilian and military. Most retirees are on a fixed income and only retired when they thought they had enough income to make it, not get rich, but survive. Then our elected officials decide they have done a crappy job of management so instead of starting at their level or higher to make cuts, they start with the average person who is barely getting by, the person hasn’t had a raise in two years. When my wife and I were working we drove 100 miles roundtrip everyday. Did we get per diem, NO, unlike our congressman who get their pay, free health care, free travel expenses, and per diem plus retirement and they don’t have to be there 20 years. Air Force One should not be used to promote some political candidate or for Nancy Polosi to use AT ALL. (Possible cuts!!!) Stop giving money to countries that hate our country and our way of life and take care our own.

    We were promised free medical and dental care if we served 20 years. We can still get that if we live close enough to an active installation, are willing to sit in the waiting room hoping for someone to cancel an appointment, which almost never happens, and are able to travel there in the first place.

    Tricare is a great option for us (we can’t afford anything else). I hope and pray our congressmen and women realize the hurt they will cause if they enact these changes.

  114. Maybe if the military was unionized we would have someone sticking up for us in our Govt. Even Secretary Gates wants us cut. Why is it only the retirees get targeted first after they have taken our best earning years in serving our country. Now with Obamacare, we are going to be forced to pay these fees instead of just declining coverage altogether. Just a thought…..

  115. Welcome to the real word of broken promises, we as Indians we are called. Since the imigrants came to our land in 1492, we welcomed you and you stole or land and promised us with treaties. We were suppose to get a free education and free health care.
    As a retired veteran I have seen this from birth to where I am. So as a American Indian Cheyenne the natives of this great land have been getting shortchanged more like getting screwed, just need more vaseline since serving my country.

    • Mike Lawrence says:

      I did not steal anything from you. You like playing victim? I doubt you are anymore indian than I am Greek and Irish. Sheesh grow a pair will ya!

  116. People there is a link at the bottom of the article. Click on it and repost your comments so that it actually reaches the politicians! Comments on this forum won't be heard. Make sure to CLICK on the LINK that reads:

    Let your DOD and elected officials know how you feel about these cost cutting proposals.

    Please! It is supposed to send it as an email to them.

    I am an active duty navy wife. I cant hold a job because my husband is gone all the time and we have very young children. These big corporate companies will fire you for too many "points" and give you no sick days when you have no choice if your kids are sick! It breaks my heart and angers me to my deepest core to hear that they are trying to do this to all of us. Because no matter of your rank or if your active duty or retired we are one in the same! What they do to the retired they will try to do to the active duty once they become retired.

  117. Retired Master Guns says:

    I agree with Wm Reid and Dave Blum, I'm retired with a disability and served 30 yrs, it's obvious that Washington does not give a rats tail about those of us who served in the conflicts of the 60's 70's and 80's, primarily because of us they didn't have to serve and the draft dodgers were given amnesty, along with the better paying jobs, when will we as retired veterans who obviously love this country, going to wake up and realize that "those people" just don't care, it's about time that we organize and "March on Washington" to represent ourselves, it seemed to work for everyone else, hopefully it'll work for us as well. No COLA'S two yrs and they' want to increase TriCare primiums?, that's obsurd!!!! LET'S MARCH!!! LET'S ASK CONGRESS IF THEY'RE WILLING TO TAKE A PAYCUT AND FORGO AN ANNUAL PAY RAISE FOR TWO YEARS!

  118. This is Bull, the problem to solving everthing is to cut Military pay, increase tri care payments, cut social security, we would not be in this damn mess if it were not for the damn republicans. why can't congress and senators pay and benifits be cut, they are millionairs and billionairs. military retirees or living from month to month, we got no cola increase,They have noting to worry about, start cutting at the top. i served 25 years in the military, how many of those idiots that are making these decisions served in the military.

  119. This ticks me off, I'm the wife of a retired army man who served in Iraq, and we intentionally planned our lives through the military so we could have the benefits that came from serving our country. He spent 20+ years in the military to get what was promised to us. And like most we don't make alot out of retirement, with the economy the way it is now, jobs are scarce. This is our main source of living there is no other job, and now you want to just add to the stress of living with more added expenses. This government should be ashamed of itself putting the vets out like this. It's totally insane! I just asked my husband the other day if he could get back in the army…I'm serious this is not right!!!

  120. Paul C. Mena Sr says:

    I am all for paying our fair share so we can continue to live a rather good life. However, I am appalled when trying to be fair and make our economy works for all, you are always looking at the military for cut in spending. If you elected officials want to make fair decisions, why not look at yourself and reduced pay hikes and other benefits, you so enjoy. Make some sacrafices and decreased your benefits and salaries. Now, I understand why you spend millions of dollars to get elected. I believe that if all elected officials contribute $10,000.00 each a year and place it in a bank account, it would generate enough interest to satisfy cuts in our military who sacrifice their lifes to proctect you and your family.

  121. President – You should be ashamed of yourself.

  122. How much do convicts pay, illegals, non-insured, elected officials???

    I have been military ALL of my life! I was hurt when my oldest son decided against joining the military and went to college….go figure….

    Our Govt. is really sending a bad message and it is time WE the military widows/widowers, retirees, vets, families of vets, etc, etc, take a stand and MARCH on WA to show them we are sick of being taken advantage of. Tired of serving so hard so they can screw us out of what little we get.

    How many of you retirees are also Civil service and found out yesterday that you will get NO pay raises for the next 2 years? My Retired Husband is Civil service and between our 2 pay checks we still don't see $50K a year! So how is hurting us going to FIX anything????

    I bet the illegals, the convicts and the porch sitters are having a good laugh over this one!

  123. Frank Seliga says:

    I don,'t know of any Rebublican or Tea Party candidate that ran on protecting military health plan. Their promise was to protect those making over $250K from a tax increase and to protect the business people and bankers from increased taxes. Those folks gave billions of dollars to the party to enable a win. Since the people who won are now beholding to those who gave them money, why should the pols be interested in the welfare of the military? How much money will that put in their re-election fund? If you can't raise taxes on the wealthy, it stands to reason the little guy has to be cut. We spent a lot of treasure on Iraq, Afganistan now who pays?

  124. My husband has served for over 18 yrs now and many of you were in longer, risking life and limb. All I can say is WTF?!!! Will writing to our Congresspeople make any difference? Lucky them, with new pay raises and their own special health care plans. Do vets and retirees have any clout anywhere? I live near DC, so could I show up for a face-to face with some of these clueless ones? BLESS ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE and if anyone knows where to turn for help, please let me know!

  125. It is shameful we continue to have this Idiot as our President!

    IMPEACH THIS SOCIALIST AND DEMAND HE RESIGN NOW

  126. Not many people know that Senators and congressmen keep 100% of their pay once they step down from office. These are the clowns who make decisions based on the needs of the few ( their friends and business partners mostly ) that impact the rest of us poor SOB's who have sacrificed so much get boned one more time….

  127. Where's the "dislike" button?

    Here what should happen, roll everybody up as DOD, everybody (Active, Retired, Federal Civilian, Elected Official) whatever.

    This would make DOD the worlds largest employer, then we go shopping for a better deal. Which ever health care provider comes up with the most affordable "equal" covereage for all (regardless of rank or stature) wins the contract and DOD retains the right to shop around just like in the real world.

  128. Well let the govt. keep screwing the Armed Forces as they have done for years, remember we were expendable,well the politicians screwed up this country and we have fought our country and some of us made it our lifes career. I WANT TO SEE THE POLITICIANS TAKE PERMANENT PAY CUTS, AND HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR INSURANCES AND HAVE THE SAME PROGRAMS THEY MAKE US HAVE. BEFORE LONG, YOU WATCH, NO ONE WILL BEAR ARMS TO SAVE THIS COUNTRY MUCH LESS A POLITICIAN!!!!!

  129. Here's a suggestion. Let's have all the politicians pay for their own health insurance, or better yet, take it away from them and let them fall under the plan they so richly deserve—Obamacare. What a joke for a president, much less the congress we have.

  130. Let me see if you are a bum and leach you will receive free medical coverage under Obama-care. If you are a retired military veteran get out your wallet. Seems a little strange to me…

  131. I agree with a lot said here. I retired with service connected dis of 40% th VA hounded me for the first year or two until they could decrease the % told me I had learned to live with it ,now as stated above pay freezes raise the premiums I guess they didn't get the message we done picking up the slack so they can live high on the hog!

  132. pam erickson says:

    why are we taking from the military ,and any jo blow can come in off the street and get food stamps and free medical.
    pam

  133. SAME OLD STUFF…..Attack the Military,attack those who serve and protect our FREEDOM–WE THE PEOPLE should insist on implementing TERM LIMITS on CONGRESS—We need to have Congress on same retirement plan (years served (50% plus 2 1/2 %) do way with fullpay and allowances,including healthcare for life and by the way their spouse will receive their pay if the Congressman/woman passes first) and WE THE PEOPLE should be VOTING ON THEIR PAY RAISES after all THEY SUPPOSEDLY WORK FOR US. CONGRESSMAN/WOMEN receive approximately $200,000 per year, yet 50 percent of them have declared BANKRUP.TCY–Congress should be held to Higher Standards. These people don't care about the Military as long as their FREEDOMS are protected by those who LOVE OUR WAY OF LIFE ARE WILLING TO SACAFICE EVERYTHING TO PROTECT THE UNITED STATES. –A revolution is brewing –I took an Oathe to defend this country against both foriegn and domestic enemies–because I was promised free health care and a monthly retirement for serving over 20 years of loyal service- Congress must HONOR the PROMISES(CONTRACTS) we entered into—-ILLEGAL AILIENS RECEIVE MORE BENEFITS THAN THE MILITARY COMBINEDl. illegal ailiens cost the US over $332 BILLION a year. How about deporting those people.

  134. I am tired of politicians making more than the average person does but only work 8 months out of the year writing laws cutting what we get while increasing their own pay and benefits. However, what about those who have not served, or worked in fields with little or no retirement options, they must trudge on past retirement age with only Social Security to prop them up. My mother is one of these, she receives $710 a month, I receive $2082 a month for my retirement. I supplement her income, not the government, I do this willingly and no complaints. I do this for MY mother, not yours. Taking more of my money lessens my ability to do this, making her a bigger strain on society. So DC, charity does begin at home. SS, Medicare, and Retirement is not charity, they are services earned through taxation and service to our country. We have already paid for this, making us pay more after the fact for benefits that barely work for us is ludicrous. Raise SS taxes to meet retirement needs (and make it voluntary as it is supposed to be), Make military and government retirement a contribution program like a 401K if you must. But leave the people alone who have already earned their benefits, we are the ones who need it now.

  135. How about they limit the increases to only what cost of living you get just like when you use Medicare Part B? That would mean no increase until a pay raise and then no more than the cost of living increase.

  136. Yet these unbelievable politions would force a jacked up health care system down the throats of he American people (to help 35 million people, 12 million here illegally) at a incredible staggering cost, then say we need cut our spending by rasing health care costs for retiriees. Pretty soon they are going to find a way to take our retirement pay away as well.

  137. Concerned Vet says:

    What amazes me the most is, WTF ARE THE PEOPLE IN CONGRESS THINKING? Give themselves a raise every year, exempt themselves for the Health care they are trying to push down the throats of everyone else. Nope, that's not enough, Lefts screw of the military retirees and their families. It's not enough that for 20+ years, we put our lives on the line defending this country just so those that we defend, the people and the government can shit on us. I swear, did they not learn anything from their treatment of Vietnam Vets? Wasn't that an eye opener of things we should not do? Call me crazy here, but screwing with retiree's is just plain pathetic

  138. JoAnn McDonald says:

    We need to ask what can we do to stop this. Who is on this panel. We need names, addresses, Job titles, salaries or retirement pay and what health benefits the people making these suggestions and decision for us have. I think it is time that we hit the streets and the white House to be heard.

  139. I agree with most of the Comments I have read. I am currently a Gunny in the Corps. I hit my 12 year mark in January, and now you are telling me my retirement is going to be taken until I am 60. It’s kind of useless if I do not live that long. I think this is going to affect a lot of re-enlistment decisions if it goes through. I am glad I spent over the past 7 years of my life deploying to Iraq for nothing, but ungrateful politicians.

  140. Charles Rodgers says:

    Let me say it…Congress F/U

    • Notice Obama did not put a stop to any future raises for Congress, I bet they will vote in another raise in next year…Where is the press to condemn that.

  141. G. Williams says:

    Well like i always say " A politician will promise you the moon to get elected and once they are elected they turn around, drop there pants and show you the moon they promised you.

    more corperated flunkies in Washington trying to make the rich "RICHER" and the poor "POORER".

    i wish i had the pension our congressmen and senators get. and they only have to serve one term to get it. why don't you cut the fat in Wahington. give back 4 or 5 pay raies you gave yourselves. go after the government contrators over charging the american people. stop throwing away billions to corperations and give it back to the people.they got payed alot of maney for screwing up the economy while the our government officalS sat back and did nothing…

  142. USNAD1AWRET says:

    If Washington doesn't stop trying to screw all us retirees all the time sooner or later they aren't going to have a military to do thier dirty work because those that are in won't stay to retirement and then what will they do. No senior leadership equals chaos. We definately need a change in Washington. This Obamacare is screwing things up as well.

  143. Interesting, Congress gets their yearly pay raise. We get nothing for Military retirement and SS, but they see fit to raise our TRICARE rates. Something stinks in DC.

    Vic

  144. Steven Hendrix says:

    This is another way to take from the retirees and give to the Aliens that receive free medical, housing and yes even feed them while live in country of Milk and Honey. This is sad news.

  145. this sounds like a cop out our country is selling us out we were promised free health care in turn for serving now we have to pay for it, what about those fat bastards in congress what type of health care do they receive or even pay for —

  146. Aubrey Campbell says:

    We are being duped! The politicians knew in 1995 that they were going to increase our premiums someday. The should have been up front with us then. Now this "Debt Panel" wants us to believe this so-called economic crises is the reason for the sudden increases. Fellow "retired" servicemembers and surviving spouses bend over, grab your ankles, and strengthen your backs…the Federal government is ready to ride us again for the next 20+ years. SFC retired!

  147. This is just not right. When I came in the promise was healthcare for life. That is partly why I stayed for 30 yrs. If they want to charge us, ok, but I want overtime pay for all of us who have put in massive amounts of time at work over the years. They could not afford that. FBI, police, firemen all get overtime.

    Additionally, why is the cost of retiree healthcare going up? Could it be largely due to the wounded vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan? I support the war effort, but don't take the funding out of my and everyone else's retirement.

  148. SandCrabby says:

    Its amazing that we military people must put in 20 years of service (well most have at least that) and then we QUALIFY to receive a pension but if I do 1 (yes ONE) term in Congress or President, I collect a check for the rest of my life. Seems to me if we are looking to cut the bleeding we should be starting with the Legislative and Executive branches of our Government BEFORE the military. I stuck it out for the "free" medical and dental more than anything else besides to protect and serve my country and I never complained about what injuries I could or did sustain while doing it knowing that uncle was covering my back. Well we can see what has happened since then. I understand we got it pretty cheap, but do we really when you look at what we had to endure for all those years?

  149. Retired USMC says:

    Get ready guys. You knew it was coming. Supposedly the best and the brightest govern this great country. The government cannot and will not control costs. There is too much cronyism, lobbying, and downright greed to ever succeed at cost control.

  150. There needs to be serious reform in government. I think about the fraud waste and abuse programs in the military… Next look at how the military runs it’s budgets. They are forced to spend money needed or not in order to ensure funding for subsequent fiscal years. so much of the time things aren’t updated because there is no money. But there is money sloted for other things just not what is needed. So item X is needed but there is no money for it. However there is money for item Y. So you are forced to spend on Y stuff that is not necessary while X suffers in just so the next years budget can be had. If that budget is not fulfilled The fallowing years budget is lowered. It would make better sense to allow for flexibility. If money can be saved let it be saved and not wasted then when X is needed the money will be there for it. There is so much gross uneeded spending going on because of the budget system that is mandated to be used! The spending practices need to be changed here which would better utilize funds and save money. Next I have an honest question. Is there any way for “the people” to make congress take a paycut and do away with there cadallac bennies that are a gross wasting of resources and to make them have to be governed by the same policies we are. Everybody and their brother talks about it but is there any way to actually make it happen? We need to stop the talk and start action!

  151. Why should my cost increase when Tricare already bills my insurance from the job I work at after retiring. Am sure they left that detail out of the equation.

  152. Harvey Jones says:

    Whine, Whine, Whine, that's all you ever do. NO, not you guys, those idiots we elected to office, that's who. If every Military serviceman and servicewoman would vote them out and follow the Tea Party ideas, we could change the entire United States government system and get politicians in office who are common day citizens like us, and never allow anyone to serve more than 4 years. Let's change our country and get back our rights!! And, I did put in my 26 years too.

  153. Retirees Health is costing too much well bless your heart , a large part of my health problem is because my government sprayed chemicals in Vietnam and now am dieing a slow death Diabetic and every day I know my kidneys are giving out , more doctor visits more out of pocket , just started drawing social security last month and now looks like two of my 12 checks will go to pay tricare increases

  154. I know of at least two dependents living in Sicily that went to ITALIAN doctors to get a tummy tuck. REALLY?? That couldn't have waited until they returned to the states? They should have paid out of pocket for that! Not raise the retiree co-pay when the dependents don't pay a dime and get stupid things done like that. GO ON A DIET AND WORKOUT LAZY BUTT!

  155. Mr Howell you missed on the title of your article. It should have read, "Death Panel….."

  156. Ret USMC - CH61 12+ yrs says:

    Adenipfar – I agreee with most of your comments but…

    Peo­ple that do not work, ille­gal aliens and those did not serve in the mil­i­tary get free health care.

    Mil­i­tary per­son­nel that retired from the mil­i­tary earned their ben­e­fits the hard way, and some went to war and have phys­i­cal and men­tal wounds. Increase in Tri­care fees is ridicu­lous when retire­ment pay has not increased in 2 years.

    HOWEVER; currently there is no real talk about how medically 100% per VA comp is effected will cost. I for one, will not go to my local VA for my medical problems as I must use a TriCare medical specialist and facility for treatments 600 miles away as the VA and where I live does not have anyone that specializes in the “orphan disease I have.”

    One local doctor, civilian , will not see anyone that has VA benefits for past 12 years, an on going in house battle. Yes m he takes TriCare, but only if active duty.

    We all must not forget neither, the same house is talking about a 3 year no pay raise for active duty military as well! Some of whom will be retiring during that time.

    To run for office, many have to have money, which what guessing 90% at least cannot afford to run for office regardless of where one lives. Many/Several I know of, former veterans or retired , would like to run for office but no money to compete against one in office or no incumbent, unfortunately. Or the press will have field days of one a veteran who has PTSD or other “labeling ” from the military or VA!

    There is no talk about Chapter 61, 100% disabled vets, even if we are able to work under the allowed income level, such as Wal-Mart Greeters or other type of work to aid in making ends met!

  157. A military coup, anyone?

  158. JT Lightfoot says:

    I served the US for over 23 years total, and during my service I saw Tricare fees introduced and felt it was unfair while we were being paid so much less than civilians. Now instead of repairing a broken medical system, it looks like the easiest way will be to just throw more money at it. Here's a workable solution for your public officials, why not ask the rest of the country to pony up and support the military members, retirees, and their families, instead of just paying lip service to them and waving a flag every once and a while. Make it mandatory for all doctors, medical care facilities, and pharmacies in the US to provide service to those active and retired military members and their families at the approved Tricare rates. Though that sounds pretty frightening to the government officials who desperately want to be re-elected. They just need to remember what we have seen and done for their liberty and safety. You can bet that none of the people on the Task Force have stood on the wall for our country and so have no right to tell us what is fair.

  159. Luis R. Morales says:

    im on the “TRICARE FOR LIFE” on account that i live

    oversea(Panama) i have to subscribe to plan B, that translate into less money out of my food pocket every month, hell in the first place i decided to leave this states because at my age 71, with also the SS CHECK, I COULD HARDLY MAKES ENDS MEET, and now to compound matters, the SOB want to increase it. well i guess i have to discontinue myself altogether from TRICARE, ,this is a vivid example of the law of the ROYAL SHAFT. now i hope the gov. come to realize as why many retiree are living the country, not necessarily they want to leave out of pleasure butbecauseunfortunately

    they are beeing force out. so they can live a more dignified life.its a crying shame. that old words , of dont ask youself what the country can do for you, but what can do for your country, evidently does not apply to us retiree, the country have fail us, in their promise, but of course we did our part for our country…

  160. Sgt Kinder USMC Ret says:

    At A time when we are on a fixed income, the government don't want to give uuuus a raise but wants to increase Tri-Care preminums>. It's a sham that the Congress, Senators. and other Government officals can ger a raise every year and don't have to pay for medical. Let them start paying their own way. And quit taking from Military and Social Security. We fought and some died so we would be entitled fotr the benifits in our old age. Next the Government is going to say that when you reach retirement age that you should be put to death so it doesn't have to pay any benifits.

    • Blind America says:

      I agree with you Sarge, lets just give them old folks a pill or a shot and get rid of them, seems to be the attitude the political nuts in Washington want. But they should remember this, What goes around comes around.One day they will be old and retired and at the rate this country is headed down hill they may not make it to that retirement.

  161. Blind America says:

    Seems like us Vets are an unwanted, unappreciated group. You RICH, SELFISH politicians will one day realize we have saved your butts and prtected your riches!! We need some REAL LEADERS in Washington, not the spineless ones that are to afraid to stand up for what's right. If you don't want our service members to stay around for retirement, then bring back the DRAFT. Oops! I just said a bad word Huh America lets' get a backbone again. Blind America

  162. Scubbysteve says:

    This from the unappreciative, lead from Washington's safe offices, vote theirselves a raise time and agin and freeze military pay, spineless bastards that claim to "know what's best".
    What happened to the original promise of free healthcare for life ??
    Rotten pricks !!

  163. Kurt Johnson says:

    What we need to do is contact our Congressman and Senators and have them to vote "NO" on increasing our cost for medical care. I'm not opposed to an increase…however, this is more than an increase. All of us have served and defended this Country…we still have alot of "FIGHT" in us. While they want us focused on Don't Ask; Don't Tell…they are back dooring us on a substantial increase.

  164. Barry Marple says:

    I have an idea. Let civilians that have never served their country pay ALL Tricare fees. Heck, lets be more politically correct and let illegals help pay the bill.

    • James T. Richard says:

      Now, that idea I like! And, while we’re at it, how about the Federal Government paying back all it owes to SS.

  165. donnie holland says:

    It does not surprise me that our leaders want to increase expense on the military and their families, as i see it most of them have never served one day in the military and have no idea of what these men and women has given up and went through for our right to freedom. Until some kind of requirement is put on these leaders to serve before they can run for office, we will continue to loose benefits because they don't care about us only thenselves. how many suggestions of a reduction in their benefits have you seen.

  166. Hey, I got no problem with helping out. But when I see the waste of tax payer dollars like i do every day. It frustrates me that this is a program that is going to increase. Under this plan my costs will go up 1200 dollars for premiums alone. I have not seen real cuts in wastefull programs yet I.E. endowment for the arts, UN Contributions, Congressional and Presidential pay and Benefits. Start cutting the bull crap stuff first and then ask me to help SOME MORE. It seems that everytime we want to see cuts we go to the veterans and thier families first.

    Times are getting tough fellow Vets and we have to speak up call ur Congressman and Senators. We can help our country once again, but, I think we and our families have given alot already

  167. William L. Sasman says:

    I'm not on tricar but I know most of the people on it can not go a big fee raise. They have cut off al cola already and to add a increase will hurt alot of little folks. That goes for me as my BlueCross will be going up again this year. What is taking place will not hurt anyone in Wahington that is in the white house or congress. That is not all they are talking about cutting medicare. They may keep the Bush tax cuts for the middle class and lower but we will bleed elsewhere.

  168. AS par they wanna take and not give.Prices go up and they say they the retired pay is equal to the cost of livin index. BULL!!!!!!!!

  169. i wish these so called expert panelist in the white houseand even th politicians woul let the servicemen and vetrensset their benefits and salaries
    r.romero usaf ret 20plus yrs /sisabled vet/usaf

  170. Gary L. Knight says:

    GO ahead and raise the cost, "make my day".

    None of them will hear the shot.

    Gary L. Knight CW 4 USA (ret) 100% disabled Vietnam Veteran
    5th Special Forces SOG FOB B24

  171. Sure I love the great deal my family gets with tricare, you can't beat $460 a year. My co-workers at the US Senate pay that much or more every month. And by the way your congressman and senators DO NOT receive free health care like many of you believe, they pay for their insurance just like all federal employees. Is $1260 a year too much to pay for the care I get, no. My question is how will this effect those who are retired collecting SSI?
    "Lets make the politicians have the same health care we have/get and see how they like it then", retired cpo I think they would like that better than what they are getting now, I know my fellow federal co-workers would.

  172. No it doesn't.

  173. Yes you are so wrong. Beside the young people use less health care than you old farts.

    • I am not entirely wrong. It is true what I've seen and what I've heard while I stand in the commissary line with my coupons and wonder how we will make ends meet too. All along we shopped carefully and budgeted much the way you've described yourself doing. We were taught that Rank Has Its Priviledges and we had to wait and work to earn better rewards. The comments to the idea have reflected a lack of maturity. You just haven't walked the full walk yet. Take the patience, heartaches, hard work, and multiply it by your time served to whatever it takes to get to 20 years — for some even more than that.
      Any veteran who has served the full committment honorably should have the benefits promised to them kept intact. Remember that.
      You feel strongly that you deserve full benefits intact, and we feel the same way. Seems this discussion needs to turn back to Capitol Hill.

  174. SandiMacD says:

    Congress and DOD beneficiaries should be looking at raising their retiree health care premiums in the same way. I am on medical retirement and I think the government should be picking up ALL of my medical costs for my military incurred disabilities. The closest VA doesn’t treat my conditions and they are to far. Cut some of the TRICARE overhead. You have 2-3 people doing the same thing. The pre-auth process I’d manpower intensive. As a USAF nurse I spent too many hours writing up the justifcations for another Tricare nurse to approve and forward on for a medical approval. And all this
    AFTER the military medical provider “ordered” it. So why wasn’t the military provider’s order good enough. Why do 3 other people need to review it and then send it onto admin people to administer it? Let’s look at the process to save $$$, not force refugees to pay for this administrative overhead!
    I am sure others have more ideas to cut program costs without putting the burden on retirees. My entire career was “do more with less”. It is time for that slogan to be passed on to DOD contractors, like TRICARE.

  175. SandiMacD says:

    Sorry for the typos. The keyboard changed words and my eyesight is not very good anymore.

  176. Folks we have been lied to midstream in different enlistments, had benefits taken away when promised full medical and dental for life. We were lied to by our own government which no longer cares about us people. How can we (our wonderful government) get more money from our people, lets screw the military they cant do anything about it.

    We can take away their dental for life and they can’t do anything about it. Passed !!!

    Its not only the military. It happens everywhere. Why cant our government live with-in a budget. Because we the general public can be taken to the cleaners. The only president ever ending his term in office in the black financially was Andrew Jackson.

    All these bill have been adding up ever since!!!

    The amount we are in the hole is staggering because out elected representative have screwed the American people. There is a solution we stop electing anyone who is a lawyer or has anything to do with people manipulating and controling law. Politicians, lawyers, many judges, many police forces, Us, State and County officials all need to go we need a new start get rid of all this garbage.

    If you think this is someone trying to cause trouble your wrong im trying to get the information out how much we have been lied to, stolen from and controlled by people. Not so American is it.

    I am a military retiree so dont you think for one second I dont care deeply about my country because its no longer a government of the people, for the people and by the people.

    Its up to us the American people to put a stop to this. We deserve everything we vote for so start blaming yourself as well. This included you folks reading this as well.

    You all need to go to prison for perjury because nothing, I mean nothing, that has ever been written down on paper or promised has come to pass. I like to compare you to crack addicts because all you want to do is blow smoke and make yourselves happy. Screw the public out of money and smoke your way to happiness via our money. Its a damn shame we have such a dishonest Government who’s primary purpose is to make themselves rich at others expense. Be damn the laws, you will create new ones or create loopholes to take us to the cleaners.

    Your Whole Plan is ridiculous and just another way to spend more of our money. Thievery!!! Cons!!! Liers!!! Crooks!!!

    Funny these folks usually spend most of their live in prison where all of you should be. Oh, and by the way check out all of our so called public elected officials criminal charges. This way you will know what kind of people they are inside (BAD).

    Respectfully

    Bob

    Natural Born US Citizen, Retired Military

  177. When I signed up in the 60’s we were told if we

    Stayed in and retired, we would receive free medical

    for ourselves and spouse for life. Our dependent

    children to age 21 living at home. It has been

    years since retiree’s received free medical.

    While this nation is in the economic state

    It is in, Social Security recipients and military

    retiree’s get no raises yet congress votes for

    their own raises. I think Congress should receive

    the same medical benefits as the military while in

    office and the same Medicare they put in place

    when they are out of office. Their raises should

    be on election ballots for the people to vote

    on. If they were not running a government of

    the people, by the people and for the people

    they would not be voted raises.

    Congress should only be able to vote something

    into law that would also apply to them.

  178. GEORGE MOORE says:

    When are we going to stand-up! and stop the bull s— We are americas and get treated second rate, by are goverment. TELL US TO SERVER YOUR COUNTRY AND WILL TAKE CARE OF YOUR MEDICAL, GIVE YOU A RETIREMENT. WHAT ABOUT THAT 0% COST OF LIVING RISES FOR THE RETIRES, 1.2 RISE FOR THE MILITARY AND WHAT DID CONGRESS AND SENATE GET 14%. SO IF YOU WHAT TO STOP CUT ANYTHING IT SHOULD BE THEM, CUT SENATOR PETE DOMENICI AND THE ECONOMIST ALICE RIVLIN JOBS THAT WILL SAVE A FEW THOUSAND CUT OBAMAS PAY IN HALF ALONG WITH CONGRESS AND THE SENATE AND PUT A TWO YEAR FREEZE ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I FEEL THAT EVERY TWO YEAR WE GO TO THE POLLS WE SHOULD BE THE ONE WHO GIVE THE RISES TO THE CONGRESS AND THE SENATE, BASED ON THE HOW WILL THE DO % 1- 5 THEY SHOULD NEVER GET ANYMORE THAN WHAT OR MILITARY GETS!!!!!!!!!

  179. LES HOWARD says:

    BYE GOD I WAS PROMOSTED MED & DENTAL FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. NOW YOU ALREADY DON!T PAY DENTAL. NOW YOU WANT TAKE OUR RETIREMENT PAY. THIS IS A LOT OF BS IN MY BOOK.

  180. SMS Reuter says:

    Rather than complain in a blog please write your elected officials and let the bastards know how unhappy you are! This irratating, aggregavating, and frustrating to those who gave so much to be rewarded with no payraises (COLA) and increased health care costs. These elected people are supposed to serve us…We the people who served them! Instead they are screwing us. Maybe they need to experience a staple diet of red beans and rice & generic drugs to feel the love. Vote them out of office.

  181. I agree with a lot of the comments on this site except one. I do no blame Obama or the democratic party. I blame all politicans is DC past and present for the state our economy is in. I agree, where cuts are concerned they should be looking at their salaries and health benefits first.

  182. Let's bring back the draft so everyone will be able to experience first hand the sacrifices that our military members make on a daily basis. And hey, as long as people are of a working age, that includes politicians under age 62, I am sure that they could put their skills of cost cutting to the military to use cleaning toilets or some such thing.

  183. retiredsquidman says:

    Kiss my ass. I did my time 20 years worth and I seem to remember somebody telling me benefits for life. Hope I don't live a long and healthy life.

  184. So Congressmen still get healthcare free for themselves and their family members, for life? Just making sure they're covered, because that would be a tragedy if they didn't.They're the ones that really matter here, right?

  185. The military present and previous has been "civilianized" and thus the mindset has changed. To "save" money and dedicate more experienced bodies to actual military duties, Uncle Sam has turned over control to the civilians who are now trying to get dollars vs dedication. Not only Tricare, but all base facilities. It's interesting how they want to save money, but instead of utilizing military personnel who are already on payroll, they are hiring "outsiders" who they must pay to do the job. Duh……….Economics. It's like using a secured credit card. You put your own money on it, but get charged interest on it every month for having it.

  186. Edward Spalding says:

    For everbody who is voicing their opinions here on this blog, send these comments to you congress people

  187. I was told to re-enlist and I would have free medical care the rest of our lives, that did not pan out. Our house and senaIf not in the top 3 you may get 10,000 to 12,000 a year. If an illegal with 4 or 5 kids can draw as much in a month as I do in a year< what is wrong with our goverment? We have food to pay, rent, car payments or up keep, insurence,dental. We pay 1200 a month for plan "B" now and they want to take more. If we were house or senate we could serve one term, retire at full pay, have the best insurance not pay taxes, and not get shoot at like milatary.I guess we are in the wrong line of work or we should be aliens so we can get better treatment.

  188. 30yrsMGySgtUSMC says:

    I'm 57 and still working a full job and second retirement. Got the wife, daughter, grandson and sister living with me and supporting them all for the interim. I love them all – it's what we do. Remember we were told that upon retirement, a grateful nation would would grant us the consumate medical benefits until our eventually deaths… hell; the Gov promised to bury us without charge! This is slow errosion of the US Government's previous verteran's policies, and once the slide starts, as military retirees – we will be looked upon as a burden to the economy. More….

  189. 30yrsMGySgtUSMC says:

    I served faithfully; and now my retirement is being chipped at because the Government thinks I need to pay more – stupidly more – for my heathcare, dental and other benefits that should be at no or litte cost to me? A miliary careerist should have the peace of mind of monthly check, medical and dental benefits and other government programs available – if and when I may need these programs. I believe the greatest nation in the world is greatful for our service to this country… and I believe the US Government, House and Senate are playing a "shell game" with the military retiree benefits. Educate yourself, brothers and sisters. Get off your lower six and vote. If there is a knuckle head in the government who fails to represent you, vote the person into a new job.

  190. retired CSM says:

    elected officials get a raise and our tricare pays for it.

  191. They want the military protecting their sorry behinds (Congress people and Senators) (have to be politically correct) way of life putting their lives on the line day after day but want to take away even more of our retirement pays. They lie, cheat, steal and get away with it, work in Washington for their elected time and get a retirement pay, 20 years minimum should be the norm for elected officials or don't get any retirement, then put them on our TRICARE system. Then when we turn 65 we have to go to Medicare and pay for that also. As for social security, they stole that long ago and spent it. You know Afganistan is rich in oil and minerals, that is the only reason we are there.

  192. Let us see if they can defend this country without us???

    We should never have to pay TRI-CARE or Taxes ever again.

    Our kids should get free Collage

    We should never have to buy a hunting License again, and should be able to Hunt in every State FREE of charge

  193. talbotrr@comcast.net says:

    Senator Bird died this year his familly of 60 year old plus got his pay for the year . Why dont they take what ever is left in Campaign contributions when a politician stops running and put that into the Kitty. after all campaign contributions are only anothe name for graft or pay to play.
    Why not cut out the gift giving to illegal aliens and use that money to help those who earn the benfits. Why not place a dollar amount on how much a fat cat can spend trying to keep his cushy job and benefits and allow a poor honest person a chance to run. Yes there are things that can be done… But like Marie Antoinette said If they have no bread let them eat cake … Anybody remember her retirenment HAHA.

  194. Just like the rest of the Vietnam Era Vets, I too was promissed free medical for life — just re-enlist!! What happened to it???

    I have been fighting Soft Tissue Sarcoma (liposarcoma) cancer since the 1990s due to Agent Orange exposure on Johnston Island in 1972/73. I no longer have a left kidney, spleen, some back muscles, most of my adreanal bed on my left side and all of my large intestines due to multiple cancer surgeries. One surgery in 1999 removed a 26lb liposarcoma tumor, the size of 2 footballs.

    The VA Agent Orange Registry Exam stated I was exposed, while the VA Compensation states because I was not exposed in Vietnam and my cancer wasn't found within one year of discharge, I wasn't exposed to AO (my proof to VA of exposure is over 6 inches deep). Also they stated there is no reason I can't work.

    I don't receive one penny from VA for my AO related problems and now the Govt wants to screw me more by raising the costs of my Tricare and Medicare (I'm on Soc Security Disability – thus medicare).

    Paul, MSgt, USAF, Ret (100 percent disabled due to Agent Orange on Johnston Island with No VA Compensation)

    • ssgrockymayes says:

      Poppy0200, how is it you are rated 100% disabled, yet not receiving compensation?

      • Poppy0200 says:

        I'm unable to work and I'm drawing Soc Security Disability, which is normally enough evidence for VA. I have provided VA documents from numerous Doctors stating I'm 100% disabled due to my numerous surgeries and my cancer.

        1 1/2 years ago my surgeon after a 10 hour cancer surgery told me I had no more parts to remove and I was stage 4. I finally found a Oncologist that put me on experimental chemo and right now no new active cancer, although I do still have one liposarcoma tumor the size of a tennis ball that is inactive.
        Paul….

  195. s.DeMoranville says:

    A 31 year retiree that has had to give up part of my retired pay because our leader messed things up. I would like to know how much all the people working in the white house gave up or did they get a raise again this year. I am now 83 yrs old and disabled so can't work. What are people like us to do ? maybe these fat cats should take a cut in pay for a while. MSGT Demo

  196. Whoever susposed to be looking out for us in Washington sure isn't doing their job. Maby their hands are in our pockets as well. When will this madness stop? We can barly pay our bills now. Why dont you just give us what was promised when we put our lives on the line for you?

  197. Let the politicians pay for their health care too. They should share the same burden as the tax payer. Their salaries and perks are great as it is….

  198. Let me get this—increase the "free" $460 a year fee plus copays if you are Tricare Prime—freeze retirement pay—increase gas prices—take away housing deduction—increase taxes. Sounds about as sensible as the recent comment unemployment increases jobs—follow logic –let the whole country go on unemployment and we would be doing great–jobs everywhere! What college did these guys get their economics degree or was it a Cracker Jacks box? What happens to those who can not pay more–is it to the emergency room for care?

  199. Mike Conner says:

    First of all if this website would quit predicting that the sky is falling with information that's outdated or wrong it would help. Guys Congress has to act on the Debt Panels recommendations and word has it "it aint about to happen" If we don't get a COLA this year then our idiots in Congress should take a 20% reduction in their pay and start using the same health insurance the rest of us have to use and that includes Medicare for those who have made a career of living off of the taxpayer that they don't support!

  200. So military members who had to live in sometimes very harsh or astire environments won't need as much care as they age? We barely take care of folks in the military until they retire. Then we increase the cost of health care of them, even though in a civilian job if you rec. some impact form work, you would just take out a lawsuit against the company for damages, loss wages and health expenses. Last time I checked military folks can't really nor can anyone else sue the Government, in particular on this issue. Is there any point of trying to be fair to those that made the sacrifice with themselves and families to serve and support this nation. Always, easy to pick on the little guy, soilder or sailor. Lets not take on the highly paid covered Government officials, because are one of them. So you will protect your turf and your good deal regardless of who it hurts in the end. Because it is really all about you folks in the position of authortiy, the rest are just your pawns on a chess board to play with, right.

  201. retired paratrooper says:

    why dont they change the regulations and i will reenter the military. i am only 55 and thanks to the military can't hear, can't walk very far and sure can't run. i guess i can work at a desk. funny, but have any other military retires noticed that the one's wanting to charge us for this are that have never been or served in the military. i dont mind going back in, heck, because they changed the law is why i got out….go figure?

  202. retired paratrooper says:

    they always want to screw with retirees from the military. just upsets the crap out of me. got drafted and put up with there crap for 25 years and now this. i never got a say when flown here or there for months, years, and then stationed here and there. i sure didnt vote for these jerks….i know one thing you will never take back and that are my jump wings…take my retirement pay, charge me thousands for that free medical care you say retirees would get, but you will never get these wings….

  203. John E. Walsh says:

    Lets do this#1 Stop Congress from giving themselves an annual pay raise we don’t get to vote for.#2 Have all members of Congress and their famalies start paying for all of their FREE medical care and drugs they get and continue to receive after they retire from office.#3Get all aliens and non-Americans out of the Social Security and Health care Systems in this country because they haven’t earned any of it.#4STOP spending Billions in the middle East countries.And not increase TFL Costs.23 year USAF Vet.

  204. I think the fair way to bring the USA Debit back into check is a straight across the board cut in all Goverment programs no exceptions. Including the White House and our elected officals.

  205. Once again Congress wanted to break faith with the men and women they made promises to. This is not "insurance, it is a benefit earned through a lifetime of service to this country. Lifetime free medical care was promised to us if we stayed with the military, then congress pushed us out of the military system into a quasi private system for which we were going to have to pay for. So much for that promise. Now they want us to pay more. How about someone remind them what a promise means.

  206. You know, it almost sounds like this is a means to make the insurance of today, turns into the Obama health care plan of tomorrow. Kinda scary, really.

  207. I retired as a CWO-2 17 years ago, my current retirement pay is less than $15,000. I've been unemployed for over 2 years. Because I'm considered "Working Age" the incresase proposed by this panel would be catastrophic finacially for my family.

  208. William Dora says:

    It is really sad that most non-military types have a dim view of what it took for
    individuals to serve in the military. Does not matter if a person severd 2, 4, 6
    20, 30 or more years. The main reason 98% of us served because a "Love Of
    Country, Opportunites offered, adventure and a host of other positive reasons.
    It surely was not because of the "High Salaries". However, some of us served
    20 and more years and never got rich or wealthy doing so. Why is it that each
    time there is a financial crisis, the Senators and Congressmen begin harking
    about the retired military. We earned our take, so please get off the wagon
    and let us as honorable retired people live a quiet life struggling with our
    well earned retired funds and find other ways/means to get the economy back
    into a manageable position. Thanks for reading this.

    Wiliam Dora, Retired USAF and proud of it.

  209. Military Retirees have paid their premiums
    Military retirees have paid their premiums by time and service rendered. Although budget items are of great concern, how do you take or cut from those who already paid. In many circumstances, the price they have paid is far more then the benefits they have earned and are entitled to.

    There are areas in TRICARE that the DoD can work to reduce the overall budget and at the same time, not hurt the beneficiary. TRICARE Standard is by far the best plan for retires vs. Prime, this is a good starting place for the DoD to consider. Even though TRICARE Standard is a good place for the beneficiary, they still need a TRICARE Supplemental Insurance Plan http://www.tricaresupplement.us/index.php.

  210. This is a shame !!!!! If the government would stop all the "give away" programs to the people who have never worked a day in their life ..or..only been in this Country for a short time, there would be no need to be discussing this subject. There would certainly be enough money to pay the people who have earned it…many by giving their lives for this Country.. My husband was a Korean War veteran and also a VietNam veteran. He paid his dues.

  211. It's just more of the same, guys!! In 1969, the military promised to provide "3 hots and a cot" and if I would stay in for 20+ years, they would take care of me and my family for the rest of my life. Well, I did my part. I'm still waiting on the govt. to do theirs….Maybe those serving on the debt reduction committee and in Congress should live for a couple of months on MY retirement and health care!
    AF NCO

  212. Broken Vet says:

    Just think about it at age 58:
    1. Retirement pay after 26 plus years active duty + Disability pay from the VA + $0.00 from employment due to medical reasons and job market – No cola for 2, maybe more years – inflation (which doesn't exist according to our government) – Tricare – Delta Dental – other deductables – taxes – insurances – utility bills – food – housing costs = BIG NEGATIVE DOLLARS EVERY MONTH
    2. How far does our government think they can push us Vets? They make it out to be all fun after retirement. After you have given most of your adult life for the protection of America, why do those that most likely never served, and are living very comfortably, feel the need to mess with the Vet?

  213. The anger throughout this post is very understandable… Seems like the military retirees and their dependents are still being asked to make sacrifices for our country. 20-30 years of our life is not enough !!! If one could sit and have a face-to-face talk with most people who have posted, believe you would find out that we are a proud people, love our Country, and what it stands for.. But most of us are sick and tired of the fraud and waste we see..almost any day of the year …across the board…and yet our Goverment is doing nothing about it…and still asking us for more and more.
    This is a shame !!!…

  214. I,m 100% disabled after 28 yrs. and 3 combat zones, but what I don't understand is why can't congress take a pay cut by 25% and reduce their staff by 75% and then change there health care to tri-care. Come on Green party walk the walk its so easy to talk the talk.