‘Modest’ TRICARE Increases

February 16, 2011 | Terry Howell

Last month, Defense Secretary Gates hinted at a 2012 DoD budget plan which would include “modest” increases in TRICARE fees. Many of us have been waiting to hear what Sec. Gates meant by “modest.” On February 15, the DoD released the proposed defense budget; we now know that modest means – about $60 a year.

If passed by congress, TRICARE Prime enrollment fees for retiree families would go from $460 to $520 per year; and enrollment for single retirees would go from $230 to $260 per year. The increases do not apply to active-duty military families and members, or retirees past age 65 – only retirees enrolled in TRICARE Prime.

This increase is indeed modest, however, beginning with next year’s increases in the annual enrollment fees for military retirees under 65, the Pentagon wants to continue to chip away at the costs over the next five years. So what comes next?

According to a Military.com article, DoD Proposes Higher TRICARE Fees, DoD officials intend to begin indexing – incrementally increasing – the enrollment fees over the next five years to bring the fees up to cover the actual costs.

Many military retirees oppose any increase in TRICARE fees, but there are retirees who get that the current rate is unsustainable. Visit the Military.com Legislative Center to send an e-mail to congress to let them know where you line up on this issue.

Comments

  1. Theresa J Driggers says:

    I just wrote a comment but I didn't get it signed, but it was about my Husband a Disabled Air Force Veteran and about the "Freeze on Military Pay"
    My Name is Theresa J Driggers A VERY PROUD WIFE OF A DISABLED AIR FORCE VETERAN THAT SERVED OUR COUNTRY PROUDLY !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I have 2 slip discks. Let all of cogress give up their full medical coverege first before taking what little benifits we have left.

    • PersephoneGOTUW says:

      I have sever degenerative disc disease in my Cervical Spine as well as my Lumbar Spine. The first symptoms of which showed up during pregnancy while I was active duty AF. The problems got worse after an accident where I suffered a broken wrist and pelvis. Over the past 28 years the symptoms have gotten progressively worse, and while I received medical care from military clinics no diagnosis or DDD was ever written in my military medical records. It took me 23 years to finally get a doctor to listen to me and do an MRI instead of an x-ray. This is how they found the 5 (out of 7) Cervical discs that are not just herniated but flattened to the point they hardly exist, and the 3 (out of 5) Lumbar disc's that are herniated or ruptured. I have had two surgeries in the past 4 years to fuse two of these discs, one in the neck and one in my lower back. I have all the documentation of the injuries as well as statements from three individuals (one of which is a retired RN) who witnessed the accident or the x-rays or both and still can not get the VA to admit this is a service connected injury. While I did not serve during a conflict and what I have is not a combat related injury, I am still unable to be gainfully employed (now) after 19 years of service to this country both as an active duty military member and a civil servant, I am not able to support myself and rely heavily on my spouse who is retired military. I bring in less then 2k each month and my spouse was a E-5 at retirement.

      I agree with you Congress should give up something of their medical coverage or at least have to pay a premium the way we do for Tricare or maybe the civil service medical and dental coverage costs would be more appropriate since they are actually more out of pocket. Maybe the President should have to pay some of the costs for himself and his family's medical coverage, maybe they should all pay the costs of the secret service out of their salaries the way you or I would have to if we were to need security for ourselves or our families. Maybe for once they should just put themselves in the shoes of the GI's and their families who they are trying hard to support and raise in the over taxed economy they created. I wish Obama Care was a feasable solution but it is just adding to this burden it doesn't go far enough in some instances and too far in others. In order to control the rising medical costs we need to control the outrages insurance fees, put a low cap on medical fees and stop giving money to illegal aliens and illegal resident aliens as well as legal residents who have learned to work the system to take care of them and their families instead of doing what the rest of us have or are doing, work. We need to stop giving money to persons immigrating into the country so they can start new businesses, send their children to college at the expense of people who were born and raised here. Stop allowing grants to be a racial issue and just issue them to people who need it when they apply for a grant to go to school. Just because my neighbor moved to the country 10 years ago and I have been here my entire life doesn't mean that he is automatically more entitled to send his children to school any more than it means that I am entitled to ride in the front of a bus. However, that is exactly how it is.

    • PersephoneGOTUW says:

      I'm there with you John. I have 3 herniated and one fused in my neck, and two herniated and one fused in my lower back. Both conditions are service connected although not combat related just a bad accident while on leave. I am rated 40% disabled by the VA, but not for that, because according to them its not service connected. (it is according to CFR38). I do not use military or VA medical facilities because I rely heavily on my Tricare benefits (my spouse is retired AF). If the members of congress gave up their full coverage and had to rely on something like the VA or Tricare, or had to pay into their health benefits like Civil Servants maybe it would decrease costs.

      However, I have to believe that if they did that they would find some other program to put the saved funds into. Then again maybe they would start looking at what is driving the increases to health care and reform something like the insurance industry which would drive the cost of insurance for the physicians and nurses down as well as the costs to the average consumer.

      I understand that medical malpractice insurance costs are very high, but again why is that? Is it because doctors and nurses are forced to treat people who have no insurance to pay or is it because the doctors and nurses being turned out in droves from today's schools are allowed to practice even though they are substandard? Not all doctors or nurses can be in the top 10% of a class, or even in the top 50%. However we, those of us who are on Tricare or who go to VA or Military facilities are forced to rely on the medical staff from the 51% to the very last group of graduating doctors who spent more time drinking and chasing cheerleaders or nurses then learning how to treat a patient.

      I would love a member of congress to be taken to a VA or Military medical center in pain and distress from a gall bladder attack and have them sit in the ER waiting room for 3 hours waiting to see a doctor like I did (the pain stopped before he saw me, I walked out). Or see one of them spend three consecutive months as a patient , walking around with an IV for the entire time because every time they eat they throw up, then having surgery to fix a intestinal blockage having the original doctor who couldn't figure it out write in their chart they had "adhesions" rather then a bowel obstruction.

      I am willing to bet that if they had to deal with half the crap military and their family's deal with on a daily basis it would change.

  3. Valerie Decker Mullikin says:

    Theresa my husband is a DISABLED NAVY VETERAN AND SERVED OUR COUNTRY PROUD ALSO, I am a wife unable to be gainfully employed because I am a caregiver! We get no retirement pay because my husband didn't serve enough time, but he is medically retired. We get our disability at 100% and social security, but trying to raise our family on that is not what it is cracked up to be. We lost about $30,000 per year in retirement losses and paying for 2 health insurance plans besides the shameful Delta Dental. We pay for Tricare Prime as well as Medicare B ~ required to be able to keep our healthcare in place. Sickens me!

    It is time to STOP EARNED INCOME CREDIT TO RESIDENT ALIENS AND ILLEGAL ALIENS, STOP FOOD AND MEDICAL TO RESIDENT ALIENS AND ILLEGAL ALIENS AND STOP HANDOUTS FOR THOSE ABLE BODIED AND NOT WORKING BECAUSE THEY ARE LAZY!

    • I am retired from the Army after 20 years. My wife just happens to be a resident alien. Do you have any idea what a resident alien is? Obviously not. She is here legally, has a social security card and pays social security and income taxes just like you and I. She doesn't get anything from the Govt except a hard time. You need to back up and regroup.

    • My wife was a Resident Alien as well – served this country for 24 years as an Army wife. She gets no social security either. But she just marches on, doesn't whine and complain with a pity party (like MOAA constantly does), and is willing to make sacrifices for the good of all. As for handouts to able bodied non working lazy people – I fully agree – they are leeches on society and deserve NOTHING except a kick in the A%S.

    • david ballard says:

      I think the 2008 update to the concurrent receipt deal gave those medicaly discharged something. I don't want to give you any false hope but check into it please. go to military.com and look up concurrent receipt and csrc/ crdp

      • Christy says:

        Nothing was given for concurrent receipt for people medically discharged before 20. My husband had 19 years when he was medically retired and all we get is his VA disability

    • james wyrick says:

      Valerie, is your husbands’ disabilities “combat related”? Has he applied for CRSC? (Combat Related Special Compensation) It has been authorized for medical retirees with less than twenty years service since 2008. check out the chapter61disabledveterans.com for more info, and the criteria for “combat related”. Thank him for his service too.

  4. If they're so hard up for cash, why are more and more formerly uncovered categories of military personnel constantly being allowed into the Tricare system? Perhaps they pay higher premiums to help out? I don't know, but I doubt it.

    And the now two-year lack of a COLA increase for retirees is bogus. The Consumer Price Index is a rigged fallacy intended to keep COLA payments low by understating real inflation. One of the politicians involved with the Boskin Commission, the commission that changed the way the CPI is calculated (i.e., fudged), publicly said exactly that. Heck, food and energy costs aren't even included in the CPI calculation because who needs those, right?

    • From the report that I heard, the food and energy costs are not included in the portion of the CPI that is used to calculate our COLA, because they fluctuate too much. What a deal we are getting. The cost of gasoline (and other fuels) and groceries are not going down by anyone's calculations. .

  5. Forget everything you've ever know about service before self and go with the prevailing winds of Change….Serve thy self….I no longer respect nor do I expect this nation to do the right thing. We are now made up of assemblers, no longer are we builders, we are importers and no longer exporters….we have drank far too much apathy and pissed our lives away serving an ungrateful nation. Remember….Economics is the study of human behavior….you cannot take away from one area without putting it back in another. I will burden the system one way or another….so why not pay me what was promised… you self serving sons of sea serpents!!!

  6. I am retired Navy after 20 years. Promised free medical for life. What a joke. The sixty dollors a year is not he point. I believe that is just a start. You con't live on retired pay. After taxes, insurance, the joke Delta Dental, my take home pension is $1200.00 a month.

    • I'm with ya brother. 20 Years Navy service for $1200 a month after they take out everything, so now it will be $1140 a month, next year maybe less than $1K, and who know when they will stop. You look back on your career, and see what they are doing to us now and you have to ask yourself…Was it worth it?…Now looking back and when I ask myself that question…I honestly have to say a resounding…NO!!! They should never put their Veterans in that kinda situation. All they are doing is hurting this Country even more. You can tell what a country (any country) is all about, by looking at how they treat those who served it…Were looking REAL bad right now, and I believe it will only get worse. I'm so disappointed in what my once Glorious country used to be, and what it is now. It makes me physically ill.

  7. Michael Ellis says:

    You say modest now. When are you going to saymore now!!!!!!!!!!!!! I remember when we were promiseed that we would be taken carry of if we gave them at least 20 + years. When retirees and veterans get the shaft anymore the goverment doesn’t even use grease. We have become a barking dog with no teeth.

    SGT.MIKE

  8. Chuck Mosher says:

    Civil servants retirement pay,whether CSRS or FERS, is based on the 3 year average of their base pay. It does not include overtime.

  9. What military were you in where you get 40% for top 3 years? To my knowledge, that was only if you took the 30K advance at 15 years….that was a choice made by each individual. If you did, then you get 40%

    • MSGRetired says:

      When the "redux" program was brought in, they didn't have the 30K advance at 15 years if you stayed with the redux (40% at 20 years) plan. That was brought in later. Don't know why they did it, but I am guessing that they thought retention until retirement would be lower unless they changed the plan.
      I guess they weren't worried about those of us that came in under the "high 3" plan, where we got 50% of the average of our highest 3 pay years rather than the straight 50% retirees were getting a few years before I joined. My retirement would have been $300 a month higher under straight 50% rather than the high 3.

  10. And to add insult to injury, the 111th Congress saw fit to cut the majority of retirees' pay: As of March 2011, there will be $32.00 less in my retirement check. While I completely understand the need to reduce the deficit, I have issues with Washington, D.C. using Veterans and Retirees as their scapegoats. Why do we still continue to fund boondoggles like The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The National Endowment for The Arts, or the E.P.A. for crying out loud?! Hopefully the 112th Congress can at least start laying the groundwork to reverse some of this wasteful largess.

    • Actually your pay was not cut. Please don't let facts get in the way of the truth. And by the way, all those establishments you mentioned are on the chopping block this year.

      • Whether pay was cut or taxes reinstituted the bottom line take home pay was definetly reduced label it anyway you want it comes out the same.

        • William says:

          I agree, we've already served our country with our lives on the line, now they want to take back what has been given us and I don't think it will stop there, social security, now retirement; start at the top because all we have is retirement to live on.

    • I believe, the reason you're getting $32.00 less is because of the expiration of President Obama's making work pay tax credit. Two years ago they started taking out less money, because of it. Now they are just taking the withholding back up to it's previous level.

    • Pete Semanick says:

      Yes, I too, had added income tax taken out of my meager air force retirement pay. Thanks Obama for no new taxes. Pete Semanick

    • Noticed a $30+ deduction in Ret.ment pay here too. Do not know why or What For? -thanks for noting…lou

      • My ret pay also was reduced. After looking to my LES on MyPay.com, I find that they are now witholding for taxes. DFAS did inot previously withold if the ret pay was less than $1200. Maybe that is the reason.

  11. I'm retired Air Force after serving 20 years and I, like most here, are sickened by the continual shaft we retirees get. What we need to do as a group is band together and march on D.C and our legislators, just like you're now seeing the union masses protesting in Wisconsin. There is strength in numbers. I rather see a grass roots movement take hold so our voices can be heard rather than rely on ANY of the idiots in Congress.

    • AF20YrsinAZ says:

      Sounds good but with the amount of retirement that I received monthly, I cannot afford the plane ticket from AZ to DC. What would be better is for our so call congress to cut their salaries, benefits, and other expenses in half immediately and start working for the US people and this US instead against us. If congress had not tapped into our Social Security years ago, we would not have a problem with it today. Like wise with Medicare. Why do we give 2.5 billion (annually) to Egypt in Foreign Aid and that is just one country. Then look at the total for all Foreign Aid given to all of the countries. Put at least half of this money (again annually) back into our Social Security, Medicare, Medical/Dental for our Military Retirees and fix it where no one can tap into it and we would have to go down this road again. If Congress would only do what is right! Pass the 12% flat rate for income tax for all with no loopholes. Get rid of the lobbyists (and make it a law). No more pork fat place into bills and that means all bills for all states. This could go on and on, if only congress would do the right thing.

    • I like this Ideal. Action speaks louder then words.

  12. SK1Boxkicker says:

    I am a honorably retired Navy Veteran (20 Years). As stated earlier, we veterans are now on two years WITHOUT a COLA raise because some overpaid "expert(s)" in washington decided that the cost of living was negative for the second year in a row?? How is it then that our HOme insurances, Auto Insurances, Utility Bills, and cost of our groceries and of course we have to mention gasoline since I travel 50 miles rount trip to work every day has escalated to the point where I am barely getting by. And yes DELTA DENTAL is criminal. They take A good portion out of my pension and they barely cover anything!! So, I guess it doesn't matter if we honorably discharged veterans who served our country and paid federal, state and social security/medicare taxes the entire time on active duty fall into an abyss of debt. Washington is sure taking good care of us (NOT).

    • SK THIS COLA HAS HAPPENED FOR YEARS NOT 2 YEARS BUT MANY YEARS, BLAME IT ON GOVERNMENT YEARS AGO SETTING IT UP THIS WAY AND UNLESS YOU ALL FIGHT TO CHANGE THE LAW HOW THIS COLA WAS ORIGINALLY SET UP IT WILL STAY THIS WAY

  13. It's hypocritical to look at our nation's spending catastrophe on the one hand and then on the other to say "everybody else but me." MOAA needs to stop whining about every mention of fee increases and realize that if we don't all make some sacrifices then the whole ship goes down – just like GM – except there's nobody to bail out the USA. Yes, we all paid our dues through our service but to not expect that we're going to have to make modest entitlements sacrifices is disingenous at best and dangerous at worst. Save the energy for the big fights yet to come – our pensions.

    • I don't feel it should be everyone else but me. I do feel that fraud, waste and abuse in government should be fixed first. I think that people fraudulently collecting unemployment, and disability, and medicade, and WIC and all the other government give me programs, and people fraudulently collecting veterans disability should be disconected from the freebees first.

    • Eric the guy on the line at GM is going to take home a bonus of 4K in the near future after the tax payers bailed out the company. Lets pay the tax payers back first. If you served you will know the price our vets have made.

  14. I am Air Force Retired and was pushed into early retirement at age 62 because of the economy. Am I now going to have to suffer another erosion in benefits because I am not 65 yet. This is an unfair burden and contrary to promises made to Vets years ago. I guess the solution is to opt out of TRICARE Prime.

    • Better do some research before opting out. Tricare and Medicare are interconnected somehow. Could affect your Tricare for Life benefits.

    • OLD RETIREE says:

      I WAS ALSO PUSHED INTO EARLY RETIREMENT AT 62. DON'T COUNT ON IT GETTING VERY MUCH BETTER WHEN YOU REACH 65. MEDICARE HITS YOU WITH A PREMIUM FEE EACH MONTH, YOU ALSO HAVE MORE SURPRISES COMING YOUR WAY. SIR, WE DON'T STAND A CHANCE . THE RETIREES GET OLD,GET PUSHED AROUND, AND THEN YOU DIE. THE SYSTEM HAS IT FIGURED DOWN TO THE LAST. GOOD LUCK FRIEND.

      • I just found this site, I am also retired and have now been laid off for over a year. My wife retired from the AF Reserve, but we won't get any of that for a while and then reading what everyone has been saying is really discouraging. We are on a partial fixed income which mean I have a somewhat flexible budget, yeah I know we are lucky. That said no matter how much I try to save and stay on budget, everything keeps going up. Promises for health care for life were made not on paper, but thousands of vets like you and me know the intent was there. This may actually be a viable legal challenge. As I watched the news yesterday someone broke it down and said that 40% of the deficit is because of the aging population Vets and non-vets. I have a problem with that because my wife and I are both in that group, so they will pay us less, tax us more and reduce our benefits. I also recently watch a senator state that because of the "proposed cuts" some people would have to lose their jobs – I say "THIS HAPPENED ON YOUR WATCH – WHILE YOU WERE IN CHARGE – YOU ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN – YOU DIDN'T DO YOUR JOB AND YOU EXPECT US TO PAY FOR YOUR ERROR. IT DOES MATTER HOW WE GOT HERE. OUR GOVERNMENT DIDN'T DO THEIR JOBS – IF ANYONE SHOULD BE FIRED IT SHOULD BE OUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS AND ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ADVOCATE THAT WE SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR MISTAKES.

        THE TEA PARTY THREW A PEBBLE IN THE POND – I STILL DON'T THINK THEY ARE DOING IT RIGHT AND I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER, BUT I DO HAVE A SUGGESTION FOR EVERYONE ON THIS SITE. WE SHOULD START A NEW GROUP – CALL US THE 40 PERCENTERS THE ONES THEY BLAME THE PROBLEMS ON – LETS ALL AGREE TO VOTE AND VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE SO THEY CAN GET A TASTE OF UNEMPLOYMENT OR LIVING ON A TIGHT BUDGET.

        They say we are spending our children's (future) money. What happens if all the cuts go through, if another 10% of the employed lost their jobs and the fathers and mothers who provide for their young children can't.

        I feel sorry for all the active duty personnel serving our country at this time because if our government can do this to us, what will happen to them. If we are the 40% we should insure they know what is happening to those who answered the call and served before them. Maybe our numbers will grow from beyond 40% to 50+%. We need to send a message and this is the only way we can do it. Vote.

    • The big difference with Tricare Prime is they pay for travel, food and hotel if you have to travel more than 100 miles for medical care.Plus, you need authorizations for almost anything other than a doctor visit. All of the options have the same out of pocket max and you can either spend the money on the premium for prime, or on the deductible for the other options.

  15. I am a retired Navy Veteran would served 20 years in this "so called great nation of ours". The next thing you know our government is going to take our retirement and VA pensions. All these changes make me wonder if my service to this country was taken for granted. Shame on them….

    • OLD RETIREE says:

      WHOA JOHN!!! WE STILL LIVE IN THE GREATEST NATION IN THE WORLD. I UNDERSTAND YOUR FEELINGS, I AM A RETIRED VET OF 28 YEARS, AND WAS PROUD TO SERVE. IT'S NOT THE NATION, IT'S THE MORONS IN WASHINGTON THAT CALL ALL OF THE SHOTS, IT'S A FACT
      THAT THEY DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO THE VETS, THEY ARE SETTING THEMSELVES UP FOR RETIREMENT AT THE VETS EXPENSE.
      IT'S LIKE A POST I READ PREVIOUSLY YOU SERVE YOUR 20 PLUS YEARS, THEY CUT OUR BENEFITS, WE STRUGGLE TO LIVE. SURE I
      UNDERSTAND YOUR FEELINGS, BUT DON'T GIVE UP ON OUR NATION
      IT'S STILL THE GREATEST PLACE TO LIVE. STAY PROUD JOHN DOE.

  16. I retired from the military after having served thirty years. You so called individuals who are supposed to be representing our country in the political arena, have probably never served in the military and have only destroyed the little benefits that we get for serving our country.

  17. Retired Air Force here. Did 21 plus years active. So much for medical care for life. On top of that they want to increase the amount to have Tri-Care. And to boot, last year my retirement check was reduced $8.00 a month due to tax legislation. This year, starting in March, it will be an additional $33.00 less due to the same reason. Some folks wanted change……..and that's what they got. Just change in your (our) pockets. With the additional tax taken out 2 years in a row and no COLA for 2 years, it's like 4 years of no increase. This guy has got to go. Come on Nov. 2012.

    • President Obama gave you extra money the last two years with his making work pay tax credit. If your married he gave you an extra $800.00, single $400.00. Might want to vote for him in Nov 2012, now that you know the facts.

      • Why would I want to vote for him? He gives you the money and then takes it away. I wouldn't vote for him if he was the only person running.

        • He didn't take any money away whatsoever. You got a tax break for two years because of him. Now those tax breaks have expired. So the withholding has returned to 2008 levels.
          Two years ago you got a $33.00 per month pay increase. You got this for doing nothing and probably didn't even notice it, since it was an increase. Now you want to cry, since the government is no longer giving you a free handout.

          • Debra Schaffer says:

            what kind of break is it when EVERYTHING else is going sky high EXCEPT our paychecks? Did he or Congress take a pay cut HECK NO they got a RAISE funny isnt it that when oil prices were over 140 a barrel we paided higher fuel prices NOW when they are LOWER than 100 a barrel we are paying higher fuel cost. HUMMM everyone said it was because of Bush before so do we still blame him or just the money hungry greedy jerks in Congress. Its time to take back our own country from the greedy people who are running it into the ground in a run away train.

          • MSGRetired says:

            LOL. The money I pay in taxes is MY money, until Uncle Sam takes it. Decreasing my taxes is allowing me to keep more of MY money. You can look at it as the govt giving you something if you want to. I don't.
            Even if I looked at it as the govt giving me money, the fact remains that there was no COLA increase for 2 years. On top of that, I will soon be paying premiums for health care that was promised to be FREE for life. My premiums and the non-existent COLA increase comes to more than the measly decrease in taxes (which like I said before is MY money anyhow).

      • Retired Army after 20 yrs active. I heard that we were going to get the extra $800.00 or $400.00 if single again this year but why if they are just going to take it back. Its just a teaser and actually hurts people when they have to repay it. again so much for getting all of your medical an dental after retiring.for life sure if you just pay your part , but that wasn't what you were told when you joined and signed on the dotted line. why do all of our senators, congressman etc. get all of their medical,dental, eye. and a lot of them never served a day in their lives. I think that before you can become a senator congressman, etc. you need to pay your dues to this country by signing your name on the line and serving your country. they vote in a heafty raise for themselves, all while reducing the veteran's benefits, along with the backbone workers of america. what does your senators etc. get after serving for 1 term what do we pay them for the rest of their lives its a lot more than we get after serving for 20 years

    • PRESIDENT OBAMA HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH COLA NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. GET TOGETHER AND GET THIS CHANGED NOTHING ELESE WILL MATTER WHO IS IN OFFICE, IT WAS THE CURRENT LAW BEFORE OBAMA AND WILL BE AFTER UNLESS YOU GET TOGETHER AND CHANGE IT

    • patricia blanton says:

      my check was decreased by 33.00 last month, because of congress and the tax legislation. thanks for nothing congress

  18. Sixty or thirty bucks a year. What is that daily ? Pocket change. This could have been allot worse. Cut back on your dollar burger and you will be just fine. I agree with your cut backs. Also hurting us retired vets and future vets. SSG (RET) BAM 1985-2008

  19. The commission that reviewed the process recommended the increase. They held some public hearings. Didn't see many members attend and raise the concerns listed here. Why is that?

    • PersephoneGOTUW says:

      Where did they advertise the public hearings?
      Where did they hold these public hearings?
      when were these public hearings held?

      I wasn't at any public hearing. However, I did let my feelings be known in the same way we had been told for years to address them, by writing my congressmen/women and senators. Didn't do much good did it, although I do have some really nice form letters from them telling me how the needs of our nations Military and Veterans were of utmost importance to them and assuring me that they stood with me. They should have been more accurate and said they stood on me (or behind me waiting for me to pick up the soap).

      • OLD RETIREE says:

        I THINK THE CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS HAVE A STANDARD
        IDENTICAL LETTER THEY ALL SEND OUT. I GOT THE SAME LETTER
        (BS), AS EVERYONE WHO SPENDS TIME TO EXPRESS OUR FEELINGS TO OUR GOOD CONGRESSMEN. THEY ALWAYS TRY TO PASS THE BUCK TO SOMEONE ON ANOTHER COMMITEE ASSURING
        US THEY WILL HAVE THEM LOOK INTO THE MATTER.

    • patricia blanton says:

      never heard about a commission and would not have been able to attend if i had.

    • Hmmmm, why didn't I attend? One, didn't see it advertised. Two, Because I have to WORK to make ends meet and pay my debts, so was unable to take a few days off and travel the 3000 miles round-trip to participate! WE have representatives who are suppose to be looking out for us. Primarily the service chiefs and their senior noncommissioned officers. But when you're making six figure salaries and benefits, close to that after retirement, you kind of forget about those you are to protect and serve, those of us who have honorably fulfilled our obligation. Depending on when we retired, our rank, and number of years served, most make less than $25,000 retired pay. Reduced COLA and rising medical and dental costs are a BIG deal to me!

      • Well said. Someone said their pay was reduced by $8.00 mine was reduced by $70.00. I will check into this, maybe I got a raise coming. I am one of those who served over 23 years and I am making less than 24K. I am glad I have that, but I also paid taxes throughout my service as we all did. I still remember that I was eligible to collect food stamps even up to the rank of E-5. I am unemployed at this time, not collecting unemployment and just about given up on finding a job. It seems that our government wants to take the easy way out and stick it to the Vets and baby-boomers what they call the 40% of the deficit. If we make up 40% of the problem, I guess that we can also provide 40% of the vote in the next election.

  20. Amen to your comments re: Halliburton et al. Am the widow of an AF retiree; Mom to 2 career active-duty soldiers (20yrs each and still at it!). My son, after returning from Iraq, commented he's gonna "spill his guts" once he's out of Uncle Sam's reach, about the abuse/waste/overcharging by Halliburton/KBR. The retirees take it on the chin, yet companies like that still get paid. The Tricare increase? I have $1400/mo from my late husband's bennies and am kind of old for todays workplace..what's peanuts to the fatcats is big bucks for me.

  21. Retired Navy says:

    Another retired vet here. It is funny how our "leaders" can not wait to get into and stay in some overseas conflict where they use the military day in and day out. Yet, basically crap on those who have given A LOT!! I say, if you want to change the rules….change them. If you want to charge $1000 a year for tri-care, then do so. However, post a big sign at the MEPS station, say it on your billboards and t.v. commercials, brochures, and when recruiters come to school campuses. Grandfather those of us with whom you made a deal…then let those who come in now know this is what you think future veterans deserve and let them make an honest choice on whether or not they think it's worth their time, life, limbs, and/or sanity!!

  22. I am 20 year Air Force Vet. All they do is take take take. No well take care of you if you sign on the dotted line. Rhen after 20 years, We can not take care of you and your family, you have to pay pay pay. I only Live on my Pension and SS. Not much but was getting by. Now its getting harder to keep up. We must all remember that they come up for relection so lets vote them out and I mean vote them out. Tell your congrees that we wont take it any more.

  23. My problem with this is this: 1. No COLA in going on three years, you cannot raise our premiums and not our pay and then say there is no inlfation. 2. It will eventaully take all our retired pay to pay for TRICARE if it eveutually becomes indexed to the Medicare inflation index. 3. TRICARE FOR LIFE is based on qualification for Medicare and when implemented you qualified for Social Security at the same time (this would help offset increased costs). However, Medicare is still 65 but Social Security is now 67 for some. TRICARE FOR LIFE would now costs way too much for those 2 years for future retirees. You know eventually fees are going to get out of control for us. This is a ploy to get their foot in the door and then bam. The real goal in my mind is that they want us off TRICARE onto some other insurance. Once they use our prime years up, they no longer care. My job was just downsized to part time, will they offset my lost pay so I can pay the future big increases we will be receiving? I think not. Our seniors do not care because as high ranking officials their retirement and healthcare is assured.

    • Proud of hubby! says:

      Oh yeah, penalize those of us in our 70+ years and retired from Military and 2nd career. Take away what we EARNED! Let's see how you fell once you DO retire, Wayne!

    • Proud of Hubby! says:

      Realistically, we are blowing it out of our you know whats. Capital Hill likes us to voice our opinion cause that's all it is ……………. they don't give a crap!

  24. Kris Hartman says:

    I have to say, it's embarrasing to see everybody here whine about a $60 a YEAR increase in TRICARE costs. The hospital where my wife works has increased their insurance costs almost that much per MONTH in the last couple of years. I retired from the Air Force about 16 years ago, and I don't think I've had a rate increase since I retired. If you guys hadn't noticed, the DoD costs of TRICARE has gone from $19 billion in 2002 to over $54 billion in 2010. That's a HUGE chunk of the annual DoD budget. Folks, this money comes directly from the same pot where they pay for updated equipment and the saleries of our fighting boys and girls. I certainly wouldn't want my son or daughter to be over in Afganistan with substandard or badly outdated equipment because people aren't willing to pay a bit more for their unbelievably inexpensive medical insurance.

    • Proud of my hubby! says:

      Whine….. don't even go there! My husband retired from the USAF in 1977. He has since retired from an aerospace company after 22 years. Yes, we are fortunate to have medical coverage, but how dare you compare a working employees medical cost share to a retiree? Sure I agree it is not fair, however my husband did 2 tours in Viet Nam during his military career.

      • proud of my hubby! says:

        You have seen how the government has treated them and all other veterans. Why is God's name do they have to take away from or increase monies/costs from those of us retired? Our spouse's eared whatat they got and they damn well worked hard for it. Like you, we have had NO increases in pay from DOD or otherwise in 2 years….I bet all those morons on Capital Hill have gotten their increases plus bonuses and I bet they DON"T have to pay for their medial insurance. I wonder how many of them, including our awesome President has served in the military, much less retired from it. I am sorry, you are wrong and you are talking to the wrong people! they need to find their cuts from somewhere else like they did us when we were working folks! My huisband is now retired at 72 as he should be so we can enjoy what time we have left together ……. take the cuts from someone else, he did his DUTY, damnit!

    • Retired Navy says:

      You, my friend, are part of the problem. Is it okay to torture someone if you only torture them a "little bit?" The point is…we were told one thing and now something different is happening. Does it matter to what degree? Is it okay for your spouse to cheat on you if they only do it Tuesdays and Thursdays? If someone is willing to break their word to you over a small thing, doesn't it make it just that more likely that they will break it over a big one? So, logically speaking..no..$60 is not a lot of money. However, if you compare that $60 to a promise made and then broken…you'll see that $60 might as well be $600, $6000, or $60,000. You will get no argument from me that the price we pay for Tri-Care is so much better than what the average civilian pays for health insurance. However, with that stipulation made, I should get no argument from you that there is not an average civilian job that puts you through the changes, distances, danger, loneliness, anger, and sadness that committing ones life to military service does. Thus, since they are not comparable in that arena, please STOP trying to compare the benefits that we get after such service with those who have not served. Embarrassing? No my friend, what is embarrassing is that someone is trying to screw you and YOU are defending their right not to use a condom.

    • MSGRetired says:

      Like I said previously, it isn't about the $60 increase now. It is about the increases that are going to come later. They have made NO secret that there WILL be increases within the next 5 years. It is also about the fact that we were promised FREE medical for life if we did 20 honorable years, and retired.
      To those of you who say "Well, it wasn't in writing. It wasn't in any contract I signed." You guys need to take a look at every contract you have signed in the military. Guess what, you won't find anything about being guaranteed a retirement check either! Our benefits are based on the laws currently in effect. If the laws change, then so do our benefits. Heck, even if that type of stuff was in the contract, the last page of every enlistment/reenlistment contract has a statement which says they can disregard anything/everything in the contract if it is for the good of the service. And THEY are the ones who determine if it is for the good of the service. LOL.

    • Hey, you want to talk about the last retiredment earning statement I go and I.m sure all retirees got increasing with holding 35.00 more dollars a month. so 35.00 not 60.00. They only want to tax us rich folks.

  25. This is not about a $60 increase. It is about where this will ultimately end up going years from now. Some retirees are in a real world of hurt just like the rest of the country.

    • OLD RETIREE says:

      YOU ARE SO RIGHT WAYNE. IF THEY ARE ALLOWED TO START WITH A 60.00 INCREASE THEY WILL SEE HOW EASY THEY PULLED THIS ONE OFF, THEN IT WILL SNOWBALL. THE CONGRESSMEN WHO ARE PUSHING FOR ALL THESE CUTS AND INCREASES TO THE RETIREE COULD CARE LESS WHAT STRAINS IT PUTS ON OUR LIVING.

  26. I believe the right to life time medical care applied to injuries/illness derived from military duty which is the duty of the VA to provide. I did not remember anything in the directive that applied to family members? Although, some exceptions were made if Military facilities were available. I'm still confused about the family members getting medical care at the VA Medical centers?
    Now, I believe the TRICARE fee will be covered by the pay raise that is coming. Just like Social Security does it! What a joke!!!

    • PersephoneGOTUW says:

      I have been a part of the military literally since the first breath I took in life. I was born to an enlisted man and his family, grew up receiving my medical and dental care in military facilities. I spent one tour enlisted in the AF and am married to a retired AF enlisted man. I recall, although I am getting to that elderly stage, being assured by my military recruiter before enlisting that I would have free medical and dental care for myself and family for life. I know my spouse who is almost 10 years my senior was also assured that would be one of the benefits of a military career. However, the draft dodgers in the congress and senate have yet to keep that promise. After a very long and grueling fight in courts and congress they did finally come to the consensus that if you joined the military before a certain date you were indeed "promised" medical for life. However, They have chipped away at those "benefits" every year since before 1985, they change the GI bill, medical and dental benefits to cover whatever they seem to feel is appropriate, giving benefits to some groups while taking from others retroactively, they take the position and rewrite guidelines and regulation to ambiguously describe medical conditions, and hire personnel with no medical training what so ever to review medical records so that prior military personnel who have legitimate claims for service connected injuries or illnesses are unable to become service connected veterans and receive care in the VA medical centers or clinics that they require. They train military medical personnel to record information in said medical records in such a way that it is also ambiguous and have medical personnel and physicians who's moto it is to "Do no harm" not give diagnosis if they can in order to keep from having to pay benefits later on. If that doesn't work they "review" medical records before our discharge and parts of them come up missing. If you want to change things you can write your Senator or Congressman/woman in Washington and give them your opinion and you will receive a form letter from them telling you how much concern they have, if you write enough of them you can roll them into logs to keep you warm in the winter because that is all they are good for. Our Country's Government has become nothing more than a self serving, get rich quick scheme employed by crooks, who even if they are crooks or murderers stay there for the rest of their lives (T. Kennedy) if we have someone who does a good job the liberal media is there to tell everyone how bad they are and try to remove them from office as soon as they can, or they meet with unfortunate accidents. Welcome to the new United States of America where even a kid who isn't an natural born citizen can aspire to the highest offices in the country.

      I agree GIINDY, what a joke!

  27. I joined in 76 and I can not recall seeing it either. And my friends who work for the federal government don't have that great of a deal either, they pay in one month what I pay a year.

  28. CH-47 driver says:

    I retired in 2004 with 20+ years of service as a CW3. I am thankful I am still healthy and have an excellent 2nd career going. I understand about sacrifice, and after 4 tours in Afghanistan, I feel blessed I didn't make the ultimate sacrifice like some of my friends. I will pay what I have to for medical care, even though I believe I have already paid in more ways than one. I will just ask that the senators and congressmen change to the same health care plan we have with Tricare. What's good for the goose……
    I will say I still love my country dearly and will die for it if need be, however the love for the people representing us in Washington decreases daily.
    Thank you all for your service, we know this country is worth it, with or with the support of our eleceted officials.

    • Well said Chief! God Bless!

    • Well said: what's good for the goose should be good for the gander but that isnt the way the people representing us in Washington see it. either all of our represenatives should have the same medical that they allow us Vet's or they should give us the same medical they recieve for what they pay and I think is $0. Thank you for all of your service

  29. Great. Utilities up, food up, gas up etc. Maybe no COLA for 2012 either. Sounds like a plan to me. Like George Carlin said, "I dont believe in this country". Ditto.

  30. I agree with everyone, but all of this moaning and complaining is not going to solve the problem, lobbyiing Congress is not going to solve the problem.While the Big Wigs on the hill continue to fatter and richer we continue to decline into more poverty.Everyone should cancel there Tri-Care and Delta insurance and become indiginent like they want to do to us anyway.Then flood the all of the E.R.'s and MTF's all over the country and let them worry about the funding,just think of all the food and gas we could buy with that $520.00 or $230.00 for tri-care and the ever increasing delta dental!!!

  31. Philip Fleming says:

    Don' forget to Vote, don' forget to contact you Rep in DC. Our reps are standing down on Hoilday for a week. Why!

    • IF they stand down for a week I think they should freeze the $$$ too after all they do work for the people.. I don't get paied if I don't wk????

  32. Recently retired Navy vet.
    We have to pay more premiums, which would be okay except people illegally in this country get free medical care. We keep paying more for them and get less for ourselves.

  33. I have resigned myself to the inevitable.our current representatives are going to continue to take away the benefits we were promised and earned.the benefits currently promised to our all volunteer force will also be affected.i am certain that if todays military personnel were only promised what us older retiree's were promised,and then threatened with a reduction of those benefits,the all volunteer force could not be sustainable.the alternative,bring back the draft,offer the same retirement benefits promised (but not honored)to current older retiree's.i am sure our military leaders and current politicians will cringe at this idea.we have a budget for the military,and the military must set priorties.to me,the highest priority item in the budget are the service members,past and present.where is the sacrifice members of congress are going to make?should they not have to meet some of the same criteria as the military?such as 20 years of service,entry pay level,etc.it frightens me to visualize the road we are on with our military.i only hope that someone will stand up for all of us and get us back on track to maintaining the finest military force in the world.

  34. It all started when the military got health conscience and had everyone stop smoking and forcing us to stay in shape. Gee, if they would have just let us smoke, drink and get fat we would not be in this mess, we would all be dead a few years after retiring.

  35. While I don't like to see Tricare increase, either, it could be worse. They could come up with monthly premiums that would make the annual premium look like a bargain at twice the price. As GM retirees, the wife and I saw our monthly premium go from $50 to $150 last year. That's each. So, as an AFRES retiree, I went to Tricare Standard (no premium) and dropped the GM Blue Cross/Blue Shield junk. Even Tricare's prescriptions rates are better and consistent.

  36. Roy Cordingley says:

    Roy C. from Idaho — Army Vietnam "Grunt" 1968-69 two Purple hearts. Us Veteran's will probably never get another cost of living increase and now the congress is increasing our monthly cost of Tri-Care my secondary insurance and my wife's only medical insurance. We are both retired and its hard to keep above water with out any more increases. Congress quit spending and supporting other Countries and help the United States of America!

  37. You are absolutely right….there was never a thing in writing….just empty promises…just like your words…Empty… Quite frankly I promised to give my life to get free health care. Hey …Tell ya what….since you want to spread the wealth… give me $100.00 a month of yours . My wifes been out of work for a year, I could use the cash…..Bunny Hugger!

  38. I do understand the need to rise the cost even I was promissed free bee's. But we should look at dependents. Me I am married no children pay the same as someone whom have several childern. I dint retire, I was medicaly retired years ago I get a small pension and I am a cival servent. What ruffles my feathers is to see someone retire after 20 years then get 80, 90 100 percent disability for sleep apnea, ringing in the ears, thyriod issues all normaly from age the get a gs 13 or higher and complain that your 21 year old daughter is pregnant and the baby isnt covered under tri-care. Then complain the insurance prices are too high. I see this evey day where I work. I was an enlisted in the military and was retired about 25 years ago so the pay was small. Reference $2100 for E-7 with 10 years with housing and food. But tri-care is the cheapest out there unless you are on welfare or and ellegal .

  39. Like I said before, I understand that things are getting out of hand. But I think that our wonderful Senate and Repasentives should start the ball rolling on this. First they need to put their pay raises on the same system as ours. They should have to be accountable for all of the bills that they pass, and have to be subject to them and not excempt from them like they are now. So lets not start at the bottom but start at the top with them. I went in the Army at 17 and retired at 38, my Army retirement sure did not support my family. I retired form another job which my health insurence takes more than half of my pay. Let be equil about this Washington caused all of this by their over spending start at the top.

  40. Robert Mooney says:

    I've asked the same Question every since the tricare thing was thought of. I was told by and Army majorthat my recruiter lied to me!! I was retired because of medical reasons and told by ywo navy Captains and a marine Col. I know that my recruiter had nothing to do with this and that the PEBoard officers had nothing to do with this but congress done this to save them money but when is congress going to take away their penion and medical benifits?

  41. Steven Beatty says:

    served 21 yrs in USAF….I will not complain about a 30.00 a year increase on Tri care, my current co- workers pay 460.00 a month… I also understand with the BIG deficit problem in this country we all need to contribute and understand the no COLA for 2 yrs for all of us vets. What I am concerned about is how much more are they going to take from us and when does it stop. If you look at most of congress…not many have served and they forget we all put our lives on the line at one time or another in our career…repubs or dems and its very easy for them to taje money from the DOD and it all hurts us in the pocket…All I can say is we ALL need to VOTE the right folks in office and maybe we will at least slow this train down

  42. I too signed on the dotted line… some 30 years ago… put in my time… ended up medically retired. I'm most thankful not to be in a wheel chair as was feared. I only wish I had known better in my younger years that I could not trust a promise from a government that chooses to ignore simple financial "laws" that all the rest of us must live by —- all that is except most of those in congress who are not able to live by NOR administer those basic financial "laws" ! And now they take vacation instead of dealing with the problem?! AND when they do return they will of course point their fingers at everyone except themselves! And they'll cry foul for shutting "government" down…. while they force 1000s of US to shut down when we don't have money to pay bills!!!! Yes, it is long past time to DEMAND that ALL of CONGRESS MUST live by the same standards that WE do! Won't hold my breath on that ever happening tho….

  43. Those in the military, affiliated with the military, or respect the military should be madder than hell with the propsed increase in medical premiums. After federal/state taxes, dental insurance, medical premiums that keep going up, survivor beneifit fee, and life insurance, one's military retirement net pay isn't worth much. I can't justify staying in the military to youngsters that have marketable skills. Lets see what our vet special interest groups can do. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE those bastards out of office.

  44. As an Army Recruiter in the late 80’s most of the folks I enlisted are now receiving their “free medical and dental” I promised them, Not. In Recruiting School if I had not uttered the words “free medical and dental for life after completing 20 years” I would not have graduated. It was in the “sales book.” Sure wish I had kept that book. I and other current and former recruiters wrote our Congressman and Senators about what we have done and none felt it necessary to respond to us. To those of you out there I signed up I apologize. My error was in believing that promises were kept be it a handshake or a written contract. Might be why I called Recruiting the Army’s version of Organized Crime.

  45. What about retirees under age 65 that are disabled and can't work?

  46. Segal Johnson says:

    I am a 21 year Air Force retiree. I received my notice that an additional $50 tax would be withheld from my retired pay starting in March. I think it stinks that an increase in retiree Tricare fees is looming again when there should be no fee at all ("Free medical for life for 20 years service"). By the way, I have a document in my possession that was presented to me at reenlistment promising free medical care for life upon retiremnt. As far as I am concerned that is contractual from a government that has failed its career warriors. But, I guess the Tricare fees are just temporary because when you reach the +65yrs old plateau you have to buy the Medicare Part B which is $96.50 a month for me and $98.50 a month for my spouse. That is $2316 a year for the two of us. just so we can have access to Tricare For Life. That Part B fee has traditionaly risen every year. This is what you have to look forward to. What a great employer!

  47. Retired Navy says:

    In reply to comments by Kris Hartman-
    You, my friend, are part of the problem. Is it okay to torture someone if you only torture them a "little bit?" The point is…we were told one thing and now something different is happening. Does it matter to what degree? Is it okay for your spouse to cheat on you if they only do it Tuesdays and Thursdays? If someone is willing to break their word to you over a small thing, doesn't it make it just that more likely that they will break it over a big one? So, logically speaking..no..$60 is not a lot of money. However, if you compare that $60 to a promise made and then broken…you'll see that $60 might as well be $600, $6000, or $60,000. You will get no argument from me that the price we pay for Tri-Care is so much better than what the average civilian pays for health insurance. However, with that stipulation made, I should get no argument from you that there is not an average civilian job that puts you through the changes, distances, danger, loneliness, anger, and sadness that committing ones life to military service does. Thus, since they are not comparable in that arena, please STOP trying to compare the benefits that we get after such service with those who have not served. Embarrassing? No my friend, what is embarrassing is that someone is trying to screw you and YOU are defending their right not to use a condom.

  48. Of course the real problem isn't TRICARE costs, that's just a symptom of our completely dysfunctional health care system in this country.

    I have 2 issues with the DoD proposal: (1) Why limit the increase to retirees under 65? The two biggest segments of the population of consumers of medical care per capita are active duty folks (who are in their child-bearing and child-rearing years), and retirees over 65, particularly those in the last 90 days of life. My guess is that in limiting the increases to retirees under 65, DoD hopes they'll drop TRICARE altogether and go solely with a mandatory-enrollment plan from their employer. (2) Why index fee increases for retirees under 65 to the Medicare Health Index, which by definition measures costs for those 65 and over. Seems to me that this would result in fees far in excess of actual costs, again driving those under 65 out of participating. Indexing it to the FEHBP makes far more sense, and would result in lower increases.

    I'll say one thing for Gates and his minions: They may be scheming bastards, but they aren't stupid!

  49. OLD RETIREE says:

    PEOPLE LIKE THESE IS THE REASON THE MORONS IN WASHINGTON CUT THE MIDDLE CLASS RETIREE BENEFITS, AND RAISE THE RETIREE'S DEDUCTIBLE. THEY HAVE TO BOW AND FETCH TO THE HIGHER SOCIETY CLASS TO KEEP THEM HAPPY. I THINK IT'S TIME A
    CHANGE WAS MADE WHEN ELECTION TIME COMES AROUND. OH, DO
    I HAVE ANY ONE WITH A BOX OF KLENEEX , WE NEED TO WIPE THE TEARS UNTIL OUR GOOD CONGRESSMEN FIX THE SYSTEM TO APPEASE THESE PEOPLE.

  50. old war horse says:

    When i joined the AF in 1967 i was promised that if I served at least 20 in the military that i would be taken care of. I landed up serving 36 years. all the promises that the DOD are slowly being throiwn out the window. Sad to say only 2 factions are taken care of, the super rich and the super poor.. We in the middle get thrown to the wolves… Shame on you sec. gates.. How much do you pay for your health plan..

  51. Once the Congress decides to abide by the same standards the rest of us have to then I dont have a problem with their abuses against the military.

  52. The true patriots are certainly not in congress or any government office!!!!!

  53. My question is how long will retired military, disabled veterans, and those on social security sit back on their butts and keep accepting this crap? There needs to be a law passed that all military benefits be put in writing with a clause that does not allow politicians to touch them. We accepted the promise that we would receive free medical care after we retired and nothing was in writing, I also accepted the promise that I would receive 50% of my base pay upon completion of 20 years only to have that changed after 15 years to the average of the high 3, which screwed me out of almost $300.00 a month in retirement pay!

    • MSGRetired says:

      I just commented on the change from straight 50% to the high 3. $300 is about what it cost me also. However…. If you came in under the straight 50%, you would have been grandfathered and would have stayed with that retirement plan. So you (just like me) probably came after September 8, 1980 which was when it changed to high 3.

      Note: It is possible (in fact "likely") your recruiter didn't elaborate on how your 50% would be calculated, and that because of raises and/or promotions during your last 3 years the new "high 3" plan would more than likely result in about a 20% lower pension.

  54. No cost of living allowance for the past 2 years, numerous increases in TRICARE premiums, co pays and deductibles, and now additional federal taxes being withheld from retired pay!
    Enough is enough!
    Congress, Senate, and The idiot president got hefty cost of living allowances the past 2 years, and have never paid one cent for their medical care! When do politicians start pulling their weight and making their contributions? After all, greedy corrupt politicians got us in this mess to start with!
    Who is congress, senate and the president accountable to? NO ONE, they vote themselves big pay raises, and when they retire they draw 3 times as much retired as they do while in office!

  55. All politicians should have to put in writing the promises they make when campaigning, and it should be as a statement of work, and evaluated each year. The second time a politician fails to do as promised or goes back on a promise; he or she should be removed from office!

    Politicians had better pay attention to what’s happening in the Middle East right now! When the rebellion starts here who will protect the politicians? The military, after politicians have screwed us without lube for years and years? I think not!

    Sitting around and complaining will never resolve anything, politicians know that all people in the USA are going to do is whine a bit, but take everything they dish out!

    • PersephoneGOTUW says:

      I agree with almost everything you just said, except I believe if this sort of revolt ever starts "like in the Middle East" the military that I know and love will still lay down their lives to defend and protect the people they are assigned to defend and protect. The same as I would have (and did) defended and protected Richard Nixon. My agreement with them is not my job, my job is to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America and by extension the misguided law makers of this country.

      You are advocating a revolution and by doing so trying to incite your fellow military members and veterans in the wrong way. Pointing out what is happening in the Middle East right now is like pointing out what was happening in Germany in the 1940's, we all know it's there, but none of us wants to have that type of rebellion here. We like to think of ourselves as more civilized then the rest of the world. Although as your post has pointed out, some of us are not.

      The "rebellion" as you put it started 50 years ago and has torn this country asunder. We are no longer innocent, but neither are we ignorant, most of us can see what is happening in the world, and do not want to be included in that type of "rebellion". However, most of us agree it is time to wake up and fight back. The question is who or what do we fight? The laws? The legislation didn't make itself. The cost of living? It didn't increase itself. The elected officials? They didn't elect themselves. Who or what should be the target of our "rebellion"?

      These things are all a symptom of something much larger. Our once great nation has been besieged. Not from an enemy from Russia, or Cuba, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Korea or even from the Middle East. Our nation is being besieged from within. The ideas may be a sum total of all of these misguided attempts at governing these large populations of people. However, the people who are subjugating these beliefs are the real enemy. It is these individuals who truly wish to overthrow the government of the United States and instill their own government following those beliefs that have failed elsewhere, and are only able to be continued in a few areas because the people too small in number and too afraid to risk their own lives to change things.

      I for one believe that the Pledge of Allegiance I have said daily since I was a child means something more than just a interruption in my morning. I believe that the Constitution was written to maintain a purity in the beliefs of the writers. I also believe that if you are so interested in "rebelling" you have the right, just as I have the right to stand shoulder to shoulder with my fellow Americans and defend my country from it.

      As I have said numerous times on this board in the last two hours, I agree that something needs to be done besides whining or complaining. In order to accomplish any objective you have to be willing to get into the trenches and fight for what you believe in. I know that not acting will never change the course of a ship headed for an iceberg. I also know and believe with sure and steady conviction that the squeaky wheel will always get the grease, so I am saying to you and all of the rest of you start squeaking as loudly and as often as you can. Write letters, show up to your state senators office in groups and demand to be heard leave pamphlets on windows, if you can show up in congress and demonstrate, if they won't let us go in we march on the capital. It worked in 1969, bringing a movement to light, why do we believe it won't work now?

      There was a million man march in Washington, where African American men marched and demanded to be heard, there have been Woman's rights marches, Anti Abortion marches, Pro Abortion marches, it's time to have a Military, Retired Military, Veterans, Reservist, Coast Guard and any other group who was promised benefits for life only to have them snatched away, or chipped away in order to fund other things. Lets decided what is a fair and equitable agreement between us and our government, write up our demands, and march on our Capital the way we should as one committed solidarity.

      My soap box just broke.

  56. If we play the game of voting out politicians we don't like, 100 years from now we will still have the same problem, it does not and will not work!

    We need to physically remove every congressman, senator, and the president from office at one time, and start all over!

  57. The whole purpose of keeping the war in Afghanistan and Iraq going is so that politicians, their rich friends, and their campaign contributors can get rich from government contracts. Most government contracts are not needed to start with!

    Politicians couldn't care less about the young kids who lose arms, legs, eyes, and their lives as long as they get rich!

  58. Whatever they want- says:

    WTF, where the hell do you get SUPERB care using TRICARE? We get to see a nurse at best, and that is if we drive almost 50 miles… Oh yeah and that office will not see the retired servicemember…. My WIfe was the LAST person they would take that uses Tricare…. I have not been to a Dr in 5 yrs except for my yearly VA appt….. Can't find a Dr. that will take this trash….

    • Swin1
      I have no problem finding a Dr. That takes Tricare here in N.C. I pay a $ 12.00 copay when I see my Dr. Or anyone she sends me to.

  59. TRICARE is worthless, fewer doctors accept TRICARE than Medicare and Medicade. TRICARE pays doctors and hospitals less than medicade for services, so can you blame them for not accepting it?

    I had 8 1/2 hours of low back surgery in 2000, was in the hospital a week. The neuro surgeon who had my spine in his hands for 8 1/2 hours billed TRICARE $20,000.00, TRICARE paid him $1500.00! That's an insult to a highly skilled surgeon that spent a fortune to go to medical school!

  60. Whatever they want- says:

    Furthermore on 1/2/2006 my wife had a heart attack, she got to the nearest hospital and was on telemetry within moments. I arrived shortly thereafter…. THEY DID NOT TAKE TRICARE….. She was med-evac'd (which is not covered by tricare) 60 miles away at a cost of almost $12/mile….. GOOD TRICARE?…. WHERE THE HELL IS THAT?

    • You are full of it, first of all federal law requires any hospital that accepts medicare or medicaid to also take tricare. There is not a hospital in the US that does not accept Medicare. Secondly, tricare does pay for an emergency medivac

  61. Whatever they want- says:

    LYLE, don't you ever question our patriotism….. EVER! I am virtually a crippled at 50… and my gov't can't see fit to do anything but scalp me, after 22 yrs service? ALL the while the teachers in WISCONSIN are complaining because they must contribute to their own pension and healthcare….. IF YOU HAVE NOT HEARD… Their current contract requires teachers to put into their own pension…. they must put in $1 at a time, to get $57 given to them by the state…… WHAT A F'ing JOKE!
    Oh and one more thing LYLE, MY first contract (which I have in my home) does say on the back of it that Medical Care is mine for life if I make it a career…. It says it is a gift from a grateful nation…. APPARENTLY THEY HAVE BECOME A BUNCH OF INGRATES SINCE 1984…..

  62. Any time the government gives you a benefit, you better beklive somewhere down the road they will get it back, and then some!

    Just like Odumbo's tax rebate; $360.00 and they took every penny of it back when I filed my taxes. So the government actually gave me a loan, not a rebate! Am I suppose to be grateful?

  63. I say bring on the revolution, it is way over due!

  64. John W Johnson says:

    I have not had a rise for two years and now I get hit with more taxes coming out which amounts to $50.00 a month. No increase in Social Security and believe it or not I have to pay an additional $1700.00 to the good ole IRS, like I can afford to pay this. I feel better when I realize that Obama will not increase taxes on the middle class. Country is going to Hell

    • Sounds like you've got it pretty good. Getting a military retired pay check and social security to boot. I myself do the same and have to send in estimated taxes of $1000 every three months. I just count my blessings. As a retired Sergent Major with 26 years of service and Social Security, might you and I in reality be the reason the country is going broke?

  65. John Taylor says:

    Retired in '97 w/20 years active duty. No cost-of-living increase for retirees is inexcusable because prices continue to rise, although the govt economists don't take everything into consideration. For example: the cost of gasoline is NOT included in the Consumer Price Index, which is used to determine what our cost-of-living increase will be.

    As for the commissary, I get better deals in CIVLANT between the farmers markets, large grocery stores and discount shops. Anymore, the commissary system, I'm sorry to say, is anything but a bargain. In fact, I lose money going to the commissary because the closest one to me is an hour away, and at more than $3/gal for gas, plus tolls, it's a losing proposition.

    In myy view, it's not one party or the other that has caused our troubles. It's the fact that we are a weak lobby. Who fights for us on The Hill? Blaming Obama, Bush, Clinton (or Eisenhower, for that matter) is meaningless. We need to have powerful representation on Capitol Hill to help preserve the rights and benefits we have earned and were promised.

  66. i just read somewhere that over 1.52 billion a month is paid out in the lotteries every month, of course more when someone hits a 50 million or more payout, all is taxed then everyone and every company bei taxed on every gallon of gas every pack of cigarettes cars major appliances houses utilities phones and pensions . so where is this money going if not to the deficit. where.

  67. How many years were we promised "Free retired Medical???" As a Major Command Strength Management Officer, I attended DA reup briefings and conferences not that many years ago… yes was told all about Free Med, Space A travel, etc., etc. All hollow promises. If you live in Calif…. what AFB is left to travel on Space A from???
    If anything, heaven forbid, at least tie % of increase in Tricare to the Retiree Cola.

  68. Now our Dear Leader wants to change COLA formula to the Chain CPI. Doing so would further reduce COLA's and additional 8%.

  69. I think it's time to send a message to washington, I think it's time all americans wake up! not only VETS ..the elderly in this country have had it to.
    The shaft….the only thing we can do is send a message to are state reps.
    WE NEED TO LET THEM KNOW THEY CAN BE REPLACED!!! They are there to SERVE THE PEOPLE and they nee are votes to remain in office….IF YOUR STATE REPS. are not meeting are needs THE PEOPLES.WE need to write too them and say so…..WE the PEOPLE need to take a stand…..no longer should we remain slighted….WE MUST STAND TOGETHER and make a difference….write letters get them out of office!!!!! WE must drag are neighbors to the voting pole……IF we don't make a stand were not who we thought we are…..and we will suffer emabarrasement as a nation…….let your voice be heard !!!!!! UNITED WE MUST STAND….WE SIGNED THAT PAPER TO PROTECT ARE NATION !!!! LETS DO IT

  70. I lost most of my retirement to a divorce, the court gave her nothing but the Army gave her 51% of my retirement for life, now I live on $780.00 a month, I am unemployed and 57. How am I going to do it when they raise my Tri-care? The VA has been little or no help for medical. It took me almost 10 years to get them to help with one problem. I did 25 years what happen to the free medical and the free dental? What happened to the help from VA it’s a joke. Its time to stand up!!!

    • MSGRetired says:

      The Army won't "give" your wife anything from your retirement without a court order being filed with finance.
      That being said, them allowing former military spouses the right to receive military retired pay is so wrong. Unlike other civilian pay, military retired pay was not earned with marital assets, and should not be considered as a marital asset. There is no cash value, and no money is contributed towards it. If you serve 19 years and 10 months, and get out, you get nothing. If you serve 20 years, but get kicked out and not allowed to retire, you get NOTHING. There is NO way military retirement should be looked at as a marital asset the same way other pension plans are!

  71. You are 100% right, The guards on our base were outsourced and the company that is running the security force on our Army Base is from india. A guard is getting $17.00 an hour and he dosn't do anything but check ID Cards, If someone runs the gate he calls DOD Police not the MPs. Big money when Rumsfelt was in making his deal to give our on base security away. Just saw where they are changing over to DOD Guards but guess who is doing that ? The same guards They made the contractor a GS-9 and the same people GS-6 except now that are going to get paid by the DOD.

  72. Just remember what happen to those WWI Vets who marched on Washington. Trying to collect a cash bonus they were promise.

    In peace they went during the last Great Depression only to be bullied, burnt out, beat, shot, and many killed by Active Duty Military.

    Those who have never served in the Military will never understand the true cost of serving, as we that have..

    Some day we will unite together as brother and stand together for what is right in retirement as we did when we were active.

  73. chris arnold says:

    I am a retired after 30 years and find the benefits time consuming but more than adequate, do I like the idea of benefit erosion (NO) but I find some of our benefits and others in the US excessive especially social security why are we no longer paying into a system (all retired pay) yet we will take from it for many years. In my whole adult live I paid less than 20 Thousand to SS but I will draw over 1K a month and more for life. They should correct this gap by taking out SS from all retires Military and civilian until they reach 65 and pay everyone the same amount of SS no mater what they paid in this would help those who need it the most at the bottom by raising their benefits and those at the top would see the check as a meaningless amount and maybe even give it back.

    • MSGRetired says:

      No. I have paid more than 20K into SS. Also the majority of military retirees will continue to work in a civilian job for 20+ years after the retiring from the military. At those jobs, they will be paying into the program. I paid the maximum allowed last year (actually more, but I will get a refund for the overpayment).
      What I would like, would be the option to opt out of social security. Give me everything I have put in (heck, I would be happy with half), and take no more out.

    • Social Security needs means testing. John McCain gets Social Security. He married a rich woman and has his Government Salary and Health Care. Nobody gives up anything voluntarily in our greedy little country. Maybe I'm wrong, does John give his back?

  74. MSGRetired says:

    $60 dollars is a modest increase. Unfortunately, I am a history buff. If you look at what our income tax rates started at when first instituted in the early 1900s, then compare to how they have increased since then, you will not be to optimistic about this being the last increase, or for the increase to remain "modest".

    • Retired NCO says:

      I know this is not the last of the "increases" for our Tricare rates. I was looking at what we pay a year vs what one would pay on the civilain side. My aunt and uncle pay $500 every two weeks….so, I feel fortunate. I am not being optimistic, just trying to see the bigger picture. Hell, if anyone needs to be concerned, it would be my family as we were forced into Chapter 13 bankruptcy due to this downward spirialing economy.

  75. Denny Frank says:

    No raise for federal civil service for the next two years, no cost of liv­ing allowance for the past 2 years, once again another year without a no cost of living raise in military retirement, numerous increases in TRICARE pre­mi­ums, co pays and deductibles, and now addi­tional fed­eral taxes being with­held from retired pay! Then a 66% tax increase in the state of Illinois. Gas prices at an average all time high. What is the president thinking? This might save government money but will make the average American poorer. Oh that is correct the president or congress does not care about the average American.

  76. wow what a kick in the head, all those promises for exchange for serving, what happened to " yor word is your bond" LDR
    Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfiness Service, Honoe, Integrity, and personal Courage, it meant much more than it does now.
    thanks for paving the way for new military personnel in all branches who just come in for the college money and get out with no strings attached

  77. PersephoneGOTUW says:

    It's time for all of us to quit bi*%hing and do something. Most everyone of us agree that an increase in Tricare is not what we are really upset about, but the lack of respect we are shown at every turn. The public doesn't respect the retired military individual who shows no outward signs (injuries) of their service, the state does not respect us when they build toll roads and increase our property taxes or income taxes, the federal government does not respect us when they refuse for two years to give us COLA increases to keep in line with the rest of the the US and the cost of inflation. Now there is another group who's lack of respect is especially hurtful, other service members who want us to be quite and grateful for what we have. The "This is the way it is, just sit down and don't rock the boat" attitude that I am reading in some, albeit few, postings is more disturbing to me than listening to people call those fighting in Vietnam in the 60's and 70's baby killers.

    How can you be content to sit back and allow what you worked hard for be taken away while programs that do not benefit the country or it's citizens are increased every year? How can you criticize your fellow service members or and veterans for wanting to have their voices heard? How can you call yourself a patriot? Serving 20 years in the military does not make you a patriot. Being a patriot is more than just punching a clock, it is a way of life a mindset, an intricate part of who we are. I believe in the United States of America, I believe in Democracy, I believe in the need for all of us to stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, what's more I believe in the words of that Pledge. I have worked my entire life with those words guiding me. I believe it is time for those words to be chanted across the Country by all of us who have the burning seed of Patriotism in our hearts. I also believe that it is time to march on Washington and let the elected officials, from the President on down know that we are unhappy, we are dissatisfied with their running of the country, we want change for the better for all American's not just for the rich, not just for the poor, not just for the black, white, red, yellow, brown, green, indigo or what ever. It's time to take stock in our country, batten our hatches, close our borders and take care of ourselves. Let some of those other countries take care of themselves for a while, just like when you get sick, some times the only way to get well is to be selfish, and worry about number one. This country is number one, and it is sick, make no mistake, the illness is at the very heart of our government, and needs some isolation and a good old fashioned cup of Chicken Noodle Soup.

  78. mikey00349 says:

    "But there are retirees who get that the cur­rent rate is unsus­tain­able."

    BS!… it is "Sustainable" just fund it. They need to work on the outdated cost-of-living for retirees first…

  79. Well, once again we are seeing Obama"s (and his staff's) view of the military!!!! Thanks to all you idiots who voted for this bozo!!!!!

  80. Absolutely insane. Raise Tri care rates because of inflation,, but no cost of living adjustments. Congress ought to be ashamed of themselves. They need to contribute to thier free premium health care plans. If they would pay $1,000.00 toward their plans we could really put a dent in the budget. They all need to go. I put 21 years of my life in the Army, and was promised free health care. I do guarentee one thing,, Congress will get thier raises.

    • Bosun13 says:

      Jay,
      Check your facts. Congresscritters pay health insurance premiums the same as regular federal employees. BC/Blue Shield Standard Option, family coverage runs $431.60/month.

      LCDR/GS-13 (retired)

  81. $60.00 a month modest? That's a 13% increase. If we were given a 13% increase in retirement pay would anyone consider it modest?

  82. G MOstella says:

    23-years AF – Since when did MY retired pay become liquid income for the SECDEF to dip into at will? It simply amazes me, freshman senators can make well over 100k per year, I've worked 23-years; haven't had a cost of living increase in years; now because I'm under 65, my pay can be tapped at will. What about retirees who are under 65, who are disabled? I am OUTRAGED at this!

  83. I can’t believe this. Right now I’m looking at a hospital bill of over $20,000 I have to pay out of pocket. I retired after 22 years and the procedures I had done due to military service and VA will not pay it , is going to cost me this much. Where I live there are no doctors that are part of TRICARE or approved. So I have to pay 25% of what TRICARE does not pay. They exp. Bill is $10,000.00. TRICARE authorized only $5,000.00 I have to pay 25% of the 5K and the hospital comes after me for the other $5K which by law I have to pay 15% of. When I was in the Navy I was told free medical for life. That’s not the case. I don’t have this kind of money. Yes there is a cap on TRICARE but not what the hospitals can come after you for.

  84. We have no representation in congress, maybe after the last few wars we will get people in office that respect the military service. Or, maybe this country is still radical from the 60's to vote for veterans?

  85. PersephoneGOTUW says:

    You need to check your facts before posting this kind of idiotic crap.

    The actual computation of Civil Service retirement pay whether CSRS or FERS can be viewed on the OPM web site. For individuals like you Brian I will spell that out, it's http://WWW.OPM.GOV.

    However, I am planning in the next few days to start a new web page you might be interested in it's http://WWW.IMANIDIOT.net check it out.

  86. With a short NOTICE more money taken from pensions less respect for service men and woman to have decent income. Do we have to march on our own soil to protect are income rights as veterans? I'm a world II veteran ret USAF I cannot work no longer. I couldnot increase my income only by what was promise to us as veteran. When taxes or delta dental and tricare goes up, why is it happen when we don't we get a cola for two years?

  87. yeah I assume its “modest” at the current retiree rates,

    I looked at the last pay table, and was shocked that a E-6 with 3 years was making what I made with 27, an 8 with that now was at 5300 “base” a month, well **** yeah I guess at that level the retirement may be able to absorb the modest increase. and this is just base pay, not the added items.

    I’m not saying the pay should be lower, or remain the same, but **** at least make it more equitable between the ranks and the time a person actually retired. I’m sure even an O-6 retired from WWII is wondering about this.

    And like another poster said about the commissary prices, many older retirees are getting cose to being priced out of that “benefit” and forget the PX system.

    Now remember those that entered duty before 82 were told they had free medical for life, I was told directly that when I entered in 64, so I wasn’t too worried at the time about something like this.

    But now we seem to be lumped into one ball of wax on this stuff and required to pay these same higher fees on something we were going to have free for life at the pay we were getting.

    I guess the only silver lining is I’m going on Medicare later this year, which will cost more but will come out of my social security, which also sucks cause now your thrown out of the post system (Tricare Prime) and told to find a Dr yourself.

    • Actually you become elgible for Tricare for Life. This is the greatest medical plan in the world. Sure you give up around $96 per month of your social security. Other than that you pay absolutly nothing. Us military folks have it made in the shade. All this complaining, makes me nauseous. Here's how it works. Medicare pays then Tri-Care pays. You don't need any Blue Cross or Blue Shield. No other coverage whatsoever. Greatest health care ever.

  88. This is so true. My husband just retired after 30 years as a W-4. Did not realise how difficult it would be to find a job. He has a degree etc. We have no problem with the modest increase, it is the fear of what is to come. I was laid off after 15 years in the financial services and have not yet found a position. Yes, we saved madly, so at least we can pay our mortgage etc, but given the state of unemployment, if they keep taking, what happens next.

  89. Pat (retired) says:

    What the heck is going on in our world that we so proudly policed, protected and fought and died for??? When are our leaders in the military going to grow a set and STAND-UP for us and defend what was promised just as WE promised to defended our country. I know… cut some the high ranking aids Generals have to help dress them, feed them and drive them around in a car to pass out coins. COME ON MAN!!!!! Help us the way we always helped you and our NATION! …..But no…we need to suffer a little more in life and help you all and the folks in DC get the pay raises THEY vote for. What is going on in with our leaders….or should we just say followers…not LEADERS. COME ON MAN!!!!

  90. As a 24-year veteran, and in these trying financial times for our Country, I'm not opposed to increasing my annual TRICARE fee from $460 to $520. My wife and I are on a fixed income and I received notice from DFAS that my federal taxes will go up $35 per month starting in March 2011. If my share of this sacrifice is around $100 then I'm willing to accept it.

  91. BOHICA…

  92. WISE MAN LYLE, EXPENSES GO UP, EVERYONE, CIVILIAN AND MILITARY HAVE HAD TO TAKE CUTS IT IS NOT NICE BUT REALITY, MY HUSBAND A VIETNAM VETERAN WORKING A CIVILIAN JOB, HIS COMPANY QUIT EVEN LETTING US PAY HEALTH INSURANCE PRIOR IT WENT TO 1600 A MONTH THAT IS NOT EVEN A POSSIBILITY WITH MECHANICS PAY, NOW WE HAVE NONE SO WE ARE ALL LOSING BUT I AM GRATEFUL YOU VETERANS HAVE COVERAGE, MANY RETIREES FROM COMPANIES LIKE GOODYEAR WHO HAD LIFE INS WERE NOT EVEN TOLD THEY LOST IT A FRIEND THERE MOM DIED ONLY FOR THEM TO FIND OUT GOODYEAR CANCELLED ALL RETIREE POLICIES 2 YEARS AGO, THAT MEANT NO MONEY FOR FUNERAL AND THEY HAD TO FIND IT, SO I KNOW YOU DO NOT MAKE ALOT OF MONEY BUT IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN UNLESS THEY QUIT LETTING COPORATIONS PAY 0000 DOLLARS IN TAXES AND SAVE OTHER PROGRAMS AND YOU KNOW THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN. I THANK YOU ALL AND HOPE YOU CAN ALL FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT WORK, IS IT FAIR? NO BUT RIGHT NOW IT IS NOT FAIR FOR MANY.

  93. Well, if they are going to start taking money from us retirees, then why do they not take back the damn $350 million we send to the Palestinians every year? Instead of giving them $350 million to support their corrupt government (which I might add builds bombs and other explosives to kill Israeli's), let's just give them $350 dollars a year. Oh, sorry Fattah, I didn't mean to piss you off, I apologize for our President's ignorance.

    As for those that think $60 is just a smallllll increase, well let me give you a piece of advice that I learned a long time ago. When the government says it won't, it will. If it says it can"t, it can. If it says it didn't, it did. In other words, don't believe all this crap coming out of Washington. Every service member that served his country for 20 years and retired deserves every damn benefit he was promised. I have seen people on military disability receiving $1,200 a month, yet where they work they join a special response team to respond to serious incidents and then they tell me they need the disability. I think the government needs to look into how they are shelling out the disability checks. Maybe if they look at that closer we would have more money to put toward these kids coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan that have truly sustained disabilities.

    Cut our governments costs by making our Senators and Congressman have the same insurance that we have and peg their costs to our costs. Maybe we might see some respect toward the service members that have served this country to make it great. How come we can send so much money to foreign governments and nobody complains, yet Washington wants to piss and moan about spending money on those that have kept them in their jobs all these years?

  94. I wonder if the new hospital for reps and senators in D C, being funded by chunks of our checks!?? Is there any truth in the rumor of that Hospital being build JUST for these people? And a ban on their pay raise would help somewhere, somehow, how about extending their service time requirement from 1 term to acturally 20 yr minimum, if they want our benies so much??
    I Don t expect real answers, and am not interested in any more B.S.
    SamCGA

  95. Okay, the government wants to cut money for programs because they say we are driving them broke? Well let's start with having good old Nancy Pelosi using a common air carrier to ferry her relatives around the country instead of an Air Force plane, well I guess they fixed that since she is no longer the Speaker of the House. So, okay then send her a bill requiring payment for services rendered while she was the Speaker of the House.

    Also, in addition to stopping the $350 million going to the Palestinians every year, since we now have a government in Egypt that is not to keen on the U.S., let's stop sending them the $1.2 Billion in aid we send them every year. Also, let's take back that $300+ million that we send to Africa to fight AIDS. How much money has Mr. Karzai and his cronies embezzled from the funds we have been sending to Afghanistan every year. Why is it, that every war we go to it seems the persons in power get rich. Mr. Mubarak did not get rich from just his salary as President of Egypt. Seems to me we need to clean up our funding and aid programs first before we go picking on the retirees. Fight back folks, write your military organizations, congressmen, senators and hell yes write Robert Gates and complain.

  96. patricia blanton says:

    i got no problem with paying extra for tricare prime. if i had not had it when i had to have heart surgery,i would have ended up dying, because i did not have it. but i do dislike the fact that the congress and senate get free health care for life. when i joined th e service, i was promised free health care for life. and why doesn't the active duty have to pay the increase. they can more afford it, than the retirees. i think if you make them pay the increase it will take the pressure off of the retirees that can't afford the increase. also , if you want to cut the budget somewhere, make congress and the senate pay for their health care. and see how they like it. its just not fair to the retirees, we get screwed every time someone wants to cut something.

    • I hate to disappoint you, but Congress doesn't get free health care. They are enroll in the Federal health benefit plan like all other federal employees and yes they have to pay a premium for it. Plus, they do not get full retirement after one term. They are under the Federal employee retirement system and they pay a percentage of their pay into it and it is calculated on their salary, years of service, their age to retire at. Don't believe everything that you read here as fact.

  97. Just food for thought…. when the promise for lifelong health care was made, the average life span for a male was probably 6o vs late 70′s or older today. Females are in the military now and they live longer than men. We had a family practice doctor with a stethoscope making home visits. We did not have the expensive technology available today that everyone wants used on them and your doctor is using because he/she is afraid you will sue them if something goes wrong (blame the lawyers!!) or he/she has a financial interest in using the technology. I am a nurse that works in health promotion. We could keep our health care costs down if more people took more responsiblity for their health. Give up smoking, get up from the computer console once in awhile and get some exercise, eat better, and practice gratitude and help someone less fortunate than you. The price of everything goes up, and I, as a spouse of a retiree, know that the prices will need to go up to have any kind of coverage with Tri-Care.

  98. Retired Navy says:

    To amyjmd:
    No disrespect intended because being the spouse of a military person is a job within itself and it takes a special person to do it. With that said, I think that many spouses are confused on this particular issue..which is this, BEING THE SPOUSE OF SOMEONE IN THE MILITARY DOES NOT MAKE YOUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, OPINIONS, OR SUGGESTIONS ON PAR WITH THOSE THAT ARE ACTUALLY IN THE MILITARY.
    What you are failing to understand is I/we all know that there are ample funds to do WHATEVER it is this government decides it wants to do. Whether it be fight wars, tax cuts, etc. Isn't it amazing that our government always seems to FIND the money to do whatever is that they want to do? Like I said before, if they want to change the rules…change them..let the people who come in now know that the rules have changed and then deal with the aftermath. I'm just saying, don't take back what you've promised to all of us after we have fulfilled our side of the bargain. There's nothing extraordinary about that. It's simply fair.

  99. Retired Navy says:

    Okay, let's be totally serious here. You don't here about this on local news or cable news. We see it on military.com or other veteran related sources and then we come here and b%^#h about how we're being wronged. The average American citizen isn't even aware that this is going on. That's the way these people want it. They'll just slide the new rules right on in there. It is much harder to reverse a new rule than it is to stop it from being made in the first place. Who among you is a good organizer? March on Washington? I say heck yeah!!! We have to bring it to public attention and let the rest of the country "get our back." If not, they just slide it on in…and by the time the rest of the country finds out about what they have done to us..all they can/will do is say how sad it is how we poor veterans have been treated. It want change the damage done, however. Now is the time to speak up. If someone organizes, I'll be there. I would do it myself but that is not my talent.

  100. Bob Trefethen says:

    Once again our wonderful government that sent me off to not only 1 but 3 combat or hazardous duty deployments during my 20+ years of service is willing to increase the cost of my health coverage and oh by the wya the VA is not living up to their end of the agreements either. After not getting a pay increase for the past 2 years on either my retirement or my disability pay I should have only expected to get the shaft again from our government of which I help maintains its freedom. Nothing else should be expected in the future. In closing why don't you give some more of my money to the bank and everyone else that needs bailing out and hit me on the chin one more time.

  101. I agree with most of the comments, what ever happen to fairness

    Land of the free because of the brave!

  102. Navy vet 68-89 says:

    Let's see now….we all knew that we were only entitled to 2.5% of base pay per year of service if we made it to 20 or more years. While on active duty thru to retrement in 1989, there were no dental benefits for my family. Additionally, there were no survivor benefit plans until the late 1970s? It wasn't until after 1997 or 8 that TriCare for Life kicked in. If you were over 65 and retired, you didn't receive medications because you went to Medicare. The WWI, Korean, and some Viet Nam vets didn't recieve Social Security because they didn't pay into the program. Since the mid 60s we all paid into SSI and the gov't kicked in its half just like all other employers. There is an added increment to SSI as a result of active service when the SSI retirement is computed. 21 yr Navy Vet

  103. Navy Vet 68-89 says:

    BTW, my last three years in the private sector???—-no COLA here either. Folks on the "outside" are paying over $13K a year for a modest family health plan if they can get it. I've seen a lot dropped from private ins. NOT ONE retired vet has been dropped from TriCare. Additionally, our spouses get medical care for life as well.

    Wake up.. We retired vets have it much better than the average working class Joe out there.

    21 yr Navy Vet

  104. Navy Vet 68-89 says:

    Oh yes.. those who receive retired pay and have a disability rating which provides additional funds????? It's been a long haul, but they receive the money. Not too many years ago all they got was an offset to their retired pay.

    In 1968, I was never promised civilian medical for life. I wasn't promised a career either … you had to make promotions and survive to 20 yrs.

    Get a grip folks.

    21 yr Navy Vet (oh yes also a RVN combat vet – River Rat)

  105. Concerned For Vet. says:

    A Concerned Constituent

    As a wife and mother of two I would like to thank you for showing your appreciation for all who have served our country bravely. Those who have served and are currently,have missed Births of children,Holiday's,Birthdays,Anniversaries and important events in their families lives. Some have given even more their lives.

    Lets not leave out the role of the spouse's, who has become a single parent and the emotions during their deployment. The sacrifices that the soldiers and the families give, deserve more then budget cuts. Where are your Sacrifices????

    Members of Congress don't have to pay for insurance, worry if there is a wage freeze or if there will be a cost of living raise. We are all aware of the pay raise you have given to yourself but in the same breath, tell those who are veterans, and the ones who are receiving Social Security and/or a Government Pension "due to no changes between last year and present, there is no increase." Oh, thats right, you don't have to worry about Health Insurance, Social Security or a Pension. Wow, that sounds like a welfare recipient.

    Instead of increasing the cost of the insurance for those on a fixed income, who served their country well, why don't you all start paying for your share of the insurance? I'm sure this would help balance the cost or even lower it.

    I hope that there are some Honorable Congress men and women who can truly represent the "G.I. Joe's" of America present and past.

    Sincerely
    A Concerned Constituent

  106. To those complaining about this cost increase while retirement pay remains flat…. this is the kind of thing you have to expect after we let the Bush administration rack up a trillion wasted dollars on their Iraq fiasco.

  107. You change the GI Bill, which screwed me over and I know it did other people. I was wrongfully discharged and although it was honorable and I was told sorry after 3 years, I only got part of GI Bill. Now as a military wife with 2 children, this is a joke. My step daughter is seen off base due to locational and it is ridiculous that not only do we have to pay for dental just as a basic, but now we have to pay a higher co-pay. Why did we even join in the first place. So many thousands of people join to see the world, College, and medical…..all of those have changed. So many people never get to move once stationed at their first base (so much for the travel), Pro-rated Gi-Bill??? (so much for college), and now medical co-pays are higher and the Rx's…this is a joke

    • Your Friend says:

      Grow up Ann and go get a job, you sound like the little crying kid that never gets her way. You are far better off and got way more than most have. I would like to see you provide any of this to your family out on the block, DOUBT IT. Good luck, and try taking charge of your life instead of crying about how someone else screwd you over!

  108. yes take from the already poor . Why not take from those with there pockets already line .. this is crazy what next . Just wrong . but we can fight for our country and die for are country but , that sacrifice is not enough .. Now they want to take what they promised us for doing this.. just figures .. doesnt it .. thats our government . they are the ones who have there pockets lined .

  109. Disabled USAF Vet says:

    I agree that government spending is out of control and that "changes" must be made. A modest increase in TriCare premiums is just the cost of doing business however at a time when the government bails out GM and employees still get a bonus check when the bailout has not been repaid and Pigford "farmers" are pocketing 50K each for perceived transgressions by the Dept. of Agriculture I think we can all agree that there are better places to attack the problem of government waste than on the backs of Veterans.

  110. R.B. McGarrah says:

    Yes, It's time for change. Active duty personnel you need to be concern because this will effect you and your family in the future. Pretty soon that little retirement check at the end of your 20 yrs will not be worth the pain.

  111. Fellow Retirees Remember we are stronger as a group. We have service organizations that need to come together and lobby our congress. These organizations VFW, AMVETS, DAV that retirees are members too. 2012 is coming with elections so write your congress and let them know what they need to do to get your vote. We hired them we can fire them as we can the President. Remember they work for us.

  112. wait till they send you your pay statement that says we need to cut retired pay by 5%

    (on another note: Yo “your friend” U related to “Bruce”? , smirks!!! )

  113. Once again our government poloticians are padding there pockets on the backs of retirees. Why don't they cut there income and put the money back into goverment. I am so tire of being retired from the military and see our government lacking the drive and determination to control their spending. CUT YOUR INCOME SENATORS AND CONGRESS PERSON AND QUIT RAISING OUR COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  114. I'm a 20 year Vet of the Air Force and though the money is not that great, I concur with everyone who has spoken up about the principles behind our retirements and what we were told we would get. Now, I don't mind the 460 either, my counterparts at work are paying $200 a month for a family plan, so in regards to that, I'm getting off cheap for sure. I will be voting come 2012 and asking a lot of people I know that they need to remember who is giving us Vets the shaft here. We all need to get with the groups that support all retired Vets and keep organized and make our voices heard.

  115. Do the math on Delta Dental!!! It isn't worth paying for!!! My wife and I are self insured for dental costs. So Far we can afford just about any dental procedure there is bedause of what we have saved by not having Delta Dental. Also, If enough people don't take it, you will see the costs come down in a hurry.

  116. I served in Air Force from 66-68 and due to medical reasons I was put out on medical discharge(honorable discharge) I was put on30%,but after first year it was cut back to 10%, and due to my age and knowledge and common sence I did not fight it! But later on in life I started having the same medical condition that got me out! I am now 63 years old have been giving good medical care for that condition,buy other problems not so lucky. My disabilty was cut 10% due to not severe enough to justify my 40%,so I have been fighting to get my 10% back(lots of luck) with that? The many years I have been going to VA medical centers,I see alot of veterans alot worse then I am and heard the problems they are having to get their benefits I feel lucky,but any veteran that served are due medical help!!!We set back and do alot of conplaining but do not take much action? If nothing else start writing your Senators and Congessman sometime the pen is best some can do,rest of us might consider gathering a White House to show are support for ourself and millions of other veterans,peaceful??? The best to all of us? God bless all of us and all young veterans now on duty and coming home with a disabilty?

  117. Ftstewartmarie says:

    March 01, 2011, I get on my computer to check the bank account and to deal the pitiful retired pay out as best as I can and boy do I get a shock. The retired pay is $84.82 less than it has been so now after serving his country for 22 years, got shot at, his body is broken down with various aliments(but VA only gave him 10%), and he stopped making the "big bucks" when he retired 3 years ago May 15th, netting us a sum total of $937.32 to "live" on. Let me break that down…$650 for food and household needs, $250 for electricity, no money for basic cable, phone, internet, had to cancel our life insurance policies that we had for 22 years, no car payment, no auto insurance, no nothing else! Thanks Mr. President and the "Powers that be" you are going to add to the HOMELESS ROLES this year as we won't be able to pay our property taxes in December, sell our car for food because we make $200 too much in GROSS pay to qualify for food stamps, stop filling my diabetic meds that the base no

  118. Chuck Haberkorn says:

    Retired Navy When are the Senate and House going to give up their yearly raises in pay and all the goodies enjoy. You can bet they never will . We ggo to the aid our country and are s**t on. Thanks a lot for you spoiled PIGS. Chuck

  119. What makes living in a country great is that country's accountabily, integrity and mostly the creditability of it's government. I view my 20+ years in the service as paying the medical insurance for the remainer of my life. Why? Because I was told that by my government. It seems the government does not have to worry about fairness. If a civilian insurance company fails to provide what they promise, you have every right to correct it. But what is so seriously wrong with this country is that the people that we are suppose to trust to help make things right are the ones that are being unfair. I tell you this country is getting no better than a thrid world nation if things continue like this…

    What are the fine men and women now serving in the military going to think. The promises that are being made to them is going to be less believable. How can one trust a government that has previously been known to lie.

    Are we proud of the men and women who serve in the military now and in the past. Prove it! Give us what we were promised. That is all we ask.

  120. I think it about time that the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act is eliminated

    • Pat Whitney says:

      I totally disagree with you. I supported and stood by my military pilot husband for 23 years. We moved every two years. Every time we moved, i took my retirement out of the school system I was teaching at to supplement our money so that we could afford to purchase a home in our new assigment. After 23 years, my husband retired from the AF and eight months later, he took off with a flight attendant leaving me with no retirement of my own, no survival benefits and me to raise our 4 kids. I had to put myself back to school to get credentialed even though I paid for his masters so that he didn't have to sign added committment with the AF. I am now 56 and will have to teach for another ten years in order to get any type of retirement. I worked for him full time for four years helping him set up a new squadron, helping with fund raising, tours and protocal "coffees". How dare you say I didn't earn half of his retirement? The military way of life took two of us……I didn't get paid by the AF….but I did "earn" part of his retirement. Shame on you.

  121. You are correct what is next no Medical. When I went to the service a promise of medical and dental for life. This changed to Medical and now our leaders want to take that away too.

  122. I am retired military. My husband was disabled. I pay tricare prime yearly. My husband was put in medicare while enrolled in tricare…but now they changed it for tricare for life. He ends up paying every month for medicare…Does not make any sense. People working in Congress have untouched medical benefits…so who cares!

    Melva

  123. j. shelby says:

    There has to be a country song about Politicians and broken promises. Taxation without representation would be a good title.

  124. Retired Navy… I agree with most of the comments posted in this forum! While our retirement check have been REDUCED (tax laws) with no COLA increases, TRICARE prime had increased, TRICARE standard is next to worthless, DELTA Dental is worse, and now they are talking about reducing VA benefits! Of course the politicians have voted themselves automatic pay raises, lifetime compensation for serving in congress, exemptions for healthcare and other programs, etc. Fire them all and let's start over…with rules this time! They should not be allowed to determine their own benefits and pay! They work for us!

  125. political_observer says:

    Want should be looked at are all the benefits our legislators have access to, let them do with less and pay more. If any of them are millonaires (about 75%) they should not have government subsidizedhealthcare and to be patriotic during this hard economic time should volunterally pay for 50% of their office operations out of their own personal funds. This would show they are sincerein their endeavor to be in "Public Life" to serve their Country andot in it to make waht the can. Hmmm I wonder how that would go over with them?

  126. Why cut the people that have spent 20 years of hardship to help secure this great country. Cut the medical for people that only served 4 years.If they were not injured while in the service. Also why do people at the VA receive life time medical even if they only work there for 1 year?

  127. Just give me what I agreed to before I started 30 years of C rations, MREs, sleeping i the rain, months away from my family. We would be better off if we had never worked, just collect free food, medical care, housing, and oh yea SSI.

  128. mad veteran says:

    Why do young people keep enlisting? As each year goes by , there are less and less benefits. The veterans go through enough hardship, while in service, why should the continue to endure hard ships once they retire?
    Are any of the promises kept upon retirement? Let the congress or senate
    or higher give up some of their perks, that we pay for.
    Why should the veteran put in 20 years to receive less and less
    benefits upon retirement. I will be contacting my Congressman and Senator
    tommorrow and I suggest every other veteran does.

  129. joenavy says:

    Lyle, Your an idiot!

  130. I think that everyone in congress needs to give up their retirement / insurance plans(the we never get to vote on) and have them use the same retirement / insurance plans that all service members have to use. Just think if that ever happened you could hear their crying from anywhere in the world.

  131. Debby Biegun says:

    As retirees we cary Tricare standard. I see no mention of how these changes will affect us. Can anyone tell me?

  132. Guys, this is usless. The politicians in office can care less about our service. Most of them did not serve nor will their children serve. For the most part they have become millionaires off the backs of the people they serve. Term limits of not more than 8 years in both the House and the Senete may help out . Also a pay cut of 30 or 40% to include benifits for all members of the Congress and their staffs would be a great start.

  133. Instead of lowering benefits, why not just charge a $10 co-pay for visits? All these people who come in for basically nothing, or women who are lonely because their husbands are deployed (yes, ask any of the doctors, the visits skyrocket), people who bring their kids in every time they sneeze, etc. It would cut visits WAY down plus generate $.

  134. I've always thought that politicians should have the same benefits as the military. I wish we had their benes. For anything starting at four years or more they are set for life as far as insurance and retirement pay; vets should be so lucky!

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