USA Today: TRICARE is ‘Too Sweet a Deal’

June 02, 2011 | Terry Howell

A recent headline in USA Today’s editorial section reads, “Our view: Military’s TRICARE Benefits are Too Sweet a Deal.” [I’ll let you pause on that thought for moment] Of course they come to this conclusion with the help of Defense Secretary Gates’ statements like, TRICARE is “eating the DoD alive.”

Gates has been seeking to reduce the cost of military compensation since he took the reins at DoD during the latter Bush years, so it is no surprise that the national media would begin to respond as the USA Today editor’s have. But to call it “too sweet of a deal” may not set well with most military retirees.

The editorial concedes that health insurance for military retirees is “meant to be inexpensive, as part of the compensation for servicemembers’ sacrifice.” But, USA Today tells readers, “The issue is how generous taxpayers should be in giving military retirees insurance that covers treatment by civilian hospitals and doctors.”

The recently passed House defense budget includes a TRICARE Prime premium increase, which if passed by the Senate, would boost the annual enrollment fee to $520. USA Today says that the proposed TRICARE fee increases “don’t go far enough.”

Most retirees understand that a fee increase for TRICARE Prime is needed to sustain the program. The discussion has most recently centered how much of an increase and to which health care price index TRICARE Prime premiums should be tied.

The article asks readers to compare TRICARE premiums to those in the civilian world where “the average worker with employer-provided insurance pays about $4,000 a year for a family plan.” Anyone with any military experience would argue that the comparison is hardly fair, considering the level of sacrifice and hardship most retirees endure to make it through 20 years in the military.

In the opposing view (also posted on USA Today),  Norb Ryan, President of the Military Officers Association of America, wrote, “Those pushing much bigger increases to make the military package more like civilians’ ignore the radical differences between civilian and military working conditions.”

Read Admiral Ryan’s full response.

I am sure most of our readers are wondering how the USA Today feels about the Congressional Health Care Plan or Medicaid and Medicare for that matter.

Comments

  1. Bobby T says:

    Tri-care and Prime are things that were included in the package when any retiree reenllisted for the first time and were supposibly guranteed upon retirement. Now it seems that anytime congress needs more cash it seems to come from the pockets of those who served the countrry most. What makes a congressman anymore deserving of his benefits than me mine. I have never seen any program that reduces the benifits of congressional service, nor have I seen anything requiring them to have first hand knowledge of what they pass judgement on. It is my firm belief that if all senate, congressional and presidental candates were required to have military service as a pre requisite for being placed in office they would have a much better chance to perform thier jobs better as they would have a real knowledge of how thier decisions affect a very large part of Americans.

    • MSgt, USAF (ret) says:

      Agreed! I signed up and served based partly on a promise of cheap medical care and a modest pension after twenty years of service. I didn't write the contract, I just agreed to it. Now that I've fulfilled my part you want to take away the payoff? Brilliant. I don't want to hear whining from civilians and legislators about how the "deal" has gotten too expensive, and how they "suffer" so much in this economy. You picked your poison, I picked mine.

      If you want to change the "deal" for new recruits, so be it. Don't change the deal after the fact for those of us that held up our end of the bargain.

      • Mrs. MilitaryMan says:

        Wonderfully stated! Much agreement from this wife [and I know my MilMan would agree too....he's away on orders at a school....]
        I also doubt these political people know how much time and sacrifice is given w/ a mil life….they have no clue! But it's amazing how they sure will act and speak without having any real info to back them up! Those who did [or are doing] the work, need to get their benefits!!!

    • I am sorry, but, Tricare Prime was not even in existence whenI initially enlisted in 1975 – it was CHAMPUS – and it was inferred that it would not cost anything – but again as you point out when Congress needs money the military retirees – the ones that do the work of those same Congressmen – those that establish the policies that they do not have to live by – and woiuld more than likely be able to live the life of a military person. Why isn't cutting the retirement, medical benefits, or any other of the many benefits congress enjoy – maybe even stopping their annual payraises for a number of years to help their countrymen, Americans.

      • Mrs. MilitaryMan says:

        You completely said it!!
        It's not just the military members/family that need to give–it's those political figures that think they are entitled to a life of easy living & benefits!
        In my mind, they need to set the example…not dictate how it should be for others!!
        And you bet we are hanging in there for 20yrs & retirement w/ the benefits. Yes, I said "we"……he signed on the line, but I live the life and keep the homefront afloat & running!!!

      • Mrs. Retiree says:

        This I strongly agree with. let them give up part of their benefits for the good of the ntion s they put it.

        • They protected themselves with the 27TH Amendment. Can't you just see them on "plane watch" sleeping on a cold steel deck for 4hrs (just to get up and put in a 8 hour watch plus complete workcenter jobs) & hoping that the carrier's planes take off & land successfully. Better yet let's see them do an UNREP during a winter No. Atlantic tour.

    • Sam Army says:

      Bobby T. Bravo you struck the nail on the head, but you know that will never happen, we have to all get together and make some noise. That way they know we are not playing games. When we came into the Service, what did they offer us we will take care of you when you retire, now we are retired , we get 1/4 of our pay and thats all, the rest we will take you dont need it

    • Although I'm disgusted with those in Congress and the Senate who agree we military retirees, who raised our families on near poverty-level wages and at times, risk of life, under the promise our pitiful wages ($149.50 a month when I enlisted in 1971) would be later compesated with free medical, free dental, and free prescription drugs for life after 20 plus years, I'm not as DOWN on our government as you Bobby.
      There are people representing us however; there are more who are willing STEAL from our promised benefits (like going into our bank accounts and taking our "nest egg" without cause).
      Thank God Gates will soon no longer be our Secretary of Defense! Now if we can VOTE OUT those who so willingly entice our youth (of poor backgrounds) with extravagant enlistment /reenlistment bonuses so thier rich sons, daughters, neices and nephews don't have to go to war AND make-up for the extra monies spent by stealing away the benefits of those who already served.
      If we're going to continually put our youth in life threatening environments, let's bring current military wages/incentive bonuses into prospective and bring back the draft (while simultaneously blocking the "easy exemptions" for college and preferred daddy clauses). Even the rich kids can obtain discounted educational opportunities while serving, And, with the monies saved, let those who have EARNED their benefits keep them!

      • The government is faced with defaulting on it's obligations to Americans, or to the Chinese,, The Chinese have a big collection agency if they get … too … upset…

        American Citizens don't…

        Vets have always been an easy target.. Congress promises everyone the world when the military is needed….but they have short memories

      • Well, the retirees paid taxes too. It is a general concensus that military does not pay taxes. That was wrong 40 + years ago and still is. I agree, that those who are supposed to represent us, should lose their or at least bring their retirement packages into line with the military. They could not begin to imagine leaving for an appointment an hour early just to find parking less than 1/2 mile or further away from the main doors. Our medical care is awesome, but again, we earned it. The spouses also endured some hardships, so let's not forget them either.

    • JimmySan says:

      Amen to that my fellow comrade.

      MSgt, USMC (Ret)

    • I agree also.

    • I signed a contract with the Air Force knowing that when I retire I will get free Medical and Dental bennies. This is CRAP! They change the rules of my contract and now they are making me pay for it. Now they want to raise it! I don't give a hoot who thinks this Tricare program is a "sweet deal" for the price. I'm suppose to be getting this free per my original contract!

      Have Obama cut some cost! tell him to stop taking everyone and the kitchen sink when he tours the world!

    • William says:

      Not only do they want to take away some of the retirees benifits, Macheal Bauchman sugesteded that they take away some fo the veterans disability pay. That's about as low as you can get,, Now she wants to be president. I hope no vets vote for her.

    • bariatric10 says:

      With all due respect, I for one am glad that Secretary Gates is leaving the position as Sec Def. He really has never had a clue about the needs or the mission of those who serve our country and tries at every opportunity to take something away. What President Bush was thinking to nominate him or why President Obama kept him on is beyond me. The person serving as the Secretary of Defense should come from a military background. I can guarantee you that his exit package is better than any person who has served 20 or 20+ years in the military. Wonder what we could have saved in the defense budget for his lame duck visits recently. Don't send General P to the CIA, make him Sec Def.

      • I agree with all your points, but thinking Patraeus ever had any shot of being SECDEF is ludicrous. There hasn't been a SECDEF with substantial prior military service since Marshall in the 1950's and it isn't going to happen anytime soon. Most high ranking military have strong opinions and they will never be put into a position to oppose the PUS on military matters.

    • Agree (MSgt Retired). We are getting so tired of them picking and poking at Tricare. Make the necessary adjustments and grandfather the crap in and see how quickly it affects recruiting. But let congress do the same!!!!!!!

      • Congress should be paid on the general schedule (GS) or military pay of an O-6 (colonel) and receive the same benefits and retirement based on years of service. They are sponging off the citizens of this country. They need to earn their pay. FORGET ABOUT IT

    • SFC, USA (Ret) says:

      HEAR, HEAR!!!!

    • Cheri M. says:

      I totally agree with your statement.
      Also what happened to the promise of health care when we were only receiving $50 a month twice a month? We were so poor we qualified for food stamps!! when is the government going to quit "making the military an example of sacrifice" without our input I should add.

    • Shirley says:

      I have been telling my husband the exact same thing for over 30yrs. When I was a patient in early mid 1980's at Bethesda Dental School & Clinic for several years, one would be appalled at number of senate,congress members that would just walk in! Demanding attention! At times I was literally moved from room to room so some doctors did not have to "serve" these people. I have seen same incidents in outpatient clinics, pharmacy plus more.

    • I totally agree with Bobby T. The rules should change to require all senators and congressmen to have prior military service. Then they would know what military personell have to go through during a 20 year career. They are not leaving their families to go off to war not knowing whether they will be returning or not or whether their family is doing well while away. We were promised to be taken care of after retirement and we want everyone to keep those promises. The senators and congressmen only serve one term and we the tax payers pay for their medical and a lot of other things for the rest of their family's life. That's not saying how much more money that they make compared to a military member. Cut their pay and make them pay their own expenses and that will help a great deal.

    • MARITZA says:

      I TOTALLY AGREE!! I BUSTED MY BUNS SERVING MY COUNTRY FOR 22 YEARS! THIS WAS SOMETHING I LOOKED FORWARD TO. iT GET ME GOING KNOWING I SERVED AND WHEN I RETIRE I WILL GET IT BACK IN RETURN. BUT NO…….CONGRESS ALWAYS SEEM TO WANT TO BELITTLE US MTAKING US LESS IMPORTANT. ITS NOT RIGHT.

    • 1Sgt , USArmy (ret) says:

      We have elected officals making decision about cutting our benefits calling Tricare a sweet deal. What do you call giving 20 years or more of your life for your country. That's a sweeter deal, than you get screwed in pay and healthcare benefits. Government employees who retire gets a bigger retirement check than a enlisted retiree. But congress won't tax the people who are lining their pockets, they rather reduce our beneifts. I agree they should have some military service at least 5 years. Maybe they won't be so quick to reduce our benefits that we earned or put my fellows Armed Services brothers in harm way so quick.

    • Amen Brother!!!!

    • Harvey R. says:

      Bobby,
      You hit the nail right on the head! I think that if all the congressional service members really wanted to help all americans (as they say they do) then what about them taking at hit on their congressional benifits which would show their true commentments to the american people. But NO, instead they rule to give themselves a raise instead. They all need to seek the good LORD for guideance.

    • I am 100% in agreement with you. I am watching this very carefully as my husband is a 27 year Air National Guard. We are, after 27 years of sacrifice enjoying the benefits he was given when he enlisted.
      I am going to write to my congressmen and senators here in NJ and hope that everyone reading these blogs will write to theirs. If we load their email boxes with mail, maybe the will at least think about what we say. What happened to "grandfathering" they do it in corporate america??? why not here. I will also send an email to the president, which I do quite often.
      Maybe everyone else should do this as well. I really don't mind paying my fair share, when Congress pays their "fair share".

      • When you write 'em, tell them about cutting re-enlistment bonuses entirely, too. My husband re-enlisted yesterday. Guess what we got?

        A coupon for a free backpack.

        This, after he went overseas on active duty but we somehow didn't qualify for housing assistance for our first home? This is a slap in the face.

      • David G. says:

        Completely agree. Go for it and I hope you will be joined by millions more. There are common threads here. We all need to work together. No one understands working and surviving as a member of a team than we do.

    • David C. Griffith says:

      It is interesting how Congressmen and Senators decide to cut pay of the military while leaving ALL their pay and benifits alone. When I started my career in the Army in February of 1956 I was "promised" LIFE TIME MEDICAL CARE FOR ME AND MY DEPENDENTS if I made a 20 or more year career of the Army. Well I did, and what do they NOW SAY, Conrgess never approved the LIFE TIME MEDICAL care so it is OFF the Table. Well the also admit that the LIFE TIME MEDICAL was promissed, they just say the services did not have Congressional approval. BIG DEAL!!

    • You are right Bobby T, but I go further than that, I say to those pundits that know nothing about service to their country, yes and that includes our ilustrious politicos. Not only should the nation be responsible for allocating resources to take care of those retirees that selfishly gave their time and life for the nations security, but the federal government should go as far as allocate job position for those who serve at least 20 years in the military. In doing so some of the "benefits" provided could be least cost effective, since the retiree then could contribute to the "benefits" provided for him or her.

      Let's face it, there is no glory in serving for that lenght of time, if when you most needed your government, it will not be there for you. Sometimes I believe that if the young ones would really think of the broken promises of our politicos they would have tough time filling the military ranks, and I say to all of them politicos, be careful, maybe one day soon you may have to go and fight the war yourselves.

      Andy L

    • It is my belief that all senate, congressional and presidential candidates have not only military service, but combat experience also. Maybe even a purple heart might give them a better idea of what the military has earned the right to expect! After that put all executive, executive staff, congressional, congressional staff on the same Medicare and SSN system that the rest of the US Citizens are on. That should cut costs considerably.

    • Pete Petersen says:

      I agree….I did 20 years of honorable service and look at Congressman. One sordid story after. These Congressman think they can do anything they want EXCEPT TOUCH THIER BENEFITS!!!!!!!! WE NEED TO THROW THE CURRENT CROP OUT!!!!!

    • Tom McCann says:

      I agree 100% with you and the Admiral. As a retired Chief and previous Veteran Outreach Specialist for the State of TN I know first hand about the sacrifices places on the branches of service. Not one of those candy asses would last one hitch in the real service to their country. Why they are paid and have great benefits without doing 20 years is beyond me. It's just like the other laws they pass, as long as it doesn't affect their great deal, so what?! What happened to those that were honorable intentions with a modest wage leading our country by what the people need? All I see is "To The People" vice for the people. Look at how lavish the two-faced ass in the oval office live while using our tax dollars!

    • Bobby as a military retiree I totally agree with you, they take our lives away from us and now they wish to give nothing back and anyone that know what is really going on should know it our military that sustains us not our government, for they only taketh away

    • I am with you brother, what is supposedly good for the goose should be good for the gander, and then let us talk about a retirement check after only one stint as a senator, what is that all about, then give me mine, I served my country four years honorably, can't say that about Weiner.

    • angry soldiers wife says:

      I am with all of you all the way. Wife of a Vietnam Vet and retired soldier. Proud of him. He earned his Tricare. Government needs some new leadership. It's like my husband suffering from ptsd- he had to speak to a young psychologist who has never served any military time -at least not in a war- so how does he know what is war related and what is not?? He lost 80% hearing in one ear and 50% in the other. Fired 750,000 rounds in Vietnam on a split trail howitzer (forgive my spelling folks-not sure how to spell it)—-but it is not service connected???????
      HOW can some idiot or idiots sit up in there in Washington and do this stuff to the very ones who
      have kept and are keeping the wars out of our country?? God have mercy on their greed and -excuse me—piss on them. Where did this Gates get his ideas? Greed again!!!!

      • "Amen"' when i first entered the military in1954 i was paid $78.00 a month thats before they take out for haircuts, old soldiers home,GI laundry, etc
        I spent 26+ years in the Army with 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, Agent orange gave me Cancer, Diabetes, My Wife and 5 children were eligible for food stamps and low rent housing, we all Sacrificed for a better life and now they want to change the Rules on us. Shame on them!!

      • Been There 123 says:

        Tell your husband to contact the Disabled American Veterans (DAV)local office for assistance in getting his correct disability rating. Sorry to say it, but the VA is trying to save money, too. The DAV can help if you will contact them, and he does NOT have to be a member to get their assistance. If you cannot find a local chapter or National Service Officer (NSO), call national headquarters at 1-888-236-8313 and they can tell you who your local NSO is.
        I wish you and him the very best, and you can tell him another Vietnam Vet says, "Welcome home, brother!"

      • David G says:

        Sing louder ma'am, only the choir can hear you. God bless you and if God can spread his Grace on them so be it. I couldn't.

    • Proud of my Mil Husb says:

      My late ex father in law served 33 years Air Force (WWII, Korea) and his words to us when my husband joined the military was defend your rights as a retiree because once your service is up, the country forgets who you were and what you did. During the years of your youth, you faced bullets/many pcs/tdy's–but when you retire it is like you have become expendable.
      With the military closing down hospitals, clinics, etc. and putting retirees in Space A Hold Twilight Zone…it is like the congress is saying … how unlucky for you that you lived to retire and with dependents too. you know something, if all the retirees and dependents and widows/widowers of all military action convened on the congress steps…carrying flags and singing the national anthem…could we assume the would "Tri to Care"?

    • 1SG, USA says:

      I agree. Back when I served I was promised free medical and dental for the rest of my life. Its strange that members of congress gets free medical for the rest of their life. I served this country. As far as I see it, is that they think that they are serving their country by sitting in a chair in congress, in air conditioning. Where we are serving our country by going to war and protecting our way of life. Being deployed around the world, where some congressman haven't even been to another country. Let them take away the medical care they they got and leave our medical care alone. We deserve what we got.

    • Ted Evans says:

      Amen Bobby!!!!!!

    • i soooooo agree, could not say it better

    • Bobby T, you are far off and talking out relief chute. Tricare didn't even exist when most of us retirees reenlisted for the first time. NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, was guaranteed upon retirement. There was never any law(s) enacted by Congress which back the conditions and terms (promises – but, not really) so many like you complain about. Those inculcations – from recruiters, to First Sgts and Commanding Officers – were used with the aim of retention, and that is all.

      The basic problem is that military pay was never imputed to absorb/cover the cost of ANY MEDICAL PREMIUMS, of any type. If you make a point to learn the structure of military pay, it is immediately evident that the design never took into account (from onset) that health care premiums would at some future time be debited from the retired pay monthly/quarterlyannually. Retired pay must be restructured and only Congress can approve that. Barking in the wind, and upwind at that, gets us nowhere and nothing. Letters (multiples) to State elected officials as well as Federal Reps and Senators are the way to go. Visit their offices – if possible. Make calls to them. Write to the CMSAF, SgtMajUSA, ET AL multiple times if necessary. If they do no respond/reply send one letter telling them what useless assholes they are (true of most of them) and then go to the nearest Retired Services Office at a nearby military installation. Hand them copies of all the letters. Send like letters to the Chairman of the JCS, and to each Chief of Staff. Also include the Secretary of Defense. That is documentation in hand which is undeniable. If just 30% of the six million retirees would do that some positve results could be achieved. I do way more that my part, but most with whom I discuss this matter simply refuse to do the same. They prefer to bark in the wind – upwind – and wait for results. In that fashion there will never be any results of any sort.

      As for SecDef Gates and CJCS Admiral Mullen: both are treasonous, treacherous traitors. Both now say retirees should pay more ( and after that it will always be more, and more) for Tricare, and that the Tricare for Life retirees [those over 65 years of age] should also pay premiums. This is the antithesis of the purposes of their positions. They should be supporting the retirees, and active duty personnel, by speaking out harshly against such payments. It is their sworn duty to support the active and retired military. They both – being cowards – choose to go against those who faithfully have supported them. I was USAF 22 years; always listened, and verified, before ever trusting. It worked, and I've not been disappointed until the likes of Gates and Mullen came along. Just two days ago, a farmer (retired 30 years Navy Chief) opined that Gates, and especially Mullen should have their heads in a peach basket. So you see, emotions run high. But, we have to deal with the facts of law and follow lines of authority to get results.
      Regards,
      A Foremost Authority

    • Larry R. Orr says:

      Well-said Bobby, you got it right when you said military service should be required to hold congressional and presidental office.

    • Mike Ret says:

      Everytime the GOP is in Congress or the President, Military benefits are cut going back to President Eisenhower and especality during the Reagan Years we were cut on retierment Pay.

    • I agree with all of the comments in this blog. I retired after 26 years of service to this great country. I served in Germany, Panama, stateside and a tour in Iraq. I too stayed the course for the benefits, which I believe we do get some are very good. There are some good points that everyone here are making. We served expecting these benefits. Also I agree how in the hell can someone that has never spent a day in the service make the decisions that they do? They spend a few months in a congressional position and are set for life. What kind of sense does that make. LEAVE OUR BENEFITS ALONE. Thank you for the opportunity to vent. OIF 1

    • Soldiers don't "server the country the most", they just kill more babies than any other profession… its just a job, like any other, and the only one that any uneducated yokel can get out of high school. Don't expect the world from us.

      • leeatsjt says:

        Ignorance knows no bounds! You're entitled to your opinion (we've made sure of that), but try getting the facts correct before you open your mouth! Our military, both enlisted and officer are amoung the best educated in the world!

      • David G says:

        You do not know what you are talking about and still you are running your mouth as if you had a clue.

        Pull your head out.

        Better yet, go see if you can measure up to serving your ( if you are even a citizen, ) country, you're enjoying the benefits of others service.

    • Beverly says:

      I would love to see Congress and Senate have military service before running for Office. Just like some jobs require a BS/BA degree. They also should change their benefits to match the same benefits as the military.

    • Rebecca says:

      Bravo Bravo Bravo yes you are correct. All Congress, Senate, congressional and presidential canditives should have prior military training, then they might re-think the way this country is run. I also feel they should take a reduction in their salaries and quit taking from the senior citizens, we have not had a raise in 3 years, they are killing us, and now they want to reduce our Medicare and Social Security Benefits. They will truly have this country bankrupt! We will all lose what we have, then God save the those who take from us. I am the wife and a sister to two of the finest men who gave their life for this country, where is this country for them now! I believe this country's budget should be run the same as any household budget is run with a growing family, then things would change. Regards Military Wife

    • Never said better.

    • greenshirt269 says:

      I remember working next to a civilian contractor in Korea back in 1993. I was making less than 20K a year. He tried to talk me into working for his company. He said the first $78K were tax free because it was overseas. If I was making that much, I should pay more for my healthcare. Since low pay went with good benefits as an incentive to serve. What's the incentive in the future? OK they are going to raise the annual premium to make up for the last fifteen years. How about keeping the next increase in line with the money we get! If we get a ZERO percent raise, then Tri-Care premium goes up ZERO percent. What's this about linking the Tri-Care premium to the medical inflation rate???

    • David G says:

      I agree. Excellent points well stated. Congressional members, no matter how effective or ineffective receive full life benefits no matter how long they serve. I suggest starting cuts there.

    • Dave Lindey says:

      My experience as well. Remember if this president is re-elected we will loose even more…… CTMC USNR

    • Marine Retired says:

      Hey I see a lot of my countryman are angry about what the Government is about to do/is doing with our “benefits”, but all I read is complaining about what the Government is about to do, not what my countryman are planning to do. I don’t want to read or hear complaining/wining, what I want to hear or read is what you all are planning to do to make sure your Government representatives understand that you disagree with their plan and are angry at them for even suggesting that our “benefits” be revised after we have already served and some have giving the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Listen, we all know that they (the Government) will target those that are more vulnerable (Military retirees / Military in general), so don’t complain, act, contact your government representatives and let them know how you fell, I know I did.
      R/S

    • MTC(SS) USN RET says:

      AMEN BROTHER.

    • Terry Howell should give up his day job and join the military. Gates and Obama should be in the middle east conducting their business. As a dependent of a retired military man. I am over 65 and can no longer use the MTF. We haven't had any in-patient services in years. Howell is a stupid man who doesn't know any facts.

    • I'm retired and maybe a verbal promise was stated but I, like all of you have nothing in writing stating that we will be covered.

    • I bet if all the vets in America got together we would have a greater voice in politics! We are letting our people in Washington do this to us! The vets that do get elected soon though are tought to toe the line like the others like and they seem to lose their backbone. Guess we must keep trying to get someone with backbone in there! Just look what McCain and other vets have done and there has been a lot of them. They just keep on taking care of theirselves and to heck with us! One day it may come to arms to get our rights back.

    • Some of *** making these proposals should have to spend some time as an E-5 with two children-one with a chronic illness.
      That just MIGHT have some effect on their views.

    • Cynthia M Droz says:

      Exactly. I served 26 years in the Navy. I don't use Tricare as many Primary carrier. Why, because of all the hassle and hoops you have to jump through. I can't believe that when cuts have to be made the military men and women who put their lives on the line serving this country are the first to be looked at for budget cuts. Congress who quote unquote are also elected to do the same receive a ridiculous salary for "life", should also receive the same benefits as the military. They accomplish nothing, recess and go home, live comfortable lives and are not subject to the same constant health care hassles. Previous military service should be a requirement to run for a political office, not a huge pocketbook and a big mouth.

  2. Let’s get all these lovers of freedom together, to include congress and the people at USA today, and have them walk in the shoes of our Military for three months. Then tell them to multiply this by 80 times and that is what it is like to do 20 years of service, providing they survive. Once they reach that point pay them the retirement pay of an E-6 or maybe an E-7 if they were really good and ask them to live on this as the unemployment rate for Vets are higher than non vets. Let’s see if they take the challenge. I bet not!

    • EXACTLY!~ They are higher officials that will live comfortable with any cut as they make a killing!~

    • i sure agree with u but not one of them would last 3 months.and i know they couldnt live on e-6 or e-7 pay. so no challenge there!!!!!!!!!!!

    • momarlon says:

      I wonder how many at USA Today served their country in the Armed Forces. I would suggest that ALL veterans cancel their subscriptions to that rag. If we have to pay more for benefits that the Armed Forces promised us as an incentive to enlist in the first place.

    • conservativeamericanvet says:

      Well said!

    • E.J.ELLSWORTH says:

      I AM A RETIRED CHIEF MASTER SGT WITH OVER 30 YEAES SERVICE I WAS IN THE MARINE CORPS AND THEN IN THE AIF FORCE I FOUND OUT THAT WE PAY FOR TRI CARE WHEN WE GO ON MEDICARE IF YOU DON'T TAKE PART B WHEN YOU GET MEDICARE YOU CAN NOT GET TRI CARE I PAY $153 PER MONTH FOR PART B ON MEDI CARE THEN I HAVE TO PAY EXTRA FOR TRI CARE THATMEANS WE PAY TRICE IS THAT FAIR? TRI CARE IS PART OF MY RETIREMENT SO MR GATES GET OFF OF IT HAVE A GREAT RETIREMENT LATER EJM

      • To have Tricare for Life, it is conditional that you purchase Medicare B. You don't have to; you can choose not to, but that then limits your choices of care to Military Facilities only.

        Tricare for life doesn't have a premium, it is free. All you have to pay is Medicare B.

        Source: I'm a Benefits Counselor

    • I agree with JB. However, how about having it a manditory requirement of public service that a four year term in the military be required just as we require a four year college degree. Usually those in charge should have some experience in the field of responsibility.

    • A.T.PALISCHAK says:

      THE SGT'S REPLY WAS RIGHT ON THE MONEY. THE WEASELS THAT COMPLAIN ABOUT THE MILITARY DON'T RELIALIZE THAT THE MILITARY IS THE REASON THEY ARE STILL ENJOYING THE FREEDOM THEY NOW HAVE. LET THEM ALSO CHECK THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS THAT CONGRESS AND SENATE HAS, SECOND TO NONE IN THE WORLD.

      • Maybe ……………….No not maybe

        They should as has often been suggested walk a mile in my boots beforew making or approving such idiotic laws.

        Maybe we should change thier retirement benefits and requre them to have to serve more than one or two terms in the congress/senate before receiving ANY retirement benefits

    • Golf Golf says:

      Amen Brother

    • It is just like education! They make decisions that negatively effect those on the front lines without any knowledge of how anything works. I extend the same invitation to education. Let them serve in the military for three months and then go teach in the Bronks for three more and see where their hearts lie.

    • VoixVelour says:

      Some time ago after a long period of enlightenment as to "the media" in general, a community activist very invested in the public welfare, health and safety, I crafted this definition of "the media" in general, and certainly inclusive of the abysmal sophistication to the topic of USA Today:

      "A collection of benign intellects content to reside in zones of mediocrity with the similarly impaired conferring upon one another mutual celebrity."

      And today they are the "talking heads" of network TV and "talk radio," and bathering among themselves the superficial depth of "knowledge" they would purvey JB! Bobby T said it well. Not to mentiion the current "Twitter" feat of the Democratic Congressman who was in line to become Mayor of New York City?

    • that 3 months should include time aboard a ship or submarine as well as time in the field.

    • Jerry d Rodgers says:

      Yes, they would like to take the benefits away, let them serve, in order to hold office they should have to have mlititary service, then i bet we would get a COLA raise every year.

  3. TSgt B USAF (Ret) says:

    When I enlisted in 1974, part of the "marketing" was that if I served until retirement, I would be rewarded with the same medical, dental, optical, and similar "benefits" as I EARNED whilst on active duty.

    Several years ago, while working in Arizona, I stopped at Davis-Monthan and Luke air force bases and asked the personeel at the base clinics to write me a prescription for blood pressure medication (I was living in Ohio at the time, working as a telecom contractor, and could not refill them without an office visit). I DID NOT, REPEAT, DID NOT REQUEST THAT THE CLINICS FILL THE PRESCRIPTIONS; I stated my clear intent to pay for them on my own dime.

    My request was refused, because I was "not registered" with the bases. Had I been an illegal alien, cutting the grass on base, and suffered a heart attack, no expense would have been spared to treat my illness.

    To many members of Congress, and several presidents, I say, Thanks for NOTHING, you brazen bast*rds!!!!!!!!

    Maybe I'll just get drunk, drive off a bridge and drown my mistress, and run for the Senate. Or cheat on my spouse, boink every trollop with a pulse, lie to the country, and sell us out to China.

    • MTF expert says:

      There are standards of care that all clinics need to follow. You can't just walk into a clinic and ask for a prescription without a patient history or examination.. Those doctors that "write" that prescription are legally liable for you if anything were to happen to you while you were on that medication. If you were originally being seen by a civilian doctor they would not have a record of your medical history besides your own words. Until you are loaded into the local network the clinic pharmacy can't even find you in the computer or your tricare insurance prescription history.

      The best avenue for getting a quick renewal prescription would be to call the doctor's office that originally prescribe you the medication and they can fax it in to a retail pharmacy. The MTF pharmacist can also give you up to 7 days of medication if you have your original bottle with you, but that is a professional judgement call not a standard policy. If you know how the system works, you'll get a lot more out of it.

      The clinic doesn't care if you are going to pay for it on the retail network or if you if you get it free of charge at the clinic pharmacy.

    • When I was DRAFTED, in 1963, I was told that I shouldn't be so unhappy, since I would receive FREE health care for life via the VA hospitals.
      We all know how that worked out.
      Just another carrot that was placed in front of service men and women, that turned out to be plastic.

      • Thank you for serving even though you were forced to do so (unlike certain draft dodging Presidents).

    • E-6, Retired says:

      Maybe Congress should give us the raises they give themselves, the medical plans they give themelves and the retired pay they give themselves and then we might be able to survive on the federally taxed, social security withheld retired pay we receive now. In 69 when I went in, the promise was free medical and dental, upon retirement. When you ask about that now, the question is "show me the documentation that said that."

      • J Russell says:

        Great suggestion about transfering their (Congress) Medical & Retirement benifits to us!! Lets reverse your suggestion!! Lets say we (The Retirees) be generous to the Congress, and their families and switch their Medical & Retirement benifits for our Tri Care and our (E6) monthly Retirement earnings for (ONE) year. Lets see how long they or their spouses would tolerate the low level of (retirement) income we are awarded, and lack of proper TRI-Care Medical coverage our fellow military members and their families have to endure. Neither the Congress nor their families would tolerate or except it. Thank you for serving OUR COUNTRY shipmate, it is appreciated by me, and all the others that have served in the US MILITARY!! YN1 J. Russell, USN, RET. Colorado.

    • HOORAH!

      Wife of 20-year veteran, TSgt – UNITED STATES AIR FORCE (Ret).

    • Our politicians get all the best entitlements any country would envy-while their major accomplishments always produces zero balance and leave our economy in disarray and sell our resources and tech to china, etc. The person that serves the military is a unique individual and deserve every penny of sacrifice..but instead congress would rather give away tax dollars to foreign aid enrich those in the receiving end…

      • Big Jim says:

        Right on, why is it that the Senators &congressman(congresswomen) get pensions that are dictated by them and the military that was promised healthcare has to fight for it.

    • Expat in Hungary says:

      You got that exactly right. I was drafted in 1971 and re-enlisted in 1973 and stayed until 1999. These bastards have reneged on every promise made. I now live overseas where I can actually survive on a military pension BUT with TRICARE Overseas we end up getting only 65% of our medical costs covered (after deducting the $150 annual deduction then getting 75% of "allowable" fees after that which yields a bit less than 65%. So much for 100% coverage for life we were promised. Sometimes I wonder if they recall that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms to protect ourselves from any overbearing government. On top of that we are the ones with the experience fighting all these ridiculous 23 armed conflicts since 1971. More if you want to go back further. But as you say these picayune miscreants are clueless as to what it is to serve the Nation. Try indentured servitude and slavery on for a size as this is what the draft was and then once you re-enlist you are indentured. I live in fear of being recalled for yet another useless conflict.

    • HOOAH, Sir, HOOAH.

      The way we treat our Troops, past and present is deplorable.

      Wife of still Active Duty Army Vet, Daughter to Retired Army Vet, Granddaughter to Retired Army Vet, and sister to a VA Chaplain.

    • Robert S says:

      Speak for yourself moron.

    • bastards is right.

    • Retired US Army-that's why I have not enrolled in Tricare- one less thing to worry about.

    • Coy Bowden says:

      I too am TSgt USAF (Ret} since 1975. I couldn"t have said it better and now we have a weiner making laws.

    • Right-on!

    • TSgt A USAF Retired says:

      I am also a TSgt USAF Retired and you are completely on point about these things. Love your third paragraph, sooo true, and sooo sad isn't it?

    • Maybe things have changed at Davis Monthan, but when I was temporarily in the Phoenix area last year I, also, needed a prescription for my blood pressure meds. One phone call to the base hospital got me a same-day appointment with a doctor who made a quick BP check and wrote me a prescription for the meds I was using. In my case, at least, the military was looking out for its own and came through with flying colors.

    • FC2 USN RET says:

      LouieD You are an anti-American POS

    • Like many of my brothers and sisters-in-arms, when I reenlisted the first and second times, lifetime medical care was part of the recruitment spiel as it was when I first enlisted. It had nothing to do with my decisions to reenlist. Even after retirement, I paid for my medical for the first ten years as part of my benefits of working in my civilian job. Now, having been forced to retire due to circumstances beyond my control, I am quite dependent on my Tricare Prime. What makes me angry is when youngsters not even born when I enlisted decide I'm getting too sweet a deal – particularly when they have never endured 72 hour shifts and sleepless nights – and that was just "getting ready" for possible war.

    • Dave Reason Ret Army says:

      Hear! Hear!DAVE

    • My friend you went about this all wrong…while standing at the counter to try and get your meds you should have grabed your chest fell to the floor and acted like you could breath. At which point they would be forced to give you emergency care and then you would have got your meds no questions asked you just have to be smarter than the dummy that wrote the regulation that kept you from getting your meds.

    • Rogelio Ortiz says:

      Would you like cookies with your whine? First off, you should have been prepared for the extended stay and brought enough meds with you. Second of all, who in thier right mind is gonna give you a perscription just because you asked for it? Where I come from you must first be seen by a Doctor who will percribe the necessary meds. As far as the Illigal Alien, he too would have been told to go to hell if he came in asking for a perscription, and if you had complications caused by your blood presure while on the AF Base, I'm sure no expense would have been spared to treat you. Stop whining and take some responsibility – That's what we do in the Navy! USN Retired.

    • Evangelist Warner says:

      I have been a military wife since i was seventeen, and i'm fifty two now. my brother was in the gulf war; front line for six months, my baby brother died aft age forty at a va hospital. he was a marine. my is usarr. i understand what you are feeling, but it is not worth doing any of those things. JESUS is the key! There is Hope in him. Read the Bible, Pray, and Praise for comfort. We are going to Pray that they will leave, or incease benifits for the millitary, and put the rest in GOD's HAND. MAY GOD BLESS, AND KEEP YOU AMEN!

    • Is it possible that seeing your "not registered" that it was meant to say that your not up to date with DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System). That is possibly the reason why your "not registered." It is very important that you keep up to date with the system.

    • WW11 vet was told by the clinic to use my own doctor. That was the only
      the second time I went there. These people are sick that work in the VA
      system. I guess that is life.

  4. soaringeagle says:

    All Veterans and Retired Military should boycott USA Today and not buy the paper any more.

  5. tell me about it,i have to wait 30 days for an appointment..bs

  6. time for a march on dc…..

  7. I would go further. When staying in a hotel, and they put a USA Today outside the door, ask the hotel if they have anything "decent".

  8. i wish all congressmen,senators,the great Obama,and the top generals,get out of their bubbles,and live in the real world for awhile. quit spending money on first ladies,trips to new york,etc…she should be a housewife like any other woman who has a husband with a job.lets face the truth,our dinner plates are full,but our gov. wants to cut the good vitamins that keep this country free,a a cost to the average Joe..what a mess.

    • Jack i agree in point on almost all you say. However i think it a little unfair to only name one person. He did not start this. Nor is she the first First Lady to take a trip or 40 trips for that matter. And non of the First Ladies before her were required to be house wives and their husbands had jobs. There is alot of places that money could be cut. Lets start with retired presidents body gaurds, health care for life, let have them pay just a little for these perks. Everytime senators, congress people and the like take a trip leave there wives, husbands, kids at home. If you are working they don't need to be there.

    • jasljohns says:

      Obama? I'm not crazy about him either, but he proposed a pay increase for active duty personnel in his budget, and wanted tax increases on the well-to-do that would have averted the need to savage us.

    • G. Jones says:

      I don't care how many trips the first ladies take as long as it results in something being accomplished. These two ladies have really been out their supporting our troups families. So Jack, find something else to bitch about.

    • My husband was the average Joe, Joe Brown to be exact. He served 23 years in the military with the understanding that medical care would be there for both him and his wife. I'm the wife that is left behind. He passes in February and I have only my teacher's pension and no medical except TriWest. Explain to me how my paying $4000 a year will even out to civilian contributions when the government requires the companies to match that. So where is the addtional $4000 coming from?
      My social security is cut to under $160 a month, because I happened to teach in California. Now, the government wants to cut my pension. Increase my medicare costs when I am eligible in 2 years, and collect taxes on my SS. Even though I tried to put aside for retirement, I lost like everyone else in the stock market. And now I can't trust the government that made promises to its veterans, if only they'd give up their lives for the freedoms we are losing daily under Obama.

    • Jack you went over board, especially about Mrs. Obama and the president. You are just prejudice. Now that she is black she should be a housewife. What about the previous and future first ladies. She is doing her job as a FIRST LADY and President Obama is supporting the military and us (retirees). The Republicans are the ones that are giving big taxes cuts to Million and Billionaires. Having you been keeping up with regular news. I suggest you start watching CNN.I think Exon made over 300 million dollars in a quarter and they got a tax cut. I am retired army of 24 years. I agree we were promise the low insurance we are getting and we should boycott USA Today and the Congressman and Senators if they change what they promise. However, I don't use Prime, I use standard which I pay a lot more then $450 and $10.00 a vist. I pay $150.00 and 20% of my treatment which could be more than $2000 to $20,000.00 depending on what treatment I get. Let's be fair Jack.

  9. an old indian saying(dont tell me its raining out ,when you are pissing down my back)??????we screwed the american indian,now is the servicemens time…

  10. Earl Hollenbeck says:

    iWhat if someone does not work I for one would like to get a health care plan for my family. I am retire from the army. But i still can not a for $520.00 a month

    • USNJIMRET says:

      Mr Hollenbeck……I believe that you misunderstand a part of the proposed TRICARE Fee increases. It's not an increase to $520 a month, but $520 a year. While still, as a percentage increase, a massive increase, it IS far less then the mythical "comparable civilian" costs. As Admiral Ryan notes in his response to the USA Today article, there really is NO viable comparison between a military "job" and a civilian one.
      Not that the "leaders" of the Nation, elected or not, don't make every effort to paint Veterans and Retirees as some kind of evil cause of the growing Medical costs of the DOD. To some extent, for me anyway, the very worst part is all of the Senior Officers, two star and above, who willingly sell out the troops in order to gain favor with this weeks politician of importance.

    • craven-aye says:

      Its not the cost increase it what was promissed, ok give me my life back and you can keep you retirement I will jump on the welfare wagon do nothing but smoke some dope kick back with the boys in the hood F all night and make babys and never get a pay cut just increases same goes for the boarder jumpers. So military just take it so we can give your money to more deserving people and country's then you

    • It's $520 a YEAR in premiums – for the whole family. a $60 increase from the current $460.

    • thats $520 a year

    • Doug Elliott says:

      Earl, iys going up to $520 per year, not month. You need to go visit a VA rep also. Get into the VA health system. It has improved a lot in some areas of the states

    • Earl, that is 520/year, not month…about 45/month

    • Joe

      The amount as I'm sure you realize by now is $520 a year or $10 a week ($40 – $50 dollars a month)

    • James Crowe says:

      It is not $520 a month, it is $520 a YEAR………..

  11. When healthcare was part of the pay package, the actual monthly pay was very small. Like working in a fast food place. Now that we are all volunteer, they raised the pay somewhat. If they raise the cost of Tri care, I hope they pro rate it somewhat based on pay as a % of the poverty rate at time you served.

    • tdhowell says:

      Carl – keep in mind that this increase would not affect active-duty servicemembers.

    • TT4LIfe says:

      I must admit, I am blessed (or just lucky) in my life that 5-years after I retired, I landed a job in the Foreign Service (now serving in South Africa). I was given the option to "buy back" my military time for purposes of my "new" retirement plan from the Foreign Service. After 21 years, retiring as a Senior Chief Petty Officer, my total….that is my TOTAL pay received after 21 years was $420,000 +/-. That works out to just over $20,000 on average every year. And I wonder why I had to apply for the WIC program as an E6 to support/feed my baby girl.
      Now, they want more money from me, more of my right knee, more from my years of 24-hour days, being recalled at midnight when on duty, I could go on, but all of you have been there and know the drill. Obviously Congress does not (not to mention the CinC). Poverty, yes, been there done that. For 21 years did that. Now doing my best to stay on top of the pile.
      They will never understand, unless they wake up in 40-foot seas on a 206ft ship that is 50+years old, they just will not understand.
      God Bless America (surely Congress and Obama won't)

      TTCS, USCG (ret)
      still serving, U.S. Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa
      "TT4Life"

  12. hal cook says:

    I joined in 1967. does anyone know what the recruiters told us then? I juess it doesnt matter to the legislators of today. I think a promise will hold up in court. I wouldnt have joined if the promise of medical and dental wernt in the package. the pay was not the reason I joined, and going to war wasnt the reason I joined. I retired in 1991 and could still use my military ID card to get medical care. Hilary and Bill took care of that. I feel slighted by our government. I feel cheapened and cheated. I think our current legislators should take a long hard look at what they have done to the military who fought wars for them. they need to learn that they cant do this to us without ruining a bunch of lives.we were promised pay and medical and dental and we deserve it for what we went through. live up to your end of the deal.

    • Chris Scharping says:

      I agree with you, brother. The promises all became lies. We lived below the poverty line for many years before making some rank in the 70s. I finally retired in 1991 because I was sick of the lies. I didn't know that more lies were ahead of me when "free medical" that we'd been promised disappeared. The free dental was an even bigger joke. Well, at least I get a little check each month. I looked at current retirement pay for an E-7: it was 2.5 times bigger than mine! I loved what I did in the AF, but nowadays, I wish I'd never served.

    • Sam Davis says:

      Joined in 1965 – promised "free medical and dental" if I served 20 years. Well I served 20 years. Something must be wrong with my schooling cause Tri-Care certainly is not free. You would think our political leaders would live up to promises made by their former members but we all can see they don't care about us. Don't see them offering to sacrifice any of their "benefits." If we volunteered to watch our countries back, free medical and dental is the least that could be done for us for the "freedoms this country has now and has had over the past years."

      • Sam:

        That was like a used car salesmen making you a promise. There never was any free medical and dental on the books, no law passed at any time to provide free medical to retirees. It is too bad, but your argument is one voiced by many that just is not valid.

        CW04 USN(Ret)

    • Chester says:

      I would like to add my comments. I joined up in 1964 and served 20 years and each time they would remind me of the free medical care for me and my family for staying and serving my country.
      It was not easy, it was not without danger or hardships that most civilians were able to avoid. But we stayed; we endured the hardships and at times loneliness to serve the needs of our country. It wasn’t for the pay ($28.00 every two weeks) as an E1 as I remember it.
      That spoken promise of free medical was a big recruitment pitch and we bought into it all the way. I can recall when a former presidents wife wanted to overhaul the military medical system, use it as an example for the civilian medical care system. Those of us who were retired were told to join one of medical plans they offered that quickly turned into a paying for your medical needs plan. The truth is that the Government had already developed a plan to start charging retirees for their medical care.
      The Federal Government gives the Defense Department X-amount of money, then it gets decided how much will be spent on health care for active and retired service members by DOD. No doubt it cost allot of money, but what is a promise to those who served is worth? What about the integrity of Department of Defense when it comes to the men and women who serve their country, who put their lives at risk for others. There was a time when the military had leadership that was real and honest, leadership that stood up to a President and Congress. True military leadership not found in todays “I want to be promoted” uniforms, so let’s not rock the boat or I won’t get my next pay grade.
      Thank God I’m old and with some luck will not be around to see the final collapse of what was at one time a proud profession, to serve your country and its citizens who ever they are and where ever they came from. No I’m not disgusted, but I am deeply disappointed.
      Chester

    • I agree it is so wrong that after the fact and after the promise now we are hearing we are getting to much for what we already sacrificed
      for I say USA Today and Gates and ALL those who think or beleive that our tri-care or benefits thereof should be cut traitors and as dirty as they can be get to hell out of the business of retirees and realize that without that we would be sunk

    • Amen! I joined in 1971 and I also remember the hog wash about free healthcare/dental for life! I didn't see any fine print that said for a fee above and beyond 20 years of sacrifice and service. Don't get me wrong; I am proud of my service and wouldn't change anything–I retired in 1998. HOWEVER, I can't put my finger on it, but some time ago, we lost leadership and now we have a bunch of thumb suckin' whiney babies cryin' foul–and we, the least respected and first to be cut, are expected to accept the same health care costs as them as though they are our equals? I think not. You're right-live up to your end of the deal. I know we disappointed you; we lived through 20 years of service and it's time for the government to pay up!

    • AMEN AMEN AMEN! u TELL EM. WE RETIREES ARE DUE WHAT WAS PROMISED WHEN WE ENLISTED. MY HUSBAND ENLISTED IN 1963 AND HE RETIRED IN 2004 !! Now tell me he didn't fight for all u Ba—–s up there living on hog heaven without a care to ur name as long as u can take what IS NOT YOUR'S IN THE FIRST PLACE…

    • gbudavid says:

      Amen I joined in 1964 and was told do 20 and all medical and dental would be free….

    • 3 War LTC says:

      Hal, what state do you live in? I get great care with my retiree ID card. OBTW Bill and Hillary didn't take any Tri-Care benefits away from folks. So why are you making this crazy statement. Stick to facts, not right wing polemics.

    • THAT IS THE VERY LEAST THEY SHOULD DO. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU GUYS ARE THE FIRST TO SERVE AND THE LAST TO CARE FOR. IT'S A DAMN SHAME. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE IN NICE CLEAN AREAS OF THIS COUNTRY, WITHOUT FEAR FOR YOUR LIVES. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO RECEIVE WHATEVER HEALTH CARE YOU NEED, BE IT DENTAL, VISION, WHATEVER. YOU SHOULD NOT BE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OR HOW YOU ARE GOING TO EAT. NO POLITICIAN THAT I KNOW OF HAS EVER HAD ANY OF THE ABOVE PROBLEMS. YET THEY SMILE IN OUR FACES AND TELL US HOW THANKFUL THEY ARE…I SAY SHAME ON THEM! !THEY NEED TO FIX THIS AND DO IT NOW!!

    • MY HUSBAND SPENT 30 YEARS, HOW DARE THEY SAY THEY GOING TO CUT BENEFITS, HE SPENT 3 YEARS IN VIET NAM, THAT WAS NOT A PICNIC IN THE PARK FOR HIM OR HIS KIDS OR MYSELF. I WILL BE ON THERE FRONT STEPS IF THEY TRY TAKING THE RETIREMENTS ALL NEED TO STICK TOGETHER.

  13. robert l gilmore says:

    i agree with all of the statements. It took all these years for the military to pay attention to our vets from veitnam. It took 8 years for me working on my husband paper work to get them to know that all of his problems where from agent orange. At 74 he finnaly is 100% disabled. Now they want to take money from all of the Vets that stayed in the service for 20 or more years that is pure bull. Let congress know how you feel and be sure and vote in 2012 for another president or you will see a whole lot of stuff go bye bye., RLG retired AF

    • My father who is passed away now went through the same thing on Agent Orange and in fact that is what killed him. The VA did not recognize him for years and then finally they said he was 100% disabled. It is time to take care of Vietnam Vets.

    • It's not only the president we should get rid of. How about a new senate and congress. All new people can not be any worse that what we got. Everyone talks about it but come election time, they vote the same idiots in office. I think it was Lincoln who said we would be defeat from within. This country is going down the tubes from within

    • Kathleen says:

      My husband is a Vietnam vet also. What medical conditional are recognized for disability because of it?

    • Oh yeah, like Bachman,Pawlenty, Cuntsman, Ricky Perry or Ron Paul oh yeah pretty boy Romney? Sir, you will be in a war or the grave.

  14. Thanks for nothing you sorry Ba—-ds I served for 29 plus yrs and now your trying to take what was one of the reasons I stayed away form us. why don"t you sorry poeces of work give up your limos, free (totally) medical for life, full salaried retirementss if you serve only one term, your free body guards. and all those other bennies We those servive members are paying for. anf maybe by your own dam dinner for once.

    • lilsuej says:

      You know it!!!! I am tired of everytime someone needs money to fund something, here they come–digging in my pockets again. Benefits??? They are still lying to us today the same as they knew they were doing over 30 years ago and will continue to do unless the "all volunteer services" become obsolete. Bet that would get at least a wee bit of attention.

  15. Mac Lives says:

    I am the wife of retired Air Force Msgt [22yrs active duty] also am the child of military parents, grandparents, uncle, aunt. My family has served this country with great honor and dedication because we believe in freedom, just government, etc. Now for all that generations of sacrifice and believe me I remember the days of WWII with all the rationing of food supplies, gasoline. And I remember my own experience of making money ends meet during my husband's military career and because we had no children, we did not suffer nearly as badly as those familys with several children…I know because I saw first hand how hard some military families had with finances. Now with this new environment of terrorism -real or imagined as generated by the SPIN doctors- we want to put our forces in situations where serious crippling injury [if they are not killed] is a real prospect for anyone serving…and we want to make it equally difficult for the dependents to survive while their spouse is away in harm's way. Now just what do you think if going to be the overwhelming response to pay/benefit cuts ..how many men/women do you think are going to be gung-ho with their orders to report to exotic places like Afganistan or the borders of Pakistan, or wherever the numbnutz in DC seem to think our military forces need to be…does the American public really know the vast plans our government has in store for our troops regarding "boots on the ground"…probably not! WAKE UP AMERICANS – YOU ARE BEING FED BS BY YOUR GOVERN,MENT – ALL IN ORDER TO FILL THE COFFERS OF DEFENSE CONTRACTORS AND THE OIL COMPANIES…WE NEED TO ORGANIZE AND MARCH…MAKE OUR MILITARY VOICES HEARD. My advise to the DC pundits, you want to have a defense against terrorism…put on the uniform and go fight these politically generated messes yourself…

    • Ms. Rosa says:

      Organize The Group.
      Let me know when you have your first organizational meeting, I'll be there for sup-port. Promise…

    • I too am a military spouse (ex now) of 24 yrs active and married to him for all of those 24 years + 4. I think DOD could save alot of money on Tricare benefits it they did not include 2+ spouses of already retired military retirees. My former husband pays his $460 a year for he and his new wife while i have to pay my own $230 a year for myself, AND he can remarry and I can't? where is the justice in THAT. Grant you my benefits are the ONLY reason i do not remarry at this point in time. Even if it goes up to $520 a year for me alone, it is much better and cheaper than my employer plan at $2,040. per year.
      just sayin……

    • I'm there with you. Like yourself, I am a military brat, I was in the military for a brief four yr. stint and the spouse of a retired military man. I cannot believe what the heck is going on and it just burns me up that more people aren't outraged over this. CHANGE needs to come otherwise we are in a world of hurt and it needs to start at the Federal level. No more limo's, serving four years then they are golden etc. We need to show who is boss and who really runs this country and the next time some PERSON who is elected that has never served then takes credit for things the militarty mbs need to let him or her know whats what!

    • let me know when and where i march with you

    • Let us know when the march is and we will get all our veterans together

    • BRAVO. My only question to all is. What happens when we that serve stop.

    • Amen Sister

    • Rodger that Mac. But we who have been there realize if the grunts in the tanks and planes don't jump aboard. we will be dead or in Gitmo for insurection. And don't think the Brass wont order them to fire. Obama will be playing basketball so he will not bother to as who we are at war with now.

    • great

    • non-com says:

      with a peaceful march with the constitution in hand I think its high time what is written in the "C " about when the elected do not act in "THE PEOPLES "BEST" INTEREST " they can be removed not one or two but the whole bunch and I don't mean the tea party.we are sunk,to much $$$ way to much power in the wrong hands,another real bumer you try to buy land in china or japan do we know how much and where these countries OWN OF OUR HOME LAND ????? How would you find out ?? IT CAN NOT BE TO LATE TO TURN THIS AROUND WE NEED THE TYPE OF SINCERITY THAT THOSE WHO WROTE THE CONSITUTION FOR THE GOOD OF ALL !!!

    • I totally agree with you. I would not join the military this day and age with all the broken promises.

  16. The most the military and Fed employees can do is vote people out. We would have to show up in civies and not mention we were who we are to do a march on dc. However, our spouses could do it. Let's float that idea aorund and see if it holds water. When I came in, back in the 70's it was all supposed to be free after retirement. Now I pay for teeth, eyes and tricare, no cost of living increase in retirement or disability and my fed pay is frozen. Just how much more are we supposed to give up to satisfy the omnigod and powers that be. I agree that the socialist agend is right on track and picking up speed, please help me vote this bum out of office with the rest of the incumbants to boot.

  17. ITS TIME THAT WE DISPOSE OF ALL THE DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS!!!!

    THEIR PAY AND ECSPCISHILY THEIR PENSIONS AND MOST OF THEIR PERKS !!! ONE TERM AND THEY HAVE A LIFETIME PENSION AND MEDICAL AND OTHER BENIFITS

    • Robert, I don't know what getting rid of all the democrats will do, President Bush worked three consecutive years to raise TRICARE rates for retirees during his last years in office. His administration wanted to raise TRICARE rates much higher than the current congress, 2x for enlisted retirees and 3x for officer retirees.

      You are also wrong on Congress pensions. Members of Congress fall under the same retirement system as any federal employee, they DO NOT get full pension and medical benefits after one term. I recently retired and am now working as a GS employee, I have the same pension prospects as any member of Congress, please do your homework.

      • Gary, where/what did you retire from and if Military was it 0-5 or above? It drives me nuts hearing things I do about Democrats and Republicans doing what they do. The cuts should start from the top not at bottom. Oh are we trying to create a Upper Class and lower class system with no middle class? if that is the case maybe a march and exposure of many is in order.

    • It's the Republicans suggesting the cutbacks…dumbass

    • LTC Mike Dunnings says:

      Robert, why just Democrats in congress? It sounds like you are confused. Stop saying stupid things and making a fool out of yourself. The last thing any of us need is devisive statements like yours. Oh by the way stop disrepecting the Commander in Chief. It is not patriotic at all and disrespectful to every servicemember currenly serving. RESPECT THE OFFICE OF THE POTUS!

    • Look closer & do not be surprised the suppowsedly moral right conservatives are doing the most lying giving the oil, industry, bankers, insurance companies, & wall street all of what they want. Wake up, it is a conservative unwritten, but oft spoken conspiracy to kill the middle class & all retired wannabees from the military. Are you all so badly brain washed by the so called conservatives you cannot see it ? They have never seen a billionaire they do not love, middle class ??????????? Do they not collect the garbage & sweep their streets ?

    • KansasJack says:

      WHy are you blaming the Democrats?? The corporate republicans and the spend, spend , spend policies they had in the past and their want to stop every useful program may, just may be the reason. However I find that the representatives from Kansas are a bunch of no good SOB that need to get real jobs, especially that traitor Roberts.

    • PROOFTURN says:

      ROBERT GATES IS A REPUBLICAN. YOU ARE BLAMING THE WRONG PARTY.THE SAME PARTY THAT WANT TO GET RID OF UNION AND REDUCE THE PAY OF TEACHERS. DO YOUR ON RESEARCH. YOU CANNOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING FOX NEWS SAYS.

    • You must have not been paying attention when the Tea party got tons of republicans elected – all that they want to do is keep giving the rich and the big oil companies (where they have their investments) big tax breaks and get the money to run the government from all of us POOR slobs ! We NEED to vote the Republicans back out of offices.

    • I think you mean all of the republicans. They are doing alot more harm than the democrats any day any time… I'm sure many people may not rember what baby Bush did to this country!!!!!!!

    • no one has been colder about shafting veterans than Republicans. It's too bad that this like you have blinders on and get taken advantage all the time. By supporting Republicans don't care a hoot about veterans except sending them to another war.

    • Dunno how to point this out to you and many other people posting here. It's not the President or the Democrats attacking our benefits. It's the Republicans.

  18. Angry Squid says:

    I'm very proud of the time I served in the Navy. It pisses me off to know that once again our government is screwing the vets yet again. We should be used to broken promises by now! When I joined it wasn't for the pay, the pay sucked, or the travel, although sometimes that was a plus or going to war. I decided that I would do what very few of my peers were willing to do at the time, I joined the navy. I put up with the deployments, missing my family, missing my kids birth and first…., risk and danger. What for, nothing it appears. I was young stupid and naive, I actually believed our government would honor it's commitments and promises. I'm older, wiser now. If I knew now what I did then, they'd have to draft me to get me to go again. My son just asked me if he should join the NAvy, my advise was, "son you'er an adult, you can do what you want to do, there's certainly nothiing wrong with serving your country. But under teh current crop of yes men officers running the pentagon, and our current government, I wouldn't recommend it. You'd get more respect and consideration out of our government if you were a crackhead or illegal alien.

    • AMEN..

    • Rodger that. My 1sg from Nam just died. Agent orange. For yours he fought to get treatment. For years he got told that he was full of crap and we would never spray our soldiers with a defoliant that might harm them. When his second kidney started to go. They sad well maybe you caught something in the jungle. What f'ing jungle he said it was defoliated by agent orange. He lasted a few months and then died. He always told me as the VN war ended. "I will not stand down. I will never stand down." Wonder if his death was because of an attitude check?

    • Mad Dog says:

      Another angry officer squid agrees. Since day one, anything I wanted was a battle but, I did get everything I was promised because I delivered everything and more. I retired in 88 and after all those years, was finally awarded 100% disability for a variety of service connected problems, deterined by a board. But, it took seventeen years of fighting, exams, letters, and so on and so forth. And now we are told by that bitch who wants to be present that we should sacrifice again and more. All these jerks are nothing but Obabas mermydons and they are as disgusting as he is. I hope they all get what they deserve because it is they that are responsible for the state of the economy and the treasury and the various trust funds that they have robbed over the last forty five years and the spending on wars and giveaways to foreign nations and supporting illegal immigrants and so on and so forth, and telling the Americna people, as well as veterans that, we haven't given enough!. They need to get some BETTER DRUGS FOR WASHINGTON AND CAPITOL HILL. THEY ARE PUSHING FOR A REVOLT AND THEY MAY GET IT.

  19. Don't get mad get even guys. The way to beat a socialist Whitehouse is to vote them out. American's socialist experiment is over, Barack is gone, so hang in there until the Republicans can take the country back from the communists.

    • Ernie, stop making a fool out of yourself and learn the facts. This administration has done more for the military that any other recent president. You apparently do not understand that it is both Republican and Democrats who seek to reduce your benefits but some how you only blame the Democrats. By doing this you sound stupid. All you old vets need to stop disrespecting the POTUS. It is not patriotic and is disrespectful to all of us who continue to serve. PLEASE STOP YOUR UNAMERICAN ANTICS!

      LTC D.

      • rodger43 says:

        I think a quote from Theodore Roosevelt fits nicely here. He said, "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president."

        MCPO, USN (Ret.)

    • afguy 58-78 says:

      The last time I checked the little draft dodger, W, was a repugnacan and his administration of like minded draft dodgers, Cheney, Wolfiewitzy etc. got us into these unnecessary wars. Also initiated the cuts in defense budget, but sent billions to Iraq and Afhan. Remember the planes loaded with US cash sent to Iraq…

    • I don't get it. Why are you blaming the Democrats when it is the Republicans who are attacking our benefits?

    • Hell I am a Republican, but these ass holes are the ones proposing this, and shoving it down our throats, so the rich don't have to pay taxes., from a retired Vietnam vet..

    • Communism is not in america

    • what the fuck are you talking about ernie? free healthcare and all of the other benies you get in the voulunteer military is socialist.

  20. Most of my fellow servicemembers posts here have certainly expressed their thoughts and covered most of issues. I would also like to add that a military retiree at 20 years has more than likly put in more than 40 years not 20 years. Military personnel don't work 8 hour days as the civilian population does and they certainly don't spend months away from their families, or pay their way home and back to their duty stations to visit family, and I doubt they duck many bullets. The majority of the current set of politicians have never served in the service so one could have anticipated how they treat the military. Most government employees have better medical coverage than military personnel, and I don't hear any clamor to raise their medical cost shares. The only bullet these politicians dodge is not being procecuted for affairs with their office staff.

    • I pay over $500 month for my medical insurance as a very typical government worker. Coverage has decreased over the past three years, to include increased co-pays and deductibles. Meanwhile the cost in the same time period has increased 38 percent.

      • yeh, but you have more choice in Doctors and benefits than does the military

      • Are you REALLY that clueless?? Tricare Prime(some prime!) pays 80% of "approved" cost after copays AND you must use only approved doctors! Doctors that will accept a VERY small pittance of pay for medical services. The "approved" amounts for these services all but GUARANTEE we will get the BOTTOM of the medicine barrel. Try using Tricare Standard instead which allows you to use any doctor and pays 75% of approved costs after copay. OOPS one catch!! The Tricare approved pay scale for treatment has now dropped so low that OVER 50% of Doctors WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT TRICARE AS INSURANCE PAYMENT.Each year they have been lowering the allowable cost payments for Tricare reimbursments for medical procedures! Try this: Call the Yellow pages in YOUR town and see how many doctors say they will take you as a patient if you have Tricare Prime!! THEN try to talk stupid about comparing apples and LEMONS!!!

    • The everyday Federal employee pays higher medical insurance premiums every year, plus dental and eye insurance is extra, if one can afford it. And salaries are frozen. You are mistaken, or thinking of the bum politicians who get everything for free. You should have a beef with them, but not the federal employees. They have had to always pay for their medical insurance, life insurance, not like private industry, who had paid benefits. Now, they, too, want govt. employees to have nothing, like they should work for free. My solution for this complaining country, who is too dumb to see that the plan is to turn workers against each other, and generations against each other so they can suspend elections through executive orders, when riots break out here like abroad. Everyone needs to wake up and realize what is going on here – the Socialist Agenda. You know the expression, Can't see the forest for the trees – well there are a lot of trees blocking our sight today. We all need to stick together as citizens. God Bless Us Everyone, U.S. Citizens, & Our Military.

    • I agree with your comment, but I have to correct you on one point. As a federal employee (and a veteran), I can tell you our federal health benefits suck! For me to see a specialist that I need to see, it was going to cost me over $500 every 3 months out of pocket and that's with my federal employee health insurance! Now the coverage our government officials have is another story…

  21. WH HYDER says:

    "The hypocrisy of America's government knows no bounds."

    • Yes and how about we cut the Medical care of Congress!! And the sweet deal of Retirement pay they get??

      My husband was in Viet Nam. He died of things that exposure to Agent Orange causes. He was 62. He was USAF Retired. (1991) He deserved all the benifits he got. Pay was never that high, if you compared it to civilian pay. Time to let the House know what we think of their cuts!!

  22. Those of us who served in the 1940-1956 years were promised free medical etc., and after going through the court system which found in our favor it was determined that we would no longer pay the Part B for Social Security. I am still waiting for this to happen. I would caution anyone to take any government promises with a grain of salt so you will not be disappointed when the bubble bursts.

    • We don't get free medical care. We pay for it.

    • Paying part B medicare is required in order to be covered by Tricare so where is the FREE part? Been retired sense 1974 havent received any of this FREE stuff yet. When does it come???

      • Hubby joined in 1960, retired 20 years later in 1980. I remember the promises of free medical care for life. What they don't tell you, is that at the time you go onto medicare and onto Tri-care for life, is that you have to take Medicare part B. We paid $460 for both of us, for one year coverage, of Tri-Care Prime. Right now, we each pay $96 and some odd cents, for Medicare part B, each month. Let's just round it off to the highest dollar, that is $1200 a year for each of us for Medicare part B, a total of $2400 a year for both of us, a big jump from $460 total, for the both of us under Tri-Care Prime.

  23. sabres70 says:

    If the Democrats were not wasting money with this bloated government elsewhere then this would be an issue. Just another plant via the President's administration to attack the retired military.

    • Michael says:

      Dude you don't know what the fuck your talking about!! This is nothing to do with the President and democrat in congress. You need the congress as a whole and stop with the racism finger pointing. If you are a vet and believe in all mankind don't hide behind your racism views in this blog. show your face.

      • Lynne N says:

        What was racist about sabres70 comments? I don't know why policy disputes are always accompanied with vitriol. The fact is that Tricare is a great program. And military are getting a "sweet deal". But that doesn't mean that it is unwarranted or unearned. I am a retired officer and think increasing enlisted service members fees for tricare is a bit unjust, First because it has real economic impacts on those that served and because it was an implicit promise made in the recruiting process every since at least the Vietnam war. A reasonable increase in officer fees would not be a breach of promises nor a real economic hardship in most cases.

      • let me see if i have this mike…..if i disagree with obama, then i am a racist. oh yeah, how about this one…..its probably all bush s fault ,,,right? i do not blame sabres70 for not showing his face when there are imbeciles like you out there. oh…i do apologize….imbecile too complicated for you? hmnnn…..okay, how about something you might understand…..ASSHOLE

    • NIGHTSTALKER says:

      WAKE UP MEAT HEAD…. ITS NOT THE DEMOCRATS OR THE REPUBLICANS…. IT IS ALL OF THEM…. QUIT BLAMING THE DEMOCRATS, AND WAKE UP TO LIFE…. NONE OF THEM CARE ABOUT US…. PERIOD

      • Anybody have the time to run for office on a "give us back our government platform"? I'd vote for you. I have to work 7 days a week after retiring from the military just to feed my family, but I will FIND the time to visit a voting booth!!!!!!

      • You have a right to feel the way you do about anyone, it'd a free country. But do not sow the seeds of division in your own home. When they caried you to the dustoff with your guts hanging out would you or anybody say…."hey I don't want no (insert the race, color or creed that you hate the most)….. touching my poncho." Well maybe some did but they aren't here to tell us how they feel.

      • dabouv1 says:

        Yes. As a physician I can tell you that Tricare sucks, the VA sucks and it has nothing to do with who is in office.
        First of all, the VA attracts lower level employees. It is a fact, it isn't opinion. There are some great ones but the job security is too great for the crappy ones.
        Anyone with a service related injury should have the red carpet rolled out for them. I was in the VA system during the 90's and while there were some WWII guys left, a large percentage of what we saw were not service related. There should be a very different level of care fo those who survived the Death March (had two of those guys) and a guy who was enlisted in 1980 and had a jeep wreck with a fx. arm and is on disability for PTSD. Saw that one too.
        Anyone who serves for a long period or has an injury that is service connected deserves first class care even if it means raising my taxes 3%. We have to make the system work better and have to weed out who gets VA care for life but those who sacrificed deserve our care and respect.

    • Al Cooper says:

      Relaz Sabres, it's a non-partisan rape. PLEASE try to keep "they did" out of it.

    • There was a point in time when the 2-party system worked for this country – it doesn't work anymore. These days it's all about winning, losing, money, power – it's not about the AMERICAN PEOPLE

      When people wake up and quit being a republican or a democrat our country will begin move forward again. The politicians in this country make way too much money for serving yet we ask some of our finest young people to lay down their lives for $22,000 a year – does anyone else see this inequity????

    • debbidodaday says:

      I'm sorry but you are wrong..it's not the democrats, but bureaucrats..Don't forget that it was a Republican who borrowed from Social Security to pay for 2 wars he didn't want on the books so we could all live high on the hog and he could say he "balanced the budget". And because we (the American People) chose to look the other way, we are all paying for it. We are a retired military family and we suffer like the rest of you

    • Swiftright says:

      You twit its the teabaggers who are pushing this. Pick up a copy of the June AmVets mag. VFW is a conservative as it gets and even they are hammering on the Jerk Rand for trying to screw us. Right now the Republican budget community is ACTIVLY trying to exclude class 7 and 8 vets from the VA.

      I'm a Republican myself but blaming the liberals for what the teabaggers are trying to due doesn't help anyone except those sellouts trying to pass off their neo libratarian agenda as conservative policy

    • There you go again blaming the Democrats. By doing this you loose credibility. You do understand that the Republicans are also involved in trying to reduce your benefits. The president may be the only person who can help us. It has to go before a Republican lead House before it gets to the President's desk. Stop your stupidity or what ever is driving your misguided anger. Maybe watching something other than FOX might help.

  24. DOD is pulling out all of the stops to screw the military.

  25. sgmjolson(ret) says:

    Have you noticed how little this subject is covered by the national media? It's all well and good that we bond, and sympathise here on military.com (thank's for the great site!!!). Just think what an impact we could have if each and everyone of us wrote a short editorial comment addressing our concerns in our local papers. Get our message out on the street. Let all Americans know what they are not hearing from the media regarding proposed cuts to veterans benefits. Just maybe, if we can arouse the American Public on our behalf, someone in Washington will listen.

    • Problem is not much media that general public sees/hears would want to publish it.

    • Retired AF 1992 says:

      Hellooooo! 99% of the media hasn't had any military experience either. Most of them think we just sponge off the public. Well, illegal aliens sponge off of all of us. Why not jack their butts back to where they came from?

      • Excuse me if we unit on this cause we might somehow by the grace of what ever Almighty you beieve in suceed. But why go off on the immigrands. The broader the struggle the less chance it will have a snowballs chance in hell of going anywhere.

    • Al Cooper says:

      I DID write…my Senators, my Congressmen, my President, Tricare (insurance office), and Social Security Office….via computer. How many answers would you guess I've received back? Yup, NONE,ZERO, ZILCH, ZIPPO, Well, I HAVE been in remission for lung cancer for two years, and there's no significant and unusual pain, so…….status quo. Maybe I'll die, and be less of a thorn in "their" side. Haha…"that's life!"

      • No that's your life, if you want to stand down no one will judge you. But if you want to stand up and fight then let the rest of us give you what help we can an "and leave no man behind."

    • 100% Correct …I say we take this info to the news media ….I will bottle all of this stuff up and get it to my local news media here in Orlando Florida. I encourage all to do the same with their local media.

    • That's a great idea. Using the local papers. I'm sending one tonight

    • Janice Aye says:

      I think everyone should call the state reps…. and also write some editorials to local papers…. Thanks everyone for support…. We all spents years… my husband 20.. sons 18.. Why don't the gov. see that we would not be very powerful if all our fighting men and women knew what would be going on when they returned..

  26. nraddin says:

    The problem here is that people think that medical care is a privilege not a right. People shouldn't have to work 20years in the military to be sure that their kids don't die of something easily treatable. Children and young adults in this country die at a higher rate than any other 1st world country because we refuse to give them medical care. The problem isn't that the military gets to much benefits, it's that everyone else doesn't get enough.

    • Ernest T. says:

      People need to arrange a take care of them self. The Government does not owe everyone free health care. Retired DOD people earned health care!

      • nraddin says:

        So Children without healthcare are at fault because they didn't work hard enough to get that care? That kid in collage should be saddled with a $50,000 medical bill because he got sick or injured before he entered the work force? Maybe I am just a softy, but I don't think that children and young adults should suffer and die, or find themselves in perpetual debt because they needed medical care.

        • D. Fayette says:

          Yep, you are a softy, and you border on being a thief. Nature provided the human body with the essential basics to fight disease and heal from injuries. Just because there have been scientific advancement in medical care doesn't mean everybody is entitled to recieve high cost procedures at someone else's expense. You are free to contribute to any charity you desire that might provide these services, but you have no right to extract money from someone else by force (government taxation) to pay for what you think should be done. Should we all have mansions and cadilac, just because others have them. Is it right to spend several million dollars of someone else's money to extend a life by a few months? Should alcoholics get a new liver, just to have them ruin it too? A cigarette smoker a new lung?

          • nraddin says:

            You have a reading comprehension problem apparently. Did I say anything about cigarette smokers, or 80year old people. No I talked about children and young adults. Forget the fact that it would increase the nations GDP if we gave basic medical care to everyone as they would be sick less often and require less long term care, I am not going to flight people that can't do math about weather adults should get it, I am talking about children and young adults. I am going to guess that you had someone pay for your medical coverage until you where at least 18 years old, but I guess you think that unless that parents can afford that the child should just suffer.

          • nraddin says:

            I am going to just preempt your next responce about how it's not your fault that the parents of children can't afford medical coverage. And your right it's totally not your fault. You know who else's fault it isn't? The children. You want to punish and allow to suffer children for the mistakes of an adult. That is really the sickest kind of immoral unethical behavior.

          • D. Fayette says:

            You are free to donate your dollars to charities of all kinds that have been around a long time to do just what you want the Government to do. You are free to organize your own charity to do what you would like to do. You could organize with others that want do the same. Have you opened your free clinic yet? Are you studying to be a health care provider to donate your time and talent for you cause?

            The more people become dependent on government to provide for them, the more they demand. It's amazing the number of people that are scamming.

            The more government gets involved, the less freedom we have. The more government provides, the more control over the population they have.

            If it wasn't about control, Obama, Clinton, Gates, Buffet, Soros, and all the other left wingers would be working hard to provide the medical services outside of Government. They'd form a healthcare insurance company to issue policies based on a clients ability to pay, Hollywood stars would pay a million or more a year, the street bum would get his comprehensive policy for free. There are solutions outside of government to accomplish the same thing, even for the children and young adults.

            The sickest kind of immoral unethical behavior is the use of force to get a desired behavior. That's seems to be what you are advocating, using the force of government to do something that you can be accomplished without government force–via persuasion.

          • nraddin says:

            Right totally immoral to expect that adults with contribute to the common good of children and those that are unable to take care of themselves. Poor you having to pay a little out of your paycheck toward the common good of your fellow citizens, your taxes (Some of the lowest in the world) must be a real burden on you (Although I am sure you also argue that we should lower taxes on the rich). I am sorry that I asked you to do anything for the country that does everything for you.

    • Retired NCO says:

      nraddin, you made an excellent point and it is so very true. When our nations people must make a choice between paying their electric bill or going to the doctor, buying medication or even going to the dentist , it is a very sad state we ALL are in….God help us all cause the politicians will not help…they keep changing the rules to suit their needs…..I

    • Look I can understand making sure children have healthcare, and maybe we would be able to provide such a thing, if we were not paying for Drug addicts, cancer treaments for murders and rapists in our jails, those who simply refuse to work and come up with anyway to use and abuse the system, and if our congress would quit voting for themselves to get a raise. Just a thought.

  27. LeeRetArmy says:

    I will be more than happy to have my rates increased as soon as all of our elected officials are placed on equal footing with the military. The politicians need massive pay cuts need to be required to pass drug screening, and need to serve for 20 years before they are eligible for retirement. A lot of us grunts that have done 20 years are so damn busted up we spend a fair bit of our time at the Doctors office trying to stay functional so we can still work and continue to pay taxes for all the leaches can get what they want for free.

    • Damn strait my man!!! I had to have a pacemaker installed and got out on a medical retirement. If they were so fiscally responsible then congress should start by trimming the fat in their own department. Leave those who have served honorably and given their health in service of their country alone.

    • You are right on target!! Let's work to get congress AND the president to take cuts….if I remember correctly, leadership starts at the top….where is the leadership by example?????

    • Very, very good point. I was medically retired after getting wounded "in the line of". I was rated 80% disabled. I chose to continue to work to provide for my family and, therefore, turned down 100% (although it would have been very lucrative to completely retire due to my injuries). The VA took good care of me and I got to go to university using a program that is very much like the current GI Bill. I have been working in the civilian world as an engineer for 17 years now and have never been able to get employer subsidized insurance. I am always denied coverage due to my previous injuries. Tri-Care is all I have and will ever have.

      What kind of leaders would turn their backs on the disabled veterans of the wars they themselves either started or eagerly chose to get involved in??

    • Terry De Pew says:

      There ya go.

    • Salt the dirty leech parasites.

    • I am receiving 10% disability for both of my knees and my left shoulder. It is not a result of wounds, but from the joints being worn out from running and from lifting and carrying weights. As a doctor told me, my body was just getting worn out.

    • dontgothere says:

      and those of us who are already retired STILL DO spend a great deal of time trying to stay functional. i have a choice, i can use a chiropractor and massage therapist at MY cost or take massive amounts of drugs.

    • Bill Perry says:

      I am 77 years old and I reenlisted in 1956 for the first time. I was working in a reenlistment office at England AFB, La at the time and we had brochures galore that lamented the free medical, dental and eye care for us and our dependents for life if only we would reenlist and stay for 20 years. Upon retirement I was offered 55% of my retired pay for my wife and family if I died. I did not know that once selected I could not reverse my decision and get out of it. After retirement congress elected to cut that 55% to 35% ; however, they did't decrease the amount they took from my retired pay nor give me an opportunity to get out of it. Finally after years (about 25) they changed it back to 55% with a lot of pressure from military groups. From the time I retired to age 65 I had health care under my wife's coverage and probably spent less than $100 dollars of government dollars. At 65 I was forced to go on medicare and pay their premiums (this was the free care I was promised) and there never was any free coverage for dental or eye care. I now spend over $4,000 per year on co-pays, prescriptions,etc. Again so much for free medical, dental and eye care. Congress can go back on its word anytime but tell me if you tried going back on your word while in the military and tried to get out in between enlistments – just how successful would you have been? Congress will screw the military every time they can – especially when they need more funds to blow on every piss ant or owl in the world.

      • You're a hero until they can't use you anymore…. typical government behavior.
        when or if the current wars are over they'll treat our service men and women like dogs….

    • JR, COW says:

      Amen brother! I hurt my back several times from all the runs in boots, O courses, C courses, and evyerthing else we did to be tough enough and ready to roll. I'm proud of my service but I surely want the appropriate medical coverage to take care of he serious stuff (over 60% disabled per the VA). We pay while on active duty and then we pay for the resst of our lives with our pain and discomfort. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers."

    • The politicians need massive pay cuts need to be required to pass drug screening, and need to serve for 20 years before they are eligible for retirement

      Yep.. HM1 USN ret 63-82 Nam 69-70

      Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2011/06/usa
      MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

    • Amen, brother. Thank you for your service to our nation.

    • Diane Sanders says:

      I fully agree with what you are saying. I am the wife of an AF Retired E6 and he is about as broken down as they come. He was in Vietnam and exposed to agent orange. He is dealing with diabetes, skin cancer, heart disease, poor circulation in his feet and legs, loss of hearing and suffering from PTSD. He spends most of his days going to dr. appt. or group meetings and he is only 61yrs of age. All his problems are combat related and yet he has to fight for every little thing he can get. I don't think it's right that these "golden ass holes" in our government should receive benefits or retirement that is any better than what we get!! Oh by the way we only got half of what his "Base Pay" was for retirement not half of his whole paycheck. When he did retire he had to find a full time job so we could still barely make ends meet. Would we do it over again>? Absolutely, we are proud to be Americans and we would fight for our country any day. It's just to bad that our politians aren't willing to do the same for us 'AMERICANS" I guess if we were illegal aliens in this country they would fight tooth and nail for us!!!

  28. You know what else is a pretty sweat deal? Freedom. How about the troops cut back on providing that for awhile.

  29. Rebecca says:

    Our military is full of welfare types who want the govt to give them everything free. Tricare for Life didn't even exist until 1999, your recruiter didn't promise it to you.. And retirees aren't in service anymore. Pay your share you bums.

    • LeeRetArmy says:

      Already did in Iraq, Panama and Korea. Before Tricare medical and dental was through Champus at little or no cost. And Yes it was part of the recruiting pitch serve 20 or more years and your medical needs would be taken care of for the rest of your life. This promise was to offset the low pay and high risk jobs soldiers were willing to volunteer for. Getting shot at and being in mine fields is slightly more hazardous than driving your kids to a soccer game.

    • LeeRetArmy says:

      By the way retirees are subject to recall.

    • Dominic says:

      There you have it, Rebecca is revealing what so many "redistributors" really think of our military.

      You see, we serve the greater "good" even though it kicks us in the groin.

      Throw yourself a bone Rebecca, the debt retirees owed has been paid; I wouldn't lift a finger to save your sorry ass from yourself today.

      I bet you support killing the unborn to save money too?

      • retired army wife says:

        you sure got it right Dominic, people like Rebecca haven't got a clue and don't have a clue what freedom cost's and all the soldier's that died. and the terrible thing's they endured all the one's that had to leave home and never got to come back .where was their welfare types. she doesn't even know that Tricare replaced Champus.

      • CMSgt Ret says:

        Guess who has insured /maintained your right to free speech you sorry sack of crap.

    • John Retired US Navy says:

      SOOOOOOOO MISSSSS AMERICAAAAAAAA. I KNOW YOUR A DUMB A##. WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INFORMATION AND DATE ON TRI-CARE FOR LIFE WHICH WAS ENACTED INTO LAW IN OCTOBER, 1996 (APPROVED AND SIGNED INTO LAW TO THEN PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON. YOUR SECOND MISTAKE IS TO CALL HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF US (BUMS) WHO SERVED OUR COUNTRY SO JACKASSES SUCH AS YOU COULD ROAM THE STREETS FREE. SAY YOUR PRAYERS TONIGHT AND ASK FOR GOD TO FORGIVE YOU. OHHHHHH JUST A MINUTE, I DOUBT YOU KNOW HOW TO PRAY SO I'LL SAY ONE TONIGHT FOR YOU TO THANK ALL THOSE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WHO DIED SERVING OUR COUNTRY AND ARE STILL WITH US TODAY WITHOUT LEGS OR ARMS OR EYESITE THAT WERE WOUNDED WHILE TRYING TO KEEP YOU FREE.

    • retired462 says:

      Well, Rebecca, with an attitude like yours, either your "DADDY OR MOMMY" is probably serving in congress, and is really being taken care of for the rest of their lives; or you are some "THIRD GENERATION WELFARE B*TCH" who has never paid for anything yourself, and lives off us taxpayers! I'm sure that you fit in one of the categories I mentioned! I lean more towards the latter for you though!

    • What do you do to earn a living? did you go to college or are you in college now? Do you have a job, or are your mom and dad paying for your tuition? What type of healthcare do you have?

    • frank USA Ret says:

      why dont you take your slimy butt and jion the military and find out what kind of crap you must endure. Odds are you wear a veil and love camels. I would guess your on welfare yourself and cant qualify for the military because your stupid.

    • herknav says:

      Are you for real? I have paid for TFL many times over by numerous deployments away from my family living in some shithole in the desert, losing more money on reselling houses than the average family will spend on healthcare in their lives, and the mental anguish my family has gone through at every deployment and every PCS move. Pull your head out of your A$$

      • It is hard to believe that there is really someone out there like Rebecca that would open her mouth and insert her foot as far as she did. Many veterans who served 20 years deserve what they were promised from the time the started. If congress feels that it is too sweet a deal then like many other benifits that have fallen by the way side they can always grandfather in the new standards for those that join after the change so there would not be any grievance about something that was taken away since they know up front that benifit is no longer and option. Those of us that servered did so with an understanding what is expected of us. At the same time we expected the governement to follow through with their promises. It is good to see that so many people joined in to put Rebecca in her place. Perhaps she realizes what a fool she looks like as she never responded with any defence on her unsupported words. She should atleast apologize for her lack of knowledge.

    • Sam - Retired says:

      It makes me sad to think of all the honorable men and women who have defended the freedoms of this great country and one of those enjoying those freedoms is a scum-bag like you. We deserve what we were promised. Get informed bottom dweller and get a life (one that is better than the one you must have now you lower than a whale shit turd).

    • Clueless.

    • Disabled Vet's wife says:

      Rebecca, pay YOUR share you bi*ch! Our military are not welfare types, just paid at poverty level while putting their lives on the line for your freedom. Our military are certainly entitled to retirement benefits as well as anyone in the private sector. The military has paid their share, a very high share in some cases, with their lives. Did you ever think that the reason you are able to write such insults to honorable people, is because they put their lives on the line for you. When you have been to war, or lost a leg or worse, have seen your comrades forfeit their lives, then maybe you have a right to judge our soldiers and our military retirees.

      MAYBE YOU SHOULD GIVE YOUR SHARE!

    • patrick says:

      you are one messed up in the head person

    • Bubba El says:

      Bubba El. I'm not a bum you fool. I enlisted in 1951 shortly after the start of
      Korean war, I served my country for 24 years and retired after the Vietnam
      war. I probaly pay more in taxes then you dream of. After I retired from the
      military I worked for another 28 years for a mainstream Hospital and a
      large church. So what have you done for your country besides run your
      mouth?

    • Wow!!!!!!!! You not only inserted your foot into your mouth, you also have your head so far up your a** that you haven't got a clue. You have absolutely no idea what we military members, active duty and retirees, have had to endure while serving our country. We do pay our share with our lives, our health, and our families.

      By the way, some of us who retire after twenty years are still subject to recall for at least another ten years. I have another 4 and half years to go before I'm "not in the service anymore" as are many others.

      What gets my goat is people like you who haven't got a clue to what they are talking about. My suggestion… do some research, from various resources, before making a dumba** comment like the one you made on this post. Go crawl back under the rock you came out of.

    • SSGT MC says:

      Thank you Judge almighty. Have you worked a job where you worked 18+ hours, loading 5000 pound pallets on to aircraft, eat little, sleep little and back on the flight line after 5 hours sleep, lasting at least 2 to 3 months at a time. Going on remote assignments and constant temporary duty assignments, and tried to stay and be head of your family and household. Moving from place to place every 18 to 36 months, never astabilishing roots to call home. Leaving in sub stancdard housing, never feeling like you belonged anywhere but always finding connections with the group of military family from base to base???????? All so we can be considered welfare scum of society. Our military have a deep commitment when they decided to stay their 20+ years, and it wasn't because the perks were great! But the promises that were made were not in 1999 because my husband, who enlisted in 1973 and my father who enlisted 1953 were given the promise at reenlistment the benefits of medical care for life, which was to include children til age 21 if in college and spouses. Lack of concern and uninformed thinking like yours is why we have a shameful outlook on our country. We should honor and take care of those who serve and those who have served and also take care of our elderly and children who have no one to look after them.

    • Oh wow! Did you really just allow that much ignorance to fly out of your mouth? “Our military is full of welfare types who want the govt to give them everything free.” Check this out, you can lose the word ‘our’ when referring to the military because MY military doesn’t belong to and fight for ungrateful, disrespectful, and undeserving people like you! “Tricare for Life didn’t even exist until 1999, your recruiter didn’t promise it to you.. And retirees aren’t in service any more. Pay your share you bums.” Once again, really? For 1, have you signed a military contract? Obviously not with your crappy attitude! So how the heck would you know when what was implemented or what was promised to who? Oh, well obviously you wouldn’t! FYI: recruiters don’t make these promises, they may tell potential soldiers about them, but you see, soldiers SIGN A CONTRACT that promises these benefits and such! And to call MY military bums, you listen here you little witch, you are obviously one of the very ones helping screw up the budget by living for free! YOU are the BUM! Yet you seem to have such a high opinion of yourself….yet I NEVER saw you, not even once, put a price on the freedom you have, due to MY military who makes that possible for your ungrateful self! So since you obviously don’t stand behind MY soldiers and support them, I not only encourage you, but I advise you TO GO RIGHT ON AHEAD AND STAND IN FRONT OF THEM! Then, maybe….just maybe, you can fairly say that you paid your share, you BUM! But since we all know you won’t be doing that, it would be best for you and your anti-military attitude to go elsewhere with your complete ignorance!

      • retiree says:

        Hate to tell you this, but no contract since at least 1958 promised free medical care for life. If there was such a promise, Congress broke it in 1994 with Tricare – the train has left the station on that.

    • I guess you never served in the military….Your comment about "Pay your share (YOU BUMS)…sorry I am one of those bums and a female retiree..what are you…when you work 12 hours a day, did you paid for overtime…we didn't…please talk about what you know

    • usesomecommonsense says:

      Maybe you're not aware that the "bums" who retired stayed in the military for 20 years to earn those benefits, or that they served at a pay rate well below what they could have earned elsewhere. Maybe you're not aware that many enlisted troops live at or below poverty level because they get paid so pitifully little. Let's increase YOUR taxes to pay military members more so they can afford healthcare when they retire.

      As for "Tricare for Life," maybe it didn't exist until the 1990s, but lifelong health and dental benefits were being promised for decades and decades before that. Retirees may not be in service anymore, but many are unable to work due to injuries they received while defending your right to have the freedom of speech to call them "bums." Maybe they should have chosen the higher paying job with the cushy office, no combat, no being away from their families and — oh, yes — no FREEDOM for you and yours when our country is invaded for not being able to protect itself from terrorists and its enemies.

      • retiree says:

        All those with injuries received while on Active Duty are entitled to free VA medical care for those conditions – I just got the VA briefing.

    • GET Bent REBECCA, Bet you didn't serve or anyone in your family! It's easy for you to sit on your ass and make comments like that when you haven't had a husband, father,brother, or son go off to war and hope that they just come home!!!! You have the right to say what you did because of the men and women who have served! You really need to know what you're talking about also when you say "you weren't promised" because our government did promise those things. Sure hope I need meet you on the street!!!!!

    • DCSFCRET says:

      Who the hell are you and what planet do you come from? I definately know you never served you B##%&&

    • Charles says:

      Many civilians who have dangerous jobs also get these benefits (police, fire, etc.) I don't see you demanding they "pay their share" and calling them "bums".

    • Big Larry says:

      Tricare for Life is a fix to broken promises by Uncle Sam. I joined in 1961 and told if I stay for 20 years all my medical, dental, vision, etc would be paid for at retirement. Did not happen. I pay for my vision and pay for dental insurance. What Medicare does not pay Tricare picks up. After serving for 28 yrs I think all who were promised should receive what was promised. And the other big government lie. I was told I could retire at 65 with full benefits BS. They, the idiots, moved the date out to 65 and 10 months for me. And you, Rebecca should stand in the boots of the military for a year and see how you like it before you blast out of your butt about us.

    • retiredchief says:

      If you are not military, keep you trap shut, and if you are then get it out of your A–. Tricare for Life was part of the rerite of military benefits called CHAMPUS, and Congress (which by the way was democatic at the time) wrote it to help pay for our services. Study your history.

    • Robert Carpenter says:

      You're the one that's a bum and an idiot!! Haven't you ever heard of Champus? That was the name of TriCare, dumb ass!

    • I'm sorry that it has Taking me so Long in responding, but I have just seen you comment. I wonder what your life has been like. I'm sure that you have never had it so hard as our veterans, if so please explain so I could come to grips with your point of view.
      By the way Rebecca, is or was your last name FONDA?

  30. marathodical says:

    I agree to boycott USA Today and every liberal newspaper who doesn't understand military systems (healthcare, justice, etc.).

    The Officer or civilian doctor on a military installation gets a set pay, probably less than those down town. Plus many other costs of military installation facilities aren't regulated by the money theyr'e losing by not filling bed space. So, the health care costs at a military installation should be less than that of down town. Why should I pay $4000 a year to not use my medical benefits when I'm well, or maybe I should go in everytime I feel strange, weesy, have a little cough, to get my $4000 worth.

  31. by the time a military retiree becomes eligible for his medical coverage, he is pretty much broke down with all kinds of ailments, physical and mental conditions that civilians know little of or will never experience. Reasonable medical coverage is the least our government can do to repay these military for their honored service. If DOD and Congress want to save money on its health care obligations, then perhaps our legislators should re-consider before launching troops off to foreign wars that can never be won.

  32. Big Rick says:

    When I was first called, during the late 60's and early 70's all they seemed to need were bullet stoppers. I was always told make 20 and have great benefits, insurance and a retirement. Well I made my twenty and then some just started getting some of these great benefits and now someone wants to take them away. Maybe my congressman and representative from NC (8th distract) would be willing to take a cut on his and her benefits also. I don't think so. Maybe they would like to have to work, pay into the system and live like the rest of us with out a job. Will not, they must think their service is more important than the "Bullet Stoppers" they send into harms way. Several of the other comments expressed the same thing about getting our benefits. Maybe Mr. Obama would give up all his health care and retirement to help the people who have to defend his and the others decision. Let every congress person, senator, and representative wait 20 years, live with the insurance we have and draw a salary based on their record. Some would never get anything. If something must change, change it will the new enlistees and make it KNOWN their benefits will be such and such. Change directions now with the present retirees just don't sit well, especially with me.

  33. James Vap says:

    Military people have paid the price to these benfits. They deserve all that they can get and thensome. These people have made USA what it is today, the best place in the world to live. It is the congressman and senators that we need to worry about . They need to be put on a limited term regulation.

  34. It is time to cut the benefits and the sweet deal packages of our distinguished elected leaders in Congress. The comments by USA Today show the level of ignorance and how out of touch they are with our military. This appears to be the next step in dis-assembling this country from the inside. Much like Rome, when it finally collapsed, the last step was deriding and cutting the military from within, such as their own citizens not wishing to serve. We are our own worst enemy in this nation.

  35. F*** the USA! An ungrateful nation not deserving of a military. I tell this to anyone who asks, or is thinking of joining. I spit on Gates and ALL of the joint chiefs. Hopefully one day in the future we'll try these scumbags.

  36. Ridiculous. Sure TRICARE might be a "sweet deal" to some (those not getting fat CEO bonuses for driving their companies bankrupt). OTOH, to earn it you have to spend YEARS far, far away from your family, getting shot at in very unpleasant places. That TRICARE is "sweet" compared to what an office worker gets is comparing apples to oranges.

  37. Obviously USAToday hasn't research the article very deeply and just took what they think is the true from a statement from Gates. They need to speak with the retirees that use Tricare because it's the only medical benefit they have and just like the retire pay we get, usually in some cases the only pay the retiree receives. Both of these benefits congress wants to either eliminate or raise the fees. Congress forgets who fights the wars that they send us on. It appears that the DOD also forgets these facts. In the present situation we're going to have more retirees/veterans needing the services of Tricare and pay. Whenever the executive branch wants to balance the budget (all presidents) have tried to do on the backs of retirees/veterans/government employees. I've to hear a congressman go without his/her pay. Example during the last budget fight in March, congress was still going to receive their pay whereas, the federal employee, veteran/retiree, and the retirees on social security would have been shut off. Congress needs to stop playing with peoples' lives.

  38. I think we all need to realize what we are up against. It is time to go into survival mode and start preparing for the reality of a true economic collapse.
    Don't believe any so called "experts" that the economy is getting better. It is
    perhaps weeks away from a total collapse. If our Defense Secretary passes
    the 'Small Arms Treaty', which overides our constitution, we won't even be
    able to shoot a damned deer or anything else. I hope all you vets are aware
    of http://www.oathkeepers.org

  39. I join the Army back in 1967. I dident ask for aything , but to serve My country.We were getting about 60.00 a month, about 1/4 what a factory worker was making.When went into combat you got a wapping 35.00 amonth more. So we had frineds giving there life for less then 100.00 a month. But if your are lucky, andret they will take care of you for rest of you life. At lest that what they said befour Viet Nam was over. When it was finis they clamed they nothing to that afect. Right now I have 9 rotten teeth left in my mouth and tthey will do nothing for me. But I figger Iam betteroff then most. What rely herts me Is that, The war's are not over yet, but they are all reddy thoughing out are yong sevis members out to dry. When they need you to die for them they love you and will give the would.
    but when they done the just want you to go away.

  40. Dominic says:

    Gates!

    Go away!

    You have done enough damage already.

  41. retired army wife says:

    why don't they cut Congress pay and health care ?and Obama's big trip's he is alway's taking at tax payer's expense . it make's no difference to him how much gas cost or the price of food, his is free. the freedom we have today is because of our military, It's a shame that they would even consider such a thing. Obama has wasted all the billions since he has been in office and made it hard on some people . remember the cigarette tax I don't smoke but that was wrong. it hurt a lot of people. i hope Robert Gate's leaves and i SURE HOPE Obama don't get elected again. I think Obama doesn't really like America and the Military. the new's media is for Obama, that's so obvious. the reason the new's media has a right and a job and freedom is because the military fought for it.God Bless America!!!!!

  42. Jeannette Dudley Robnett says:

    OK, this is just insane. Military retirees give so much, family separations, moving every 2 or three years, less than optimum pay, incredible working hours, all to protect your freedom- we were not like civilian workers that work 40 hours a week and go home. We were on call 24/7. I can remember working 12 hour shifts for over 90 days, with no days off- and this was during peacetime, because the mission required it. What it is like during a war, I do not know. How many civilians and/or members of congress have done that? Bite me Gates and USA Today.

  43. P. Miller says:

    Having worked as an RN in both hospital and clinic settings, I know for a fact that it is often a challenge getting veterans into a VA clinic or hospital, especially in urgent situations. Where I live, it's almost impossible to get them admitted to the nearest VA facility, which is in another state. If Gates and others in Washington think TriCare is too sweet a deal, then they should be willing to accept exacty the same coverage, requirements for coverage, and pay the same rates as our veterans! DOD expenditure cuts should start and end with those in Washington who are making the policies.

  44. retired Marine says:

    We need to march on dc and clean house of all of these lying politicians and the president. This country is going to hell in a handbasket. We have to get organized and take back our county.

  45. Charlie says:

    The government has an obligation based upon an enlistment contract. Unfortunately, the Wiesel wording in that contract basically says that the enlistee must live up to his or her end, under threat of punishment. The government on the other hand, is free to change much or all of it's obligations at any time without penalty.
    In the case of a totally disabled veteran – - the VA fights over each penny, and takes up to years. In the meantime moneys due the veteran are not paid. Eventual payment (if any) is paid in dollars that declined in actual value by approximately 3% each year. No interest is paid. No wonder the VA takes it's time.

  46. Never bought it,ever will.

  47. I would like to set the record straight on a couple of things I've read throughout the comments about TRICARE. I'm a recent retiree after 28 years and like most of you, I oppose these increases. I've earned this benefit just like all of you and I'm just as concerned about this "peek under the tent" increase in our medical coverage. I figure if the government wants more money for TRICARE, they can take it from the $453 they steal from my retirement check via my disability payment each month. That said, there are two repeating things I've seen in people's comments that are just out and out wrong.

    First, this has NOTHING to do with Democrat or Republican. President Bush tried unsuccessfully to raise TRICARE rates for his last three years in office. His administrations proposed increase was much worse than what we will be facing in the current NDAA. President Bush's administration wanted to raise enlisted retiree TRICARE 2x the current amount and officer retiree TRICARE 3x the current amount. Probably my biggest beef with President Obama on this matter is that he was my Congressman during these proposed Bush Administration increases and then Senator Obama said he would not support funding military healthcare on the backs of the military retiree.

    The second fallacy I read over and over in these comments is that Congressmen get a full pension and medical care after serving one term in office. This is NOT true. Members of Congress fall under the exact same retirement system as any GS employee. They receive the same medical coverage available to any government employee. Just like any government employee, they must serve a minimum number of years before they receive any retirement benefit from the government. Please do your homework on this issue, many of you look foolish throwing this misinformation out there.

    • Anthony says:

      Gary,

      you should go back and brush up on your history. Congress voted for their extremely well off medical and retirement benefits while we the public continue to take a hit to ours. Here is a suggestion, move all congress and senate members back to their home states and have the state pick up their medical benefits and pay based on their performance.

  48. weekends,long days,deployments long and short,bullets and other nasties coming in your direction,potential for ruination of a career in a blink of an eye(not in civi world) low pay and retirement(enlisted).While many civi's do not truely believe the military really fights for their freedom, most are never made to realize it is the military that helps to set the policy of the country.It is the projection and at times the use of that power that keeps our role in the world.SEMPER FI

  49. Squid2U says:

    i remember when we were underway, the electricians were called around 2200 to troubleshoot the vent fan blower sitting above the main boiler onboard USS New Orleans (LPH-11), the space is not big enough for 2 guys to work and take out more than 60 nuts and bolts, rig out the vent fan and stand watch after… where are this b#$&tds!!! now they want my Tricare Prime change because everybody else are paying much higher premiums than the retirees? That is a lot of crap.

  50. H Preble says:

    Having served in two wars, Korea, and combat in Vietnam and to be controlled by our representatives, very few of which have served in the military and who have exceptional military health benefits, and who have denied retirees a meager 1.5 percent cost of living increase for years, now want to stick it to us again. An attempt to get emergency dental care in Vietnam was denied because I had no telephone at my remote base to make an appointment. They would not believe that we had no telephone. I retired four years after that and soon after that I needed full dentures. Of course I had to pay for them. Agent Orange was sprayed around our small compound in Vietnam and we showered and got our drinking water from our well. After retiring I developed Diabetes and Neuropathy yet was denied disability since the Neuropathy was detected before the Diabetes. Had I been a member of Congress or the Senate the VA would have tripped over itself to grant compensation. I had to retire as E-7 since Personnel informed me that I would not be able to make E-8 prior to the mandatory retirement of E-7. I busted my oysters for twenty years and two wars while others posted at the Pentagon, Fort Myer and Fort McNair spent twenty years in that one assignment and made E-8 and E-9. I do, however, appreciate the health benefits that I presently receive. And I am still Army all the way and a proud American.

  51. AmericanSoldier says:

    Nice to know that Secretary Gates and his Admiral are good at turning the knife in the back of Retirees and Veterans…not to mention those serving with boots on the ground right now. Our guys and gals serve their Country with honor and pride – and the Government promising to not forget their service. Everytime the Government needs money, "Hey, let's not bother NPR, or Fanny Mae/Freddy Mac. Let's not look into the billions wasted on stupid projects, or stop the lobbyists, most of them former/current politicians. They look at the CEOs for their "sweetheart deals," but let's look at former congressman and senators and see what they make. At least the CEO's have done something on the business side…other than bleed people dry. Still, "Let's not ask our congressman or senators to cut their 100% lifetime pensions to, say, about 75%. No…let's hit those who have sacrificed time from family, and risked life and limb – let's bleed them a little more for needed cash." This is downright shameful, and I'm ashamed to call Gates a Republican – he sure has fit into the liberal socialist administration well, hasn't he? And Admiral Mullen – shame on the Navy for promoting this man so many times over the years.

  52. Gregg Hughes says:

    I’ll take a cut in my benefits when the IMPOTUS cuts Medicaid, Medicare, welfare, HUD housing, food stamps, and unemployment. Also needing cuts are all of our representitives who have excellent health care plans and retirement benefits for serving their country in war torn Washington D.C.

  53. Well I have been in the military for 25 years and plan on staying another 5 to get 30. Atleast that was the plan 25 years ago becaue I banked my career on somthing that was in writing. Look, I have lived withn my means on what the Army has paid me for all these years, but if you start cutting then I have to make adjustments. But i have given and the men and women i have served with have given everything reguardless of what is payed. I love this country and I will always do what is needed to keep the people of this country safe from harm. We in the military have done what was "asked" of us and sacrificed so much in the doing. Now we shouldn't have to "ask" congress and the country we have served so selflessly to give us our due. Leave our benefits alone, we have earned everything we are getting and more.

  54. lovatscot says:

    Gee, raise my Tri-Care cause it's too sweet. What about the 20+ years I spent earning it. What of the abuse I put my body thru as an ABN Grunt, so now I have to use Tri-Care. Other health insurance often doesn't cover pre-existing conditions. The Army kelped me into arhtritis/PTSD/major depression before I turned 40- what's wrong with them paying to help me stay healthy??

  55. jellicle cat says:

    I don't think UAW employees have to pay any percentage of their medical insurance.

    It may be fair (Whatever 'Fair' means) that we retirees pay a bit for Tricare Prime, but any increases really affect the junior ranked retirees and their families.

    I guess USA Today is suggesting is that all Military Retiree's should go to work for the Federal Gubmint and double dip.

  56. It used to all be free…Then Tricare came into the picture charging now they want to increase what used to be free….Lets just stay out of b.s. around the world that cost so much and concentrate on the budget and only get involved when absolutely necessary.

  57. KKnifeman says:

    My father joined the USN at he age 18 in 1928 an served 24 years untill he was
    forced to medicaly retire. He was told that he and my mom would have FREE
    health care for LIFE. Well that's not what my mother has now. It takes weeks to get an appoinment. She had knee surgery several years ago, she complained about pain to her surgeon more than a year after surgery and he
    told her "LIVE WITH IT"

  58. I challenge you soaringeagle. Who buys USA Today? That rag is on the doorstep of just about every hotel room in the USA. I don't think it's ever paid for. If I had to pay for it, I'd rather read the used car ads and grocery sale. Let some commie lib keep Gannett in business.

  59. It's so easy for those who sit in an air-conditioned office of a newspaper office and point out that those who have fought, or bled for the right they have to be criticle of earned medical benefits of retired military personnel. They forget that many of us are still suffering from the service we performed in accordance with the sworn duty we performed to defend this right they so freely use to complain about our benefits.
    Maybe a guided tour of Omaha Beach, an all expenses paid weeks vacation in a foxhole in the Ardennes, living on appropriate cusine ( sound effects provided), a two day hike through the swamps of Cape Glouster, n. ot to mention other places in Korea, RVN and the Middle East.
    Follow this up with a tour of the Veteran's Cemetarys in the US and elsewhere' then they could write another article complaining about the hemmroids they suffer from as they sit at their desks pounding out their crud.

  60. It's easy for our Congress to raise the fees and compare. They have never serve in the military and do not know the sacrifices we have endured. AND it not their money so who cares. Until we get some veterans into the Congress look for them to pick your pocket. You are an easy target. Unless you belong to a professional organization that is part of the military coalition that does the lobbying for us veterans and currently serving members of the military, you will continue to get trampled. Join those organization that lobby on your behalf. It's a small price.

  61. DavidRetArmy says:

    I spent 22 years in the army, never spending over 2 years in one place in the USA! Finally costing me a divorce and a big part of my retirement because she didn't have one, even though we had no kids and she worked all over the world making more than I did, now the so called Gov't we defended is going to raise Tricare cost and index the raises so we will never get a cost of living increase in our retirement!! Well I bet ya the House and Senate will be passing themselves raises every year in the middle of the night. We need to vote them all out and change the rules. Why should they get lifetime pensions and medical care after only serving one term???

    • Dylan/RetArmy says:

      I agree raise my VGLI, Tricare, how about an increase in my tetirement check so that I can pay for these other increases.

  62. Robert Little says:

    If you pay attention to the news, it quickly becomes clear that the radical wing of the Republican party is wagging the political dog, and it is from this direction that the enormous budget cuts in everything save for the current military budget is coming. These are the people who are more than willing to send the military off to another war while failing to provide for the veterans who return from those wars. The Bush years featured soldiers in Iraq w/o vests, and horrid hospital conditions in military hospitals. The current crop of Tea Party loonies want to ensure that the only job available to our kids is the military – and then they'll gut even further the benefits they earn while serving. Pay careful attention to the voting record of your Congressman/Senators: watch how they vote, and if they break their promise, something very likely but not certain – write to your local papers, and vote the bastard out of office.

  63. You know I wish that the reporter at USA.TODAY would talk more about dead beats that stay on welfare for ever and giving people more incentives to have more children to pay them more to stay at home. You know something else that is a bad deal is to go to the emergency room and your in your seventies or eighties and you can't find a place for them because the welfare people have a free card to come in for the common cold….they don't care who is paying for it. Mr. reporter get off the military peoples back, to me it is well worth taking care of the soldier and I don't care if my taxes go to them or not. That is one thing I don't mind paying for.

  64. No respect left for Secretary of Defense Gates or his lackey generals. Yes–let's switch Congress to TRICARE and THEN see how they feel about premium increases!

    • The vast majority wouldn't even notice the extra cost. The few that did would probably make up the extra money by only buying 3 new suits one year, or giving one of their hired help a couple un-paid days off, or maybe by voting to raise their own pay.

      You know….like normal people have to. :D

  65. Donald Dean Begley says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, people, but I remember around 1972 or 1973, when my Squadron – Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron -463 (HMH-463) was sweeping mines in and around Haiphong Harbor to help end the Vietnam war by getting our POWs back that President Nixon and the Congress got this all-volunteer armed forces act enacted. My pay almost doubled (I was an E-5) but it was the cost to end the draft forever. And now you are telling me that we can no longer afford an all-volunteer force. So just cut the pay, cut the benefits; let the service members vote with their feet like they did under Jimmy Carter, and re-institute the draft to fill the vacancies. And, I swear, none of my grandchildren or great grandchildren will enter the service no more, forever.

  66. Craig Champagne says:

    I recently retired from military service as an officer with over 21 years of active duty service. I would never recommend US military service for any young person. The US Government, particularly this administration, abuses its military personnel, neglects them, lies to them and disposes of them when convenient. These are my reasons for recommending against US military service.

  67. If those in DC would wake up and OBAMA would quit given his friends loans and start being a President for the American people who are legal residents this would be a better world. OBAMAS wife has wasted more money than carter has liver pills and so has OBAMA with his beer drinking trips all over the world. Does Polosi still have the big bird and staff to run her back and forth to california? IT is time that you people up there get off your butts and start saving money and keep the taxes low for us citizens to pay. Democrats are known for spending like crazy and then taxing us like crazy to make up for their stupidness.

  68. Think Tricare is too sweet of a deal? If you think that then join the military so you can have access to this awesome deal. Yeah I didn't so…

  69. Defenders of Freedom says:

    Cut welfare spending and prison spending for starters. Notice how politicians and presidents don't discuss their health care benefits? A politician can do 4 years, and they will still exceed military benefits over a 30 year veteran. Funny how our [sic] "too sweet of a deal," USA Today, does not write about that.

  70. Maria Karlow says:

    Well if Tricare is such a sweet deal, then I suggest, that all congressman, senators retired officials such as Secretary Gates, drop the great bene;s they have and use Tricare, including President Obama.
    All I know is that Tricare does not cover much, and it does not extend to Vision Care or Dental care. Dental is separate and if you do not have a private vision plan, then you have to pay out of pocket. Unless, you need drastic surgery, like you are already blind, your eye has popped out and then they will evaluate if they will pay. Some Deal…All the years after my husband retired and worked in the private sector we carried our own insurance and now that we are both retired we have to rely on Tricare.
    So all of you lawmakers and elected officials, go on Tricare and we will save money not having to pay your insurance premiums.

  71. Charles/Navyretired says:

    They do not pay us enough to live on and expect us to pay more for our "free" medical care that was promised to us every time we re-up towards retirement. If you are married, your wife can not use the VA facilities. Yet we have a difficult time paying co-pays plus the deductible now and congress says that we need to pay more? I thought we already paid for this!

  72. CW3, USAR Alan Smith says:

    I do not know about other retirees post military employment situations but for the last 22 years I have worked for employers whom offered medical plans. We have seldom used the Tricare benifits available to us. I assume several retirees have a simular employment history Is that being factored in to the equation.

    • Talk about "factored into the equation" Are you KIDDING??? Those crap- for-brains Washington bureaucrats only know how to "factor in" how many times they can screw the veterans. They should all be ashamed of themselves but that's never gonna happen 'cause they never learned the meaning of the words "Integrity", "Principles", and "Honor".

      If they really want to resolve the short comings of cost for TRICARE lets "factor in" an equitable cost system instead of choosing the path of least resistance. Currently ALL beneficiaries are required to pay the same amounts for TRICARE coverage. With little to no consideration afforded to military pension income or geographic areas where the beneficiary lives in. Why?? 'Cause the so-called policy makers are TOO fricken lazy to apply a balanced (sliding scale) cost system. So, a retired O-10 realizing about $9,500 per month in retired income is only required to pay the same amount as a retired E5 earning not much more then $1,000 per month. Does this sound plausible? I don't think so!!!!

  73. I wonder how the decision making process would go if ALL elected officials were required to participate in Tri Care?

  74. Ernest T. says:

    Is this only for Tri-care prime? How about Tri-care for life.

  75. Rabbi Jaron Matlow says:

    No other Federal program is locked to Medicare rates. Where I live many doctors turn away Tricare patients and Medicare patients because they lose money on every office visit. Yes, Tricare premiums are lower than civilian plans, but civilian plans at least pay doctors rates they can afford and allow their customers some amount of choice of doctors. Worse yet is that I can't even be enrolled in an MTF – the local one does not take new retirees in the area, so I have no choice but to use civilian medical care.

    • We have the same issue. It took 5 years to find a Dr who would accept Yri- care. Maybe we can all us the same plan that federal workers use. What I really want is access to the same healthcare benefits as congressmen.

  76. Disabled Vet says:

    Where the heck are you getting your information? You are either ignorant or an idiot. We get our diability removed from our retirement and then given to us tax free..thats all…oh and yeah..love that 1500 off of my worth of my 96k house..what..lowers my property taxes a whole 30 dollars. You make it sound like we have it made, far from it, and I would rather feel no pain than get the disability pay any day, just a small compensation for the daily pain we now have sacrificing for our country. Come walk a mile in my shoes before you make idiotic statments like that again.

  77. Jerry A says:

    If the govt really wanted to save money and cut spending then get the troops out of Afganistan and Iraq. At 10 Billion per week in savings from not having to support an effort that those government's don't appreciate anyway would go along way in cutting the deficiet. Secretary Gate's needs to wake up think long and hard before sticking it to those who ensure his and the rest of the countries freedom every day. I cant beleive those in power can be so misguided. who the hell is advising them.?

  78. navyjag907 says:

    Gates is our generation's Louis Johnson, Truman's Secretary of Defense who cut so much fat from the defense budget that we lacked the capability to fight in Korea successfully, at least in the beginning. Johnson eviscerated the armed forces and was praised for it until the KIA/WIA counts started coming in. Gates stopped F-22 production ensuring at some point in the future we likely won't have air superiority, has slighted or cut every other major military program, and has the gall, along with his toady Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, to tell troops in combat in three wars that he supports cutting pay, allowances, and medical care for active duty and retired. And our Commander in Chief wants to cut more–POTUS needs the money for his socialist cronies. I despise them both–good American troops will die in the future because of their callousness and ineptitude.

  79. Jim Laubler says:

    BULL CRAP! Try to FIND a Doctor who will ACCEPT ASSIGNMENT.

    IF you cut, then CUT THE COLONELS on up alone. Green Beret's are solid and tested NCO's (both mentally and physically). Most the generals I know haven't seen combat wheras we are suffering in our old age due to sacrifice. And, they are the ones who are rewarded.

    I live in NW Arkansas. Home to giants like Walmart, JB Hunt Trucking, Tyson Chicken, etc.

    I found ONE doctor in my entire COUNTY that would take assignment. The modern HOSPITAL 7 miles from me WILL NOT accept it. I have to drive to the next county to a Catholic based hospital who's policy is not to deny anybody services regardless of ability to pay.

  80. I'm fine with paying more for my TRICARE benefits….and I'll even take a cut in my retirement pay IF, and only if, congress and the president are willing to take a cut as well. Let's ALL get on this bandwagon and if we ALL get onboard we might just be able to balance the budget before I'm 6ft under. However, if they keep aiming at targets rather than making cuts ACROSS THE BOARD, to include congress, I'm not sure I agree

  81. SFC R Harmon says:

    I agree 100%, from this day forth I shall not buy USA Today or support any of its advertisement or Supporters.

    SOC Richard Harmon, Retired.

  82. Ed Dalrymple says:

    Not nearly as the ultimate “sweet deals”- Congressional health care and outrageous pensions. CDR, USN (Ret )

  83. 37 years of military service. 32 month in Vietnam. Started out at $72.00 a month as a buck private. When we were young and bullet proof, the only medical expense they had on us was a combat wound. They kept us healthy in garrison. innoculations 2 or 3 times a year so we would'nt get sick. So the cost to uncle sam was a pitance. We served faithfully thinking a pension and medical care would be a just reward for all the weekend field duty, family separation, rigid discipline, 2nd class housing on base, constant re-assignment, and the ever present danger of combat and even training
    dangers. (I was a helicopter pilot) So we survive that for close to 40 years and have an expectation of the promised pension and medical care which we really did not use in the service. What is our reward? A political decision being made by a group of lawyers (most of congress, both houses, are made up of them) who are going to decide if we are deserving of this benefit, after the fact. Unbelievable! Our political leaders have sunk to a new level of money grubbing because their pet projects (pork) faces more scrutiny. I guess they will go back to a subcription army made up of draftees who will have to serve and then vamoose. I can't imagine a volunteer who would want to work for a backstabing, two timing organization called the Department of Defense….Pappy Gray

  84. wstolpa says:

    Just give me the same medical plan that our politicians have and I would be satisified. They make the rules to suit themselves and so many are corrupt we lose count and those who are not just haven't been caught.

  85. robert l craft says:

    you people are hollering about our tricare,what about you,you should be on the same thing we are on, nothing more and nothing less.if i had my way about it.you would all be on military pay and the benefits we have.i don't think you would be in office very long,which would be a good thing for the people.all you are good at is raising taxes and changing the laws to benefit your selves.i don't know what we need congress and the senate for in the first place.i think our military could do a damn sight better job.

  86. Steve Seamans says:

    I did my 27 years and when I signed up in 78 FREE Lifetime Healthcare was Promised to me.

    Guys this is a great place to vent but it does no good unless you write the politicians that represent you.

    The response from my Democratic Senator below was less than encouraging. I will be working against him next time.

    Dear Mr. Seamans,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me on health care benefits for veterans.

    I share your view that we need to ensure that veterans, when they return home, receive the benefits they deserve. Our troops have performed admirably, and we owe all returning veterans world-class health care and educational benefits. Thanks to the leadership of Virginia's Senator Jim Webb and former Senator John Warner, we have made significant progress on affording our troops the educational opportunities they deserve through the new G.I. bill. Now we need to ensure access to adequate health care that addresses the short- and long-term needs of our veterans and military retirees.

    Many of you have expressed concerns over recent suggestions to cut TRICARE benefits. I believe it is imperative that we engage in a civil and open debate as to what we need and what we can afford. It is critical to our nation's global competitiveness that we establish policies now that will take effect after the current economic downturn has ended and allow us to ensure long term fiscal stability. This effort will require reforming our tax code and investing in innovation initiatives while still reigning in spending and looking at ways to make government more efficient.

    The well being of our veterans has always been important to me. When I served as Virginia's Governor, I improved state support for veterans by consolidating veterans' services under a single agency and elevating the Commissioner of Veterans' Services to a position that reports directly to the Governor. As your Senator, I will continue to fight for health care benefits that veterans support and deserve. Additionally, due to legislation I introduced in the 2010 Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, the VA Inspector General has evaluated the quality of care and benefits that we are providing to our returning combat veterans, especially those affected by Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury.

    I consider it an honor to serve as your Senator. As we move forward in the 112th Congress, please continue to contact me to express your opinions and concerns. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at http://warner.senate.gov.

    Sincerely,
    MARK R. WARNER
    United States Senator

  87. This is my very first comment on a web page. I served for 24 years and then went on to a successful business career. I did not use my "free" retiree medical care until I reached 65 when I went on Tricare. MY "free" retiiree medical care is anything but free!! I pay $280 each month for Medicare part "B" and another $ 280 a month for my wife for a net $560 a month plus up to $3000 each for co-pay, not including prescriptions. That is equal to what my civilian employer retiree plan is charging and I only worked for them for 14 years! This is a renigh of a sacred promise made back in the 50s and 60s and a serious loss of confidence in my view of the government and its promises. We have a sad situation in Washington both in the legislatature and the executive branchs!!!! I am not a registered partisan voter or ever have been but I am trully sorry that I voted for Obama and as equally sorry that the best the Republicans could do was a motor mouth from Alaska and a senator who became so desperate to win the election that he took on a totally unqualified VP candidate to back him up at 72 years of age. That move cost him 7 votes in my family!!!! It really is time for the 28th Admendment!!!!!!

  88. I am also retired but not too old to remember the words told to me. I was guaranteed FREE medical care upon my retirement. It was one of the reasons I kept re-enlisting. I can pay what I have to now but leave things alone will ya! I agree that members of congress should take some cuts first.

  89. I am still serving, and I have been proven both right and wrong by our leadership. After 911 and both OIF and OEF began I was asked if it felt good to have the support of americans by a vietnam vetran. I replied yes it is, but give our gov't a chance and it will screw over our vetrans in the end, history will repeat itself. I am being proven right, but perhaps given this fact I was wrong to continue serving. Perhaps I should have fended for myself as everyone else in th egovernment and corporate america is now doing.

  90. Rod Green says:

    DOD first cuts retired pay from 50% after 20 years to 40% after 20 years. Now they want to place more of a burden on those who has sacrificed more than any civilian wpould ever dream of by increasing TRI-CARE premiums. Most of us military retirees don't live near any type of military treatment facility and can only depend on civilian health care facilities for our care. Many ahve to travel great distances to get care at a VA facility. So we spent 20 plus years defending this country and now we are being asked to sacrifice more when our bodies and health needs are at their greatest. How much is congress sacrificing????????????

  91. 19681968 says:

    People who spent 20 years in the military should get FREE medical care. Soldiers are always called on to risk their lives but are never adequately compensated. If elected officials hadn't spent TRICARE money on other things, there would be no question. Don't castigate those who risked their lives for those who can't make a decision that will protect them.

  92. 19681968 says:

    This is typical treatment – I'm reminded of the guy with the sign that said, "WATCH THE GOVERNMENT, IT'LL TAKE YOUR LAND. ASK ANY INDIAN.

  93. EddieRetArmy says:

    Many of us here gave up 20 plus years of our lives with the understanding that we would have medical for life, how dare anyone call this “too sweet of a deal" . I agree fully with LeeRetArmy!!!!

  94. VIETNAM VET says:

    I am proud of what I did for my country during 2 wars. A lot of Americans appreciate the sacrifice also. Unfortunately, for the most part, the ones who don't are running the country and our states. Makes me wonder how much anad how long the pride can last. What if they gave a war and nobody showed up ? I'm sick of all the crap and where we are today as a country. I have no where else to go, so all I can do is take a leap of faith and hope someone out there can fix it.

  95. They are always ready to cut the benefits of those that serve but never willing to pay or cut their benefits. Out of all the members of Congress i think i read that only 20 or so have ever served in the Military. But never will they tell you that . Because the have this big YELLOW STRIPE running down their backs.

  96. Nancy Cleveland says:

    I am 65yrs. old, a recipient of TRI-CARE and extremely grateful that I have it. Never have I taken it for granted but as a benefit. Undoubtedly…without it I could not have had my cardiac problem taken care of, nor cataracts. With my current income it's doubtful I would be able to afford the medications necessary for me to take for HBP and arteriosclerosis. How did I 'earn' this beneft? Wife to my late husband for 26yrs. of service, being overseas most of those years and having to depend upon military medical care (which insurance company would have insured me under those circumstances? We couldn't even get dental insurance.). And when he retired, he suffered a brain aneurysm that was deemed service connected and which, for the last five years of his life, left him a quadriplegic still in a level four coma. I asked nobody to pay for his care..he did come under the VA but he was cared for, for those five years, in his own home, by me, until his death at age 52. When he was in the service he served on board the USS Liberty…yes, when it was attacked by the Israeli's in 1967, suffering injuries as most of the crew did. He earned and was denied the Silver Star and, for 44yrs. (this week, in fact) our govt. has continued with the cover-up and disregard for those men it began in from the day this happened. HE earned the right to his medical care as does any retiree and spouse. I totally agree with this blog piece. It's about time our representatives got their own insurance and not take what most of them have not earned at all.

  97. I am a VietNam vet and served 22yrs in the AF. I truely believe in government and also feel that their words is honest when they specificied the benefits we will receive if you join the military. However, I have to agree with my fellow vets that we are being used like bastards child by ignoring our call for justice. We and especially, us should be treated with respect and honor. Afterall we are the ones who have kept this country safe for all americans. I feel cheated when the government gives out stimulous millions of $$ to banks in order for them to help stimulate our economic downfall and the banks instead uses these monies to give their CEOs bonuses and give their eleborate parties. I yet heard those institutions speak in favor of military people or better yet strive to improve the military well being. Yet they are quick to foreclose his home because he is not able to make his mortage payment because he had to use his money for the survivor of his family. Maybe you need a microscope to get all in FOCUS. I AM READY FOR VETERANS AND OTHER MILIARY PERSONNEL TO GO ON A MARCH TO DC AND DEMAND ACTION.

  98. helloagain says:

    tell me why the va said my medical problems related to my 25 years of service in the army where because of my age. the va then said, thats normal for most veterans at my age. did i miss something when i enlisted in 1974? did i miss something when i retired in 2000. must have been sleeping somewhere or during the VA speeches being given. even after you die we will be there for you, coffin, grave, and headstone, in a military cemetery. is the rest of my medical problems related to my age and not the service to my country. tell that to the persons shooting at me that day in a country i couldnt even spell or say.

  99. Tar and Feathering is making a come back. Not ONE Congressman is exempt!

  100. jdlashley says:

    the bad thing is we dont get pay raises and they already increased fedtaxes so what is next are we going to have to pay for the right of being a solder and making it where others can complain we have it too easy. tell it to the ones that did not come home or not whole

  101. Mike A. says:

    Covers treatment by civilian hospitals and doctors? We're basically the equivalent of a Medicare patient to any off-base provider that will agree to treat us. Not even close to same off-base treatment as civilian workers.

  102. AirForceRet says:

    USA Today or also know n as the democrats yellow paper places the commentary as the "view" of every body on the nation. The disgraced of the present administration and the joke of congress want the military to be the new slaves, work for peanuts die and get new replacements.
    As others have mention, military personnel serve for twenty years and they are not Monday to Friday or 8 to 5, they don't get to "call in sick" or take time off to go see their kids soccer game, I remember many, many times getting home, taking a shower sit down to eat and then getting a phone call for an "exercise" or reporting to work and been told, "oh by the way get your bags ready for a TDY to x place for two weeks", by the time the twenty yars come to fruit most are so tired that even in their forties they act like 70 years old and feel about the same.
    The present ANTI AMERICAN administration and the pelosi an reid run congress and house have thrown money in the trillions of dollars to their fat cat programs like the so call civil liberties union adjutant programs, the "plan parenthood" to allow teen agers to get training in abortions as a way for birth control, they have given money to HAMAS a terrorist organization without congressional vote or approval, they have made a mockery of our way of life by raising hatred against those who have been blessed with money, now they want those people to be the new EVIL just like good communist, the gods of the clintons and the bobamas.
    They have raised the rhetoric hatred for any one that disagrees with them and now are using the military as the new target.
    They destroyed the space program and even sent the NASA clown to "learn from the Muslims countries" about space, what a joke.
    For those who remember the military days under carter and the parts shortages and low promotions get ready to see a military learning to use bows and arrows….MAYBE!

  103. Like earliler posts here my husband served for 20 years and retired with the promise of medicare and drug benefits. Its the only reason he stayed as long as he did. Don't understand tho' why the writers of these posts believe it is Democrats and President Obama who want to take it away. Its the CONGRESS – read Republicans who are in the majority – who want to change it NOT the President nor Democrats. They are the only ones who would be fighting to keep it! I also agree that if Congress votes to reduce it or to up the cost then they too should also do the same with their OWN SAME GOVERNMENT medical and drug plan! Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander..

    • I GUESS YOU DID NOT SEE THAT THE HOUSE WAS A MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS!!!!!!! THE SENATE WAS A DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY!!!!!!
      AND THE president IS ALSO A DEMOCRAT. NOW DO YOU GET WHY THEY SAY THAT IT IS THE DEMOCRATS AND OBAMA WHO WANT TO TAKE IT AWAY??? THEY ARE LIKE HAVING 2 AGAINST ONE!!!! THE SENATE HAS TO VOTE FOR OR AGAINST WHAT THE HOUSE SENDS UP. OBAMA THEN VOTES FOR OR AGAINST WHAT THE SENATE SENDS UP TO HIM. PLEASE CHECK YOUR HISTORY BOOK AGAIN. THANKS

  104. Sandy Lewis says:

    You know, when my husband signed up in the Navy, he was guaranted "free" medical care for life. FREE! We pay for TriCare Prime, because we must pay for our medical care now.I'm glad that a senior officer thinks that our medical benefits are too much – perhaps if those that make all of the big bucks would pay for their own (which they can well afford), the men that were promised free medical care in return for 20 years of their lives would actually get that.

  105. Get rid of TRICARE. Having a civilian insurance company tell the miltary members (active/reserve/retired) what they can do for care is crazy. Just get rid of it. Go back to having the military care for its own….out source what is necessary but get rid of TRICARE!!

  106. Cdr Dave says:

    Some of the comments that have been received are sad to see, but I see the different points. Yes, I signed up for free medical as part of my 23 years in the Navy. I’ve been really blessed during the first 17 years after my military retirement. I’ve had great care on Tricare Prime. My wife was cared for at Bethesda and I’ve been to the local Navy Medical center for all these years. They have been great and I would pay more for this care to continue. But, I’m not everyone. For me my big concern is soon to be Tricare for Life and how medicare will function for retirees – particularly if we move to a less costly area that may not have as good care.

    I agree that Congress, the various gov’t secretaries and the President need to look at the their incredibly inexpensive and comprehensive care and have it dramatically reduced so they can see what an average military retiree faces. We also need to get them to reduce their retirement plans, which are “golden parachutes” for all of them.

    Our best bet is to VOTE with our pocket books and hearts. I think it is time to mobilize the retired military like the Tea Party has done and maybe it is time for us to be “mad as hell and I’m not taking it anymore”!!!!

  107. Kevin B says:

    I still have a Recruiting Publishing Item (RPI), or handout from when I enlisted that states free medical and dental after 20 years of credible active duty service.

    Let's eliminate the free and taxpayer burdened healthcare of leaders who serve 6 years.

  108. Louis Santoni says:

    I served 20 years and was told I have free medical and dental for life. Now I have to pay for tricare prime to get decent medical treatment since all the bases near me have been closed down and pay for delta dental but can’t afford the co payments when I do need work. This is a prime example of bait and switch. Not what I was promised for my service. And thanks to Obama and the economy I am living off my pension. Rate increase sure. I will just stop feeding the family.

  109. HUH? is$520? that for an Individual at $230 or family plan at $460 a year? for the Family its just over 13% increase.

    • WILLIAM WALKER says:

      TRICARE IS FOR RETIREES AND ACTIVE MILITARY. MOST SOLDIERS DON’T RETIRED JUST STAY IN THREE OR FOUR YEARS THEN NO MORE TRICARE. ONLY US RETIREE USE TRICARE FOR LIFE, IT NOT THAT MANY PEOPLE IN A NATION OF 300 MILLION.. PEOPLE WHO COMPLAINING, NEVER SERVE A DAY IN THE MILITARY IT AINT NO EASY A.. LIFE TO LIVE FOR 20 PLUS AND WITH YOUR FAMILY, STOP HATING ON RETIREES, LOOK AT ALL THE SOLDIERS WHO DIED FOR YOUR GOOD LIFE YOU’RE LIVING TODAY, LEAVE US ALONG.

    • dontgothere says:

      sorry for ME as a single person it's more than DOUBLE what i pay now per year. and i only work part time so i do NOT qualify for any healthcare plan where i work. so where does that leave ME – yea paying more than double just because i stayed for over 24 years.

  110. Tricare is not a sweet deal when the media compares our
    Sacrifices to civilians. I am retired with 23 years
    Service to this great country and have made many.
    No comparison. I am very thankful for the benefits I do have however, it wasn’t just handed to me. I worked and gave my all.

  111. What really make me mad as hell, most of the medical problems we have came from the service of our country, laying in rice paddies, agent orange, joints wore out, laying in the snow or rain, now they want you to pay for it. But if you come into this country Illegal or a long time drug user, or a unwed mother or just plain lazy, they will go beyond to provide for you, why? to get those votes to remain in office. The Military always take the cuts,And people like the USA Today don't have a clue what you go thur or benn thur.

  112. I joined in 1965 two days after graduating from high school, at a start pay of $95 per mo. After two yrs it was up to $160 as a SP4. I have 24 yrs of service and all of us were told that one of the absolute guarantees we had was that we would have med coverage which would be at no cost. I now pay a nominal fee for TC Prime. I suppose it's going down the road where now I have paid into a system going broke. There has to be more honest people incarcerated in our prisons than the lying thugs in Congress. They have no idea what the Vietnam or other later battlefields does to a soldier. This country is going down the tube at an alarming rate. We give Billions to the underserving in handouts and screwing those who made such sacrificies.

  113. The military seems to always be the group the government goes after when they want to save a few bucks. And, I don't mean the hardware and equipment….there'll always be enough money for the defense contractors pockets…… it's the troops pay and benefits they go after. Politicians think nothing about cutting pay and benefits….but they NEVER cut their own pay and benefits! They expect men and women to join the services and go off to war for what ?? peanuts ?? Congress needs to know that cuts to military pay and benefits for active and retired personnel is a non starter!

  114. Yep, did my 20+ years and was told FREE medical and dental for life. Now we pay, and pay, and PAY! Taxes went up on retirement check but no raises for 2 years. What a LIE!!! Obama wants to save money well, how about starting in your own backyard….. POLITICIANS! Start by cutting their pay and benefits… You know LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE!!!!

  115. Lt.Col.Monroe Y. Mann says:

    We put our lives on on the line, and many have lost it. How many of the critics have put their lives on the line? I have a 30% military disability, and again, how many critics have put their lives on the line? Tricare was earned, and the critics overlook that. As was once said, “Better to be silent, and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

  116. The injuries I have from sustained from over 28 years of service will require continued treatment, with the proposed reduction in pay and increase in Tricare I will not be able to afford this promised benefit. I did this all for my country, I was not forced, I volunteered; however I was also informed medical treatment was a benefit I would and have earned. Let all our congressmen and govt contractors reduce their pay, give up their pay raises that the taxpayers can not even vote on and still it would not be equal. I agree we need to contact The American Legion, VFW, ROA, and newspapers to let them know what a travesty this could be.

  117. Michael Schwalen says:

    Served in the Maines and in the Air Force. Was a Dependent – born @ overseas military instalation. Knew the pay was low and the benefits helped to make up some of the difference (by no means – no where close to all). Served in combat and been shot at. Had adjustments on my return home. Missed the best years of my daughters life and it was hard on my family.
    I would like to know what the price is of our Hardships. Sure it woud be greater than anything our uninformed congress would be knowledable of. Everyone in our country should serve at least two years. Perhaps there would be some respect for those of us that served for an extended time. Voters in this country electing idiots into government offices.

    Those of us that gave the better years of our lives and retire or get out after their time is done (in many cases with medical problems). Cannot find employment due to age or physical condition. We have to live off the retirement and try to support and take care of our family. Wake up America. When I was serving in Desert Shield and Storm Congress gave themselves a 38% pay increase. Americans are being sold out.

  118. JimNeely says:

    Get the idiots in Congress out of the medical business whether it be the stupid OBAMA care fiasco or Tricare. Have the idiots take a look at the Federal Employees Health Care Benefits which is subsidize up to 90% by the idiots in Washington.

    Gates has lost touch, too many toys and no way to pay for them. Trying to reduce costs of the toys at the "promises".

    I don't mind paying an increase premium but resent that my TFL is an "entitlement". I earned it not someone who "expects" to have a "free ride".

  119. BJkeena says:

    I have never liked that liberal rag!

  120. I am

  121. William says:

    If they want to compare military and civilian retirement health care plans,
    then they need to make the civilian work effort match the military's.
    1) Overtime when working more than 40 hours a week? gone
    2) Normal Work Week – 60 hours
    3) No Notice job location changes
    4) Can NOT turn down a new job location just because it is in the middle of no where, and living conditions s***
    etc. etc, etc.

  122. "USA Today says that the pro­posed TRICARE fee increases “don’t go far enough.”"

    Easy to write such tripe if you've never been career military. Just seems that USA Today is showing it to be a liberal loser newspaper.

  123. j smith says:

    all you dumbBELLS that wont to blame the democrats for this crap sshould check the facts. it is mr gates a rep that wonts to raise the rates. mstg retired.

  124. Tailhook77 says:

    The next time you b*st*rds want to fight a "friggin" war maybe you should recruit from wall street, govt employees, unions, and politicians and their children. See how that'll work out for you.

    Ya'll have treated the military as "tools' & chumps.

    tailhook77 ret.

  125. rstaffo says:

    It seems to me that it's easy to cut the benefits earned by all veterans, and I overly emphasize earned!, medical and dental care should be free for all retirees anyway. Vet are not the reason the economy is in the shape that it is in, when a soldier joins and serves his country honorably risking life and limb he or she should be rewarded for it not charged, and why should we have to raise money for our soldiers families, you would think our government would take of us,it seeme that they take care of every other country with our tax dollars.I just like to know who will help us, who do I turn to.

  126. Richard says:

    When I said 25 years I spent time in the Guard as well before enlisting on active duty.

  127. ROLANDO SEGURA says:

    I guess that the USA TODAY editor thinks that the proposed increases in Tricare do not go deep enough. But I.m sure that pendejo thinks that the rich and the oil companies taxes are too high. We are being denied our military retirement pay so George Bush Yuno could dodge serving in Viet Nam. Now in my opinion: He is a coward. He ran to Daddy, so Daddy could get him out of serving in the NAM. My first day in BOOT CAMP was more than George ever served in active duty, and he denied us our retired pay before leaving for Daddy's protection. George hurt this country so much that he should be ashamed to even come out. But he is SHAMELESS. Enuff said.

    • BUSH COULD NOT GET ANYTHING DONE WITHOUT CONGRESS WHICH BY THE WAY WAS DEMOCRATIC . THEY ARE THE ONES THAT RAN THIS COUNTRY IN THE GROUND SO THAT THEY COULD GET WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS A PUPPET TO DO ALL THEY WANTED HIM TO DO, BUT INSTEAD HE RULED THE ROOST AND HAS MADE HIS OWN POLLICIES. WHICH ARE AGAINST OUR CONSTITUTION. HE IS DOING WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD IN HIS COL. PAPER, DESTROYING AMERICA FROM WITHIN!!!!

  128. Before you all chop off the heads of Congress, look inwards at our own leadership, or lack of in the "yes Men" – Gates and Mullins. When one puts his own career before that of his troops, then it is indeed time to retire or resign.

    They caved into the gays, and then the Tri-Care increases, but this is going even further.

    USA today cannot help that they are poor citizens with no insight into our world. All we talk about is how we take care of our own. Fact is under Bill Clinton, we all got shafted and lost our own military health care system to a unified health care system and then wound up paying for it while Congress had two retirements in less than ten years for them and their spouses, health and dental career that blows ours away, and perks like postal that we do not get as retirees.
    Had I known what I know today. I would have cut my service short and lived the high-life of CIVLANTFLT…but then, none of us our their kind, are we.
    Thanks VFW and the rest of those useless drunk-ex veteran organizations for being good little obedient types in the halls of Congress.

    Some of us are still serving in the role of contractors…and getting a double-shaft at that as the civli service does not care one iota if they let us walk tomorrow..at least in the civil sector I got compensated for an early termination of a position, or a heads-up of cuts or re-organization.

    Time to re-think of what we were and are, and where our loyalties still lay…taking the time to circulate a petition, and recall our representatives is a first start..we are a power block..second, get Fox News attention as to how we really are treated by these elected officials and those Joint Chiefs who long have forgotten when they were a nobody living on a meager pay. If the public knew that their soldiers and sailors and airmen were getting the short end of things, then we would have allies in removing those problems at their source.

    The reason we get treated as such is just like what happened with the social security funds…when you put politicians and lawyers and lobbyists in one area as small as DC, you get corruption, unethical deals, and a lack of oversight…and the extent of it all never under the guise of the wise Attorney General, another paid man. If there is a fight to be won, it is with the public who already feel the pain of living in a democratic, not republic minded political machine in DC.

    And time to let them know about what a disability check really is…nothing extra, just a deduction…and those with huge disabilities claimed walking around on all fours need a second look. How an Airman rates a hearing loss when I around every aircraft known to man at sea or land did not ( and not crying) and a service rating rates 70% or better when I have a back with three shattered lumbar with a paltry 10% … you get the picture.

    Being good little quiet and obedient troops only got this mess we are now in…do it not for yourself, but those who cannot, and their families. And for those who have betrayed us to better their position in Congress, time to shun them from our ranks…brothers-in-arms they have not been…we are more than budgets and dollar signs, Mike…but then those stars must have blinded you to why we all first signed up in the first place…duty, honor, country…

    Perhaps we are the modern day, Rome…should we act thus?

  129. Terry Howell needs to get more facts about Tricare. Also when one becomes vested in a retirement it should not be changed after the fact, that should be illegal. Also, they forget to mention that when a military retiree reaches age 65 they must purchase Medicare or lose Tricare, which becomes the second insurance, another ripoff. The only sweet deal on government insurance is Medicaid. The people using that do not need to be citizens or pay much of anything, the Socia lSecurity fund takes care of it. How about looking into that one? CW4 USA (RET)

  130. Troutman56 says:

    As a veteran of 24 years I feel forgotten. As an American I feel shame.

  131. Bill Alves says:

    Gates, Mullen and the USA Paper should visit Arlington Cemetery in Virginia
    (like I have done several times – most recently on a rainy, cold November 11th
    in 1009 Armitice Day) and tell those brave soldiers, marines, navy and USAF
    personnel that they got a sweet deal on Tricare or any other medical care.
    On the way back home stop by the military hospitals in the area and tell all
    the wounded that they should be paying more for health care. Chief Master
    Sergeant Alves, USAF Retired. Oh, my the way, I served in Vietnam and
    got exposed to Agent orange and ended up with colon cancer and sugar diabetes.
    a

  132. I wonder if USA Today Mag knows just how much TriCare pays on all claims and they are second payer to Medicare and other Insurance?

  133. I also wish they would check with us Military Retires and disabled veterans before they write such stupid articles.

  134. SMSgtJohn says:

    When I worked for GM, we had health care. After I retired from there, it was $50 a month for the premium (for me and the wife, each), along with copays and deductibles. Then last year they changed it to $150 each. So, as a reserve retiree, I went to Tricare Standard. Simular copays and deductibles, but no premiums. Better prescription program, though.

    But, as far as the congressional idiots, maybe it's time to drag them all out into the street by their ankles and string them up, one and all. They've lied, cheated and stolen from us long enough. Make them serve 20 years in office to get their fat pensions and free medical care. If it had been one of us that got shot, rather than Giffords, we'd still be vegetables and nobody would give a crap.

  135. FCC Ret says:

    Actually, they get their medical for life as well, along with their full pay, no 50% for the extinguished members of congress, harumph!

    • retiree says:

      Actually, they don't. They get the same benefits (retirement & health care) as all other Federal Civil Service retirees, because they are, by law, under those same systems.

  136. metalfabman says:

    Don't vent your frustration here, How many of you wrote your congresman or senator? If you did not it's time to do it before it's to late. And most important vote in 2012 for the right guy not OBAMA who does not have the BALLS to do it himself but makes the two guys who retire (GATES & MULLEN) do his dirty work, HELL OF COMMANDER. DO YOU GUYS ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW?
    Not Me

  137. diamond cujtter says:

    when i enlisted in 1960 i was promised 2 things for life if i were to serve 20 years. free medical for me and my family and easy access to the commissary and bx. i live 100 miles from the nearest base so the commissary and bx is not an option, but medical care is necessary for everyone as they get older. i'm tired of getting screwed everytime congress makes cuts. tell congress to make the sacrifices i made for 20 years and see if they don't feel they deserve medical care. i moved 23 times in 25 years. give me a break

  138. R. Roosa says:

    I doubt the individual who wrote this article ever spent a day in the military, much less combat. This kind of nonsense talk is indicative of those who can't understand that we all volunteered and signed a contract. That, we gave up many of our own personal daily freedoms to stand and defend the great country. This country that also protects the rights of those who don't understand a damn thing about sacrifice, duty, honor, country. I am glad I sit here today, able to retort such ill informed reporters as the one who bothered to write this article. It's truly something how people in this country who have never served take their rights as citizens of this great country so easily… Not knowing, and not caring what makes this such a great country. Only concerned with getting a headline. News isn't really news anymore; it's so riddled with sensationalism and exaggeration that it's impossible to sort out what might be true. Take this article for example. This writer [loosely put] thinks that our medical benefits are "too sweet a deal." As if, we aren't good enough, nor do we deserve to receive affordable healthcare during and after we retire from military service. Who this person anyway; probably just some other pissed off moron who hate the military.

  139. richard barry says:

    I joined the army in 1945. At that time, we were promised that if we served for 20 years. we would get health care for life. that commitment, in my case, has always been honored. I had several operations in an MTF hospital in the 70's—no charge.things got a bit spotty while they were in transition but when TFL came in, It got a lot better and has remained so. Maybe things could be better but, at least, there are no premiums, no copays and you can see any doctor who will accept Tricare. I have never been turned away.Try going on an HMO with a network and referrals and you will see how bad it can get.

  140. TOPSOJA says:

    I would be remissed to not comment on this very important issue of TRICARE PRIME, for military retiree's. Let us not forget, we American's who enjoy all the luxury's and perks of a free democracy without blinking a eye. The career professional military person gave their lives and trained and developed others to take their place before they left active duty. Let us be proud of the small percentage of American who decided to carry out democracy and to uphold it's soverenty. Where is the respect to those men and women who decided stay the course, as defenders of this great nation.

  141. davy jones says:

    Sabres70 said: If the Democrats were not wasting money with this bloated government elsewhere then this would be an issue. Just another plant via the President's administration to attack the retired military.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Democrats are the only ones who will defend you for your Tricare rights. Look to the Republicans in Congress who are trying to defeat beneftis for American citizens, civilian and military, so that their sacred cow — the uber, super weealthy and mega corporations with their multi-million dollar CEO packages — can continue to get obscene tax breaks they don't need. The con game is to convince you it's the budget and that Democrats are responsible.

    • herknav says:

      You gotta be kidding me. Once Obama Care is in full effect we'll all get shunted over to that. Yeah, we'll all be waiting in the same lines as illegals and 3rd generation welfare recipients while our elected officials get their Rolls Royce health care and all their union cronies are expemtped from the system the fought so hard to put in place for the rest of us.

  142. Well, here we go AGAIN. I don't know about all of you but I am getting tired of getting screw time and time again. I served my Country for over 20 years and received an injury that I will have until I die. Because someone did not post my medical record at the time, you are RIGHT, SCREWED AGAIN. My sons asked me about joining the military, I told them not to join because all you will get is disappointments. I loved serving my Country but I cannot advise at this time that someone should join. I am a very highly decorated NCO .I feel that whenever the GOVERNMENT needs to cut money, the first place they look at is the military. You do not expect to get rich while serving but you do expect the GOVERNMENt to provide that which was promised the time you raised that hand to defend this nation. This County is failing in many areas do not fail the ones who gave of themselves. Where is the fairness???????????

  143. MSgt Roosa (Ret) says:

    Like the good folks who were compelled to respond to attacks against our medical benefits, I too am hoping that more people are taking time not only to vent on Military.com, bu also to write their elected officials to let them know just how you feel. Some may say, they don't listen, some may wonder what's the point. I say, that if enough people write or call their elected officials they will begin to get the idea. We put these people into office and one way or another, they need to know there is more to "governing" this great country than posting lewd photos of themselves on the internet, or taking all expense paid vacation on corporate fat cat company jets, or giving special incentives to big oil and pharmaceutical companies. They need to know that we voted too, and that if enough us us band together, they can be voted out just as easily.

  144. Isn't it amazing how those who support such have never put their little feet in a pair of combat boots and walked in a combat zone. Somehow they think their activities can compare to the combat of a service member in an active combat zone. How many of these legislatures have seen their friend stand beside him and have his head blown all over him. He wants to compare his job to that of the military, it is a joke that one can't laugh at. I suggest pay cuts for all members of congress and that they begin paying their share of health care for themselves and their family. If a few dare, go make a month long trip to our active combat zone and go on patrol. If ya want, carry your weapon to defend your life.

    • herknav says:

      Even worse, Congressmen and Senators are eligible to "Retire" on full salary after just ONE TERM. Nothing but the best for our imperial leaders! Think any military member would have received the same treatment Kennedy got for his brain tumor???

  145. macofjack says:

    Too sweet a deal. Not only was it a part of the retirement, but for myself and my wife I pay almost $300 a month for a supplyment insurance to cover what Tri-Care does not.! Too Sweet a Deal is congress and the package they get for no more that four years of SERVICE???!!!@@@***&&&. Congress and the President should have to spend at least one hitch in the military to even be able to hold office. Could just fix a lot of problems!!!!!

  146. herknav says:

    Why didn't Adm Ryan state the obvious? This country spends FAR MORE on health care for illegal immigrants and 2nd and 3rd generation welfare recipients who've never worked a day in their lives than on the men and women who've sacraficed for over 20 years serving their country, not to mention their families who have saracficed as well. I grew up in the same town and house until I went to college. I had the same friends from the time I was a baby until I graduated high school. My kids have moved every 3-4 years and are at the point now where they don't even bother making friends. My wife gave up her career as a social worker while I was on active duty and now must jump through hundreds of hoops in order to get re-licensed (going on 6 months now). Some of the other inequities nobody pointed out…Most civilians with kids approaching college age are at their peak earning years…My first will go to college next year and I don't have a job (two to go after that). After working for 20+ years most civilians have just about finished paying off their houses…not us…most of us who bought houses 3 – 4 years ago have lost $10s of thousands on their homes (we're $65K in the hole on our house) and will just be starting a 30 year mortgage at 40-50 years of age. So, congress and USA Today, before you go begruding us affordable health care consider ALL the sacrafices we have made and then compare what you spend on our health care to what is spent on health care for the most worthless members of society and illegal immigrants.

  147. J D Roloff SMSgt Ret says:

    I'll repeat whay I have said before. If Congress keeps cutting entitlelments for the military, someday when they declare war they will have to go themselves, because no one is going to volunteer for the benefits they are getting now. I joined the military in 1957 spent 30 years 17 days, was in Vietnam in '66, '67, '68 and '69. Many of my friends did not come back. I have had two cancers, they now have said was possibly due to Agent Orange. I go to civilian doctors because I would have died waiting for an appointment through the VA. Congress and the president need to take a long look at what they are doing. They are supposed to represent us not their own interest. I wouldn't mind working 4 to 8 years for a good retirement and medical benefit. Congress needs to apply the same rules to themselves as they do the military. I do believe that no one should be able to run for political office unlless they have spent at least 4 years in the military.

  148. If we would just find the fraud, end the attached bills for bullcrap, we could pay off the national debt in a few years. Just do your job congress.

  149. herknav says:

    Excellent points but don't write angry…it messes up your spelling.

  150. I will be more than happy to contribute to my Tricare Plus if Nancy Pelois, Barbara Boxer, Hussain Obama, Hemmoriod of Nevada pay the same amount, and if it reduces the monthly penalty I have to pay medicare for Medicare part B since I am still working.
    Wooed Screwed Tattooed and screwed again!

  151. John C Snodgrass says:

    I don't buy USA Today or any paper or other media that helps our elected officials out with their idea of a way to save money on the budgets.

  152. They need to be slapped up side the head and reminded that retirees (as well as surviving spouses) are on a FIXED income. Where do they think we're to get more money to pay higher premiums and co-pays??? We've had no cost-of-living raise for a couple years, yet our expenses continue to rise. And just because some retirees aren't 65 yet doesn't mean they are able to continue working. Elected officials are the one who need to have their benefits cut!!

  153. Bobby
    Congress should get rid of their health benifits for life for the few years they (let me say this loosely) gave THIER WORTHLESS LIVES TO CONGRESS , I was promised FREE Medical for life if i serves 20 years and they took it away, but yet they sit in their seats make judgments and laws that effect the men and woman that portected thier sorry behinds, it PO me so much that they should go this far and try to say its a sweet deal , the whole lot of them starting with GATES should be fired LOOK TO THEMSELVE before they should cut our checks and up our tricare and on a side note how much is gabriel giffords costing us OO thats right congress her husband is in the military …………

  154. Congress writes the rules and then change them. Let them go without their benefits……….

  155. GradyPhilpott says:

    I like this idea.

  156. I am a widow of a 20-year veteran. The little bit that I get from his small pension a whole whopping $291 before taxes, with the small pay check that I earn (at my time there was no college benefit for spouses), there is no way I could cover an increase in fees. Congress is talking pay cuts for the military….they need to start with themselves….giving themselves pay increases, can't do their job in the time provided to them, serve a couple of years and get life time benefits…come on!!!
    The problem in this country is people are not working together….everyone needs to write to their congressman express your anger in their failure of standing up for a large population that has fought for the freedom of all that live here. Just think if all veterans ( despite their political views) and their wives would write and stand up and let them hear you…..what a great number of people….could be another million men march…let's make it the million veterans march!

  157. God bless all the military men and women. Lets remember D-day today!
    It did not come for free! But we have freedom.
    Take all the entitlement from the congress and senate and take care of our vets. I never even served in the military but come from a military family.
    I saw my folks pay the price for our country!

  158. johnman says:

    I didn't see the editors of USA Today offering to do any of those 18-24 hour work days that I so …um…..FONDLY…remember from sea duty

  159. james shelton says:

    When they awarded me the purple heart i thought i had earned my pay and benefits.WRONG ! We have a president who spends money like it was water and does soo little for the armed forces.I believe that this is a big mistake.China and Rusia are throwing big bucks into there military programs while we are cutting everything which may include our throats. I will be calling my congressman tomorrow.

    I

  160. This is to Joyce, who believes that the military doesn't pay taxes. I am the widow of a 22 yr veteran. Believe me, we paid taxes. Retirement pay is also taxed. Yes, we paid into social security too. The truth is, the military members pay in more ways than just taxes. Our civilians are not ordered to pick up a gun and go to war
    The military man or woman must be willing to sacrifice all for their country and that includes the civilians. It is no fun to be separated for over a year from your spouse. Maybe some of these civilians who begrudge the military any benefits they get should take their place on the front lines. That might change a few minds.

    • springchickenot says:

      Right on, Debs! And don't forget that the spouse, usually a woman although not always, cannot work at a career because of the constant moving around. And that's if she can get a job since many employees will not knowingly hire a military wife.

      Not to mention that once retired after 20 years, many still have to work and pay into company health insurance which covers most of their health care until retirement, not the government or Tri-Care.

  161. Georgiadreamer says:

    Just finished listening to Sec. Gate's "Emotionally Charged" comments to our troops; thanking them for their service and sactrifice. What a…."not allowed on social media"…#$%&#*&^%! I retired in '94 after 30 years. I am so tired of the tired old BS from leaders who have forgotten what it was ever like. We were "Promised…Health Care for LIFE for us and our families!" I don't remember any compromises. CHAMPUS had its problems; the VA is far worse. Our Legislators get better for more after serving and doing Nothing, Lessthan Nothing, or sending "their Privates" at govenment expense.

    I am so tired of the whole Kiss Me, Kick Me attitude. Didn't mind sending us to war for "political reasons still unknown," but now we are responsible for costing the govenment soooo much. KMA! Mr. Secretary!

    MGySgt. USMC/Retired

  162. Vietnam Vet says:

    Sec Gates made an insulting comment towards the military retirees recently. He stated "working military retirees need to pay their share" in reference to increasing Tricare premium. I guess putting our lives on the line for 20 years was not enough of a sacrifice as far as he's concerned. I was googling his military backround. Please correct me if I'm wrong but according to wika and google, he has not military backround. In other words, he has never been in our shoes.
    Before I retired from the USAF, the PACAF CMsgt of the Air Force told us during one of his briefings; Never call the military benefits as "benefits". They are "entitlements". Benefits sounds more like a handout. We put our lives on the line during our military career. Therefore, we are entitled to them as promised. Once you complete your "contract" with the military, you have completed your side and it is now time for the government to finish their side as promised!"
    AMEN!!!

  163. Dave Griffin says:

    I read Murrays post about those who served from 1940–1956 not having to pay medicare part b.Is this true?And if so,how do I stop my payments and recoup the money I have paid?

  164. More than likely, less than 1 percent of the people that work for USA TODAY have ever served ond day in the military. I will never read another copy of the newspaper!!!!

  165. Retired AF MSgt says:

    I fully agree that veterans are being screwed. I served 20+ years in the Air Force and was told and it was in my 1973 Recruiting Manual, "If you serve at least 20 years and retire with an honorable discharge, you will be provided free medical and dental care for you and your family for the rest of your life."
    BULLSHISKEBOBS!! We saw how t he government kept that promise. Now they want to raise Tricare, as well as take some more of our benefits away. Veterans and active duty unite! Write your Congresspeople. Let them know this is unacceptable. Tell them-we're as mad as hell and we're not going to take this anymore. And if they don't believe us, wait till November 2012.

  166. MSG(Ret)River4406 says:

    Yes, 33 plus years, two dozen broken bones and joints (Some removed/some replaced), all but four of my teeth knocked out (Can't get the VA to fix that), heat stroke, multiple surgeries to fix Army injuries, migrines from head injuries, cancer, heat stroke while in 6 hours of Chemical Suit Training in July at Fort Poke, and enough BS to fill the Orange Bowl during the 33 years. I never said never, because when I retire the Military is going to take care of me rest of my life. Hell, TriCare Prime wasn't to cost us a dime. Sixty years old and bitter as hell. Congress and Obama can KISS MY A#$!!

  167. I was navy from 1964 until 1987 and one of the things I’m grateful for is TRICARE. I recently had a cancer tumor removed from my lower jaw $90.000, my cost $2400. I couldn’t have afforded it if the rates were increased. I’m looking at three more surgeries to rebuild the jaw and for implant sockets for eight teeth, cost in the neighborhood of $9000. I’ll probably end up paying $6000. It’s taken 19 months for TRICARE to finally agree that it is medically related and not cosmetic. Even with that I am glad I have it. We don’t have many Dr’s in North Idaho that accept TRICARE so you use out of system medical.
    Those who are in control should be as lucky as us retirees, 22 years and a pension of around $1500 a month. Fortunately I get SS and aVA disability. But with the cost of everything going up I’ve had to sell off some of my toys just to maintain.

  168. Very interesting, during this era of Global War on Terrorism most of the military medical members (doctors/nurses) have been on a rotational basis supporting deployed service members. This medical staff was to a certain extent to assist in providing the care for retired community. the cause and effect is: In recent years most of the retirees are being pushed out in the civilian sector for the medical care which has directly effected the DoD medical cost. A cost savings/avoidance will occur when deployments are reduced and the medical staffs start to provide these services to retirees again.

  169. USA today are you that stupid? Your right I shouldn’t have given twenty years of my life protecting usa today’s right to free press I should have just lived on welfare and Medicade. What a bunch of crap. Yet a moron can serve serve one term in office an receive full pay and medical for life.

  170. Terry De Pew says:

    Anyone who spent 20 years or more in service to the country, should be able to show up at the nearest military medical facility, show thier ID, and be treated
    forn what ails them, as it was always meant to be.
    Remember, because of the nature of the "job", police officers, firefighters AND
    military retirees, do not last as long as "regular" retirees. It would be nice if the bean counters would keep THAT in mind.

  171. NO WHAT IS EATING THE DOD AND GOVERNMENT ALIVE, ARE THE DEADBEATS SEATING BEHIND DESK MAKING DECESSIONS.. WE NEED TO START CUTING THE COST/BUDGET AT THE TOP. TRIM THE FAT.
    CONGRESS/SENATE/PRESIDENT, THESE PEOPLE ARE RICH AND GETTING RICHER ON OUR TAX DOLLARS. FIRST CUT THEIR HEALTH/DENTAL CARE. SECOND THERE SALARIES SHOULD BE CUT BY 50%. YOUR BENIFITS LIKE GOVERNMENT CARS/PLANES SHOULD BE LIMITED TO OFFICE ONLY.. NOT FOR THEIR WIFE'S PLEASURE TRIPS. SECRET SERVICE AGAIN FOR THE OFFICE ONLY, NO RETIREMENT PLAN PERIOD. THESE PEOPLE ARE ALREADY RICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WE ARE ALREADY TAXED TO DEATH, HOW MUCH MORE CAN WE HANDLE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  172. springchickenot says:

    I will never vote for Republican or Democrat again. If a decent Independent doesn't run, I'll write in Jesse Ventura.

    Tri-Care was already earned. I have no respect for any person or entity that does not keep its word, especially to our vets!

  173. Islander says:

    Don't forget who started this mess…BUSH!!! Obama inherited his mess.

  174. Jim vernon says:

    President? Obama's trip to England on which he carried 200 security people and 6 cooks plus his own food and water plus numerous vehicles would have paid for a couple of years medical care for retirees. He thinks nothing of splurging on himself but wants to lay waste to retirees benefits.. Also Mr. Gates trip to Afganisstan was a totally unecessary expense if he really wants to save money. Everyone who has been in the military knows that DOD is a grand champion at wasting money!

  175. springchickenot says:

    This is not about Right versus Left. It's about money, it always has been. Stop arguing back and forth. The blame game is called "divide and conquer."

  176. I have been hearing the civilian/military comparison for 35 years. There is no comparison, period. Sec Gates should forfeit his retirement and benefits if he thinks we make too much in earned benefits. Anyway, maybe they should cut all those assistants in DOD that we do not need. They are so ready to cut pay and benefits for us but in my state (Cali) they just passed college grants for illegals in the state assembly…while the state is broke….and want to raise taxes to fund this. What’s wrong with this picture?

  177. Sure, make medical for people who served their country for 20+ years, but keep on giving FREE medical to all the illegal immigrants in the country. The social programs get money to give non-working people free medical, but heaven forbid giving those of us who served a break in medical care. After all, when I enlisted, retirees were GUARANTEED free medical for life. Guess that the corrupt people running the country can only guarantee they will be unethical by supporting non-citizens and ignoring those who are citizen soldiers!

  178. Lets' form our own union, and take a similar approach as SEIU. No blind balloting, out in the open where all can see. I as I've read, congress and the senate have never tightened their belts. They may have forgone for a few months a raise or a benefit, but I've never seen a reduction. And don't forget you get to go on MEDICARE/MEDICAID when you turn 65. The young should soon start caring about what happens in their country, because they will get caught up in today's actions. guest

  179. Straight Leg says:

    It could be said that you suffer from cranial rectal inversion which has no known cure.

  180. Ruth Carter says:

    If the Government officials would cut there benefits and have to live the way the rest of us Retired/over 65 age bracket has to live. Then there would be plenty of funds to continue giving those who protect and protected their A__ and made it possible for them to sit up there and collect on the gravy train they have established for themselves and may I add most of them have never had to put their lives at risk to get the benefits they get. Perhaps our military should all run for office and let those "fat Cat Government Officials" go protect our country. Bet we would see a turn about very soon.

  181. USA Today editors are really taliban agents intent on demoralizing our armed forces. When I left the service I was Guaranteed free benefits for life. So was my Father. Then came fees, fees, and more fees and finally they subcontracted the healthcare out to private insurers, whose executives make megabucks off our backs without even knowing what it means to serve on active duty. It is time for us to act as one man for the benefit of all military retirees and veterans, and especially the widows. Rebel against our government of the companies, for the rich, and by the lobbyists. Lets bring America backagain.

  182. ncveteran27282 says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with what Retired Navy Vice Admiral Ryan, Jr. had to say in response to the USA Today artical about TRICARE. All those sons of biscuit eaters hollering and screaming for ANY increase where the MILITARY is concerned have never served in support of this country.

    I don't hear about them giving up their perks, which include FREE medical care for life. I also don't hear the American people giving it a second thought or standing in our defense either. If they had to pay, they would definitely be singing a different tune.

    So what's up with that? I proudly served my country for 20 years and was guaranteed medical care for my service. I deserve it and so do the current military force of today. We have paid for it in blood, sweat and tears. Both my daughters served, with one daughter and her husband being deployed in Iraq. Both came back safely.

    You know the old saying….."until you have walked in my shoes . . . . . ". Gates needs to get his head out of the Bush a-hole.

  183. Disgusted says:

    Why don't they do away with the taxpayers burden, yes that's right, Living Quarters Allowance for people in Germany, most of whom have never walked a day in combat boots! It's a disgrace, you the taxpayers are buying their homes for them, when they leave they sell it and pocket the money. Tell that to a mother or father who lost a son or daughter fighting for their country! If they cut LQA there would be lots of money for our soldiers.

  184. Ray Johnson says:

    How many of us spent a tour on a remote location, mies away from any medical facility with only a 19 year old medic to treat us if we developed any illness or injury. Would Mr. Gates be satisfied being transported 120 miles with an ankle bone sticking thru his sock. Our medic was not authorized to use morphine to ease his pain. But he was smart enough to have the local allied military vet to stick him. My point is, as many have commented, the non-military wackos in Washington have no clue what we all gave to our country, and should be ashamed of themselves for their attempts to cover their unbridled spending on the backs of we who served. "All gave some and some gave all"

  185. 1st Team says:

    These are really good comments,however we need to idenify those policitans that are voting yes on screwing with veterans benefits and make this personal in nature. Lets put thier names and faces on twitter, Facebook e.t.c. we should not let them hide behind thier titles and controlled media. In my opinion since we put our lives on the line, for GOD and Country, we have the right to know by name which repersenative Dem/Rep that is trying to break the Goverment promise to take care of veterans. Mothers,Fathers, Sisters and Brothers of veterans need to know it should be a matter of public record. So when we vote we can send a clear message to the Goverment how important our military are to this country.

  186. Manzer Thompson says:

    I flew a tour of combat in WW2 and again in Korea. I just wish a congressman had been sitting in the co pilots seat during the 89 times I was shot at. I am sure they would appreciate the danger we faced while taking their place in those conflicts. All americans owe it to the country to help protect our way of life. The service man is doing it for all those that do not serve. Those making the rules should think about that before screwing those that served so others did not have too.

  187. Vietnam Vet II says:

    As a patriotic retired USAF, I have always encouraged the younger military active duty personnel to stay in and make an effort to finish their 20 year military career. Prior to my retirement, I was told by a CMsgt (CMsgt of PACAF) to call our military benefits as “military entitlements" not benefits. As he stated, "benefits" sounded more like a handout. We are entitled to our "entitlements" due to us completing our contract. We have paid our dues to earn the entitlements that we currently have.

    How can we encourage our young people to enter the military when the government is "eroding" our current entitlements? Much less, encouraged them to stay in for 20 years. At this rate, our country will have a future problem of lack of enlistment in the military to protect our country.

    Secretary of Defense Gates made an in appropriate comment concerning the increase of Tricare recently. He stated "that our working retired military" needs to pay their share. We have paid dearly with our lives and committed our lives to the government. What else are you asking for from our current military and retirees?

    I goggled Gates to see if he has any military experience. Correct me if I’m wrong but according to wiki and Google, Gates has no military back ground. Neither does Obama. Neither one of them has ever been in our shoes. They talk about how they care about our military. Bull____. Obama is taking the credit for getting Bin Laden. He didn’t get him, our military Seals did. And pretty soon, in a few years, when things start to settle down, they’re going to push those Seals out the door and take their “ENTITLEMENTS” away. Perhaps it’s time we retirees discourage the youth from enlisting and encourage the current military to get out before their 10 years midway point. When they run out qualified personnel, then they might consider the direction this country is going to. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN.

  188. Veterans need to Vote! Its the only way to stop this. Lets get the right people in office. We should all send letters to our reps and tell them we are tired of our Veterans and Active miltary paying for what they have caused. Let them know that they don't stand a chance of staying in office if they mess with our benefits. I will not Vote for anyone who makes cuts on Veterans or Active Miltary.

  189. worn out says:

    Before we start cutting pay and benefits, lets talk about 14,000 a month for life. apointment to government jobs 200,000 a year if we start by cutting generals active duty pay in half and let them retire on 3,500 a month or less and let them pay 650 a month for tri care. maybe some people will think twice before attacking those who have servered and are serving and retired then we will get a voice or they will find the cuts some where else. we took a oath, we are proud, why would those who we swore to obey, follow, attack us now. One would think its what in it for them only other go to he–

  190. H Preble says:

    Been reading most of the responses since mine of several days previously and the one of $72.00 monthly really hit home. Then there was the $5.00 for the "Unit Fund" and the $40.00 sent home to my parents to save or use if needed. I did'nt learn it was needed until after my Korea tour. Enough history except there was a previous march on Washingtonby the Great War veterans. I would love to see organized a Retired Veterans Union which would gather a significant number to be seen as an influence to be recognized and heard. If only we had the right person to lead such a group. A person such as Bud Day. Check it out.

  191. I was proud to serve 30 yrs in the military to do my part to defend the great country & the freedom that we enjoy. I ,also,remember the "pep talks" about staying in to retire. We were promised a pension & medical care as compensation for our service (the same as the senators,congressmen,president). I agree that if they think we have too sweet a deal & need to change it,then change their's the same way.

  192. R. Young says:

    What is this? What do they think military retirees are too rich? Maybe if a retiree is aliove and still working and has health care from their current employer the Govmnt would like them to reimberse it for the total cost of all previous health care paid out through TRI CARE. Just think of the money the politicians could have to spend on their pet projects then!
    Maybe if it costs too much to provide for us Vets who served honorably for 20 plus, why not just shoot them and not worry about it at all?
    Once again collectively our Government has lost it's mind. A raise in TRI CARE is something that should be considered carefully, but not as a way for the politicians to fund our Govtnmt!
    How about the Senator and Congressmen start coffing up for their own health care at the going civilian rates, plus for their own life insurance as well at civilian rates, then take that money and fund the Govmnt. That would go over like a screen door on a submarine!
    Okay Mr. Politician, dig into your own pocket, not the military, not the retiree and not the senior citizens. Time you fat cats on the hill had to do with less, just like the rest of us.

  193. Wrote my Senator about the increase in cost for TRICARE. I told him I didn't see any cuts for congress , welfare or illegals. Hell, those three get free health care and didn't have to serve a day. Wrote me back telling me, we all have to sacrifice in these times. Amazing, the only people I see sacrificing is the Seniors and Military. I also hate my benefits being called entitlements. I paid for them.

  194. TOM ROLF says:

    THIS COULD HAVE AN IMPACT! A SHOW OF THE POWER ALL MILITARY ACTIVE, VETS., RETIRED, AND OUR FAMILEYS HAVE.Over the years I have paid for USA Today many times but for the next 6 MONTHS I will read something else. We need to cut spending and pay our debts and there are many ways it can be worked out.WHY MILITARY AND TRICARE! START AT THE TOP IF THATS THE WAY WE ARE GOING. FIRST TAKE A LONG LOOK AT GETTING OUT OF WARS AND AIDt

  195. A. Hernandez says:

    As a disabled Vietnam vet and Federal retiree of 36 years, I helped worked the TRICARE system when it came to this area, El Paso, TX. It was a mess then, and a mess today. Most of the policies and initiatives in the Contract, which was over a 1,000 pages long (at the time), could not be met. NO ONE knows or understands the entire Contract. All TRICARE is, is just another health care plan that was privatized by DoD. The $520 fee increase for Prime will not be enough because of the rising cost of health care in the private sector. TRICARE is based on the availability of private sector providers in the network. If you don't pay them enough, they don't stay withTRICARE. It's like Medicare. Many doctors are dropping Medicare. You might consider the VA, if you haven't already because in some cases (not all) you'll get better access to care and much more affordable. Go to a VBA counselor at the VA and check out your options. You're a military retiree. You've put your time in. You were promised health care for lifetime. You've earned it. So FIGHT for it, if you have to. My dad was a Air Force retiree of 20 years. He used TRICARE and it was worthless. He used the VA and his private health insurance. He finally died several years ago. I hope this info helps. You guys take care.

  196. James Aurandt says:

    Why is it always the non military people that want to cut any benifits we earned
    during are military time.My dad was in the army during ww1,my 2 brothers were in the service,i was in service for 20 years.It was hard on the family to get by on the pay we got and now they want to take it away I`ll take the benifits the
    congress gets after a couple years of do nothing.

  197. Richard Lynch says:

    I spent 32 years in the US Army and gave them many of my most productive years.
    Now when I am ill and semi retired you want to cut my pay and health care benefits. That is unconscionable. That is not to mention you want to increase my tax burden for the governments and Wall Street indiscretions.
    PLease don't erode my benefits any more.

  198. ROBERT MIRRA says:

    USA TODAY YOU SUCK, I WILL NEVER BUY YOUR RAG AGAIN. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ANOUT SERVING YOU COUNTRY. WHEN I ENLISTED IN 1975 WE WERE ALL TOLD IF WE MADE IT TO RETIREMENT WE WOULD HAVE FREE HEALTH CARE, THAT TURNED OUT TO BE BULL, NOW THESE S__T HEADS WANT TO SELL US OUT. GATES IS A GOOD THING YOUR RETIIRING, YOU HAVE BEEN A SUCK UP TO OBAMA SINCE YOU WERE PUT IN YOUR JOB, GOOD RIDDANCE. RETIREE'S CALL YOU GONGRESSMEN, AND SENATORS. ( ONE PISSED VET )

  199. Al Cooper says:

    If you're over (or nearing) 65 years old, TRICARE is either a joke, or a non-player. ALL tricare programs require ALL 65 year olds to be enfolled in Medicare PART B, which covers NO medical care received outside the USA. I reside in Japan with my family, and have been receiving care both under the Japanese medical system as first payer, and then Tricare reimbursement for the "overage". I can't afford it any more, and I have incurable lung cancer. Effectively, Tricare and Medicare Part B just drove the first nail in my coffin. I REFUSE to pay for something I'll never be able to use.
    USA News and Gates can bite my soon to be dead arse (ashes)…but they've "saved a lot of money", haven't they?

  200. JoJoBubbaFlyrod Jr says:

    Cost of living freeze for 5 or more years, talk of pay cuts, and now trying to take tricare away, this country, or the politicians that run it(into the ground) can never keep a promise!

  201. JoJoBubba Flyrod Jr says:

    If I put my wiener on the internet, can i get a lifetime retirement package also?

  202. I have no problem paying a higher premium for our retired healthcare benefits, When congress stops getting a full social security check when they retire. We all have to accept half of our working pay when we retire, they get full pay. So we want to cut the budget lets start with Congress.

  203. Douglas says:

    Remember the time when we could go to a base hospital but since they closed so many bases and most of those had hospitals so now all that remain are clinics for the most part. They want to force us to use TriCare yet I would rather go to a base hospital. "Too sweet a deal." I will tell you what would be a really sweet deal, making all these bastards, Newsweek, Congress, every damn person serve 3 or 4 years in the military and then see what they think; being away from your family; not seeing a child born or hearing his first words; yes, it is time for a turn around in leadership.

  204. Kdawg705 says:

    I don't understand why Gates and the military brass are picking on the retirees. For God sakes, we were asked to serve–yes, ASKED–or, is all the millions spent on recruiting advertisement just to keep advertisement firms in business–and, we did. We didn't squawk or pitch a bitch about the low pay, the many separations from our families, the remote tours of duty. No, we kept a stiff upper lip and did our duty. We only asked that our leaders honor their commitment to us as we honored our commitment to our country. Now we are made to feel as if we are a primary reason the DOD is going bankrupt! Hell, now I guess military retirees are being told not to get sick, stop using the commissary, and for pete's sake stop coming to the base pharmacy for your medicine. Thanks for working real hard Mr. Gates (by the way you don't meet the weight standards and most likely could not pass the PT exam, and are probably on meds yourself–oh, that's right, you're a stinkin' civilian bureaucrat) to throw retirees under the bus. I will pray for your demise the first day you step down as our beloved Defense Secretary. YOU SUCK!!!!!

  205. Kdawg705 says:

    I've never bought that rag.

  206. Military has no union. Easy target for sure.

  207. JC TYLER says:

    I am on VA disability. I gave my country my life and health. What has a politicans done except to denegeate Veterans and active duty soldiers? They get too much for too little service, besides the ability to set yor OWN PAY & BENEFITS!

    But I saw too many who went in and they came back to a VA system that BROKEN. The education reimbursements were years in arreas to veteran students. I had to drop out of school because the VA never paid me for 2 years. The medical system was under-funded, under-staffed, crumbling infrastructure, incompentent doctors and overworked nurses. Something goes wrong , there is no way to sue for negligence. The gov't is immune from the law everyone else is subject to.
    So claiming that the system is too good to be true is another headline grabbing LIE! I rely solely on Social Security disability for medical care and I do not use the VA. I couldn't get into the system without driving nearly 200 miles round trip to local VA facility to re-enroll into the system again or receive treatment. I believe many eligible veterans are not using the system either. The Department Veteran Affairs needs the money that is wasted by Congress & DoD.

  208. When we hear all about the US government, what we really hear is the civilians who are running it. What we need is to bring back the draft. Have everyone, men and woman (that includes the rich and famous) capable of serving in the military go through basic, and serve at least 5 years, Those that make it to 20 years or more could still retire. From these retirees, and only retirees would the United States government leaders be picked or voted in. This would go especially for Congress and the President. Anyone not serving his country would be ineligible. Those that have not served in the military, could only run for state offices, because they are only civilians. George Washington was the leader of our country's army first before becoming president. If this tradition would continue again, Our new leaders would understand all the militarys needs of health care, and pensions.

  209. I haven't read all the comments, but don't our Congressman, Senators, President, Vice President and others members of the adminstration "qualify" for health care at our MILITARY treatment facilities for free? No wonder they want to raise our rates. We have to pay for their care at our facilities. And they take priority over our active duty and retirees when they seek treatment at our military treatment facilities.

  210. let usa defend our country. maybe we should do somthing of freedom of the press . is this why we defend this country so that the press can bitch about our health. i dont see any of them losing legs and arms etc.

  211. CRYSTAL says:

    "
    Tri-care and Prime are things that were included in the package when any retiree reenllisted for the first time and were supposibly guranteed upon retirement. Now it seems that anytime congress needs more cash it seems to come from the pockets of those who served the countrry most. What makes a congressman anymore deserving of his benefits than me mine. I have never seen any program that reduces the benifits of congressional service, nor have I seen anything requiring them to have first hand knowledge of what they pass judgement on. It is my firm belief that if all senate, congressional and presidental candates were required to have military service as a pre requisite for being placed in office they would have a much better chance to perform thier jobs better as they would have a real knowledge of how thier decisions affect a very large part of Americans. "
    WE AGREE TOTALLY!!!!

  212. Army Wife and Veteran says:

    My fellow Civilian Americans. Our troops are put on the frontlines with the solemn expectation that they risk their lives and place this country above all else (to include their loved ones). What will happen to DoD once Americans discover the non-benefits of protecting a nation with no integrity (the backbone of one of the seven army core values)! When a citizen is ordered to sacrifice, he or she should receive the same sacrifice in return.
    Our military cannot survive without proper “sustenance”. Take that away and you will have a DoiD (diseased opponent in Defense). We have to maintain the troops strong during and after the effects of war if we want to maintain a Healthy Morale!

    Sincerely,

    Army Wife and Veteran

  213. My husband is retired military, we got up one Sunday morning and his jaw was swollen so we went to our VA emergency room and after 3 hours of waiting we are put in a treatment room. We then wait another 2 hours for a DR. to come in, only to be told that he had an abcessed tooth. He was given medication for it, and about three or four months later he receives a bill for $130.00 for his trip to the emergency room. I agree with all of the othes that have replied to thisarticle. Congress needs to cut their pay before they cut any other pay.

  214. VETERANS SHOULD REMEMBER THE WWI BONUS FIASCO & THE 15+ YRS. TO SETTLE IT. VETERANS UNITE! PROTEST! IF NOT, SUFFER IN SILENCE!

  215. Hay Vets you are not unique. The same things are happening to all of us. The country need very badly to get the insurance companies out of the medical business. Health and car/property repair are not the same. WE ALL NEED SINGLE PAYER NON PROFIT HEALTH CARE.

  216. utah491 says:

    I'm thinking about the 12 to 16 hours days I spent on a flight deck of a carrier when it was blistering hot, icy cold, pouring down rain, ect…. I worked even when I had the flu or was injured and without complaining. I made numerous deployments in my 20 year career all over the world in the worst of circumstances and not once could I describe this as a sweet deal. The worst part is that I had it easy compared to my brothers in the marines, army, and air force. The bottom line is that non vets don't have a clue about military service or the benifits that we've earned.

  217. All the comments are great and have merit. I am a Nam widow a result of AO. It is difficult enough to lose my soul mate but to see and live through this mess that BO is putting us through is more than I can understand; as well as the fear of what may lie ahead. This Prez. needs to serve in the military and get off his AF1 jet long enough to take care of the White House and country's business. Doing business elsewhere when he should be home needs to go away. He needs a long 20 yr. haul under the military rules of discipline and see how long he would last. He would first have to get rid of his ball games, and go to boot camp for double time to ensure he knew exactly what his rules were. Leave his family, lovers and friends behind for an undetermined amount of time and no correspondence from home for months on end. Doubt he would last long enough to get his uniform on. We do need to march in DC but how to lead such an event is beyond my capabilities at this juncture of my life. Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts; it made my day a lot better knowing you all are there with the same values and standards I still carry from our 20 yrs. in the AF.!!!

  218. Tricare Prime was a good service while on active duty. Once retired, authorized visits are few, long distances, non-copensatory, and severely delayed.

  219. Norman Sketers says:

    Why don't some of these know-it -all newspaper columnists do their time in the military before they they write stories about taking away the benefits we earned and were guaranteed to us for our service to our country. I believe that their comments would be different than those of todays so called authority writers and columnists ie: draft dodgers.

  220. You know, out politicians always want to cut everything from the veterns & social security, but lord help us if we suggest that they cut their benifits or continued help of illegals. They also want to continue to send billions of $ to foreigh countrys.
    We Veterns and elderly need to get up off of our backsides and force our politicians to listen to us.

  221. Fisher SFC USARET says:

    Well her we go again same old sh## again. The USA paper must only go so far to research facts on news I worked for Orregon department of corrections and the health care was free part of the union contract. I now work for Douglas County Department of Corrections Omaha Ne a family health care is $ 150 a month this includes dental ciropract care the hole nine yards. I am no math wizard but total a year is $ 1800 long sight from what USA posted. It is possible that may the goverment should start doing some thing about the welfare leaches who get it all for free and the only thing they had to do is not work and have a bunch of kids. Makes sence to me. Note that once again the administration of our goverment has not mention what they are willing to give up for there country. Hang in there my brother and sisters from the military some day we might get people in there that truly care.

  222. I just retired with 31+years, I was told years ago serving my country would mean I would have a pension and medical benefits, I have the pension and after state takes taxes leaves me with a significant decrease in monthly pension and with the cost of tricare leaves me at low income status. I am having a hard time getting into VA, when I know that their are soldiers with less than 10 years served, no combat, deceit about medical claims (claims that pre-existed or happened after serving, lieing about being deployed and getting preferential treatment into VA) is disgraceful, prosecutable, and un-american. I totally agree with my fellow retirees, those who keep using us, need to be and have worn our boots for all lour years of service, I doubt they would want what they are doing to us to happen to them. I'm ready for all to hear about what is really happening to the retired soldier.

  223. mobrien USAF Ret says:

    Congress wants to do something with TriCare, fine, just give us the same coverage and plan that they have and manage to keep forever for themselves and family. The people who can most afford it are always the ones that don't mind screwing the ones who can least afford it. Mr. Gates and the Admiral will keep their sweet deals rest assure .

  224. jasljohns says:

    Yeah, let's support our troops, but only rhetorically when we want to send them into harm's way. Don't tax anyone to do it though. Oh no, let's cut such entitlements out entirely! Military retirees are so small a minority in the electorate that targeting them to sacrifice what they dedicated their lives to earn is safer than raising taxes.

    Now, let's get real. Since there was no by-line for the op-ed, we can only refer to the author as A H. What I'm sure A H is clueless about is that military hospitals (A H's inferred alternative to TriCare) are under staffed, and the cost of the pro-pay necessary to attract enough doctors into military service or positions in military hospitals may be more costly than providing TriCare at current levels.

  225. You can do nothing and earn free or almost free medical care through walfare programs. You could be strung out on drugs or alcohol, have a lifestyle that kills you and still get free medical care. BUT work hard for it and sacrifice pay, seperation from family for years and months, sleep under a vehicle and take a bullet or inhale gas of some sort, eat at a roadside shelter cold meal after cold meal, endure basic hardships which most would call inhumane if it were don't to an incarcertated person doesn't earn the same degree or better of compensation is outrageous!

  226. I am retired and when we moved to this area we were under 65 and had Tri care Prime. We live in a retirement community at that time with over 50,000 people. Only 2 Doctors took Tricare Prime, unfortunately the nearby Hospital did not. So both Doctors dropped Tricare Prime. I am over 65 now and have Tri Care for Life. The question is How many Doctors in your area take Tri Care Prime.?

  227. It is the Government that have let the cost of health care run rampid. The problem is not Tri Care or Health Care for all (Health Care Bill). It is that they have allowed the cost of helth care to get out of control. My wife when to the emergency room just for observation over night, they ran some test. The bill was 15,000.00. I could not believe it. I ask them "What was she in a major car accident or something". When they get you in the hospital they will run every test conceivable to man and charge you 10 prices for it.

    On the other hand, I went to Taiwan to have surgery for my skin cancer, no insurance, 2 days in the hospital, surgery, anniesteogolist, plastic surgery, doctors fees, the total was 1,600.00.

    So, while our president is trying to get medical coverage for all, paying these high prices it will break the whole country.

    Someone needs to take control of this runaway horse and put him back in the corral where he belongs.

    I looks to me like the government wants the military to bend over and take it up the rear.

  228. Al from Texas says:

    Ok, how many retired service members can tell me they get "Free Dental Care"? Just what I thought. I was told free medical, dental and vision care after I service 20 years. Don't know about you folks but I haven't gotten any of the above mentioned services free. TriCare Prime has an annual free. The Delta Dental Plan that they offer costs more than the TriCare Prime per year and by golly, if I get a new pair of glasses it cost me close to $500.00 a pair. Now where is the FREE.

  229. Therapacize47 says:

    Some days it's tempting to just boycott the USA. Costa Rica looks better every year. They don't take Tricare down there for a reason.

  230. CopperCent says:

    TriCare as a whole frustrates me. We live in an area where many of the doctors will not accept you as a patient if you have TriCare. They are expected to take a certain amount and when they are filled they refuse to accept you. So many times this causes you to accept substandard care. So we have opted to pay for insurance that is accepted by everyone. Many of the physicians office will not even file TriCare as a secondary. So overall, TriCare in this area is pretty much a waste.

  231. TParker says:

    I am the wife of a medically retired vet. We are younger then most but sit inthe same spot of most other retirees. I waqs diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago after giving birth to our youngest child. Everyone thinks that the military has it made with this tricare crap. We pay our monthly fee for prime but the care we get sucks. I was denied a mommogram for two years because I wasn't 35 and god forbid if a retiree needs to be seen at the mtf. Well I finally got my mammogram after the tumor grew to 2 cm and could actually be felt. Then I had to go to my congressman to get to a hospital that specializes in cancer instead of just letting some genral surgeon who removed my sisters gallbladder try and give me a masectomy. Tricare is especially great when they deny your claims for hospitalization for chemotherapy because you didn't feel out the third party liavility form. Hmm! Wonder who that would be. Our goverment officals don't give a flying crap about any veteran no matter how many years you spent in the service. Let all these damn snooty civillians try to get decent care with our health insurance and jump through all those damn hoops while trying to keep yourself alive. I've always said if I wasn't an american I'd get great healthcare for free.

  232. Everyone posting is correct. My husband has been in for almost 19 years and is an E-7. He is deployed, again, and when he comes back he will be back to working 16 hours days and weekends. He doesn't get overtime or bonuses. The pay for an enlisted person is horrible. The only positive benefit is the medical care. I get so angry because congress gets whatever they want and out military, active and retired, get screwed. I haven't heard one mention of congress getting their medical benefits cuts. And what about their leave? They certainly take more than 30 days a year. My husband may earn 30 days, getting to take it is another matter entirely. Our congress-people fly on private jets and have outrageous benefits (free haircuts and shoe shines anyone?). I would love it if they had to live the military life for a 4-year term. I personally think it should be required for anyone who wants to represent our country and make decisions on those in the military and their lifestyle. Congress is the biggest drain on our government. What a lousy group of self-important prigs! At least most of them; there are one or two that are OK.

  233. oleander says:

    I am former military. My mother in-law has free healthcare because she married a retired Vet. He has passed on & she continues to receive free health care & use of JAG & other bennies. How is this fair? She was not married to him at the time of his active duty. Is this an oversight ? I've never heard of this situation before. Just don't think it's fair to those that have served. I pay big time for health insurance plus out of pocket expense, ect… while she pays nothing!!! Does anyone know how a civilian can get all the military freebies?

  234. Billy Wayne Jones says:

    Cut, Cut, Cut Military & Retires and let see who left to serve in the future. I served 33 yrs in Army and I be Dam before I will give my blessing to my grandsons to serve people like we now have in office. By cutting the military we as a country are cutting our feet out from under us. What do we have if we have no military to protect us. Do we want to be a 3rd world country? You better think before you go cutting the military!!!!!!!!!! We who serve are generations deep in serving our country, do you want to lose this?????

  235. How is that peace dividend working out for you peckerheads? Spent it before you got it, dumber than a sack of rocks. Spent over 20-years in the military working 6-7 days a week and double shifts. Going wherever I was sent and doing my best with the impossible to succeed. Being Airborne, (motivated trained brainwashed killer waiting to be pointed in a direction) hard training ruined my lower back so I changed services and that ruined my upper back. Nothing comes easy. 100% Disabled from the military on the day I retired. Now I am just in pain dealing with doctors that don't care. My leaders in government can blow me. Just terminology, I would not let those slimy lying scum touch me. Read these other postings, lots of frustration here, humm.

  236. Have you ever seem our gongress repeps and how FAT they are? And now THey want to "thin" out our paychecks. For What?So that They can get Fatter at our expence. Have they ever thought of the fact that if they keep this up that THEY may have to REALLY Work for a change? My husband did 20 yrs, day for day in the Navy and loved every daay of it; sea life was his best friend, making new friends and renew old friends was a life he truely loved. I now live off of SS and DIC, not nearly enough to pay bills let alone the so called increase that the so called FAT CATS want to instutite on us. I think it's time to make congerss and their cohorts to stand a 6 month deployment or better yet a year over on the front line in the middle East with live ammo hitting their A**^s and see if our husbands or wives haven't paid enough for the bennies that they were promised upon enlisting and reenlisting; As for the SAND CRABS of the US, IF you have enough time to complain about our bennies, THAN GET OFF YOUR A**^* and ENLIST AND MAKE A LIVING FOR YOURSELVES AND NOT ON THE BACKS OF OUR SPOUSES! bY THE WAY, WHY ARE THE congress AND THEIR COHORTS ALLOWED "FREE' MEDICAL CARE AT OUR BASE HOSPITALS? They go to one in DC and are escorted to and from the hospital, try that with the lowely enlisted, what a laugh! Congress SHOULD be the ones to get a deduction in pay, NOT our enlisted.

  237. William says:

    They didn't pay me overtime, I had dirt for a bed many nights, got wet almost very time it rained, got paid less that those civilian jobs they are trying to compare to military. I'll pay for my insurance if they will go back and pay me for 10 to 20 hours a seek overtime. (just the overtime not a condition allowance)

  238. I too am retired and for the live of me can't understand how a Congress, Senate and White House can even entertain this idea. When they march us of to war they are filled with patriotism that is about as hollow as an old tree. They don't care about you, your family or anything but their own power and position in life. If they did guys like Rangel and Wiener would be out. Instead they make excuses for themselves. Look at their benefits. Health. Retirement. Pay increases. They do what is right for them and get money from lobbyists. My fellow Veterans come 2012 – Vote them all out. Start over with a new group, with ethics and understanding why they are there. Because we put them there and we can take them out.
    Don't let them touch our Health plan if they aren't going to touch theirs.

  239. Disabled Veteran says:

    Hey LouieD,

    I earned what I have through the military. As far as a cop not getting a retirement check at 40, You sir are a lier.

  240. USA is now owned largely by China. The govt keeps borrowing more $ from China yet dispurses to any country in need (Haiti). I don't understand the logic or lack therof.

  241. MillyOOB says:

    Our family is currently using Tricare Prime, and to say disappointed is an understatement. I have friends that are on State Medicaid, and receive better benefits for FREE! Just for being under the income guidelines. These people live in 200,000.00 houses, ride in Cadillac's and get all dental and healthcare 100% free for the whole family, for doing absolutely nothing! We live in a 40,000.00 house and drive a 300m, I had to have all my teeth pulled as the retired dental insurance is astronomical, and doesn't cover crap! My daughter is having a baby and is forced to use the military hospital/doctors or pay 523.00 per day out of pocket, when her friends on medicaid can choose exactly where they go, and what doctor they see FREE. Something needs to be drastically done, when medicaid users are far better off then the retired military or even working people are.

  242. My wife went through a very aggressive/invasive form of breast cancer 6 years ago. In the middle of her treatment the hospital wanted to drop her because Tri-care was'nt paying enough. If it was not for her doctors that refused to let her go, I can almost guarantee my wife would not still be with us today. Sweet Deal – Most of the really good hospitals won't even take our insurance anymore. Write, call, e-mail your representatives and put them on warning that if they vote for any of this they will be out of job.

  243. sympathetic1 says:

    It amazes me how selfish those who know little about the circumstances inwhich our volunteer military have to live and work and yes support a family yet are so quick to make their burden even heavier by giving them low wages but promises of benefits to sustain them. I married a serviceman once, I was forever putting my hand in my own pocket to support us just so we could have a reasonable level of living as others I saw had to line up for food and hunt for bargins in flea markets and second hand stores etc. It was just embarrassing and humilitating so when you take away their hard earned benefits remember they may have volunteered but it wasn't to have their families live in poverty and struggle near the national poverty line to fight for liberty of others. You now expect an out of work young adult even those waiting to go to college to find almost $600 to enroll and thereafter $186 PER MONTH to pay for their medical insurance which translates to their family finding the money in many cases the very same military families you want to make pay even more for their own coverage. Why don't you government people get it and why take from those who can least afford it? Remind me how many billionaires, millionaires and rich live in this land of liberty????

  244. I truly believe it is time for all Vets to Organize and March on Washington, to use our power to vote out those that want to reduce our benifits, to stop all foreign aid till our government is solvent. Once again it will be up to US to stand and fight for OUR Freedoms.
    John Ret Army 1SG

  245. Donald Sleeper says:

    It amazes me that there are those who agree with raising the price for TRICARE. When I first went into the Air Force, I was promised free medical care for life. Well, That was taken away and TRICARE was implemented. Now they want to raise the cost. Keep in mind that this is for medical care only, there is no dental plan associated with it. Dental is almost $70/month more.
    A lot of retirees have only social security and their military retirement to sustain them and any increase would seriously affect them.

  246. Jason Walters says:

    In politics, one term gets you a life of free money, in war one term gets you long lasting inujuries (physical and/or mental). There is no comparison. If we allow our elected officials to get away with comparing us to the politicians we are failing our children as voters. USA Today has bashed the military and its "sweet deals" long enough. As a wounded warrior I will personally begin addressing this with my state. I ask that you all do the same. TRICARE is my lifeline for me and my family and I have paid my share to have it. If it's such a sweet deal why not join up, take a trip or 10 and see if it is worth it.

  247. To all who are posting here- remember this. There are many politicians who will cut our throats for their own benefit. They will exhort us not to lie, yet they will. They fill our heads full of values and propoganda which they themselves do not abide to.
    Remember that there is another election coming up where we have the chance to rid ourselves of those who have proven their willingness to steal from our pockets.
    Vote those trolls out of office, and put politicians in office who have a semblance of sanity in office.

  248. Dallas C. Jordan III says:

    Got me, I still have the contract I sigen when I first went in. It states I an my family would be covered. And as it came time to retire it cost more and more. I have a daughter in school you has gone over the 23yr mark and now being told can buy her insurance through Tricare at $186 a month till she reaches 26yrs old, but they want $558 up front just to inroll her in the plan. But can do one term in congress and get full retirement and heathcare the rest of my life. Thats 4 years people. It just doesn’t add up. Do we have dumb%^$ running the country or what. People we need to get on thier backs and they need to start working for the people and not themself. They think they are above the law and even have that God mentalily. God help this country. PRAY

  249. Navy Wife and Veteran says:

    The general public has little understanding of the personal sacrifices our military men and women make during a military career. While the public remains in such an ignorant state of mind, politicians, reporters, and other such idiots will be able to continue saturating them with how-much-better-than-everyone-else the military has it. Every American needs to keep in mind that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. Military retirees earned every benefit they receive and to reduce or eliminate these benefits is ludacrious. (My husband and I proudly served a combined total of 34 years in the U. S. Navy.)

  250. HM1_PMT_RET says:

    Well if it's considered "too sweet a deal" then why didn't the people complaining about it join the military? I'm telling you, Gates is a snake and has no idea what personnel go through on active duty. What's too sweet a deal is the benefits and retirement of elected officials. Priorities are upside down in our country. Better get serious on this next presidential election!

  251. As the wife of a retired AF enlisted man, I personally gave up my jobs each time my husband got orders not knowing if I would get a job at our new station. While our civilian friends were earning big pensions, big savings accounts, and buying homes, we were just making it. So my husband retires after 20 making a retirement of $1380 a mont which includes VA 30% disability and his Purple Heart. I’m finally 5 yrs from retirement and he is 10+ years from retiring and we’ll make it, but withnothing extra. So now Tricare prime rates are going up? We went in thinking these were for life and budgeting our retirement as such. What more does this country want from us… to put us on food stamps again as when we were active duty. Shame on this country. If we had known we were signing up to end up like this, we nor would many others have signed up. Breach of contract and lack of faith in our military committees.

  252. Congress had better change their insurance too if they change Tricare. 20 years in the military is like 40 out in the real world.. It is hard, on the person and really hard on the family. They deserve some compansation.

  253. ruffas a johnson t/sgt usaf retired says:

    when usa today pichs up a rifle and fires back an watches his buddies falling dead besides him then he can open his mouth and tell me what i need and dont need so shut upusa today

  254. balliet says:

    I was told that I must get a PCM off base because the base only has one doctor and one nurse practitioner while they are supposed to have 7 doctors for family practice. How dare they complain that we retired, who were to have free medical care for all our lives, go to civilian doctors when they don't provide any decent services. You have to be dying to get an appointmtnet or go to the emrgency room at the VA hospital to be seen. I can only imagine what TRICARE for LIFE will be like. Heaven will be a wonderful place, and the military wants to hurry my journey there.

  255. I think the idea of elected people having to serve a minimum of three months (better at least a year and live on military pay) is and excellent idea. I think.we would have better quality people with more common sense and a reality of what life for the military and there families is all about. Will they give there life for freedom or just there mouths. You have to walk in someones shoes before you can feel and live like they do. Then they can decide what we are entitled to and what we are not.

  256. (Second comment. I mistakenly clicked on report and apparently my comment was lost. I could not fine how to delete the error). In my first comment I asked if there was any government organization other than the VA that requires a means test to qualify for health benefitis. I went on to say if we could decrease the amount of waste, size, corruption, and inefficiency of all government by(5,10,15%..?) the present financial crisis would hopefully become manageable..Is this possible? If not, than say good-bye USA !

  257. Tricare/Tricare Prime isn't the greatest of healthcare. I see Practicing Doctors on most of my visits. So who made the statement "Too Seet of a Deal" I don't think so. I think our leaders need to re-think this one.

  258. MJ Alexander says:

    I served 22 years and watch congress pass things that don't apply to them. I want congress to have to ask the people for a raise and see if they get it. Do I feel a person serving in congress or any other part for just 3 years should get there whole check for retiring. NO. No one does. You serve one term you get 50% 2 terms and 75% your done move on. Stop messing with my benefits. When I joined medical and Dental was to be free if i retired and as you can see that has changed. I even get taxed on my retirement so they can continue to give me my benefits. So stop messing with our package, we spend about 1/3 of our tours away from home 1 to 2 years each time. We deserve the retirement package we got. I feel we deserve more. But I won't be greedy. I'm comfortable. Thanks America for using some of the taxes on us.

  259. Lets not forget that you dont have to serve 20 years in the military to be retired if you get wounded in action and lose a limb or limbs your automatically entitled to retirement benefits same as a 20 year retiree, so by increasing premiums your now affecting our truly disabled in their greatest time of needed medical treatment…..How sad is that !!!!

  260. I am a spouse of a retired military member who served 30 years, I know the sacrifices he made; not only was he shot down 3 times in Viet Nam, he was also deployed to the first Gulf War. The family also sacrificed things to support his career choice. Our grown children remember all of the school activities he missed because he was deployed or TDY; he was unable to attend my college graduation, which took me nearly 18 years to complete resulting from military commitments. It is completely unreasonable that current military and retired military be hit with additional costs for health insurance. Few people realize that if an individual served for over 20 years in order to reach retirement age they still had to work in order to have a decent income. A good example if a service member retired in 1971 his rate of pay remained the same, with the exception of the measly 3% pay raises at times. IF the family had been fortunate enough to save enough money to purchase a retirement home or to enable them to enjoy some leisure activities; the reality of inflation quickly caught up with them. My dad retired as a E-8 in 1950 and his retirement pay is slightly more than what he started receiving at retirement. My parents had managed to save $20,000 over the 30 years which back then was a significant amount of money; but not in today's world.
    I'm preaching to the choir here we all know that we were promised FREE medical AND dental care during active duty and upon retirement, but Congress in their infinate stupidity has managed to make it paid insurance. The only "break" you get is when you start receiving Social Security, but we HAVE to PAY for Medicare Part B in order to keep Tricare the cost of Part B is more than Tricare was. Then we are told we should be grateful for the benefits we are ALLOWED to receive. What bunk!!

  261. Carl Burchfield says:

    Gen. McCrystal could have been the leader in this, but he spoke to soon and it cost him his job. Perhaps a cut in military benefits is exactly what is needed. That should be the trigger for our military leadership to wake up and see what is happening. Then they can take the necessary actions using the tools at their disposal to fix it once and for all.
    Carl Burchfield, TSgt, USAF (Ret)

  262. Chief USAF says:

    I have 29 years service and a veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm. I totally agree that the President and all politians are short sided, selfish and blind to ways of saving money.

    If they would cut FOREIGN AID to countries that have nothing to do with us we could balance the budget overnight. Where is their COMMON SENSE?

  263. Donald Meabon says:

    Our military has damned few leaders,most appear to bowing down to Obama to further career goals………I retired from the USAF IN 1976 with 23 yrs.active service,the promise of full medical benefits for my wife and I was not true.Started out under CHAMPUS and had to purchase a supplement,when we turned 65,TRICARE FOR LIFE kicked in,now we must carry Medicare part B, to remain covered,,,,Oh yaaaa but do one hitch in congress and all is fair,"GIVE ME ,GIVE ME.Military leaders remain mute,I'M A General,hell I 've got mine,,USMC appears to have the only real Generals left…………….

  264. For a 20 year career, on average, and based on $15.00 per hour, the military owes each veteran $150,000.00 in overtime! If they want to compare civilians to military service then start with the base pay rate and being on duty 24/7! If Tricare does go up, when does our "cost of living" increase occur? Don't cut the military, cut all of the foreign aid and congressional salary and perks!

  265. DavConn says:

    Talk about a sweet deal…..Check out congress and senate health care;
    Now THERE is a sweet deal!! And they don't have to do 20 years to get it.

  266. bulldurham48 says:

    As a Viet Nam Vet, 4 yrs+ and 20 yrs active duty, I currently out lived almost all my buddies, they mostly dropped dead after 5 yrs retirement. I consider my Tri-care, now Tri-care for life as the main reason I am still here and doing OK for a VA 100% disabled Vet. When I first enlisted, the 20 yr retirement and the medical benefits were the prime reason for staying. I have raised 5 kids through the system. Its a small reward for all I gave up for my service. Congressmen/Senate/House, put in (1) term, 2/6 years and get benefits for life, why??? Before you take away from Military make the retirement equal, Senate/House members pull 20 yrs plus to get any retirement like we do. Less than 20 yrs, nothing like us. Impose our standards on them then let them make any changes. If not give them all web gear/M4 send them off to really do something for God and Country

  267. Pete Hunter MCPO,USN says:

    It about time for the US wake up,we can no longer be the big daddy to the rest of the world, we can't afford it. We go into these counties , fight a war,spend billion of dollars, loss of thousand of american lives, most the time it doesn't change a things, in a few months or years they are back where they started.The US should spend more time and money in solving the problems here at home. It seem the US is always taking away from its people to kiss ass with the other counties, who don't give a damn about the US, only what they can get. Our government doesn't a very good job in here at home ,WHAT MAKE THEM THINK THAT WE CAN TELL OTHERS THAT ARE HUNDRED OF MILE AWAY HOW TO LIVE. I did my time 30 years of service , some it was in some of these places that we are change, hasn't that much changed.

  268. God and the soldier
    All men adore
    In time of trouble,
    And no more;
    For when war is over
    And all things righted,
    God is neglected –
    The old soldier slighted.

  269. Jack Brown says:

    As a retired USAF CMSgt, I am sickened by the way COngress constantly tries to save money by cutting back on military retiree benefits. You aren't giving us anything we didn't earn. Long, hard days, frequent separations and duty in war zones earned us everything we are getting but you still think that is too much. NOBODY IN THE MILITARY GETS AS MUCH UNEARNED BENEFITS AS CONGRESS DISHES OUT TO ITSELF. In 28 years of service, I knew few who didn't have a dilsability to some degree from their service but it still isn't enough for Congress.

    I sincerely hope that each and every military veteran or military retiree remembers this during the next election.

  270. Compare retirees healthcare to civilians USA Today. Then if you really want to get down to specifics try to sue the government when their medical doctors screw up. My wife passed away of a brain stem tumor they should have diagnosed immediately but instead operated on her wrists and elbow. Retirees can't sue, congress made sure of that. My wife and her children could but even though the truth and proof was on their side the government chose to wait and then they would appeal meaning all the money was going to lawyers. Always appeals you can't even file for VA benefits without filing at least one appeal mos take 2 to 3. Vote them all out let's start over until we can find those who want the best interest of Americans instead of feeding their egos.

  271. Retired Viet Vet says:

    Right, Tricare is a sweet deal. As promised to those who served 20 years or more. And, military compensation is finally competetive with the civilian community, and well earned considering the risks and hardships of multiple deployments. So before we start looking to cut these areas, lets look at the millions spent on social engineering programs that contribute nothing to mission, and to the throng of straphanging contractors who continue to generate the requirements that extend and expand their contracts. Get rid of useless things like the Military Diversity Commission, the Vietnam War Commemoration Commission, and half the contractors whose work was never measured by any manpower management process, and the like, and then talk to me about cutting military pay and benefits.

  272. oleander says:

    I have a question. I am former military. My mother in-law married a retired Vet. He has passed away & she continues to receive free medical thru Tricare, benifits on base such as JAG, ect…. Makes no sense to me, doesn't seem fair to those who have served. I have to pay monthly for health insurance plan, copays, deductables ect… I pay for my own attorney & she gets JAG for free. Is this an oversight? Can anyone shed some light on this? Thanks

  273. Bloggin an grippin is nice an all…but I challenge you all to take action! I just sent this e-mail to the Prez, both of my senators, my rep, and the pentagon. Please feel free to use any \ all of this or write your own. Only if we bury them waste deep might they hear us! …

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all: We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. Don’t mess about the cookroom slops, but prove it to our face The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace. For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!” But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot; An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please; An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

    Decade upon decade of promises of free lifetime Healthcare for military retirees made by recruiters, politicians, in brochures, etc… from the WWII era through most of the 1980′s is ever in the memories of those of us who joined and served during that period. It was a prime motivator for some to accept the rig­ors of 20 plus years of military service, hardships of family separations, and the personal sacrifice of life or limbs.

    Of course, those decades of promises were recinded, forgotten, explained away, and through “the political process” became another lie! The Clinton administration created the concept of TRICARE which made it a lie! We who have been lied too have, for the most part, reconciled ourselves to the reality of that lie. But please, don’t add insult to injury.

    Please exclude any increases considered for TRICARE, and any considered reductions in retirement pay or benifits.

    Currently bills being considered contain provisions that allow a “modest” increase in TRICARE fees for FY 2012, but adds “protections” against “disproportional future increases”.

    Experience with politics tells me that any “protections” are, most likely, not worth the cost of the ink it took to write them, and that “disproportional” will be rationalized and will not slow down the continued erosion of military retiree pensions and benifits.

    This is a bad idea and another sad day for america if allowed to become law! With all the billions upon billions of tax dollars stolen, thrown away, and wasted by my elected officials, the best any of you can come up with is to once again target military retirees! If that’s the best you’ve got, you should all be thrown out of office! I mean it!

    I need my elected officials to hear my voice and those voices of your fellow constituents AND agree that it is time to recognize that military retirees and disablied veterians have already paid for their health care many times over through their sacrifice. Imposing TRICARE fees was a bad idea to start with, but Increasing those fees, is, in short, criminal!

    It is becoming clear that the bulk of our elected officials are out of touch, have never served in the military, and surely the majority of them have never been deprived of much of anything. Many of them have no problem casting aside the promises made by their predessors, would add insult to injury by setting the stage for annual increases in TRICARE “health insurance” premiums.

    Shame on any who allow this slap in the face to military veterians and retirees to go forward. Shame on you all!

    I strongly suggest that when a budget is brought to the floor for vote that you correct this continuing failure of our Government to recognize and honor the service rendered by those who have defended and \ or now defend our great country.

  274. What about us that hit 65 this year. From what I'm reading my cost would go up 300 or 400%

  275. RickHosner says:

    I just reviewed my retirement pay for the last 7 or so years, now an figures I use can be doubled because an "X" gets half my retirement. Since 2004 my retirement pay has managed to increase and decrease on a pretty regular basis managing an increase of $185.24 through Apr. of 09 and since then it has decrease $44.72. I spent 20 years of my life earning this retirement and every time I turn around someone wants to take something away. Since it is our elected officials that like to do this, I think someone should pass a law that would give us the right to vote on any congressional pay raise or cost living raise. Along with that, I believe the retirement pay for our elected officials should be just like the Military. You don't get a penny if you don't do 20 and pro-rate it based on the years of service. Then let the public vote on how much of it we will take back each year. After all they are doing it to us, why shouldn't we get to do the same to them. How much money has those that are no longer serving in Congress or the Senate and only served one term giving back. I'd be willing to bet not one red cent. How about we start evening things out and let us all share the pain. I never claimed to be a great writer, I hope I made my point.

  276. Rafael P. says:

    We all as military retirees seem more apt to complain on this blog, but I only see a very small percentage of us that are willing to do something tangible like marching on Washington D.C. and let the American people and the world know how in fact our military veterans and military retirees are really treated, and how unimportant we really are when it's time to pony up funds to take care of us as promised. If we do not unite as a group, then we cannot complain when we do not garner representation and receive no favorable response from the American people, and the powers that be.

  277. Michael says:

    These politicians need to be careful or their gonna have another bonus army issue on their hands.

  278. Had Enough says:

    Mandatory 3 years military service for everyone from 18 to 21 years of age. Let those anti-military love free loaders find out just how sweet our lives are.

  279. Armywife says:

    There should be enough vets and family members out there to impact the reelection of anyone who votes against the benefits due to these brave soldiers. That may be loudest statement we can make — don't vote any of them back in. Refuse to vote for anyone who has not served or been a part of a military family!

  280. I am retired navy ,100% unemployable, and 100% disabled.. I can not work, I live on the litle I get now! Now you are telling me I am going to have too pay for my medical ..Why don't you just pass the doctor Kov..act..and line all of us diabled vets up in a line and kill us now I sure don't need any more suffering, Maybe that will save the budget the congerrs ans up are the ones that spent anyway

    • herknav says:

      Check with the VA, if you're 100% disabled you go to the front of the line for VA medical care and don't need to deal with TRICARE.

  281. To all retirees and active duty personnel, I am a 20 year retiree and i am not complaining about $5.00 a month increase in trycare. You people don"t appreciate the good things the president have done for you…new GI bill that the your republician voted against…new military housing, military family support…..and moving us out of these terrible wars that is costing us billions of dollars.(republician can not govern with wars….Be thankful, you could be unemployed like so many of our people here and all parts of the world. We could go back to the Bush years and see what that will get you. more tax cuts for the rich and no "HEALTH CARE"

    • herknav says:

      Hey, my brother's name is Ted also. And like you he's a complete a$$ also! I sincerely doubt you are a retiree or ever spent a day in the military because we all know it is TRICARE not "trycare". What "good things" has Obama done for us? He has not alterd a single plan that had not already been estabished by Bush or that Bush set in motion. GITMO? Still Open (oh yeah, the intel we got from those enhanced interrogations seems to have paid off), Drawdown in Iraq? Bush's timetable. Bush set the initial AFG surge in motion and Obama has fought every request for troops since. What HEALTH CARE has Obama provided? None yet because the program doesn't really go into effect for another year moron. Yeah, let's go back to the Bush years…you know, the ones where even though we were fighting a war the deficit was $500B instead of Obama's $1.4T, unemployment was at 5% and gas was $3 a gallon, not $4. You need to go back and study the talking points your puppet master, George Soros, is sending to you.

  282. yes most employer pay about $4000 a year per employee and family plan but they employee also don't have to pay a co-pay. Plus there employee don't have to go into combat every other year or so. A increase in tirecare premimium will also ,mean an increase in the co-pay. Employee of a union and most company don't have to pay a co-pay.The goverment use the medical and retirement plan to keep people in. People in the military don't rely retired after 20 year they can be call back up to the age of 55 but sometime evento the age of 65. Now if that is to sweet a deal. late see how many think it is a sweet deal.

  283. I am somewhat upset with the comments coming from Admiral Mullings about cuts in benefits for military personnel….He sound like the Republicians….I thank he is seeking a job or already have one with the military contractors, which put him in the bed with the corporations and the you know what political party(republician party for those low info people).."money talks, people walk" We don't need a new president, we need a new Congress or else we as middle class are going down.

  284. Any changes need to be "as of" the current date for enlisting members. All current service members need to be assured that the promises they were made are fulfilled. Otherwise, we see our government not having the backbone to stand up for what was in force when so many of us signed up. It is similar to the current Medicare debate–any changes would be effective for those under age 55 but not current recipients. I, too, believe that there are many ways to reduce our debt without attacking the benefits of those who provide us our freedom. Our elected representatives continue not to represent us, but to pass legislation that is based on their personal beliefs.

  285. alan moore ams1 says:

    why are we the cops of the world. there hasnt been a war since ww2 that worth the life of one of our young men or women our government keep putting its nose where it doesnt belong why let the other countrys fight there own battles. I put in my 20 years but i had friends who didnt make it home they died for what this makes me sick.

  286. Wouldn't it be interesting if the military had NO new recrluits for the next 3 years. What if, the military job was viewed as a bad risk job, and no one joined. I wander how those Bas…ds in DC would fair with protecting the country themselves……I'm sure we would be speaking a different language when it was over.

  287. Warren, Ret. AF says:

    It is a shame that in this great country, those who live off the rest of us are provided with "free" everything while those of us who have worked to provide for freedom, have paid taxes, and have voted to elect our representatives are the ones being targeted for a reduction in our benefits. We earned our benefits! There are too many people who suck the life out of this country and demand even more; and, unfortunately, the socialist agenda being espoused by the current administration looks for more ways to "level" the playing field so that all Americans have equal pay and benefits. Yes, this country was founded on equality, but it was an equality of opportunity and not an equality based on simply being alive. We are losing sight of this fact as more and more people live off the government and do nothing to help sustain it. I, like a lot of my fellow service members, don't want to see people go hungry or go without a place to live, but at the same time I expect those people to strive to do something to help themselves. Too many people, any more, feel that the federal government "owes" them a living and all of the associated benefits–and that is wrong.
    It is also true that as the government has grown, it no longer is representative of the people. Even the people we elect to represent us no longer see the need to act according to our wishes. Have you ever tried to get an elected representative to respond to a letter or phone call? You simply get a standard reply written by a staffer and chances are that the rep never even sees or hears your thoughts–you might be one of a number voicing the same opinion, but the representatives vote their own conscience and seem not to follow the way of their constituents. Unfortunately, we have allowed them the protection of law so that they can do this to us and still increase their pay and benefits and pass programs that do not affect them at all!!! We need to change this way of doing business if we are to survive as a country.
    I am glad to see new grass-root initiatives such as the Tea Party and other groups forming in order to bring attention to much needed changes in our government. It is only through becoming involved and fighting unfair and unnecessary legislation that we can effectively institute change. I hope we are not too late to stop the current administration's head-long rush to make the United States a more socialistic country than even those in Europe! To do this, we must reign in the leaders and remind them that they work for us, the people, and not the other way around.

  288. Ret MSGT says:

    The old adage that its always a rich mans war but the poor mans fight rings truer everyday with the clowns and puppets running this country.

  289. I have to agree with everyone's comments on this page! Polititians line their pockets on the backs of all of us who have served… and laugh all the way to the bank!
    Time for a change!

  290. If the military was allowed to organize their own union…or for that matter how about a self controlled retiree union, the govt wouldn't dare think of touching benefits….I HATE UNIONS, but it seems like the public sector unions members that don't sacrifice nearly as much as the military have a more vocal lobby in Washington….if we could organize without benefiting SEIU or some other corrupt organization, that would be the way to be heard. Cannot take away a coffee break from some pencil pusher, but you can take away what was promised to us when we enlisted.

  291. sounds like we got far to many brain dead people in washington that are trying to screw ofer the military!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  292. bob samples says:

    Just like the Goverment broke all the promises to the Indian Nations they are doing the same thing to the Retired Military Vet. I wish they had to get by on our retired pay for at least 3 months. then they would really see how most vets live. BGS Ret.SFC USArmy

  293. What medical benefits? I am retired from the Army with 26 years service. I am enrolled in Tricare Prime and paid my premium. Unfortunately, there are few network physicians in my area (within 100 miles) and I have to pay 20% of the Tricare allowable charges plus 15% of the charges above the Tricare allowable charges. What is a benefit you can’t use.

  294. Amazed~~ says:

    This topic infuriates me as a spouse of a militay enlisted retiree! Whilst my immmediate thought is we should save funds first by giving the Secret Service the next year and half off, more realistically the "bubble" mentioned by many won't be burst easily our elected officially reside in sadly. The general public along with those illutrious elected don't see the sacrifices made or lived,they aren't capable of conceiving real sacrifice and equate it to having to skip golf for the week. They don't see the bases closed where facilities previously able to provide care existed, the increasing numbers of providers refusing to accept Tricare or Medicare patients because they can't afford to accept such small compensation, the lack of COLA and continued increases in deductibles, co-pays and the like.
    Meanwhile i have witnessed and attempted to correct overcharges and incorrect filings I noted toward Tricare and they are unconcerned and would sooner deny an otherwise necessary charge? The redundancy in paperwork and excess provided to those who claim to represent us as citizens and dictate what is "necessary or wasteful" makes as much sense as asking Donald Trump and his wife to counsel me on scraping by on a minimal budget. Unfortunate but true, a continuance of the last actual qualified in positions screwing up life for the rest of us.
    They want to know what is absolutely necessary, what is wasteful, where can cuts be made to benefit and not hurt while also having funds, you ask those of us who have been in the hospitals, dealt with the doctors, nurses and system relentlessly and have to manage to make it work on some level with enlisted pensions, social security or more than one job still, or perhaps that just makes too much sense?

  295. Bubba EL says:

    Bubba. I don' buy or read that liberal rag to start with.

  296. None of us enlisted for the pay and the way of life was never easy. We learned what service before self meant and I don't think Congress has a clue in this area. They have voted themselves a raise for the past umpteen years while our cola goes unchanged for the past 5-7 years.
    I think those in power need a better understanding of what it means to serve their country and it's people. I went through one divorce and heart surgery and still retired after 22 yrs. I worked for two years as a contractor (now there is good money) then ran my own business (no money there) and now I take care of my father as his home health care aid (did I mention he is a WWII Vet) and I can't take on a job for the foreseeable future. So that rather small retirement that I receive is now going to be whittled away even further.

    If I was making 50-75K per year I wouldn't be as worried about this benefit but I didn't get much on my way out the door and I felt lucky to have a great (affordable) health care plan… Well thank you mr president and congress from someone who doesn't make much and now will make less.

  297. Maryanne says:

    One issue that as never been addressed in the rate increase of Tricare Prime Retired military is the fact that Officers who retire after 20 years get a much larger pension check than those who were enlisted. Why don't they raise the premiums based on retired grade level? When you stay in military lodging in Orlando, you are charge a room rate based on rank/.grade level so why not the same for insurance premiums?:

  298. They send us all over away from family and friends TDY Promisimng everything. Now that we are disabled they want to take all the promises back . I don't hear them giving back all the pay raises they got of 10,000 when we got raised to the next income take bracket and basicly our percentage increase we gave back in taxes to support their pay increase.

  299. This is so correct also they forget that many of us spent are 20 years working jobs that would have paid 10 times what we were paid, and that is most of the retirees of today. So keep it up take all you can from us but
    some day you will get yours.
    Scott

  300. I am the wife of a 100% disabled VN Vet and I am also tired of all the cuts Congress wants to make to Tricare and to the VA Health care system. Congress needs to live on Medicare for a couple of months, and use the VA to see how the other half lives. No more raises for the Congress and cut their pay instead of ours.

  301. ExchangeChief says:

    I love my country; but, our so called leaders are mostly full of BS anymore. I had 2 husbands that were in Vietnam. One is dead; but, the other is alive and still well for now. They did a total of 49 years of active duty service. Balance the budget at the expense of the service people, active and retired…… Has anyone looked at the cost of food lately? Yet, we don't get a COLA. I think in order to be elected to be President, Vice President or a member of Congress, you must have had to serve at least 2 years as an active duty military. Also, cut taxes for the elderly, and tax the rich at a higher rate. Cost more for Tri Care……………..you should be ashamed of yourself.

  302. Belinda says:

    Why is it that those in charge, who are overpaid and have benefits are always the ones who want to get over on those who served their country? It must be nice looking down from such a high moral place when must of them have not served one hour in our military to protect our country.

  303. MARTY U.S.A.F. RET. says:

    As a retired t/sgt, who gave a good piece of his life to this country . It is not fair and just to increase the tri-care rate. Congress gets free medical now and for life. And they didn't serve in the military. They have no idea what it is like to risk there life and be away from the family. Want to save money? Stop sending our money to other nations. Stop giving money and benefits to the illegals. That would be a good start. Then start cutting the perks of all our elected officals.. If they were given reductions with the salary and benefits they would be more careful on how our money is spent. If the leaders would take there heads out of their ass they might be able to see what the problem is with this country, God bless and protect all our military, active and retired, and military family from our leaders.

  304. When I enlisted in 1973, part of the "marketing" was that if I served until retirement, I would be rewarded with the same medical, dental, optical, and similar "benefits" as I EARNED whilst on active duty
    And NOW alll of those are gone. At 55 I cant get with a company that EVEN OFFERS healthcare benefits and after years of Corporations and businesses DOWNSIZING to maintain THEIR SOLID pay and Bonuses Im stuck.
    I KEPT MY PART OF THE BARGAIN AT 30 Years of Service and NOW CONGRESS and others have BROKEN THEIRS and left A LOT of us hung out to dry while maintaining THEIR PAY AND RETIREMENT PACKAGES

  305. Sounds like some folks needs to join the Military and find out first hand why service members and vets are promised the certain benefits that you so flippantly try to take from those that have earned them. Cut the salary and benefits an you are sure to have a draft reinstated. A real dumb Azz

    Dr. StanPhil

  306. MSgt Retired says:

    I spent 27 years in the military. When I enlisted I was promised FREE health care, not reduced cost. I am proud of my country and my military service but there is not 1 promise made to me that hasn't been broken. When my children came to me about joining I told them: "The military was a good life for me but remember "White man speak with forked tongue'," "Don't count on any of the promises made by a recruiter." Our founding fathers would have had a revolution by now with the way our country is run.

  307. Wake up America. The communist/socialist government flakes are WINNING. It will take a major crash to get the ball rolling again.

  308. what does USA PAPER have to say about are elected officals health care and what they pay oh how about there wonderful retirement to…mmmm nothing

  309. MONA J. says:

    I totally agree!!! It seems as though veterans and retirees get the shaft and are lied to on every front. I hope congress realizes that the older we veterans and retireees become, the more we are prone to disease/illnesses. They really need to realize that we make a lot of financial decisions based on the promises we were told before we got out

  310. Howard Copeland SFC says:

    Those who cut are benifits never walked in our shoes. Generals, Congressmen and sec of defense love to save money on the backs of soldiers and retirees while never, ever, cutting thier own.

  311. dshotram says:

    As a USAF retiree I am in the same boat as many others. I have not received a retirement pay raise for two years now. I cannot live off of my reitement pay and the only work I can find is part time. I certainly do not get what i was promised back when I joined in 1976. and served and proudly did everything asked of me for 20 years. I agree the politicians should be taking the cuts not us. Lets check into their retirement and medical benifits.

  312. Mickey Frazier says:

    None of us are asking for a hand out. We served with honor. Went to war. Gave the best years of our lives to protect the very people that want to make these cuts. How long can you do these kind of things without hurting this great country. Lord have mercy on our childern.

  313. Linda McClure says:

    While serving in the military, our troops made so little money they qualified for the WIC program to feed their children. Then they put their lives on the line for their country. They suffered long separations from their families. And now you want to take benefits away from them? Congress sits on their a—- and take trips & vacations with our money. Take from them NOT our RETIRED MILITARY. This country will not be great for much longer with this kind on mentality. Stop taking money away from those who built this country to pay for those who are here illegally. Our country was built on the backs of our military and now that they have aged you want to thow them away. STOP this nonsense !!!!

  314. Stehawk says:

    Yeah—-how about cut the hundreds of billions of spending on a new fleet of air force jets for President and congressional staffs. 2 new air force ones on order with several others. 100's of billions————-FUBAR

  315. Jean Yarbrough says:

    I am a spouse of 20 years service. My husband passed away in 1997 and was disabled with Agent Orange. After 15 years after he died they said he was total disabled but wouldn't help us when he was alive and when we needed it he was in a wheel chair for the last 4 years.
    I am yet to get one dime in help I get no retirement from the military what so ever as I was promised. I get nothing – yes they said I could draw one half of his Social Security that was a big laugh for I made more money than he did so I don't qualify for anything. All I got was one fat lie after another to keep him in and me working for a living so we could have a decent life for our kids I wonder how many pay checks our presidents wife’s have lost and are they still working at 71years old like I am after only 4-8 years service with all the luxury we can put on them with the taxes I am still paying to survive. I agree the government surly does stink with all the lies they put out. Let them cut their own pay checks like they have mine…….to zero.

  316. " Any Jackass can kick the barn down, but it takes good Carpenter to build a barn."

  317. Nathan Young says:

    Sounds good to me.

  318. PHarlow says:

    I woul go further and say every one in the military, every vet of the military, every retiree and every family member of these people should make sure to vote against any and everyone going for re-election!!!!!!

    Not a single one of these elected officials should be re-elected. Especially the CIC adn his idiots.

    I have had enough.

  319. One pissed vet says:

    Are they serious? why yes, yes they are. my husband and I have both served and now they rated him 51% disabled. He now has to take more medicine than his 77 yr old father who is also a vet, and he’s only 25. Congress forgets who risks their lives everyday for the very freedoms they enjoy. I love my country and we are both proud of our service, but I am ashamed of our so called leadership. Vets EARN their mesely tricare, and they EARN every scare both mentally and physically, so giving us some health insurance is the least they can do. Congress will reap what they sow. This will backfire in their face and unfortunatly it will be the vets, and the middle class that will pay. Funny thing, someone noted that they were trying to create an upper and lower class, guess that means I should stop working and live off the government just like these freeloading ***** that want to cut military benefits.

  320. tiger56 says:

    Who in the hail do these so called leaders think they are. Us veterans
    were promised benefits when we served our country faithfully for
    20yrs or more, and now all of these so called leaders are still taking
    away our benefits that were promised to us and if we want to use
    some of them we have to pay for it such as tricare. To Hail with all
    these ash holes and I wish them to suffer as we do . There is no
    need in writing our congressmen or senators as the generals are
    the ones that are not fighting for their soldiers and because of that
    no one will listen to us.

  321. When Washington use to send the " Indian Agent " to talk to the Chiefs about all the things that Washington was going to give the Indians (but never came.
    The Chiefs would say " The White Man Speaks with fork tonuge" MUST BE MEMOCRATS"

  322. Retired MSgt says:

    MILITARY DAYUp at five, shower, shave, put on uniform, make sure you have pressed it, put on boots-make sure you have shined them.

    Arrive at work at least half hour early to allow for
    briefing and information exchange. Stand guardmount and inspection.

    Gather troops, draw weapons, safety check, load up
    start patrols for the next 8 to 10 hours if you’re lucky.

    Get off at least a half hour later to insure information exchange and debrief.

    Drag yourself home, take off and wash dirty uniform, press and hang up for the next day. Shine boots.

    Grab come chow, hopefully hot and with cold drink.

    Drag your butt to bed from exhaustion. Mad another one without losing one troop. Success.

    CONGRESSIONAL DAY
    Get up at 9:00 am, go down to breakfast set on table for you. Enjoy peaceful morning, reading the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

    Leisurely show, shave. talc down and get really freshed up.

    Get dressed in freshly pressed shirt and suit brought to your bedside either by a staff member or valet.

    Leave for air conditioned office around 10:30 am. Stop on the way in for a Starbucks.

    Arrive at the congressional office, spotlessly clean, floors shined. Staff member brings you files you will need for the day and briefs you on your itenary. Chat a bit and take phone calls.

    Around 11:30 am, racket ball with another congressman, show and put on fresh clothes and go for a lite lunch at the club, free of course.

    Back at the office around 1:00 pm, afternoon brief from staff. Return calls to other members about bills you canot get to today because you are so busy.

    Leave the office around 3:00pm because you have a political fund raiser to attend for Obama. Go home, grab a martina, relax and take a nap until time to leave.

    Hit fund raiser around 8:00 pm, make appearance and head out for evening with staffers and other congressmen for drinks and chatter.

    Around 11:00 pm, drag youself home because you are drunk and afraid you won’t be able to make it to work tomorrow.

    Fall into bed, pass out. Another day completed and no scandal involving me personally. Success.

    Now, tell me about how TriCare is too sweet of a deal and how much you are giving me? What was your retirement and medical, oh completely free for life.

    Gee, now I understand. I see how I am underserving and you earned yours. Glad we cleared that up.

    See you November 2012 you piece of crap.

    • One pissed vet says:

      Those sissy wouldn’t know what to do if they had to hunker down because mortars where bombarding your camp. They’ve never know the fear of not knowing if you were going to be alive that afternoon, or if they have their not the problems we are talking about. The military is far under paid for what we do, but I didn’t join for the money or so called awesome lifestyle we obviously have (but I’ve never seen). But I do believe that if you did your time, you deserve everything that was promised to you. If being a military member was that awesome then why haven’t they lived this life.

  323. C Harris says:

    This whole mess smells like spoiled fish. When in doubt, screw the military and mil. retirees. Nothing new here. we can bring fresh air into DC by voting this do nothing bunch out, Check the voting records to see what each one is for or against regardless of party and make a broad clean sweep. They are stupid but they WILL get the message. Carol, widow of retired AF

  324. Daer fellow retiree's, In my peice of this fine country we have a VA clinic. The local military base is a good two hour drive. The VA clinic accepts Tri-care and calls me for a physical twice a year. Yes I can go to another physician but normally I get all I need at this VA clinic.

    Try it and You may like it as well as I do.

    Bill
    Army Retired

  325. DAAPMAAN says:

    I AGREE SSG D.A. POOLER USA-RET

  326. Osceola Adams Jr says:

    I have to agree with every post each vet has wirtten. Our govt has failed us, and the elected officials could care less. Why even vote?? They are all the same. Their motto,"FUIGM"

  327. ANYONE who thinks the military post-service benefits are too excessive should at the very least be required to perform their duties in the same manner as our military veterans. That would mean the same pay scale, living conditions, frequent PCS or TDY deployments, and most of all…the same treatment such as being accountable under the UCMJ versus the US Constitution. In other words be reminded daily of being a "2nd Class citizen" while not being fully appreciated by others who've never served.

    Secretary Gates is a disgrace too. Here he sits in his pompious environment while making judgement recommendations to Congress that greatly undermine the morale of the American fighting soldier. How many of you are aware that Gates only served as a "butter bar" 2nd Louie for TWO years as an Air Force intelligence officer (67-69). What a joke!!! I suppose that's at least a little better service to country than Barry Hussein who's the CinC of the Armed Forces with a resume of being NOTHING MORE then a "Community Organizer" from the Chicago projects for a few short years too.

  328. Robert Montgomery says:

    This just goes to show you that you should know the people you vote for. Do the research on the canidates and not listen to your friends, then if enought of us do this will put people in office that has best interest at heart.

  329. Jack Matthews says:

    I have read all of the comments listed above in this article and what really but my ass is that no one in Washington or the press (ABC, NBC & CBS) gives a damn about this. I can understand why sentors and congressmen don't care.
    They just ignore it because their apple cart might get upset. I enlisted in 1950 and retired in 1972 and at that time all medical and dental care was to be for life. Now our good for nothing President thinks it should be an all volunteer service and should pay for your own insurance. Maybe he should try volunteering. Congressmen and Sentors are always getting increases in pay and benefits, but never a thought about the men and women who are serving their country. Don't think about them, just be sure and think about yourself.
    all the time.

    Sentors

  330. need to boycott all those who advertise in the USA Today rag. the paper is another of the far left propaganda orgs

  331. classic example of the ol' BAIT and SWITCH.
    AMEN to kyle re: sweet deal of freedom!!!!

  332. TSgt A USAF Retired says:

    By the way I was referring to TSgt B's comment on this situation. USA Today should be assamed to even put an articl like that in their paper. Let them cut Congress and start keeping our money in our country where it is needed. For 20yrs+ and the things we sacrafice, we more than deserve our benifits. Start cutting the money going to the prisons, illegal aliens, and unecessary projects and put it back in schools, the military, and the people in the US that pay their taxes and have worked for years in their country and for their country. This is a digrace the way our congress is treating our military, active and veterans. For those of you that think we get to much benifits, well walk 20yrs. in our shoes, or better yet take away your freedoms and comfort of the military to protect this country and the freedom we have, then say we don't deserve our benifits. This is bul@@@sh@@t. This country would not be where we are today if not for the military.

  333. When my father and husband joined they were promised health benefits if they fulfilled their contracts.The contracts were fulfilled and afterwards we found it impossible to get care. We would have to go on a waiting list. If we wanted to get care we needed to enroll in tri-care and pay for the benefits that were promised. That is breaking a contract that was made to the retirees. If they had broken the contract they would still be serving a term in prison!!!! The people leading our country make promises just to break them if it makes their lives a little more comfortable. They get the care promised to the protectors of our country for doing nothing as important or dangerous. America, take a look at the things we pay for that is nothing but fluff and pork at the expense of the very people that make our freedom possible. I no longer believe anything that a politician says. They all lie with a smile and go home with a paycheck for doing so!

  334. Linda Norris Moore says:

    Not as sweet of a deal as U.S. Congressmen or Senators. How about our President. What kind of sweet deal is he and his family getting for never having to have served his country. If in fact it has ever really been his country. My husband served this country for 24+ years. Gave up time with family and friends to be spit on when he returned from Vietnam. A good portion of this country are lazy folks who don't want to work, just want the government to give them free money and benefits. At least servicemen and women are standing up for something they believe in: FREEDOM. It they deserve way more than this country could ever repay them.

  335. to our miltary raise the devil with your congress a sentors to let them know how it isto be alone a hope a miltarycar deosent stop at the door to our homes to give us the bad news how would they feel if one of theirskids was hurt or dead its time they know miltary life isnt so easy its 24 hrs ano overtime pay hooah

  336. SAMurray says:

    We can find money to support NASA! NO WE DON”T! Do we really need to go to Mars, explore the outer reaches of the universe, study the big bang theory, or go back to the moon? NO!
    WE DON’T need to provide aid to any country that holds out their hand!
    All these things are fine, but when it comes to providing for the men and women who sacrificed to serve and protect this country it seems they DON’T MATTER.
    Secretary Gates is leaving soon, but not soon enough! HA GATES!!! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE NOW! LET SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY CARES, AND REALLY SUPPORTS THE RETIRED AND ACTIVE DUTY AMERICAN SERVICE PERSONNEL TAKE CHARGE.
    I also have a question for the Admirals, General and the rest of the high ranking officers. WHY AREN’T YOU STICKING UP FOR YOUR TROOPS? Don’t be a sell out. Don’t let Secretary Gates, the Republicans, and turncoat Democrats get away with cheating the retired American Service Men and Women out of what was promised to them. Your actions or lack thereof will effect you too.
    By the way, for those of us 65 and older, or about to reach 65; several years ago 60 Minutes did a segment on a warehouse that held several floors of four (4) draw file cabinets with IOUs to the Social Security Administration. Each of these IOUs was for $100,000.00. It would be nice to get that money back too (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/03/16/politics/main6302588.shtml).

  337. Col Lou Walker M.D. says:

    The USA Today article is total garbage, obviously written by a pencil pusher with no military experience or a grudge against the DoD. As an active duty physician working within AMEDD, I can attest first hand to the TriCare experience. Getting service in the private sector is always a challenge, IF you can even find a provider that takes TriCare given its comparatively low schedule of compensation compared to other insurance carriers. A depressingly small number of patients actually succeed in getting TriCare precertification; as a result, the great majority get thrown back into the DoD system to get their care through military facilities that are already completely overwhelmed when it come to meeting demand. Long wait list are the rule for any non-urgent procedure, bed space is limited, most facilities were inadequate to meet requirements the day they opened the doors, and getting referrals to specialists (already swamped themselves) can be daunting. One of the primary attractions of a military career is the promise of medical coverage for dependents and retirees. Reneging on this promise violates the commitment made to all servicemembers and their families.

  338. I'll gladly cut back as soon as Congress does the same with their benefits.

  339. Robert W. VEIL says:

    RUNNRBOB – when President Clinton signed TRICARE into law he remarked at the signing "It's about time we stopped treating our millitary retirees like second class citizens." How many years did Mullen serve in the military. I am extremely proud as others having served 20 years in the U.S. Navy' No one likes the Military until there is a WAR! 6/7/2011.

  340. dixiecup says:

    damn USA TODAY i never read that Comic book of a news paper. but whats not comic is the Broken Promises/ contract make in blood! shame on you… VOTE PEOPLE VOTE !

  341. don2002 says:

    The Generals want to take the money from TriCare to cover the poorly managed weapon programs. These are the same PC nuts that want to put woman on Submarines and into combat. They also want gays in the service. To date all the services have met their quotas. Add all of the above to the mix and they ready messed with my active duty son’s retirement pay.
    Not to pile it on but, I don’t feel we are doing enough for our wounded hero’s and their families. It is a damn shame the way we let down out Vietnam Vets (Father), Gulf War Vets, now we have a new generation we are letting down.
    Let your Congressman reap the Unemployment and Benefits that they voted for!!

  342. SSG U.S. ARMY AD says:

    I would first like to start off by saying that I joined the military during the very beginning of my senior year in 2002. With the idea of not only protecting but preserving my country's freedom. Now that the money ceiling has been reached and bills continuously have to be passed to make sure that I still get paid to feed my family, pay my bills, for a job that is allegedly guaranteed paycheck is ridiculous. No one civilian job can compare to my 2 deployments for over 2 years with IEDS blowing up next to my truck, getting shot at, wondering if I was ever going to make it home to see my wife and kids, no one civilian has to deal with that. I don’t work a 9-5 job schedule, I can't quit when I want to, I can't cuss my boss out and just quit, no I face criminal charges like desertion, or disrespect to a commissioned officer. Stop threatening the military benefits, and look at the civilian contractors currently working for the military performing jobs that soldiers can easily do. Touch other funds that go to more expendable programs and let us not forget why we have these benefits and that we are "THE LAND OF THE FREE, BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE". Also another side note to this, the reason we receive the not so high pay and the benefits we do is because less than 1% of the U.S. population even qualifies to serve in such a prestigious and honoring yet life risking job the my brothers in arms and I serve in. Our families sacrifice more in a year than any person does in a lifetime. They risk losing loved ones, not knowing when or even if their spouse is coming home. Yet America let’s not forget who we are talking about. This isn't a movie star who just made Platoon these are real life soldiers, fighting real life wars, risking their lives for you to have the fortitude to stand there and try to take our benefits. Let’s exchange jobs for a year, you take my deployment and I will take your air conditioned office and see then would you still strip me of my benefits.

  343. PWilson says:

    After reading the part about Gate's statement "Tricare is eating the DoD alive" and listening to his comments on the news last night, he is nothing more than a backstabber. He said that the boys serving overseas was like sons to him, he couldn't bear it anymore , and that it was time to go. Too bad he hasn't left alot sooner it seems. In agreement with another blogger, I also told my son that it was his life, but I would never recommend him go in the military because you can NEVER trust the government!

  344. Panzer Colonel says:

    Sweet Deal? Right, USA sure has one. They know as much about the military as they do about fornicating. If, I wanted to destroy the United States. I could not have come up with a better plan than the current administration.

  345. Al Cooper says:

    Take Tricare and Medicare part B…..just take them both. I'm rapidly approaching 65, living/residing in Japan, and I find out: A: Medicare Part B does not cover any medical whatsoever performed outside the USA. B: In order to remain elegible for ANY Tricare program, I MUST pay for Medicare Part B. I'm already covered for Japanese medical (with a deductible), which has been a blessing. Previously, Tricare picked up most of the other costs, and the expenses of following my lung cancer were being covered. What it wind up being, is a case of me making a "small donation to the government via Tricare Part B…(which I can NOT use!!) in order to be provided with "Free Medical Care" under Tricare. I've written to the offices of Tricare, Social Security, my Senators and Congressmen, the Veterans Administration, and the President Of the USA about a week or so ago. I got an answer from the VA which essentially said: "Not our responsibility". Yes, I'm a "little frustrated", but I can die without 'em.

    Al Cooper, TSgt, USAF (Retired)

  346. RtiredTXCavTnkr says:

    I don't buy the piece of shit anyway. Let them point out how much could be saved by bringing congressional medical and retirement plans in line with what a retired servicemember receives.

  347. Soldier says:

    Let the elected officials fight the the next battle. Maybe send them all after a two week training camp. Let them hump a few mountains and try an IED on for size. Retired E-8

  348. USA is probably a Democrat paper. They want us to pay for the lazy ass people who sit on there butts and want everything for free, like Obama Care. This country has gone to hell since that so called president took office. GOD HELP US ALL..

  349. THEY HAVE ROLLING THUNDER EVERY YEAR,NOW WE NEED A "ROLLING RAGE" TO HAVE THE MEGA RICH POLITICIANS WHO GET FREE HEALTH CARE,100% OF THEIR SALARY UPON RETIREMENT, AND DO NOT PAY INTO SOCIAL SECURITY THAT WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY MORE CUTS TO OUR BENEFITS.

  350. FC1(SW)USNR says:

    USA Today is in business because of freedom of speech. Just one of the many freedoms that the retirees spent 20 years of their lives on the line to protect. If they want to compare how cheap our cost of medical coverage is to civilians, then they also MUST compare the retirement that we are receiving compared to the civilian sector. Mine is about $950.00 a month after 20 years. I can guarantee you that the cost of living increases will not match the TRICARE increases on a year to year basis. This means that my retirement will cover less and less each year. On another note, I have NEVER been referred to any doctors or hospitals outside of the VA realm. In fact, I had to pay out of pocket for an emergency procedure because the VA hospital could not fit me into their schedule due to their extremely heavy patient load.

  351. Doug Wallace says:

    What about all those sweet deals that congress and all those other people in
    Washinton. Could all ways cut back on all the benifit6s that they get too.
    A lot of us in the militery have srved in combat and have given up or famlies for years at a time for our freedom .. and thids is the thank we get for it

  352. Yes, TriCare is a sweet deal and it should be. How can we expect to keep our warfighters for 20-30 year in order to grow a professional NCO and officer corps without providing incentives? Also if they are considering increasing TriCare fees for retirees, ask this question: What do we say to an E-7 infantryman who has been deployed on multiple occassions to Iraq and Afghanistan, gets shot up in both legs and can no longer do his job and therefore retires or is forced out. Oh by the way, his wife left him and now he has custody of his 3 kids. Now he cannot get a good job because of his disability and lack of a skill, cannot afford child care and on top of it we ask him to increase his TriCare fees by a couple of thousand dollars? I guess it was his fault he was shot up and now it's his responsibility to sacrifice more! Tell me about that sweet deal again! We cannot allow our veterans to be treated in this manner. If this is enacted we need to barrage our congressmen and senators with our disapproval and they will pay at the ballot!!

  353. Battlestar says:

    How about retired military get the same deal congress gets for two years service, and the senate gets after six years? that seems fair after 20 years plus of sacrifice and service, don't you think?

  354. Al_Cooper says:

    Well, for the SECOND time, here goes. I am a USAF TSgt retiree, living in Japan, a short walking distance from Yokota Air base. I'm also a retired civil service worker (yippee skippee), a receiver of Social Secirity and (non military connected) disability and have a $500 per month rental income for another couple of years. I am/was enrolled in one of the Tricare programs, AND the Japanese Medical Care system. Two years or so age, I was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer. My situation has, in the past, to receive care and follow-up care through the Japanese system, and submitting my portion of the co-payments to Tricare and receive reimbursement. I'll be 65 y/o on 28 October 2011, and have received my Medicare card. After MUCH asking and research, I find out that in order to continue to receive reimbursement through Tricare, I MUST pay for Medicare Part B, which does NOT cover ANY care received in Japan, where I, and the majority of my family (not an issue) reside.
    This is NOT a large amount for many others, but it's a sizable chunk of my income, which would be, in effect, a DONATION to the U.S. Goverment "General Fund". I LOVE THE USA, but paying "tribute" without question isn't part of "my creed".
    I've already written to the VA, my Senators and Congressional representatives, to the Social Security folks, and to the Tricare folks. I expected "boiler plate" "not in my house" responses, but only received that reply from the Veterans Administration. Oh well, thanks for letting me vent. I guess I can die as I have lived…without 'em.

  355. Iron Mike says:

    How is it possible for these elected officials to properly represent anyone? Scandal after scandal is their legacy, not service to the country or their constituency. And, while they and their families are medically and monetarily covered for life after a minimal amount of time serving themselves, they take aim at the military? Voting themselves pay raises. Taking money from the Social Security fund to cover their mistakes. A fund they don't have to pay into. Raising fees and potentially cutting pay for servicemen and women in a time of war. While their sex and drug scandals go on and on, and few are EVER held accountable. It is absolutely no wonder we are becoming a laughing stock as a country. With morally bankrupt leadership such as is demonstrated daily by our elected officials, what other result could there be?

  356. How come you sorr politicians that are not military service related run to Walter Reed hospital every time you get cramps, hemoroids, gas and can't fart, or a headache and you have a military doctor or a medic test oue blood,urine and feces to see what ails you. HOWEVER, these things are free yto you and you think it is part of the pkg of being a politician.? Well medical treatment was part of the DEAL when I joined the service and gave you a blank check for my life and 24 years of my life !!!

  357. Berne K says:

    I enlisted in 1969, for those in the congress, there was an unpopular conflict going on. Although my service did NOT take me to that theater or operations I distinctly remember the re-enlistment NCO, the first sargeant and the commander ALL saying, re up, stay in and have FREE medical for the rest of your life. Anyone else remember that line?? Were they in collusion or just generally LYING? Seems too many to be in collusion. It was 1994 and the Republican sweep of the house and senate that ushered in Newt Gingrich and the idea that "it's just too expensive and we can't afford it." Spoken like someone who's served. In fact, one of my biggest concerns is that those who make laws, and introduce bills that directly effect our lives HAVE NEVER SERVED a day in the Military!!! The only uniform they ever owned was that field jacket they bought at the Army, Navy Store. Their only concerns were when the next final was and who they were going to boink this weekend, now whether on not they would live through the next event, whatever it might have been. I saw Tea Bagger politicians arrive in DC demanding that they get their government provided healthcare immediately, before they actually were sworn in. Go figure. One term and you get retirement for life? Why did I do 21 years, maybe I should have run for congress? Much less of a commitment and the rewards are better and at almost NO TIME there's no one shooting at you.
    Speaking of deals, I've yet to hear of one congressman, senator, who are pretty much independantly wealthy anyway, … state that they would take $1.00 in compensation a year until the country got back on it's feet. Haven't we had businessmen make the same statement in other scenarios?

  358. With the salary's you receive we the people should charge you $2000.00 a month for medical services at Walter Reed !!

    • Retire Military says:

      What world do you live in? Obviously you have never served in the military so I will chalk your insensitive comment to your ignorance. Who are we the people by the way, let me tell you who you are, you walk freely and say whatever you please because of the people who protect your freedoms. Have some RESPECT…….

  359. I don't think any retired person could afford $520 a month for some of us that is 1/4 each month! ouch

  360. F. Adams says:

    In 1952 I made the decision to have a military career with the primary incentive being the medical benefits for my eligible family members for life. Now they want to back down???? No Way. I paid for my care with more than 20 years military service and an additional 20 years as a DoD Policeman. The questionable leadership we have let ourselves elect are determined to give everything we have earned to illegals and our enemies in order to gain their support and future votes. I die a little more each time one of our brave military gives their life for the bunch of inefficient and criminal elements running our country. I wonder what those BRAVE leaders in Washington would do if all our military walked away and let them try to cover their asses when they have become the hunted and their underpaid and under appreciated security is no where to be found. I'm 80 years old but if there is a march on Washington, I'll be there. The Sleeping Giant shall rise again, soon.

  361. Personally, this makes my blood boil! Especially when, all things considered, soldiers in the military protect the freedom of those who don’t have the guts to do it themselves! I completely understand that a man/women who chooses to join the military know what they are committing to, including the possibility of overseas deployment, which could result in permanent injury or even death. However, that doesn’t mean an avid soldier shouldn’t be rewarded for their work. Once again, you notice those who complain about the military’s benefits are those who don’t have the guts to be a soldier themselves. 

    I’d much rather my tax money pay for military insurance and care than it pay for civilian insurance and care, for several reasons. For 1, just as soldiers choose the military as their form of work, civilians choose what form of work they do as well. So, if they want better insurance coverage, then they can choose a different job or a different form of insurance. For 2, tax money may pay for military insurance and care, but what about Medicaid? Do people fail to realize that their tax money also pays for that? Most people on Medicaid don’t have jobs. Some actually need help, because they are trying to find work but it isn’t available, and I’m fine with that. Others, however, do not have jobs and could give a rip about trying to find one, and I’m not fine with that. That being said, brings me to 3. Because the government has made it so easy for people to completely live off of the government, it is taken total advantage of. So many live in government assisted houses, have EBT cards/food stamps, and have Medicaid coverage. They pretty much live for free, off of the tax money hard workers pay! And did I forget to mention that our soldiers also pay taxes? Why aren’t they ranting about that? Apparently it is easier to rant about people who pay taxes rather than rant about those who don’t and get to live for free anyways. 

    Now, as for the person who wrote this article, I wonder how very quick they were to forget what benefits they receive that a soldier and a soldiers family does not? For instance, when this person arrived at work to write this ignorant article, where do you think they came from? Probably from home, where their spouse and/or children reside with them. And after this person completed this ignorant article, where do you think they went? Once again, probably home where their spouse and/or children reside with them. Weekends? Probably spent with their family! Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and children’s birthday’s? Yet again, probably with their family! What about the freedom to choose to take a family vacation, whenever they want to and wherever they want to, without having to plan it around overseas deployments, stateside orders, and drill weekends? What about seeing your kids and spouse everyday???? What about seeing your child roll over, coo, eat baby food, crawl, say their first words, and walk for the first time? How many deployments have you sat through? How many times have you and your children been left behind because your spouse was cut stateside orders and told that their family was not allowed to come with them? These are all examples of things that a civilian worker takes advantage of. And more than likely, they would never consider any of these numerous things a benefit. And why? Because they have not the slightest clue what it is to miss out on these things! A soldier and his/her family know that these are benefits because they are lucky to see and experience these things when they have the opportunity to. Especially when there are times when they come few, far, and in-between. Furthermore, if they don’t think the soldiers spouse and children deserve these benefits, they are beyond being dead wrong! A soldier isn’t the only one affected by the military! Spouses and children play their role as well! The spouse is left behind to care for EVERYTHING while their soldier is gone! And the children must learn to cope with their parent being gone! And just let me ask this. Do you think the person who wrote this article ever considered what it is like to face the fear and/or reality of their spouse not ever coming home again? Or having to sit down and try your best to explain to your children why Mommy/Daddy will never come home again? I DIDN’T THINK SO!!!! The benefits a soldier and their families receive from Tricare are the least the military can offer considering all the scenario’s I’ve offered. I mean, let’s get real here, it’s impossible to pay a soldier what he/she is worth and deserving of!  People want to rant about it, but what price do you see them putting on their freedom? 

    Now, let’s talk about the government officials who sit around, twiddling their thumbs all day, as they come up with ways to lessen the military’s Tricare benefits, consider such things as cutting the military’s pay, and all at the same time ensure welfare funds are there for those who live for free. When are they going to suggest that maybe it’s time for themselves to be placed lower on the totem pole? Rest assured, you will never live to see that day or hear that news. Why? Because, it seems the most imperative task on their everyday agenda is to ensure that their pay and insurance benefits stay right where they want them to be!   Amidst all things considered, can somebody please tell me why government officials should receive special incentives, special treatment, or anything special for that matter, that any other hard working, tax paying person doesn’t receive? What makes them so much more deserving than anybody else? Note that I am not just pointing out the military end, I am pointing out the civilian end as well. However, yet again, you will never see that day or hear that news, because it will not happen! Which takes me back to the writer of this ignorant article, yet again. You rant about the benefits a soldier receives after 20+ years in the service, but you are ok with someone having benefits even greater than that of a retired 20+ year service member, with merely a 4+ year term in office? Correct me if I’m wrong here, people, but is this not completely and undeniably backwards?? If I do say so myself, it is! 

    People who have never been directly affected by the military have no clue, what-so-ever, what this lifestyle is all about. They have no clue what it is like to sit by the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 to 18 months at a time, praying the phone will ring, with your soldier on the other end telling you that he/she is alive, well, in one piece, and has survived another mission. They have no clue what pain, heartache, sadness, fear, loneliness, and gut wrenching feelings come with telling your soldier goodbye, as they load a plane, with hundreds of other soldiers, to embark on a deployment. They have no clue what if feels like to welcome your soldier home! To feel so relieved, so very proud, and so happy to know that your soldier is home, maybe not for good, but for now. So, my suggestion to those who want to rant and rave about ANYTHING involving the military, that they don’t agree with or that they think is unfair, is simply this; Before you decide to rant and rave and bash about how military benefits are so much more than they should be, sign the papers, become the property of the government, let the government dictate what will happen in your life for the next 4-6 years, go through a deployment or 2 or 3 or 4, see what’s its like to miss out on everything back at home, come home and go on stateside orders and be told that your family can’t join you, watch your child that was only 2 weeks old when you left grow up drastically instead of day by day, miss the whole 1st year of their life, all of their firsts, miss holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, learn what it’s like to have no other option but to put your life on hold because Uncle Sam needs you right now….not in 2 months when it’s better for you and your family….NOW! Then, people like us, who know what all of this is like, along with all other cases that I haven’t listed (as there are too many to list) will never have to worry about seeing such shallow, vein, and ignorant articles ever again! Keep your mouth shut instead of walking around acting like you are so knowledgeable about this very sensitive subject, unless you are going to put on the uniform, the dog tags, and the combat boots and walk in the shoes of a soldier for AT LEAST 4 years, 1 mile wouldn’t even come close to covering it! How dare you think our soldiers deserve anything but the best! Especially when they are the ones who protect your freedom, all so you can turn around and bash them for doing so, and by showing how exceedingly ungrateful you are for all of their many sacrifices. I KNOW that I speak for plenty when I say, people like you come off as nothing short of an unappreciative and undeserving individual. 

    Just one more thing, if you think our Tricare benefits are “Too Sweet A Deal”, it’s obvious that you have never had to deal with referrals or Tricare representatives running you in circles, as you battle them for 7 months straight, trying to get everything fixed that they messed up in the 1st place! But plenty of us have had to deal with these and many other things! How sweet of a deal is that? Sometimes it seems like more of a problem than a good thing. I’m very thankful to have Tricare coverage, just wanted to point out that it isn’t a perfect and carefree coverage, it has its problems just like any other insurance company!

    To close this off, I would just like to say, THANK YOU TO EVERY SOLDIER FOR YOUR MANY AND GREAT SERVICES AND SACRIFICES! I always have been and always will be a full supporter of the military! 

  362. As a retired military member it makes me absolutely SICK to my stomach to see what is going on. When you sign a contract that states what benefits you will get for service rendered and it is not honored what does this say about our country. In the civilian world if this were to happen we would be in court for breach of contract and I would be getting paid. While I'm on the subject the military is the ONLY federal agency who pays for their own disability " now if that doesn't beat all" I don't what does. I say a march in D.C. of historical proportions is in order.

  363. You cannot compare military benefits to the private sector because they are not getting paid what people in the private sector are getting paid and they are taking a risk that most people would not be taking in the private sector. The government needs to look at all their waste and how much our elected officials are taking home! This witch hunt to reduce taxes by taking from the most deserving whle lining the pockets of big business has got to stop!!!!

  364. This is what happens when no one wants to pay taxes and the party that doesn't want to raise them also entered us into the wars. USA, Inc.

  365. james ward says:

    do you know that retirees were on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week at least for 20 years, with no compensation in pay for working overtime or holidays. The current low Tricare rate is an entitlement
    Since the politicians want to save money by raising Tricare rates which will effect present and future retirees, let them begin to pay the active duty service members for working overtime and on holidays just like the civilians and DOD workers. This would justify the raise.

  366. Tricare should be paying me to use them. I don't know about anyone else, but when I need to setup an appointment I spend more time talking to Tricare then I do in the doctor's office. They wanted me to wait a week to see a doc for pneumonia. I hardly had a voice when I was talking to the lady on the phone. Turns out the delay was due to some Tricare paper pusher not filing my paperwork. Another example: My brother-in-law is currently in the army. He found out that my sister is covered, but for some reason he isn't. Any idea on why that would happen? I sure as hell can't figure that one out. Washington needs to and all the Generals need to be on the exact same insurance as every other military member. They need to have to deal with all the stupid rules and red tape we have to go through. Then they will see that Tricare is not as amazing of a benefit as the civilian world thinks.

  367. dontgothere says:

    go check out herman cain – he is very keen on keeping promises to the active duty, veteran, AND their respective families.

  368. dontgothere says:

    and don't forget welfare. how about making some of THEM bust their behinds working sometimes 18-20 hours a day for weeks on end? why should THEY get a freebie check just because they started popping out babies??? make them work for that check AND take taxes out of that check.

  369. akasurf says:

    After 20+ of Military service, it is the least that our government can do for all of the service people! Congress and rest, bark up another tree for your cuts!

  370. michael says:

    Congress is sending a wrong message to our young troops that want to
    stay in the military we deserve better no matter what retirees get we get screw ed. We need a pay increase. We need a extra jobs to make up the difference. Again broken promises

  371. HMCS J.A. USN (ret) says:

    Many of us said nothing when BRAC was talked about and passed in 1986 than would close bases, hospitals, and dispensaries. I think it took 20 years to get everything closed. We would be able to see a civilian provider without having a Statment of Nonavailability. CHAMPUS was changed to TriCare. I knew then what was coming. The cost would go up and up. When my wife had surgery at athe Naval Hospital in Memphis as an in-patient I think my total cost was $18.75. Now the hospital is closed and just sit there empty.

  372. All Veterens World Wide should boycott USA Today. Then, they might realize how many people that they just offended with their uneducated, ill placed comments! Frankly, I think they should be forced to remove the term USA from their name!

  373. Dasbarbarian says:

    I won't ever buy a USA Today paper again !!!!

  374. When I joined, in 1975, I was told that if I retired I and my spouse would have 100% medical coverage. There was no co-pay, at that time, discussed.

  375. Steve Elson says:

    This sort of action by our "leadership" only confirms my assertion that we are indeed spending way too much money by sending our troops to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc to "protect against ALL enemies foreign and DOMESTIC." The enemy that is destroying the US is not over there, but right here in DC. That's where we should be attacking. Give the military the same benefits and pay that congress gets — or vice versa. Screw them!

  376. It’s an EDITORIAL

  377. gary trenkelbach says:

    I see paying an amount of 520.00 for tricare prime a better deal than the local goverment i am working for now they take 174.00 every two weeks no matter what that is 4574.00 a year compared to 520.00 is still a better deal to me

  378. dymondjim says:

    One of the benefits given to Military Retirees was Health Care for life.. Upon turning 65 you then go over to Medicare with TriCare as your supplemental. When you go on Medicare you pay for your medicare monthly out of your social security check. To me that is not "healthcare for life". I know people that retired from the big three and when they go on medicare, the company reimburses them the monthly amount they pay for medicare. I am really cannot believe that the Doctors and Hospitals think that this is such a "sweet deal". I was hospitalized for 12 days had surgery and many test as I was very ill The charges from all those involved came to over $40,000 of which between Medicare and Tricare they were paid $7,000. Wonder why less and less doctors want to see us.

  379. JR, CWO, USMC, Ret says:

    Yes, tricare is a good deal – presuming you can get an appointment and you don't mind being an experimental case for your "doctor" and the VA isn't much better. I'm retired and 60% disabled according to the VA. I can barely walk, can't carry anything, and I'm pretty useless around the house having to depend on my wife. Thank God I can gut it out to work and get insurance through my employer because if I couldn't the best i could do is some drugs from the VA. Yeah, I hurt my back in the Marine Corps doing the gungy stuff we do but, I was young and dumb and now I'm paying for it – too many O courses,, confidence courses, 1 person doing and multi person job. My last year in the navy docs told me I better retire ASAP or they would medically retire me. I'm proud of my service and my sacrifice but stop kicking my butt about taking care of the things that I got hurt while on active duty. I'll leave without aspirin for a cold but come on, back surgery is around $40,000 + plus recuperation. I wish I had the quality of care our senators and congressman have. Semper fi!

  380. I absolutely can not understand the thinking process of the US congress/senate. Sometimes they sound retarded or at least slow in the head. It seems it is "all about them and their wants/needs", they do not seem to give a rip about all those the have sacrificed their lives for freedom and democracy in this country. Seems they are using the military for their own gain/good. They are "users" to the highest degree.

  381. SeniorChief says:

    So soon they forget! I knew it was only a matter of time before the lie becomes complete. First they promised us free medical for life, then…oh, we can't afford that….here's Tricare Prime, it'll only cost you a little bit of money. and so the crack was made! …next…."Let's charge the retirees the same as civilians! It's only fare." Add half arsed pay, long deployments, spending long hours without sleep or the comfort of a bath and soft bed, combat, 12 to 18 month deployments, PTSD, taking the chance of spending the rest of your life in a wheel chair because of an IED, loosing your life… WHERE IS THE BREAKING POINT, AMERICA!? At what price is America willing to provide for our warriors?! Will America wake up when the next big conflict requires the draft to fight? …think it can't happen, USA Today editors! Wake up!

  382. Rich DoD says:

    The real problem is not having universal health care for every Amercian. Not special health care for self serving people. If you were drafted and served your country I can see giving you a higher status. For the most part people join the military to get the "free" set up because jobs are scarce, can not afford to educate themselves, or had no were else to go. The military has become another union trying to protect their self interests. When you freely join the military you should have realized that you are allowing yourself to be in harms way via the the decisions of others in power. Majority of the military do not see action, which ones are you? If you think you have it bad ask your WWI vets, what happened to them on the White House lawn. Actually you will have to read about it. Don't think any are still alive. Military people should open their eyes and see that the health care issues is an American problem. Now that everything is on the table because there is no money, the union mentality is coming out from the military community.

    • Retired MSgt says:

      Rich, you make it sound like we, as Veterans, are wlefare cases, uneducated and ‘no were else to go’, all of which I personally resent. It is obvious from you comments that a.) you are not a Veteran and b.) you’re a democrat.

      Our plight has nothing to do with universal health care. It is directly related to a bunch of hypocritical, lying, self serving politicians-most of which are democrats.

      There were promises made as an inticement to get us to volunteer to serve our country. We are not a union of any type, if we were we would be in a lot better shape.

      In you vast experience in military matters, where do you come up with ‘the majority of the military do not see action’. You have no idea and no fact to support this feckless statement. MOST of the military does see action of one sort or the other. Evne those who are not directly involved in combat are in harms way, ie.. the Airmen murdered in Frankfurt Airport. Those we affectionately dubbed ‘Remington Raiders’ are subjecto to get killed just by being a military member.

      You bask in the very freedoms we paid for. Yet you criticize us for fighting for what we are entitled to, not as a gift or a ‘free set up’, but what we have earned.

      While you have the right to voice you opinion, regardless of how politically skewed and unfounded they are, picking a military forum to criticize military members, their needs, desires and earned benefits is beyond stupid. Find somewhere else to post your liberal blatherings.

    • IBclever says:

      Thinking Rich has and will continue to have as good if not better benefits than someone that serves. Hopefully, DoD will lie to him like they did the rest of us, but in the meantime sir it is likely time for you to go home since your 8 hours is done.

  383. I had A.L.L. (a kind of leukemia) Christmas 2006. Ret 1976. Tri Care was taking care of the bills. Mar 2007 went into remission and I took chemo forever…it seemed to kill it for good. It left me pretty debilitated. Still in remission…I guess the odds get better every year I am above ground.

    I cannot tell you where the suspect illness came from but I will say that some of my shipmates are not around to discuss it – at all.

    The cost was off the ridiculous gauge. Tri Care paid for it and continues to pay it…I am grateful. But A.D. mil or civ w/o Tri Care would be a death sentence…unless…you made at least 7 figures a year. I know all you sand crabs make that…right?

  384. the active citizen says:

    The elected officials care about one thing – themselves. Americans elect them over and over again, get the same result, then complain about things just getting worse. If you want government leadership, you have to elect leaders, not egos and narcissists. The poor fight and die while the elite classes live to "good life". What's so hard to understand? Talk is cheap and it's exactly what makes the elite elected populous happy because it changes nothing. At least you still have "HOPE".

  385. Tricare TOO SWEET!????

    Has anyone managing the "cutting room" been told how many Doctors and other health care providers are NOT even accepting Tricare do to the very low reimbursement rates? How many military families have felt like you are asking a provider if they accept "Medicaid" when asking if they accept "Tricare". You often get treated the same! "No we do not accept medicaid or Tricare", Aren't they one in the same?

    Since a military family is forced to stay within the "participating providers list", we are experiencing a shorter and shorter list of providers. Many "participating providers" were trained outside the United States and NEED the Tricare patients to stay afloat. The pool of good providers is disappearing and should be place on an "Endangered Species" list!.

    Such a "SWEET DEAL" for those who have been insuring our Nation's freedom!

  386. John Kirkham says:

    I'm retired Military and getting older. Can you imagine what I pay for Meds and Vitimin Supplements per month. Each year I have to take more Meds and the cost rises with every precription. That is not what I was promised when I joined the Military and saw it through for 20 years. Free Health Care is what I was promised. Now we have a bunch of rich Congressman and Senators that can't stand it, who never served themselves and want to charge us more. They are not going to be satisfied until they get all our pension and then some. I have a Heart problem and Diabeties, Flat Feet from Marching and Combat, a Hearing Problem from not being issued Ear Plugs from Fan Firing my Weapon and so on. How about our Congressmen and Senators who haven't served, GET OUT AND SERVE. Walk in our shoes for awhile and then go vote on wether or not to raise any of our benefits.

  387. patrick says:

    Screw you USA Today, you old 1960's loser class of editors. Get your @$$ back to Canada, you draft dodging punks. You are not going to spit on Vets this time.

  388. retired91 says:

    You had your chance. Just as we did. We earned everything that has been given to use. I put in 10+ years of work in the last 5 years of my career. My body is now worn out just to give you the right to write this article. No complaints.

  389. Vincent says:

    To all those who are fighting to sustain an unsustainable program like Tricare(or public sector union worker benefits programs for that matter), I ask the same question: WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM? Many of you are the same people who complain about massive government deficits.

  390. I joined in 1976, was promised free medical and dental if I retired in 20 years. I'm became disabled in 2004, and can't work anymore. Tricare is all I have, and I can barely afford it. Seems I pay more and more each visit and every time I need a script. I think it is time we the retired, disabled military people marched on DC and demand Obama give us what we were promised, FREE medical and dental.

  391. Paul Siegel says:

    Back in the 1970's, military pay was poor and quality of life programs few and far between. It was understood that part of our compensation was medical care for life if we put in at least 20 years and retired. I agreed to that, only to have the free medical care taken away and replaced by TRICARE. Granted, the premiums are very low, but the principle of the agreement has been violated. Folks serving in the military now are paid much better than we were even only 10 years ago. I can understand why some of the perks should not apply any more. But to take delayed compensation (medical care) away from the folks who served for very little pay is just wrong.

    • Paul: That's entirely incorrect! When I enlisted in 1970, it was for three years, and I was promised medical and dental for life ALSO! So, it was'nt just retirees who were promised these benefits.

      • Komplikator says:

        Then your recruiter flat lied to you

        Free medical care for life was NEVER authorized for one term enlistments, like it was for 20 + year retirees

  392. Another reason why this country is going to hell….. what the hell happend to respecting veterans and military???

  393. What do you expect from a government where the majority of people have not served in the military. Use, Abuse, and put us away wet!

  394. Thank God there are organizations like MOAA out there fighting for our benefits!!!

  395. AF spouse says:

    I just shook my head at the thought that Tricare is considered a "sweet deal"…Obviously the person who made that comment doesn't have to use it. Grant it, Tri care is better than nothing, but try to get a civilian doctor's office to accept it. Any that I have dealt with claims it is too big of a headache for what little reimbursement they receive. Plus the officials are wanting to get all the retirees out of the military hospitals because we apparently are such a strain on their facilities. My husband is retired AF, did his 20+ years and believed that if he did that he and his family would be taken care of. Well, before he even retired in 1994, we lost free dental, optical and had to start paying for medical shortly after he retired. How is it that our gov. leaders get fantastic bennies for life even if they only serve one term? I don't get it. I agree with a previous post that our gov. leaders need to have done time in the military, especially any one we elect as president. How can you be commander in chief of the military if you despise the military and have no clue about the actual lifestyle and sacrifices our military members experience?_Rise up folks…We need to get these military haters voted out of office. Otherwise, Tricare will be replaced with Obamacare and we'll have to pay for that also.

  396. What has our current gov't done for citizens ? ZERO
    CONGRESS & O & CZARS CAN ONLY LIE AND RAISE TAXES TO
    PAY FOR THEIR STUPID DECISIONS.
    OF COURSE, ""THEY""" ARE EXEMPT .
    SHOULD NOT CHANGE RULES """"AFTER THE PROMISE""""
    SO THEY ARE SAYING THEIR PROMISE MEANS NOTHING.

  397. TVaughen, YNC says:

    I enlisted Dec 1951. I remember when we got our 1st military pay raise. At the time I was getting $200 month. A commander was getting $2000 per month. The raise was 5%. I got a $10 increase and the commander got a $100 pay increase. This has occurred with every pay raise since. Military pay increases are across the board. I don't know what the disparity is 60 yrs later but I sure can tell you who made out then and who is making out now. That is a lot of cash which could easily be trimmed by just giving every one, say, a $100 monthly increase.

  398. wildman says:

    Here we go again Just like in the 60,70s stick it to the military. They did their duty now lets just screw with them and their benifits. just like the pay comparision ciivilain es military. what ciilian job can get you put in prision for telling the boss to stick it because he is an,officer or senior nocom and half your age and in the service just less than a year. NONE.

  399. Yakiman says:

    Before being laid off last year my job provided medical benefits. The way TRICARE is set up they are the secondary insurer when you have other coverage. At the time the only benefit I could see was my co pays were covered by TRICARE. Now I'm self-employed, money is tight and if it wasn't for TRICARE there is no way I could afford medical coverage.

    As for the part about how retirees shouldn’t receive treatment from civilian hospitals and doctors; I live about 200-miles from the nearest base with hospital. The local base is "firing center" and any active duty member injured there is transported to a civilian hospital in town for treatment. I’m sure many other retirees are in the same situation. If I couldn’t see a civilian doctor TRICARE would be worthless to me. As it is many civilian doctors will not accept patients with TRICARE.

    I stayed in the Navy for 20-years for two reasons: I truly enjoyed my job and I valued the retirement benefits. I am disappointed the medical benefits we understood we would get now come at a cost, but I do understand why. I also understand the need to increase the cost of TRICARE but it needs to be done gradually. There are many military retirees who are living well but there are many more on fixed incomes or barely getting by who may be harmed financially if the cost is raised too much too quickly.

  400. I am broken I didn't start off this way and the things that broke me could only have come about byt the 11 deployments, physical requirements placed on me the 7 day 14+ hour work shifts that lasted for months at a time and the life walking on steel decks I was subjected too. YES I volunteered, I believed it would be a hard JOB when I first signed up, I knew without a doubt how hard it was the following times I resigned my name on the dotted line. I did this knowing full well it was not in the best interest of my health, my familiy finantial apserations. I did it because someone has too. I was promised that I would be looked after later in life, this in the form of a modest and by that I mean small almost insignificant retirement adn medical care for me and mine.
    We are not a large group the military is small in comparrison to the civilian population, our compensation is not overly much considerign what we went throught to get it. Why is it always those that have done something to earn are the first to be taken from. There are so many places the government can cut spending, and the first place should be with themselves, they are paid a kings salary for their public service, yet the seem never to serve the public, only themselves. Veterans served truely, we did not make the decisions we followed orders and policy was and is made for us. this is waht it is to Serve, Politicians want others to serve them. The second place to cut is paying for those who have no right, yes I said it NO RIGHT to be here much less live off of those who pay taxes. The third place to cut spending is and shoudl be to stop supporting those that for no other reason won't support themselves. I have paid for my kids food, clothes and any and all needs and raised them myself, everyone should try it.
    The politicians always go after, , military pay , schools and the elderly benifits so they can force a budget increase. We dont need to cut the benifits to those who are truely entitled , just cut the entitlements to those who have done nothing to earn it in the first place and the budget will ballance adn the debt will fall.

  401. My husband enlisted in the navy during WWII when he was only 17 years old not because hewas uneducated, couldn’t find a job, etc but because he wanted to fight to keep our country free. He fought in WWII, Korea and some of Vietnam. We are now trying to live on the stinking little retirement pay and now they want to reduce his pay and charge him more for Tri-care. I wishwho ever thought this up had to live on 1100 dollars a month plus what little bit he get in social secuity.

  402. if it wasn't for the men/women currently serving in the Armed Forces and the retirees who have serve before them, there probably wouldn't be a USA Today…let's try Al Qaeda Today. Many men/women have sacrificed their marriage, or relationships w/ their children. They have missed graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, children's first step/words, and funerals of loved ones. Some men have even missed the birth of their children. Families are uprooted every 3-4yrs due to PCS moves. Many dont come out of the military the same way that they went in. All of this sacrifice for the benefits that were promised. Yeah…sounds like a VERY sweet deal to me, USA Today.

  403. Debbie Eckroade Sebastian says:

    I won't buy the paper until they bother to tell both sides. I hope everyone will agree! How do my fellow FB friends feel about this?

  404. I wholeheartedly agree!

  405. Too sweet a deal? How about giving up one's life for others! Was it a sweet deal for you living? Military people should get FREE Health care. I'v e had many people say to me that they would not put up with the BULL_ _ _ T that the military gives their people, and that's why they would not join. Now their saying we have a sweet deal. They don't have any idea what it is to put your life on the line, and think of it as YOUR DUTY to our citizens. GIVE ME A BREAK.

  406. HawkCW4 says:

    Its a pretty sick government that can pay you practically nothing but promise you will be taken care of at the end of your 20 years, then somewhere down the road tell us we are being given two sweet a deal. Its time I had a talk with My Senator. I will agree to cuts when all Congressional Reps give up 1/2 of their pay and allowances, 2/3 of their unearned retirement and all of their medical. How bout selling some of those unwanted ships, planes, tanks, and other crap our Congressmen have insisted the military buy just to send pork home. Yes there is much to cut from the Military, and we all know where they need to start. They need to be very careful in the next few years.

  407. I'm retired US Army, 63-and not a member of Tricare.
    A new proposed $520 a year is really an incredible deal compared to the costs of medical insurance one would have to pay if retired, not working and retired before mandatory Medicare age of 66 like in my case.
    I checked and medical insurance costs can range from $333 a month to $934 a month not counting deductibles and co-pays. If you want a platinum type coverage that will cost you $1500 a month.
    So quit belly aching. The proposed $520 a year is a great deal-considering what you would pay without Tricare.

  408. USA Today SUCKS I would NEVER buy this COMMY RAG.

  409. SFC Michael retired says:

    just try to get by with what we have now! it still doesn't cover the cost of everything and then being on a fixed income with prices of everything else going sky high ! what's next ?

  410. waynes104 says:

    I am an Army retiree that is second generation military. The two generations have served in WWII, Korea and VietNam. This along with the DOD considering pay cut is rediculous. Making comments between us does nothing but make feel somewhat better. If we all sent comments to USA Today, that might get some attention. I am sure there are enough of us to get their attention or flood their mailroom

    • springchickenot says:

      Don't forget writing letters to your local newspaper or posting this URL on news blogs.

  411. Give me a break! I have seen what war can do to my dad and I have served 20 years myself including my service in Vietnam. Bring back the draft and let all these non serving know it all's get a taste of what it is like.
    Sure, I chose to serve. I was raised with the prayer in school and the pledge in school, values that seem to be lacking in today's society were taught and I got a paddle on the ass when I messed up.
    Today our reps break the law, don't pay taxes, screw around and suffer no consequences.
    I vote for term limits and limited medical and lifetime pay equal to what those who served our country in the services get..

  412. Nothing posted here is going to be seen are heard by the public. It needs to be talked about on shows like 60 minutes. do a comparrison with what a military retired person gets after 20 plus years of service and what a Congressman or a Senator gets after just one term in office. They get their pay raises on time every time their cost of living allowance because they have households in different places. There have been no talks of pay cuts for them, but they the very same people that will send us to war and then vote to cut our benefits such as medical and dental things that were promised. When i hear talk about someone looking into cutting where the cutting is needed most then ists all just that broken promises and hot air. We the military retired are not asking for the world are to be treated different from anyone else, we are just asking that the promises that were made be kept. I gave twenty plus years in service to my country and would glady do it again. All I ask is not to be screwed over.

  413. RAY ROBERSON says:

    USA Today and the Representatives/Senators that think TRICARE is too Sweet a Deal can kiss this retired Chief's foot. I was made a promise – In return for my youth, time at sea, time in harm's way, time away from my family (which can never be retrieved) I would be provided FREE, yes… free.. health and dental for my wife and myself for the rest of our lives. TRICARE is my Earned Benefit.

  414. Rita Petty says:

    The point where the military lost on is that there is nothing in writing that gives the military what the recruiter promised. I once asked a MSGT who was sent to our base from the Pentagon to answer questions on Military Health Care, why at every reenlistment promo I got the emphasis was always on lifetime health care. I also said the recruiters should be told not to be doing this. His answer was and these are exact words"Well then I would be sitting where you are. In other words forget it. I will not be asking them that question and we will continue the policy the way it is. I had several recruiters come up to me and thank me for bringing it up because they said they hated lying to the guys and gals. And folks this was over 20 years ago and then came SS, Medicare and now you pay for Tricare. Nothing on paper folks. Thanks for letting me spout off but unless we stop fighting everyone's wars it will never change. Politicians and government love one thing. Themselves.

  415. Old MSgt says:

    Boycott USA Today and spread the news far and wide. Bases should remove USA Today from PX and BX facilities. Shun their reporters, and write their COMPETITORS to make sure that USA Today is punished in the marketplace for advocating betrayal of our troops both Active and Retired.

    • springchickenot says:

      Don't forget to boycott their advertisers and let them know why you are boycotting them, too.

  416. R Barber says:

    I put 27 years in the Navy, would have gone further but got caught up in the RIF and got forced out. I too remember the promises of "Put in the 20 or more and the military will take care of your medical and dental for you and your spouse for life". Then we got pay for Tricare due to closing all the bases and now they want to rase the price againg for something we were not going to pay a dime for ???? Yet all the fat cats in congress keep getting pay rases and more free benifits ???
    Its time for all of congress to take a 50% pay cut and have them go on Medicare and Social Securty in stead of using our hard earned benifits for their private slush fund. RCB BMC (SW/AW) USNR – Ret

  417. wrld7tvlr says:

    20 yrs of putting ourselves in harm's way to protect this nations freedoms for a minimal (not minimum) wage then we get a retirement that equals 50% of our BASE pay and a medical package that only pays 75% of the ALLOWED (not cost, but ALLOWED) cost until we turn age 65 (when we are forced to enroll in Medicare at a cost of $300 per quarter -$1200/yr taken out of our SS payments) seems like a small price for the citizens of this nation to pay to enjoy the freedoms that all citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution.
    And remember that our elected representatives are given a full 100% of their pay and a premium health care package after serving only one term (4 or 6 yrs)
    When I retired from the Navy I started receiving $800/month while an elected representative who served only one term (4-6yrs) started receiving his retirement of approximately $75,000/yr and very probably never left the comfort of his home district or his Washington D.C. offices.
    Don't tell me TRICARE is "Too Sweet a Deal"

  418. wrld7tvlr says:

    20 yrs of putting ourselves in harm's way to protect this nations freedoms for a minimal (not minimum) wage then we get a retirement that equals 50% of our BASE pay and a medical package that only pays 75% of the ALLOWED (not cost, but ALLOWED) cost until we turn age 65 (when we are forced to enroll in Medicare at a cost of $300 per quarter -$1200/yr taken out of our SS payments) seems like a small price for the citizens of this nation to pay to enjoy the freedoms that all citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution.

  419. tom ashe says:

    What i have to say about those a holes that run this country is not printable Tom ashe

  420. Veteran says:

    Has anyone ever looked at the benefits package our current and former congressional leaders receive…If the federal budget needs to be cut, start with the leaders and respresentatives of our country…Ask them to live on less. I am not aware of too many (if any) military members who can live on the retirement check they receive after 20 years of service.

    • Irish Green says:

      Iam with you all the way..the congressmen & senators get a All their bennies FREE while servicing & after they retire( that includes their families ) but us vet that have put our life on the line for 20 plus years get the short end of the stick ….we have to pay

    • Ole Sarge says:

      One thing that is NOT discussed, you have to first serve a specified amount of time. Then you have to LIVE, to benefit. I personally know of way too many that die within a couple years of retirement . (At 20 years, not 30)

  421. I.m still proud I served however I served for what I thought was my country not the 465 people in congress that rule America. If they only wore the uniform and served in combat or elsewhere then and only then they would not ask or create a bill that will go through, we the people have no hope just look at the past actions of these folks WE VOTED IN, not one has kept their promises made during the election process. We are worse off now then when we were ruled by the British.

  422. This is another example of cowardness on the part Gates and any other american who can mentally contemplate comparing a garantee of full medical upon retirement by our government to cost. A Soldier's life, and a promise " I've got your back- US Goverment". It's a matter of principle, the same princiles that Soldiers are taugh by the originator (US Government) are now up for review. We live in a free speech society and there are a lot of americans who enjoy a free speech sociey who cannot pfantom during what a Soldier or their families do, but they are present and account for to enjoy those freedoms. As a veteran, I have every expectation that the United States Government will honor it's commitment in princile as the originator of I've got your back. I cannot phantom America- the dishonorable.

  423. Jonathan says:

    I found out in life that their are no guarantees especially with the Government. They like to change the rules to benefit them. Their promises are worth about a bucket of cramp is worth. They like giving out money they don't have to organizations that don't deserve it. I just want to tell the Government what's on my mind. I did my 20 years of active service for onething only. Not because I wanted to die so you can have your freedom but because of all the promises you said you would give us at the end of the tunnel. It was not a great journey. I went through a lot of hell to get to the end. Missed a lot of my family. Didn't see them grow up everyday, etc, etc, etc. I could go on and on with everything I missed out on. I could have missed out on life. I did miss out on life but I mean for good. Well I made it to the end of the tunnel and I expect the Government to keep their end of the bargain. Their will be a lot of chaos if they keep changing the game. They better keep the Active duty and Veterans number one on their priority list. They are the ones responsible for the freedom so every American can enjoy their life. With out them their would be nothing. Just like the veteran that died for you. He has nothing but a grave. You take away our benefits and you will see a decline of veterans staying in for a career. You will have to bring back the draft to force people to enlist. You will adventually have a young unexperienced military that will get overthrown. Our freedom will no longer exist. I think freedom should be number one on anyone's list. When you cut the budget you better think very hard before you take away from the military benefits. I wouldn't be surprised if your thinking about taking our pension.

    • I think the ILLEGAL ALIEN has a better deal than you….Think about it? Their benifits are FREE….OUR government guarantees it……

  424. Chris Murray says:

    I proudly served my 20 years in The Navy and didn't really want to retire. But our CinChief took the Navy from 600 ships to 300 ships and i was asked to go. I was recruiting at the time and was told to use the medical benefits of staying in to retire as a recruiting tool. Now the government is making me out to be a liar. Let the Senators and Congressmen pay their own way! They certainly make more money than my retirement pays me! That or let me come back in I'll serve forever I loved it. If not let all of us retirees have what we were promised. Serve Honorably and be taken care of.

  425. dabouv1 says:

    I don't like the populism I read. Senators and Congressman are very powerful people and we choose them. They should be picking from the very cream and it is our fault we get such crappy ones. 176,000 or whatever is not an enormous amount of money when you look at their jobs. It is the same as an average primary care Dr. makes, a good lawyer, and a hell of a lot less than my mothers boss who owns a small town insurance agency. If we want good people and not just those independently wealthy, we have to pay and the fact is paying 556 congressman/senators 176,000 a year is a drop in the bucket of our national budget.
    The rank and file military have been brainwashed for decades who is on their side. There is this big talk by the govt. and the people about our great military but we pay them entry level wages. My best friends uncle was a high level career military man and like so many went on to work in the Military Industrial complex and made millions and millions. He used to talk about the feel of pushing a button and watching a 100,000.00 missile fire and that was in 1980 or so. The enlisted men need to stick together and figure out who is really on their side.

  426. navy widow says:

    I am so sick of hearing how Michelle Obama and Mrs. Biden are trying soooo hard to support the military families in this country. They've been on various tv shows just gushing about how they want to help military spouses who have to cope with military life etc. Do they think having the pay and benefits decreased will help these families? Of course maybe Her Highness, Mrs. BO will take all military wives on her next vacation! Gee wouldn't that be so exciting, maybe Oprah will come too! I think I'm going to puke.

    • statepotato says:

      Yeah, because the republicans who've been in office have treated the service members better. :::rolls eyes:::

  427. We need another Col. Bud Day back in the Supreme Court. Remember it was the democrates that took away your retirement benfits. And it was Clinton and Gore that taxes your retirement check Military, Social Security, Railroad Retirement even after you paid taxes on that money when you earned it so they tax it twice

  428. A. Matters says:

    If the civilians want the break on medical benefits as the retired vets have then they should have served instead of staying home protesting our actions. But wait it takes a real brave person to let some one else do the fighting for you then down the road cry foul when they don't have the same benefits. They and our politicians can all go to hell!. This country has to learn that to be fair not all can have the same as the ones that served.

    • statepotato says:

      I don't know any civilians who stand in harms way for the rest of us shouldn't get what was promised them (or better)! I can understand why those in the public and private sector and public sector who have had their own retirments destroyed either by politicians who think all non-military government employees or wasts of space, or by companies "reorganizing away" their pensions through bankruptcy might want a little sympathy too though.

  429. Lady Marine says:

    The only thing I'm surprised at is that we haven't lost our health care sooner. I live within 25 miles of four military hospitals(yes, the DC area) but MUST use civilian doctors. I can't even get an appointment at these hospitals, PERIOD! There are so many rules about why I can't get military medical treatment it's easier negotiating the tax code! I've got 26 years of servce, was promised free, read FREE, healthcare upon retirement. Yeh! Right! You oughta see the medical deductions on my tax return. Free? And now we have a Congress with so little military experience we're really going to see fewer benefits across the board. Have you felt the impact of the BRACS yet? Fewer and fewer services are coming! It'll only get worse! Their solution: say to all of us "Thank you for your service." That's all we're gonna get.

    • Irish Green says:

      You got it right…. Your thoughts & words are the same as mind. Like you I put in Over 20yrs ….they just keep changing the rules to suit the themselves
      THANKS for watching my back & serving with me

      • RtiredTXCavTnkr says:

        I served 23 years. I was told on enlistment that if I did 20 I'd get free medical for me and the family. They also won't see me at Ft Hood even though I live here. The last time I went to my primary care I couldn't believe the amount of co-pay I had to pay for seeing the doc 5-minutes. They print that article in that crappy paper and everyone thinks that's all we pay for medical care. I think everyone in politics should be transfered over to tricare. Then I think we should look at the benefit package the auto unions working for GM/Dodge are getting(as a person that actually pays some taxes I would think they should answer to a shareholder). Then any company who got a baillout. I think we should look closer at their benefit packages and bonuses(who the hell really gets a bonus for failing).

  430. Cynthia Clow says:

    The aggravating part of this is that some who read this article in USA Today will believe it and do not know of the daily sacrifices made by military personnel. You can in no way compare what we do, what we did, to our so-called civilian counterparts. Even those in more demanding jobs such as EMS and Fire Fighters do not have the challenges that military face. Even in garrison the challenges continue; 16-hour days, 5 days a week; duties that stretch to 24-hours; multi-tasking at the ridiculous level, etc. Not even mentioning combat, deployments or non-accompanied assignments during which kids grow up and spouses grow apart. There is nothing about our pay, retirement, or benefits that is "too sweet", they were earned, and we deserve it, which is more than I can say for oxygen sucking congressman who serve just 4-years and have a better retirement and benefits than those on active duty, those who are deployed, and those who served more than 20 years. Explain how that "sweet deal" is even allowed!!

  431. jeffrey libowski says:

    dude…it just stinks! retirees deserve their due. leave that tricare alone!!!!!!!
    we paid the price for freedom…leave it alone!!!!!!!!!

  432. Why don't we try taking things from the people who aren't making sacrafices and risking their lives for THIS country that doesn't seem to appreciate those sacrafices!

    • statepotato says:

      Yeah, because the other public employees around the country haven't been getting screwed over their benefits… (!?!??!)

  433. RocketOne says:

    Gates is leaving office so he has nothing to loose he won’t need any endorsements from the President so cutting military benefits or military retiree benefits is a non issue with him.

    Comparing military retiree medical benefits to civilian is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Cuts need to come from the Congress and Senate persons who vote themselves raises and medical benefits for life. They do not put their life on the line nor have many of them served 20 or 20+ years in the military.

    They have no priorites they handed money to Wall Street and the auro industry with out a blink of an eye but they want to cut military benefits that were a “contract” agreement for those who served 20 and 20+ years. The scongress and senate NEED to get their priorities straight.

  434. YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT

  435. david gatton says:

    I also am an overpaid retiree, i joined the af. in 1956. i got married in 1958, the pay was so good i only had to work 50 to 60 hours a week parttime to live and raise a family but i stayed for 20 years. now you say i have it to easy because of tricare. senators and congress dont have to work parttime to exist. and when i went on pleasure jonts to korea or thailand my family did not accompany me i traveled in jump seats in cargo aircraft. i think i paid my dues as well as all other retires. i see where secretary gates has to fly around in an airplane without a shower. real rough. think about the harm you can cause to the faithful retires.

  436. WHEN i entered the military i.e. 1965, I was promised free full medical and dential upon retirement for the rest of my life. Not!

  437. The Poet says:

    I feel like a Native American being put on a Reservation. This is your land and no one can take it from you…..until we decide we want a part of it. Then we will take it from you. This will be the last time we do this. It won't ever happen again. Untile we want some more of your land. Then we will explain how important it is that we have your land and must take some more of it one last time. WELL CONGRESS WHEN I JOINED IT WAS FREE MEDICAL FOR LIFE. THE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY FOR RETIREES WAS 5 YEARS AFTER RETIREMENT. OR SO THE STORY WAS TOLD TO ME. SO I RETIRED AND I WAS GIVEN TRICARE PRIME AND I HAD TO PAY A FOR THAT. EVEN THOUGH I WAS ORIGINALLY TOLD MY MEDICAL WOULD BE COVERED FOR FREE FOR LIFE. I HAVE A SIGNED CONTRACT TO THAT SAYS SO. BUT THE RULES WERE CHANGED ON US ALL. WE SETTLED FOR TRICARE PRIME AND TRICARE FOR LIFE. NOW WE ARE TOLD IT IS TOO SWEET A DEAL. SO SORRY I DIDN'T SPLATTER MY SELF ALL OVER THE PROPELLOR OF THAT E2 HAWKEYE IN THE I. O. IN 1981. SO SORRY I DIDN'T GET MY EYEBALLS SUCKED OUT OF MY HEAD BY THE INTAKE OF THAT A-7 CORSAIR BACK IN 1981. SO SORRY I DIDN'T GET SQUISHED BY THE A-7 CORSAIR SLIDING ACROSS THE DECK WHEN WE WERE PARKING IT NEXT TO AN A-6 INTRUDER ON THE PORT BOW OF THE USS AMERICA IN 1982. AND PLEASE EXCUSE ME FOR NOT DROWNING ALONG WITH 22 OTHER CREW MEMBERS OF THE USS SARATOGA OFF THE COAST OF HAIFA, ISRAEL DURING THE FIRST GULF WAR. I ONLY MISSED THE FERRY BOAT THAT SANK BY 30 MINUTES. I ROLLED THE DICE FOR 20 YEARS AND WON. I PLAYED THE LOTTERY FOR 20 YEARS AND LIVED. NOW YOU WANT TO GIVE ME ONLY PART OF MY WINNINGS. OH, AND IF I HAD GOTTEN IMPROPER WITH ANY SUBORDINENT OR SUPERVIOSR I'D HAVE BEEN THROWN OUT ON MY _SS. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. BUT OUR POLITICLA LEADERS, EVEN THE PRESIDENT CAN FLOUT THE RULES OF ETHICS WITHOUT REPRISAL. YOU DISGUST ME. WE HAVE A CODE IN THE MILITARY, IT BASICALLY MEANS THAT I AS A LEADER HAVE THE FOLLOWING REPSONSIBILITY: To act in such a way that those in my charge will die at my command and not regret it. I wouldn't follow a single political leader in DC into a battle of any kind. I am ashamed of them. And the fools act as if they have been doing a good job. I wouldn't even be worth the lead of a bullet, if as a leader I ordered good warriors into battle and then ran the other way. The human tounge is incapable of describing the condition of the country Good Job Guys!!!

  438. RETIRED GRUNT says:

    USA TODAY HOPE IT GOES UNDER…AND SEC GATES COME ON GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR YOU KNOW WHAT WHERE WAS CONGRESS WHEN WE WERE GETTING SHOT AT??????? LETS CUT OT THE CONGRESS HEALTH CARE THOSE SOBS ONLY HAVE TOO SERVE 4 YEARS AND GET HEALTH CARE AND RETIRED PAY FOR LIFE SUCH A DEAL HUH !!!~!! LETS CUT OUT THEIR SWEET DEAL IT A LOT SWEETER THAN THE CRAPPY ONE WE GOT !!!

  439. COSpringsDoc says:

    No, what's too sweet a deal is Medicaid. No respondibility for anything, no drug testing required to qualify, and all you have to do is not work.
    As a doc getting paid at the same rate, tell me who I'd rather take care of. A bum or someone who put it on the line for their country?
    I DO worry that when you can retire at 38 with twenty years in and get full benefits for another 45 years (to meet the average life span of 83) if that is a sustainable system. Perhaps the second career employer should have to toss a few bucks DoD's way.

  440. H Preble says:

    While the victims of the disaster in Topeka were still suffering and looking for something to eat the Prez was drinking beer in Ireland and then he was playing ping pong in London. THEN he visited Topeka. Yesterday, while politicing thruout the country he said, "Dont panic." It is obviously time for all of us the drop whatever we are doing and run out into the streets, franticly waving our arms, screaming and running around in an absolute PANIC. Another thing, I think that anyone who causes the death of another person should be required to assume the dead person first name. Therefore President Obama would be named OSAMA OBAMA.

  441. stillbelieving says:

    I'm a bit confused as to why DoD doesn't start requiring active duty family members to pay premiums for tricare prime like the retirees must pay. That would make more sense than hitting the retirees again and again.
    If it's just a matter of it being the current law that active duty family members get Tricare PRIME for free–why not change the law?

  442. statepotato says:

    I 100% agree that the country should honor its promises to the military in regards to healthcare, and would happily support a tax increase to do so. Of course the majority of those who serve/have served vote for a party that won't increase the taxes… and I can't support keeping the promises to you by breaking the promises to all of the other government employees and retirees.

  443. From About.com "According to the Congressional Research Service, 413 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Of this number, 290 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $60,972. A total of 123 Members had retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006." Most people today would love to get the $35k as a working wage. My wife's relatives are all in Holland and Germany they consider our medical provider system barbaric, not the actual care if you can get it. I have had to take relatives to civilian ER's, people are there with problems that could been handled better earlier at the doctor's office. The above comment about 20 years military service equal to 40 years civilian is right on. Congress gets to write their on ticket.

  444. HMC USN RET says:

    I did my 20 plus years, many with the Marines as their Doc and I’m beat to **** for it. I have a bad shoulder and elbow from a field injury, I have severe chronic back pain I take narcotics for daily, and I could go on. I’m seeing doctors all the time. Without tricare, I’d go broke paying for medical bills and drugs. These are military related injuries I’ll have for the rest of my life and I expect the government to live up to their promises and take care of me!

  445. Another thing Secretary of Defense Gates commented that we cannot sacrifice our advanced equipment and that we must cut somewhere that is pay and benefits. This equipment does not operate without people no m