Congressman Vows to Block TRICARE Rx Co-pay Hike

February 23, 2012 | Terry Howell

The recent news of the Dept. of Defense’s plan to increase TRICARE fees and pharmacy co-pays has not set well with TRICARE beneficiaries – notably the loudest response has been from military retirees. Military retirees facing new and increased enrollment fees are taking the biggest hit, but, according to an article by Tom Philpott, the biggest cost savings will actually come from proposed increase in TRICARE Pharmacy co-pays, which will impact a much wider group of TRICARE beneficiaries.

Read Tom Philpott’s full ‘Military Update’ article.

According the Rear Adm. Thomas J. McGinnis, chief of pharmaceutical operations for TRICARE, the changes in drug co-pays is designed to drive beneficiaries to “military pharmacies and home delivery – and increasing their use of generic drugs are the two overarching goals.”

Philpott points out that TRICARE enrollment fee and deductible increases require congressional approval, but Defense officials have the authority to raise drug co-pays in the retail network and at mail order. However, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), chairman of the armed services personnel subcommittee, told Philpott that he will oppose any plan to raise TRICARE drug co-pays, regardless of projected savings.

“My view is persons need these pharmaceuticals and they should be convenient.  And what’s convenient is to go to a neighborhood pharmacy,” Wilson said. “So I don’t want to discourage that any more than has been.”

Unless Congress steps in, military retirees, their families, and active duty family members will be asked to pay $26 for brand name drugs at their local pharmacies and “home-delivery” next fall. And, these co-pays will continue to increase by $2 a year until topping out at $34 in October 2016.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about this issue.

About Terry Howell

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

Comments

  1. USAF Retired says:

    This recommended change to the treatment of military retirees has awakened me. I have sent messages to my Representative, Senators, DOD and to the Executive Branch. I will closely monitor my elected officials actions or lack there of and will cast my vote in coming elections based on their record. I will make my voice heard whenever possible. I pray my fellow retirees will do the same. Doing your so-called fair share is one thing but what DOD has come up with under the title of " Working age Retirees" regardless of health or ability to earn additional income goes fair beyond the pale.

    • I have too. It is good that at least some elected officials are on our side.
      Shame on the ones who are not.

    • James Stolarczyk says:

      “Working age” is a scam. Panetta defines working age as being from the date you retire until you are 65. Of course at 65 you are forced onto Medicare/Medicaid. This way you are always considered working age which will be an excuse to keep raising our costs. Congress needs to define working age for military veterans, I suggest because the military is a dangerous, physically demanding job, “working age” be lowered to age 50 for any retiree with a VA disability compensation rating below 30%. Above 30% the working age definition does not apply.

    • The basic facts are rather politically incorrect; Obama first broached the idea that "an all volunteer force" should be responsible for providing their own health care. Anyone following the performance of this administration and appointees has noticed the placement of the personnel of The Armed Forces at "the rear," with the exception of their prominence as a "backdrop" to "staging" of Obama as an intellect and cerebral as opposed to a casual onlooker? For practical purposes, the civilian leadership of the Dept of Defense has become "the Pentagon," and not the leadership of The Armed Forces of The United States, the ones that bleed and die!

    • I.V. Baucoupe says:

      I see that this is a shadow. I am aware that the presidents agenda includes not allowing the manipulation of votes by creating situations like this one. Your benefits will not be increased but this is being thrown up to get military personel to vote against some one who is fighting for you. Mcginnis and “the guy from South Cacalacki” has a good idea for idiots but this will go no further. You can bet on that.

  2. I paid $230.00 a year for Tricare Prime on retirement, With Tricare for Life I now pay almost $1200.00 a year. Now a rate Hike–I thought that with 34 plus years I earned the promise of health care when I enlisted in 1965. So much for a promise. When will it end.

  3. This is Bull to me. Which there should not be an iincreace in copay in Tricare drugs.

  4. So, our President feels it is absolutely necessary and everyone's right to have "contraception" for FREE but retirees from the military who were promised free health care for life need to pay more for their NECESSARY medicines and care. THIS is what passes for a Commander in Chief now-a-days I guess.

    • First of all, the President knows, as you should know, that birth control pills aren't free. The new new regulation says that contraception drugs must be provided in insurance prescription plans, just as Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs are now included. The costs, of course, will be passed along by the insurance companies in their premiums, just like every other cost. +++ Military retirees were at one time promised free medical care but they weren't promised unilimited medical care regardless of the cost. Military benefits are now about 30 percent of the total DOD budget, and rising drastically each year. Tricare costs are the biggest contributor to the spiraling DOD benefit costs. And retiree Tricare costs are the fastest rising of all.

      • I don't mean to insult your pea brained mind, but you are not a veteran, and if you are, you have retired as an overpaid officer or high ranking civilian. STFU and crawl back into your hole. Get this through your brain damaged head; you can not compare a civilian job to a military job. Idiot.

        • Is that how the Military taught you to advocate your position? Through insults and division?

          Most of what fulletk pointed out are FACTS. Contraception under the new rules are made available, they are not free. Military benefits are 30% of the DoD budget, and the fastest rising part of the budget. Those are facts. You don't have to like them, but they are the facts.

      • Fact: Pennsylvania school employees, 34 percent of total compensation is paid for benefits (vice 30 percent for military) , 16 percent of that for retirement contribution by state and school district. School employee contributes 7 percent of salary to retirement (military personnel according to Defense Business Board contribute 7 percent to retirement through deferred compensation). Military personnel contributed another 7 percent for what is now called Tricare and Tricare for Life. What military personnel are left with is an empty trust box filled with Treasury IOUs. The Defense Department spent those funds since 1974 on other costs. Military were promised reasonable medical care; there has been no call for unlimited medical care. Anyone who uses Tricare knows that the government imposes the same restrictions as imposed on Medicare or most private sector health plans.

      • Facts: President Obama directed free birth control pills and other contraceptive devices as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Pregnancy is not a disease. Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs are not free when provided through Tricare Pharmacy for Tricare Standard, Prime, or For Life.

    • The president's actions indicate he is backing radical environmentalists who believe the world population needs to be controlled. Just google the attempted rapist, Al Gore and add the term global warming. Obama is building an entitlement society out of lazy slime who think the government owes them a living whether they contribute or not. A vote for Obama is a slap in the face to every veteran who ever served to protect this country.

  5. Retired PH1 says:

    As a concerned retired Navy veteran, any attempt to help balance the budget "on the backs of veterans" is an insult to any woman or man who has worn a uniform of the U.S. military.These proposals , if allowed, will not only affect the 1 % retired and 8 % prior service military but those future veterans and their families.

    The $14 + trillion national debt is not the fault of any veteran, dead or alive.

    Federal lawmakers with military service is on a rapid decline. During the Vietnam era 74% of the 535 voting members of Congress had military service. The present 111th Congress has only 22% with military service.

    Our mission, as veterans, is to see that all elected Federal lawmakers are returned the favor with the same means tested health fees that were forced upon veterans and to impose term limits on their service.

    • In full agreement with PHI. These proposed bugetary actions are appalling. Additionally, the lack of long term capacity and capability for timely and adequate treatment for those medically retired and disabled vets from Iraq and Afghanistan is not addressed. They presented themselves and served with honor in the national interest and are subsequently dismissed as a political expediency… Now is the time and opportunity for the electorate to hold our elected officals to the same level of expectancy and creditability?

  6. We need to go after this administration and every politician who supports this unfair obama administration. At work, in the home or on the streets.

  7. Common Sense says:

    “military pharmacies and home delivery – and increasing their use of generic drugs are the two overarching goals.”

    This plan to increase the co-pay is sensible. If you want to purchase a brand name drug, then it is reasonable that you should pay for the privilege to do so.

    On another note. To the people in the service (past and present) that believe that the debt crisis is not their fault, I have to disagree; we contribute to our own problems by being stubborn and greedy.

    Below is just one example of how we are short-changing the American people.

    "I paid $230.00 a year for Tricare Prime on retirement, With Tricare for Life I now pay almost $1200.00 a year. Now a rate Hike–I thought that with 34 plus years I earned the promise of health care when I enlisted in 1965. So much for a promise. When will it end."

    The average individual pays approximately $3000 per year for health insurance. Therefore, it is inappropriate that you should want to ONLY pay $230 per year for care; you paid less than 10% than your fellow American. Even when the plan bumps up to 1200, you are paying less than 50%. Furthermore, when compared to a federal government worker that is 40 years YOUNGER than you…you are still paying less despite the fact that you are the far more RISKY client.

    As a current soldier, I am disappointed that these boards are filled with self-righteous, entitled, and greedy old souls. I want to see leadership from the preceding generation that makes us part of the solution; I think that is something worth working towards.

  8. Thank God for Joe Wilson! At least one member of congress has some sense!!
    Obama CERTAINLY DOES NOT!!

  9. Craig USCG/Med Ret says:

    I think their pay should be the same as an O-5 and their pay raises should be the same as ours and their health care should be the same as ours and their retirement should be the same as ours. Then I be we would see major pay raises and Tri-Care would be even better than it is now.

  10. So happy someone mentioned going from 230 a year to1200 a year for healthcare.america treats thier older people like dogs.I hope the younger generation realize that they need to start fighting this now,or things will be much worse for them.we need to organize a march on Washington,to start fighting back,or shut up.just airing your thoughts here won’t help.think about it.

  11. As a new retiree in the system it is dispicable. If the rate hikes for medical insurance increases, I will take my chances without it. It is disgusting how general and higher officers deem it nessisary to throw this on the backs of retirees. I retired as an E7 and the percentage is not comparible to the rate increase for an officer retiree. Purhaps if the rate hikes were comparible by rank there would be more outrange. I certainly hope they have to institute the draft after these outrageous turn of events. Thanks to an ungrateful nation.

    • As a once “higher officer” I agree completely.

    • I retired as an E7 in 2004, my retirement is probably higher than yours, but under the new plan if we get a COLA this year, my retirement salary crosses the line into the highest rate for tricare. And I am just making ends meet with a working wife and 2 kids in college. Of course I make too much to qualify for hand outs. And now my healthcare cost went up.

  12. tfslasvegas says:

    I served in the Navy from 1973 to 1994 and my retirement benefits are horrible. Compare military retirement to federal/state/teacher employee benefits. Why is it the federal government will send military into harms way and then when they are finished with us, they kick us to the curb. I was told by my recruiter that Navy would always take care of me for my service. My VA claims are a joke. My retirement pay is a joke. Now, you want to raise my TRICARE premiums and co-pays. How can the US send billions of dollars to other country's to build their military Strength and deprive the US military of pay/benefits? According to our commander in chief, we are paid too much for dedicating our lives to the US military. Union members are treated better than our military. GOD BLESS AMERICA! GOD BLESS THE US MILITARY THAT FIGHTS FOR YOUR FREEDOM!

    • For comparison to Federal Employees (the only comparison that matters, as state and local employees are NOT paid by the Federal Government), go to:
      http://www.opm.gov/retire/index.aspx
      http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/

      Take a close look, as these are the same benefits Congress has. For the average federal employee, they accrue retirement at 1%/year. The best (Law Enforcement and Congress) accrue it at 1.7%/year. Compare this to the Military 2.5%/year. They also contribute to their retirement, and normally do NOT collect until age 62.

      For health care, in addition to paying a few hundred dollars a month while employed, they get no health care benefits until they start collecting retirement, then they again pay a few hundred dollars a month for the privilege.

      I'm not in favor of the proposed cuts, but let's be aware of what we are asking for. If we ask to be treated the same as Congress or the Federal Employees, we're liable to get that – and lose out.

      • Fact: Pennsylvania school and state employees also retire at 2.5% X highest salary X years service as do most large city police and fire employees. Fact: military retirement is calculated on base pay. Federal, state, and municipal employees calculated on total salary (including stacked overtime, unused sick and vacation pay) which is 34 percent higher.

        • Fact: Pennsylvania (or any other state/locality) employees are NOT paid by the US government. Any comparison with them is, at best, a distraction. At worst, it give Congress a point of another organization going bankrupt with high costs.

          Fact: Federal Employee retirement is based on Base Pay, NOT overtime.

          Fact: FERS and FEHBP are worse than Military retirement and TriCare.

          Feel free to go for FERS/FEHBP if you think they are so much better than ours. With 20 years in, you get 34% of base pay (assuming current LE rates, the highest), collectible at age 50. For that, you pay 1.1% of your base pay every year (cash in). Between retirement and collecting, you have NO health insurance.

          Plan on spending at least $200/month on health insurance, plus deductibles. If you have a family, plan on a lot more.

          That's what Congress and the Federal Law Enforcement have. Regular FERS is even worse – it's 1%/year, not 1.7%.

          And it gets worse if HR3813 passes – cutting the payout in increasing the pay-in.

          • The Banshee says:

            Retiree—————————————————————————————Remember the military makes less than Federal and state workers! That is why we receive higher a percentage than Federal and state workers receive. In my case I spent much of my time away from home living in Tents, Hooch’s and Quonset huts. When we were not living in the four mentioned housing I lived in mostly crowded WW2 barracks which you could see out of the walls, all most as well as we could see out of the windows. The barracks were cooled by huge fans which were in the walls at each end of the barracks, or they were cooled by wind blowing through the warped planks in the walls. It was only when I married near the end my carrier in the Air Force that I lived in half way decent housing. That is why we should earn a decent retirement. I retired as an E7 in 1980; an E5 now receives more than I do now, I retired with over 22.

      • John R. De Lude says:

        One must also remember that all military persons were NOT the highest paid by any means. When it came to retirement after 22.5 years and at an E-7 pay grade, my "Pension" was an astounding $350.00 per month. WHOOPIE. I chose to attend college (Michigan State University) which used a "Quarter System', meaning four (4) terms per year, after retirement (at a fixed rate) paid for by the GI BILL, however tuition fees (per credit hour) went from less than $11.00 per credit hour to more than $52.00 per hour in less than 5 years with NO increase in GI Bill benefits.

    • I think we have all heard the promises, I retired from the Army and believe me, branch doesn't matter when they (the silver spoon kids on the hill) decide to screw someone, they always look at the folks that really do not have much power in the way of voting, one percent I believe so we must all continue to speak out, joint the organizations that truly do look out for our rights, and that's not the VA that's for sure, write everyone on a continual basis, I write from the ground up at least twice a week.

      it really looks like they are trying to have another Vietnam here, they can't cut benefits to the ones that keep them and their families safe while they hide behind politics and think that when this country, formally known as America, gets tired of getting screwed they would respond to a draft, don't think so, they never learn from experience, but then again, they really don't have any exposier to real life, cheers.

    • I joined in 1970-1991, many wars and police actions. I was promised FREE healthcare for my wife and I for life, what happened to that? We have lost most of our benefits, most of that started with the Clinton administration he started the whole tricare co-pay movement. Now this administration is doing the same. We retirees as well as all active reserve and guard take note, WE can change all of this by selecting a individual who understands the needs of military and their dependance. Elections are coming, we have a very large voice use it and have mom and pop, sis and bro,uncles and aunts etc. to help US improve the life we EARNED! We are not asking for a hand out, just what is fair. GET A PRESIDANT THAT CARES ABOUT US!!

    • I retired from the AF in 1997 with 24 years of service and received 60% of my basic pay as my retirement compensation. My step-dad worked for a manufacturing company for 25 years, was forced out by restructure, and only received $850 a month, without any COLA built in. This is just one example of how fortunate we military retirees are. As for federal retirement, as a GS-13 with 10 years of federal service, my FERS will be about $800 a month. Far less than my military retirement but better than my step-day got. Btw, my step-dad was a mechanical engineer who oversaw a work force of about 15 engineers….and his retirement was less than an E-5 would draw at retirement. Oh well, such is life. Thank you for your service and good luck with the VA as you'll need it…..

  13. H.D. Kilnutn says:

    Welfare recipients have better health care coverage in the U.S. now than most retirees. At least they are not bothered with what will be raised, everything is free, thank you Uncle Sam for taking care of the Militrary Retirees, NOT.. Thank God here in the Philippines where we retired we have better and cheaper health care coverage under Philippine Health Plan, cost is practically nothing compared to TriCare, which is quite useless here and also Medicare Parts A & B not really worth what you pay here monthly to stay enrolled in "TriCare for Life", soon to be "Tricare for the Year until we decide to raise it again"..

  14. i put in a claim for disability for ptsd and other physical problems. they will take at least a year, they want me to give them dates of the incidents of when things happened, they said as close as possible, within a month on either side. i don't remember any dates. it's not like you are keeping a dairy, at least i didn't. my application had copie of my health records attahced and they still want me to send them more info. what more can i send other than what is in the medical records. so i guess i won't be getting my disability approved, but that is keeping in line with obama's instructions of taking from the military to be able to put more in his pocket.

    • Same problem with my claims for injuries documented in my med records! Without witness names, addresses and phone numbers for cross checking, my claim was denied. I served between 1968 and 1972. I don't even remember the correct names of witnesses much less where in the world they are today. Totally stumped by the VA.

    • EMCM SS Retired says:

      I hear you! I was diagnosed with PTSD and the psych recommended I submit a claim for compensation. Six months later I am still getting "we are still processing your claim" letters. I will pass out cold the day that it takes six months for the gov't to demand something from me and expect it "right now".

  15. EMCM SS Retired says:

    Very few in Washington give a rat's a**. All I have ever gotten back when I have sent a letter to any elected Representative or Senator is the rubber stamped "I will keep your comments in mind". THAT is when they even write back about the issue I wrote about. Often it's about a different topic entirely.

    The "caring about veterans is nothing more than lip service.

  16. How about Congress raising their retirement health care 200% and taking away al raises for three consecutive years, and taking away all benefits if you didn't serve 20 years? I congradulate this man when so many others have sold out!

  17. Senator McCain is the one that shocks me the most on the Military Benefits issues. Talk about someone who run for President Of The United States and failed. I certainly am GLAD he did. He has SOLD OUT every Military Retiree
    with his support of TRICARE increases. So much for the promises he made to us. There are others who follow his points of view that were never in uniform or in Harms Way. Thank you to a Greatfull Nation and its GREEDY INCAPABLE Politicians.

  18. Argue with facts and logic not propaganda.

  19. These people get free or cheap food. free hair cuts and who know what else "perks" the get and like McCain they give a shi*. General Westmorland in Vietnam was lolly gagging on the Beach in vietnam with several men (and ) MPs for protection and it galled me that we had to do this so he and his daughter could get a tan.

  20. Dan McCormack says:

    Well, Obama (the supreme leader) has done it again. He has targeted a group (military retirees) that can not defend themselves other than by their elected representatives who have apparretnly chosen to sit on their hands and let him do whatever he wants. We were denied a COLA increas for 2011. Fiinally got a COLA raise this year. But by the time the increase kicked in to our retirement it was easten up with increases accross the board (foo, gas, etc). Now we are expected to give up more of our hard earned retirement income.

    • Dan you are not well versed on how things operate, the President nor the congress have anything to do with our COLAS. It is not the President that wants to raise the tricare co-pay, it's the Department of Defense. Many or you Republicans think this is the President's fault well you are misinformed. The DOD can raise the co-pays without the consent of Congress.

      • The Defense Department budget is ultimately approved and presented by the Secretary of Defense who was selected by and gets his orders from the President. The President sets the general guidance and can overrule anything in that budget for HIS budget proposal to Congress. Now, it's true that Congress must approve the President's budget before it takes effect. It is also true that DoD has the authority under the EXECUTIVE branch (read that under the President) to increase co-pays without consent of Congress but they work for the President and he could direct them not to do so.

  21. Shirley Connolly says:

    Before you begin blaming the President, you might consider the fact the wealthiest Americans get a free pass here and he has fought to change that for us. The republicans are fighting for the wealthy and, Joe Wilson, you cannot have it both ways. Cut, Cut, Cut, is the republican motto. If they are going to cut it should not be in benefits, it should be the contractors, and the biggest thing is to get the price gouging out of health care. This comes from the healthcare being for sale on the stock market through corporate hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and private insurance companies. Yours and my healthcare is up for speculation. We are the only country in the world who does that. It is time we start getting the cost down and tell them it is not okay to bet on Mom's chemotherapy.

    • What do these comment have to do with taking care of the military ? Why make this a political issue when it comes down to taking care of retirees.
      If the reference weathy didn't serve it not revelant. Otherwise, lets look at those who get lots of freebies for no contribution to the greater good of all Americans. Those that didn't serve in the military? Why are we looking to give more medical away (Obamacare) when we can't take care of those who have and are still paying for what was deemed to be a benefit of serving 20 or more years in the military?

      • Miss Connolly's point is if we would stop giving the the big tax breaks to people who are supposed to be helping the economy and are not the govt would not have to look at other ways to fix the budget, abd besides that if congress would look in the mirror and fix themselves and their benefits that would help. This is NOT an Obama item its a congress item. Multiple presidents in the past have tried to do the same thing

      • Actually, the reference is valid.
        It appears that to the country, only the active duty is the valuable one. One needs money to pay money. If no revenue is raised (by protecting the rich with the loop holes and tax deferment – yes, this is how we lose money), they cut everywhere…..and those that matter least, retirees, will pay….always have!

    • So I guess you don't think that 15+ trilion is bad either, right? Please, you can defend the stupid. I got out of $18,000 in 11 months on teachers pay, E7 retirement pay by cutting my spending. Cut, CUT and cut some more! That is the solution to our deficit and debt!!! What's yours? Have you ever been offered a job by a middle class or poor person? It's always popular to blame someone else who have worked hard to get wealth, yet it's leaches like you who want their money! WTF???

      • I don't see her saying that at all. I see her pointing out that:
        1. We have taxes at historic lows, bringing in only 15% of GDP (vs normal 18-20%)

        2. Afghanistan and Iraq were the first wars in history that were NOT paid for by tax increases.

        3. Even David Stockman (OMB Chair for President Reagan) has decried supply side economics and stated we need tax increases. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/The-Vote/20

        Since there is no way to balance the deficit through cuts without gouging Social Security, Medicare, and Defense (among many other things), calling for more cutting means even more fights on our part to preserve our benefits.

        • Thank you. Why does nobody see that by not taxing the rich this country is hurting! You cannot get out of trillions of debt by cutting 'only'.

    • Mad DoD employee says:

      Good lord, not this wealthiest Americans tripe on here. Give it up, class warfare is so last century. Funny thing is, with 2 kids in colleges and dual incomes, I still have to be careful and under Obama I have been forced to pay more taxes not less, and I am well south of of the "wealthiest Americans" line.

      Fill up your car and ask yourself what he has done, it was a buck 80 under Bush, now 4 bucks and rising. He even said he wanted higher gas prices and he delivered.

      • Amen! You are so right about this one! I am so tired of hearing how the wealth need to pay more! Maybe Miss Connally should ask the President why him and his family have taken 16 different vacations since he has been in office and who was flipping the bill for those 16 vacations? The answer is the American taxpayer has been flipping the bill for his 16 vacations. Why should I have to pay for his vacations? He doesn't pay for mine? Nor does he pay for the gas that I use to go on vacation, nor the plane ticket. All he does his hope one Air Force One, with his security team and doen't pay one cent! As Congress how pays for their vacatiions and fuel and haircuts? We do. So before anyone can say that the Wealth of this country need to pay more, they need to look at their own spending habits!

      • George W. Bush wasn't to blame when gas prices surged above $4.50 a gallon in summer 2008, and President Barack Obama is not responsible for the 30-cents-a-gallon spike we've seen since December.
        During Bush's second term, speculative trading, a weak dollar and growing demand from China and India were the culprits. Today, once again, Wall Street speculators are part of the reason, along with the uncertainty of supply from Iran and an increase in demand from the improving economy.
        Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/29/4299876/gas-pric

      • Crude oil prices where the same in summer of 2008 as they are now. Google it!

    • Let's see military retirees pay more we loss, while DOD civilians union employees go un touched you figure it out Shirley. Obama has to go, Jimmy Carter on steriods.

      • I am a veteran who has gone to war and I do not believe that anything should just be handed to me. I do however believe that what I was promised should be given since that was what I worked for. With that said I believe how heartedly that Obama’s health care has done more good than it has bad. Health Care costs have risen that is not his fault, it’s been going on for years and years, also I do not believe that you can blame just Obama for the deficit, you forget we had an Republican president for 8 years before Obama’s 3, what was the deficit before Obama took his position as our President? I believe it was over 10 Trillion dollars. Think about your responses before you post, Not everyone has to agree, but be respectfull of others.

        • Kristie. You may believe that, but it doesn't make it true. You are confusing the total federal debt with the annual deficit. The debt in 2008 was about 10 Trillion dollars (raised from 5.6 Trillion during Bush's 8 years). It is up around 16 Trillion now. Deficit on the other hand is measured annually. That has been running more than a Trillion per year under Obama. This DOD proposal is purely from the executive branch, delivered by the SECDEF to Congress. Health care costs have risen due to Obama care, his proposal that he pushed through democratic Congress contrary to the desires of the general public. Why is it "not his fault"?

          • In 2010, the U.S. spent more ($414 Billion) on INTEREST on the national debt than it spent on many federal departments, including Education and Veterans Affairs (according to the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank). The CBO documents considerably lower interest spending in 2010 at $197 Billion, due primarily to low interest rates. However, this chart demonstrates their expectation that the amount paid in interest will increase each year. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/f… As for healthcare costs having risen due to The Affordable Care Act, the insurance exchanges aren't due to be rolled out until 2014, so it's unlikely the ACA would have had much impact at this point. Besides, as this article illustrates, few health care administrators are attributing higher prices to the ACA: http://factcheck.org/2010/11/the-truth-about-heal

          • 1. This DoD proposal is based on the total spending allowed by Congress in the Congressional Budget Act of 2011 ($525 billion base).

            2. the Patient Affordability Healthcare Act is not in place, and has NOT been in place, so it is NOT the reason DoD healthcare costs went from $19 billion in 2001 to $48 billion now. The overall healthcare economy is going up, and TriCare is tied directly to the US healthcare market.

            Better for us to push to increase access for Retirees and Survivors to the MTFs, which cost less – http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/03/military-de

          • Ever paid interest on interest on interest? The wars are STILL going and costing. The Iraq war was estimated to be one billion.

        • Kristie from reading your remark you are part of the problem.

        • Kristie, I will be a lot nicer to you, than I was to "Shirley", because even though I disagree with you WHOLEHEARTEDLY… you have served. From me, that buys you my willingness to at least read and consider your comments, before just ignoring them, or attacking them. Your 1st, and 2nd sentences have my full support and belief. On your third sentence, you apparently drank the coolaid.

          I don't know what you were promised for benefits when you joined and went to war. I DO know what I was promised, and what we see today IS NOT IT! You can praise Obama all you want, but there are many of us who can SEE the negative impact he has had on this country, by numerous acts. The Keystone pipeline would be one thing that has hurt us, another would be the appointing of Eric Holder as the AG… ever heard of a little op called fast and furious? Let's see now, how about Solyndra? He is the worst thing that has ever happened to this country, even worse than Carter. Can't blame Obama for the debt? Yeah, right. I visited Pickett State Park last week, it was built by the CCC (google if you are not familiar), which was a government jobs program to help pull us out of the "big depression". THEY ACTUALLY PUT AMERICANS TO WORK. They didn't flap their lips about "shovel ready projects" that DID NOT EXIST. I thought about my response, and if you are offended, the only thing I can say is: STOP DRINKING THE KOOLAID. He is not the answer, he is the cancer that is killing America.

      • I am a DoD civilian employee and I don't know where you got your info. We haven't received a pay raise the past two years and all of my costs have gone up i.e. cost for insurance. Unless you are in the position don't get your info from Rush and Faux news.

    • jose gonzalez says:

      You must be one who support Obama who is trying to screw the retired military. I do not qualify for Tricare because I have other insurance, but I have to pay for my wife. Obama is to blame for the mess we are in.

    • You are brain washed like all the others that have voted for a democrat. They tell you what you want to hear then do what every they want. Look at the defecit right now,. It was the President and his Congress that have kept spending and spending and spending, that has lead to a $15 trillion dollar deficet, but they won't take responsibility for that, they are always passing the buck to Presidetnt Bush or the Republlicans. The Democrats have had controll of the House and Senate for almost 4 years and they have done NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Along with the President. Evereyone wanted change, well how do they like the change that has been brought upons the American people and their families?

    • The Banshee says:

      Our president has really helped our country, #1 He has bankrupted our country. #2 He Bowes and apologizes to our enemies. #3 He insults our allies. #4 He is trying to gut our military. #5 He is trying to take all military, and military retires benefits away. #6 He grovels to the corrupt unions. He shoved Obama care down America's throat. #7 He has all most doubled our national debt in 3 years. #8 He is anti-Christian. #9 He has no idea how to lead. #10 besides that is he is a great president

    • Shirley, this article appears to be about TRICARE, not healthcare in General. BUY A FREAKING CLUE SHIRLEY! "Wealthiest Americans get s free pass"? MY AZZ! "republicans are fighting for the wealthy"? AGAIN, buy a freaking clue here. While you might get me to agree that the majority of Republicans are protecting the wealthy, and that both parties will cheerfully throw us all under the bus, in favor of their party power politics… you need to get off of Joe on this one. "wealthiest Americans"? WTH are you talking about? I am a disabled Veteran, I run a small business to try an earn what money I can, which was less than $16,000 in 2011. On this issue, Joe is fighting for ME, and my wife. You need to buy a clue, BEFORE you "run your fingers". Shoot me an address, and I can probably scrape up a buck to help you buy it. Is my post offensive to yo? I hope so, because your inane babbling was most assuredly offensive to me, and every other Veteran who has a disability due to serving this country, TO ENSURE YOU CAN SOUND LIKE A FOOL.
      Norm in Rockwood, TN

    • There is enough blame to go around. However, the fact is that the presnt administration wants to gut the military. They know exactly what they are doing dispite that the pundits say they don't know what they are doing. In fact tthey know exactly what they are doing. I wonder how much longer the President will be able to brag that we have the strongest military force in the history of the world.

    • Either you work for Obama or in the PUBLIC Sector. How about cutting the pay and benefits of public employees. What is the cost savings if we reduce the public sector pay and benefits to that of the military and while we're at it stop pay those who don't produce a thing for the economy and haven't contributed to programs they are paid from. Put blame where blame is due; this president of yours lives high on the hog with millions going to just his vacations. In 21 years of service, I never took as much time off as this guy.

    • You better investigate before you sound off. Wealthy people dont get free healthcare. They have healthcare the same as ours, they just have the extra money to pay for all the extras they want done. Dont be a fool and believe that the wealthy pay nothing. they pay the lion share of our taxes also. Did you know that? They worked for what they have, even the ones that got money from family, they had to work to keep it. The President is going to charge the poor to pay for their healthcare now, when they got it free at the nearest ER before. And dont say i dont know what i am talking about. I work in healthcare. I see it everyday. You are gonna be told what you can have done, what you will pay for it, When you can have it done, and you are gonna pay more to get it. DONT be blinded by all the BS.

  22. devildog2006 says:

    Why are they targeting military retirees? I am a service disabled combat veteran that did 3 tours in support of OIF and it is hard enough to make ends meet with the paltry E-5 retirement, and the current fee's and co-pays. This is hurting all of us that went to war, did our duty, and paid a cost for it. I will oppose ANY congressman that wants to target us for cuts while trying to handout tax cuts to their rich buddy's like candy. At least take care of the guys that went to combat and laid it all on the line – at a minimum.

  23. Pam Alvarado says:

    I don't understand how you can expect all the retired people to pay more and more out of pocket, we are already drained of everything we have and you want to raise everything on us. Why don't the goverment try to live on what we live on and see if they make it for just one year and i bet we would save so much money and then could afford to pay the countries dept.. these people have fought for you and me and deserve to have an affordable health care, and also tricare for life should be kept the same as it is. we can't afford for it to go up either.This world is coming to a bad place real quick, but we can give other countries free health care . makes no sence to me…

    • Why do they not look at their own retirement and health benefits first? Although cuts in their benefits would not amount to much in the big picture it would show the American people that they are not self riteous, self serving indivuals. If they serve for the satisfaction of serving let them put their mouths where their wallets are.

  24. Fight back, don't vote for those politicians who support this, get local vets to run for office, local, state and national. People who know and understand what some of us have gone thru.

    • Look at John MCane, He was one of us, and he turned his back on us. You can not trust them..
      Jim USA Retired.

  25. bamalamadingdong says:

    Its both Republican and Democrat, the American System of Government is broken and broke. Both parties are to blame, your a fool if you can see this. Rep and Dem have both abuse the system for over 50 years. Both parties will tel you anything and sell their own mother a tampon for a dollar. The all volunteer military has bee the worst idea ever, they will tell you you volunteered for this to happen to you. The same people in government you worked beside each day, who work their w3ay up the system will sell you out. This is the same government and military that were Indian givers to the Indians, you think it has ever changed… Revolution, Coup de tat will be the only option for American to purge the corruption in the American Government. They system is out of control. Unfortunately our military are mostly yes men and dont have the ball to stand up

  26. just a disabled vet says:

    I too wrote several e-mails… I had the reply "this is you doing your share for your country". The only person not to reply was President Obama! As for this being more sacrifice for my country… I believe giving them my husband and being a disabled vet was enough! Just ask my kids growing up with out thier father and with a disabled mother. We already have to pay for health insurence twice with medicare! When is our sacrifices enough, why do they keep taking from us? I'm trying to raise money so my daughter can go to college, unfortunately my husband died before 9-11 and the grants and scholarships for military surviving children have now been allocated to post 9-11 children, Including the pell grant and presidents scholarship. I guess my husbands life wasn't as worthy!

  27. The current group of legislators have virtually no knowledge of how military service was 30 or 40 years ago. At that time all types of promises were made to intice you to make a career in the military. The promises were all part of the "defered compensation" that was the legislative talk of the day. In other words your pay was next to nothing in those years because it would be made up for when you retire. Then you will enjoy and benifit from all of the wonderful bennies that were promised. Free healthcare for life/medications etc. The idiots we elected have no idea or concept or what promises were made nor do they care. They cut where they get the least resistance and give to where they will get the most votes. And John McCain you are one wrong doing …………….

  28. WOW Never realized there are so many Obama Zombies in this country. It is a fact that a ZOMBIE is BRAINLESS !!!!!!!!!! I have an idea why don't we just tax all these Obama Zombies 3/4th of their retirement pay and ship them to Cuba !!!!!!!!

  29. retiredairforce says:

    Meanwhile millions illegally in this country and the thousands more illegally entering the country every week get free healthcare including organ transplants, chemotherapy, dialysis, pre-natal care, delivery of anchor babies, post natal care and lifetime care and treatment for any birth defects, all on the taxpayer dime. Democrats also defeated the Heller Amendment during Obamacare deliberations which would have prevented taxpayers from subsidizing illegal alien health care insurance policies.
    The administration and congress refuse to secure the borders (Obama also stopped worksite enforcement, deportations and rewards illegal aliens with amnesty and work permits), are raising taxes and trying to balance the budget on the backs of military retirees and veterans.
    We are subsidizing the open borders agenda for free health care and other benefits for illegal aliens to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars annually and the costs rise as more impoverished and uneducated illegally cross our wide open borders.
    Obama cares only about illegal alien cheap labor, more union members to shore up sagging numbers and illegal alien votes, leaving those who sacrificed so much defending, protecting and preserving our freedoms to tumble in midstream.

    • Millions of illegals, millions on entitlement programs, tons of union members = VOTES FOR Obama………

  30. patrick johnson says:

    Obama is allowing this to happen because he has no respect for the military or the USA.. He is worst president in U.S. history. OMG stands for OBAMA MUST GO.

    • You as is most Reppublicans, in thinking that this is Obama's fault, I wish he had the power as you claim he does and things would change for the better, you are an IDIOT.

      • patrick johnson says:

        You are the IDIOT!!!!! because Obama and dumb liberals like You are ruining this great country. He is the commander in chief and needs to held responsible for something. Everything isn't always Bush fault because Obama has not accomplished anything in three years of office. All libearls spew hatred and venom and never accept responsibility and for their actions or failures. Democrats SUCK!!@!!

      • He may not be to blame, but if that's true why has he not spoken out against this. Could it be because he SUPPORTS IT?

    • President Obama is not solely to blame…members of congress should equally share both accomplishments as well as failures. Our TriCare premiums have not increased in the 15 years I have been in Prime. We should not be exempt from rising health care costs and should be willing to pay a bit more for the tremendous health care coverage TriCare provides…

      • 15 years on tri-care prime? Maybe you should have to wait until age 60 for any benifits, like Reservist have to do. That would keep the cost lowert.

        • retiree says:

          Cincha was not talking about how long he/she had been on TriCare Prime. Rather, that, since TriCare Prime was instituted in 1995, there were NO premium increases until this year.

      • Agreed that Congress has a hand in this – the Congressional Budget Act dictated this year's defense total by requiring $478 billion in defense cuts over the next decade.

        The ball is in Congress's court to do the right thing, as they themselves said in 2011 under the 2012 NDAA

        NDAA 2012 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h11

        "Title VII – Health Care Provisions
        Subtitle A – Improvements to Health Benefits
        Section 701 –
        Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) career military personnel and their families endure unique and extraordinary demands and make extraordinary sacrifices over the course of a 20-30 year career, and (2) those decades of sacrifice constitute a significant pre-paid premium for health care during a career member's retirement that is over and above what the member pays with money. Limits, beginning with FY2012, the increase in the annual DOD patient enrollment fees to the percentage by which retired pay is increased."

        And as Senator Webb recently stated during hearings:
        Sen Jim Webb (D-VA)
        "I grew up in the Marine Corps tradition, and no Marine is ever left behind. A great model of that was the Chosin Reservoir when the 1st Marine Division brought out not only its wounded, but it strapped its dead on the trucks. We will not leave a Marine behind. I feel just as strongly about the commitment that we have made to lifetime medical care to the people who have served. They have relied on this – I know there is no written contract – but they have relied on it as a moral contract. I have lived that. I have observed it,” said Webb.
        http://www.moaa.org/Main_Menu/Take_Action/Legisla

    • Chuck Haenel says:

      It is typical nowadays to blame our president for all the indiscretions of previous administrations. President Bush got us into this fiscal mess by spending money we didn't have on a war we didn't need (Iraq) and by coddling those high income individuals with low, oh so low tax rates!
      Before president Reagan taxes on high income individuals were well over 50%. Those taxes did not stop our economy from growing or throw us into a recession (spell that depression) as deep as the one that Republican president and congress has.

    • creolecount says:

      Present day Congress and George Bush is to blame for the mess this country is in…………………………..

  31. Bluewater Navy says:

    Where did EQUALITY GO from this country? I beleive it has gone to the Greedy Machine. our nation used to Great, now it is sinking in stature and is no longer respected by world powes. Now this nation is known as big brother by taking care of any country that has a problem, which is a noble thing, but we can not spend nobility out of our striving to to keep a roof over our heads or put food in our babies mouths or to get a decent job. Why? Cause most are out of country or soon to leave. Politics is a liar's game becuse history has the proof! All citizens of this nation should working to keep this nation fair and equal. Most of all respect U S military servicemen and women active and retirees.

  32. retiredairforce says:

    I sympathize with you tfslasvegas. Unlike most Air Force I spent most of my career on combat army posts (TACP's where I saw very little of the Air Force and saw only Hueys, Bradleys, tanks and other Army vehicles and equipment. We underwent Army combat training and even wore their patches). I was with our host army division during Desert Storm in frontline combat and now am disabled. It stinks when this administration has a blank check for illegal aliens at the expense of those who selflessly heeded our nation's call to arms to protect our values and way of life.

  33. Vets and Federal workers are just low hanging fruit, easy targets with little ability to fight back since neither group is large enough or organized enough to influence election outcomes. Just remember that these hikes are recommended by your own DOD leaders who care more about programs than people.

  34. I've been retired for 14 yrs. It has been a great run while I have sat back and watch my coworkers pay 5-10 times more than I do for similar medical services. Even a few years ago I had the foresight to see the benefits of this system and stated that I would happily pay double to keep it. Well it is time for me to step up to the plate. Compare TriCare to other civilian programs and we are still getting quite a bargain. It sucks, I know – but I would rather pay a little more than to go with the other plan of taking TriCare Prime away from us completely.

    • I retired from the AF nearly 15 years ago and all the while NEVER saw my TriCare premiums increase…this is unheard of in todays health care world. I agree, it is time we step up and pay our fair share…would sure hate to lose my TriCare coverage….

      • At any time was you ever told by a career councilor that you would ever have to pay anything at all for your "lifetime medical benefits" after retiring for your military service? I paid my fair share with some of my duty assignments and do not want to pay a penny now that I am on my "Twilight Tour of Life" and our "gracious" Congress has closed down most every base in New England so that we have to use outside phamacies or Express Script for my meds.

        • You are right Dahawg, while a few of the older veterans seem to think all military people have been getting the benefits for 10 (+) years, others have not. Older veterans need to start thinking of the younger people as yourself.

      • I will sign up for your view when the same politicians that want to means test our medical benefits (less than 1% of the population) are willing to do the same with Medicare premiums.

    • And send some of your extra money you have laying around to the IRS in addition to your tax bill to help balance the national debt. Many of us retirees won't be able to afford a large increase.

    • The military pay back then was not up to par with civilian pay. Thus, the promise of free health care was the 'supplement'. If the 'supplement' is taken away (buy making it more expensive every year), it is like reducing the the 'not up to par pay' one has worked for even more.
      We need to stop blaming the retirees for the DOD health care costs. Active duty is part of the health care cost. Both protect the country and should not be 'punished' for their service.

      • proud American says:

        the whole reason for raising premeums is to force the working retiree out……….

  35. A veteran………… is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life."

    I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    OOPs not enough, let us also balance your budget congressman. Oh and by the way what is the deductable on your congressional health plan?????

  36. CSM (Retired) says:

    Hay Dan, think again. Who do you think appoints DOD officials. Who do you think recommends and confirms the promotions of the General staffs. Yet, you think they have no say in any of this? Your right, someone here is believing in a big lie.

  37. For those who say the President is not responsible for the actions of DOD, might I point out that he IS the Commander in Chief.

    • You mean when he is is "IN?" Love that the newly appointed Sec of Defense Panetta carries the same tune as the predecessors, Gates and Rumsfeld (the famous cynical line " we go to war with what we have .. or don't have .. even when we don't have to! All volunteers!!) Gates took every opportunity to cut down leaders of the branches of service; the media never picked up on clear indications of "unrest" when staff of a highly regarded General Officer of the Army vented about leadership of the Obama Administration; Panette insisted on right to travel round trip every weekend to CA in a highly equipped aircraft with his loaf of bread and bottle of wine? He doesn't fly commercial because of the need for "secure communications?" Those costs as he drives the budget wars to swindle those serving?

  38. Because of the hatred of the draft, at the end of the Viet Nam War it was abolished and replaced by the all volunrter service. For the services to compete with the private sector major increases in miliatery compensation and benefits were needed. With the tax rates in place then these addded costs could be absorbed. Nobody thought thar was wasteful spending.

    Since the 1982 tax cuts these costs could no longer be fully paid for. Just before and after going into Iraq $1.75 trilllion in tax cuts were approved making the situation worse. The result has been nobody has had to fear the draft and with very low taxes the public has not shared any of the wars burden. The burden has been all on those fighting and their families. Now, to avoid asking for any sacrifice from the public the plan is to put a bigger load on current and retired members of the military. This is disgraceful.

    • "All 'volunteer force,'" indeed! The draft should again be introduced to bring the realties to American homes of those risking the lives of themselves and families daily. So how are these "volunteers?" Who are those "supreme leaders?" What explains recent dishonorable conduct on a spree? The US Army deliberately saving money on the fair treatment of casualties of these wars not even declared to "cover up" details of PTSD?
      Many of our military leaders served with distinction during the cold war when there was a draft and through careers to retirements, and not in "lock up" at "military prisons." I am sick of this garbage!! There needs to be military order and accountability and right to the top, The Commander in Chief? It is clear the leadership needs to "Stand Up!"

  39. JOHN USN SS RET says:

    THIS IS THE SAME OLD JUNK WHEN I ENLISTED IN 1948 THEY MADE ALL KIND OF PROMASSES WHEN I ENLISTED I RETIRED IN 1968 AND THE ONLY ONES MAKING OUT ARE THE RESERVES SO WHY ARE THE LIFERS ALWAYS GETTING THE SHAFT

  40. It is so surprising to me how many misinformed people that are retired from the military, many of you think that the Congress and the President control the COLAS, well they do not determine when we get a raise. The Congress and the President do not control co-pays for tricare, this is under the Department of Defense. Many of you complain about your retirement pay is to small, well I retired in March of 1964 as an E-8 and my base pay was $425.00 a month figure half of that for 20 years service. I noticed one person said the President hates the Military, he must have gotten that through a Viral e-mail as a lot of people do, the information is out there if you are willing to take the time and do research, never take things at their face value

    • Including your post !!!!!!

    • Dan–"he who casts stones…" Who do you think the SECDEF (he is the boss of the DoD in case you are as misinformed as you seem) works for? He is part of the administration, a presidential appointee who works directly for the president and the national security team. It is that budget (presented by the President himself) that raises the tricare fees. You are also wrong about Congress–they do need to approve changes to Tricare fees. If you want to take the time to research that, it is right in the article you are commenting on. Before you start throwing stones, you should really educate yourself on the topic.

    • What exactly are you trying to say???

    • proud American says:

      Congress might control it but the president has put us in debt which is why they want to mess with all our benefits

    • Dan, thanks for ypur service. When you retired in 1964 gas was around 20 cents a gallon, sugar two cents a pound, steak twenty cents a pound in the commissary. Those days are gone. Today you can possibly purchase 110 gallons of gas for your 1964 income. Do you think the president has no control over the Defense Department when it comes time for cuts? I don't think that the President hates the military. I believe that he has so many ignorant people advising him that he makes the wrong decisions when it comes to military matters. You are probably receiving Tri-Care for life which was promised when you joined the Service. Now the Presidents advisors wants you and the rest of us to pay for that insurance based on rank. Should the military personnel coming home from a war zone without an eye, leg, or arm have to pay for their medical care? Remember these bills go across his desk for approval/disapproval so he does have some control. Your Tri-Care, if passed will not be cheap. Point being, you earned that insurance protecting this country in some minute way. AF Chief

  41. Frustrated Army Wife says:

    Oh but don't touch the benefits illegal aliens get! That would be heartless.

  42. The first politician that I heard mention cutting Tricare was John MCcain. If you think that President Obama wasn't the second then you are misinformed. Don't worry we will be in another war within a year and we will once again be "American Heroes" like John MCcain.

    • Senator McCain and former officer of the US Navy with an ancestry of senior Naval leadership, was shot down, became a prisoner of war, and then assended the ranks of Naval leadership from a cushy appointment as a Naval Liaison to political rankers! Then dropped the wife who waited those years when he was a POW, nursing him upon return, and was dropped in favor of an attractive heiress to a beer brewery fortune. One sympathizes with his misfortune as a POW, but the man seems to have forgotten about "the little people," those that have not been blessed with his financial security, not even of his own making!

  43. So there will be much, much less savings if we all were to go thru a military pharmacy or have home delivery. I say we test their fricken ignorance and do this. I already go thru a mil phar but many live outside the areas that they can't do so. I say have home delivery set up and when they (the ignorance pups who thing this shit up) do realize the savings we got them by the balls.
    Then again, they will always come after us cause we've already done the time.
    Mark my words…there will be a revolution in this country soon. All politicians currently serving should be removed and term limits installed and people honoring the people need to be installed. Bunch of misfits we have now need to go!!!!

    • Your tolerance has been exceeded, and indeed "it just is not fair." Here is the entirety of frustration of most of us. A candidate seriously babbling about his misguided "morality," and "patriotism," and "conservatism," is now moving to the head of "the class" of fellow misfits! Who are those supporting them? Unlikely the college educated "snobs?" Another "softball" of the above referenced "office seeker?" The House has been taken over by an irrational mob to the utter dismay of leadership of both houses of Congress. Term limits are codified in the US Constitution; ELECTIONS. Term limits are on display in CA where freshmen legislators must rely upon lobbyists for "special interests" for their "orientation" and subsequent "management." Perhaps a cascade of letter to editors about how little they contribute to essential timely, accurate, and substantial political information? Like as goes The Armed Forces of The United States? Who else would serve "National Security?"

    • Jerry Mills says:

      I say replace most of the "politicians" in office now and start over. If not, make them have to go around the world and live out of suitcases and drag kids, sometimes not being able to get proper lodging and food, etc for the family. Let them do a hitch in a foreign country (the ones who have served exception noted) and get spit on at San Francisco like I did. But, if you were in the military for 1 month you know it ain't easy under the best circumstances. Give us a break. Cut politician salaries and get rid of overload in the GS-2 up ranks. There should be other ways to get blood money without beating the military to death to do it. I remember seeing congress/senator wives arriving in Germany for "Christmas Shopping" and the military at the Rhein-Main Terminal had to handle their luggage.

  44. God and the soldier all men adore
    in the time of danger, but not before.
    When the danger is over and things
    are righted, God is forgotten and the
    Soldier is slighted

  45. Let us limit the terms of congress to eight years. Put all of congress in the Army and send them to fight. Away from their loved ones. After a year bring them home sorry been extended to two years. I bet we will see bills for Veterans passed like crazy. Make lobbing a crime and limit contributions to $2000 from any person or group.

    • Mrs. CPO Martinson says:

      Wouldn't that be a wonderful change! How do we make that happen!

      • Please see Article V of the Constitution, which spells out how to amend the Constitution.

        Be aware this is a multi-year effort, even if it works.

  46. Doris Q. Kelley says:

    I also use a Military pharmacy even though it's 50 miles from my house. Obama cannot be blamed for everything. Those Republicans that you put in office are the ones who always choose retirees and active duty first. As long as you keep them in office and in the majority we will suffer. Most of them are rich and could care less about our health care or any other benefit for that matter. They constantly tie the President's hands. True he is Commander In Chief, but Congress is the real culprit.

    • Doris, you have Obama worship. Just because Obama says everything is the Republicans fault doesn't make it so. Have the brains to think on your own rather than just regurgitate what Oblama says.

    • Steve-in-SC says:

      Doris, In case you didn't notice Joe Wilson is one of those "Republicans" that I put in office. He is fighting for our side. God bless Joe Wilson for standing up against OBAMA

    • If you liberals or phonies here think anything Obozo does is good, then you are a socialist or you certainly don't care about America. A contract is a contract and the military deserves everything, and more of what has been earned. Its this pous that is destroying americas future. We need conservatives to undo the damage progressives have made.

    • Doris, don't be so hard on the Republicans. Remember the Democrats have not submitted a budget in over three years which is their responsibility to submit by the 15th of April yearly. Remember the Senate and House members are not making history with a nine percent approval rate. Also remember those old Republicans do not control the Senate who has decided not to bring up for vote on sixteen bills submitted by the house members. November is just around the block and maybe we can fix that problem.

  47. Rick Meade says:

    As a young person, I never cared. Now at 69 I am using the benefits, and generic grugs, and being asked to pay more. It appears that with the social security raises as well, all of the government agencies are taking out their prior indescretions out of our pockets. Where is the effort into making fewer pills cover more common ailments.

  48. Jean Sterner says:

    I'm embarrassed that so many retirees are such ingrates and from their writing, I wonder where they went to school. I feel so blessed with my Tricare for Life and my USAA and my Survivor's Benefit checks! Don't they realize that they sound like the Greeks screaming, "No cuts!" as their country sinks into chaos. The need is to protect our benefits by whatever ways we can…use the generics more; use the mail delivery instead of the pharmacy unless it's an immediate need; and I hate to mention it, but there are some hypochondriacs out there who take advantage of their free access to health care.

    • Lyle Fetterly says:

      I am embarassed when I watch commercials on TV raising money for fallen and wounded warriors becasuse our government (Obama) does not take care of our own. These Heros should not have to worry about money so they can live. They should be given a full retirement, with all medical paid for them and their families. Any cost to retrofit their homes so they can live as normal as possible should be fully funded. Heros should not have to rely on charity to live with diginity.

      • Let's jock your memory…..2007 when the s**t hit the fan, reports about moldy and rat infested quarters at Walter Reed and true conditions that these disabled vets had to live in for YEARS……the media made a spectacle and the administration at the time was clueless President BUSH who had to pretend all of a sudden that he cares. Can't blame President Obama for everything, albeit it would be so nice, right?

    • Do you really expect us to think you're a retiree? Please….

    • Mike Smith says:

      Tricare for life, so you must be a spouse of a service member. Today's sevrice member was not as fortunate as the members who served in that era. I retured in the nineties after twenty-two years of honorable service,I am 80% disabled, eligable and receive tricare prime for myself and dependent family members. That is as long as I pay my yearly enrollment fees. Did I mention that I live less then ten miles from three military medical facilities and about eighty miles from the VA medical center. although I receive services from both I still pay a co-pay when referred by the military to outside health care providers,for services that are provided in the military facilities.Did I mention, a percentage of my retirement pay is with held because of my retirement? How can you accuse those who sacrificed their youth, so that we all can enjoy what this great nation has to offer. Yes we get acknowledgment on two occasions on holidays and when it is time to cut a budget, yet we are the ingrates! By the way it is not those who "serve" the country that is causing it to "sink into chaos", but those who take and create their own issues and expect the country to bail them out.!

      • If you're talking about losing part of your retirement pay due to your medical disabiliites (I assume that's the "Did I mention, a percentage of my retirement pay is with held because of my retirement? ") – please head straight to DAV. At 80% disabled you should get concurrent receipt.

    • Our country didn't sink into chaos because of Tricare and VA benefits. It is sinking into chaos because those who have done nothing for this country but leach off of the system are in control and those of us who served are the ones who suffer. I am a retiree on Tricare. When I signed on the line in 1972, I was told that if I served 20 years, I would have health insurance for life, at no cost. Promises made to be broken. I served 39 years and don't much have the temperament to have my benefits continually downgraded until they don't exist.

    • The full burden of the middle east wars has been borne by those doing the fighting and their families. The American people have been exempt from any sacrifice. The draft was stopped and the volunteer service started 40 years ago because people hated the threat of the draft. Raising military compensation enough so the services coud compete with the private sector was expensive. Nobody thought that was wasted money then and it is clearly true today when no one has to feel the threat of being drafted, to fight in the Middle east.

      Since the 1982 tax cut the Nation has not been able to pay all its bills and the debt has soared. In past wars an early goverment response was big tax hikes, particularly on the richest.. Instead of raising taxes, $1.75 million in tax cuts were passed just before and after going into Iraq makling the debt even greater.
      There is a clear need to raise taxes but lacking the courage to do that Congress will do things like reduce earned military benedfits. That is is disgracful.

    • Jean, I am sorry for your loss, but get an education yourself. SBP is in fact a horrible investment; unless you are terminal at time of retirement. USAA is not a government program and your TRICARE For Life is under attack. You are the ingrate living off a loved ones legacy and comparing those that served; including your sponsor, to Greeks. Go back to school and learn to punctuate.

    • You need to crawl back into hole and just fade away. Just like a previous poster said, you are probably not even a retiree. If you are a retiree then you must be an officer who is as clueless and brain dead as you are. You are a disgrace and I wouldn't think twice about not helping you if you were ever stranded on the side of the road. Jerk. By the way I am an Air Force retiree with more than twenty years of service and a disabled veteran. So say something now faker.

    • proud American says:

      Dont be embarrassed for us be for your self jean, your on tricare for life which tells me you wont be affected as much by the raising of our tricare fees, you got to take advantage of low tricare fees and now your tricare for like screw the rest off us. you should be supporting the benifits that working retirees and active duty members deserve……….and for those whose say its not the current administrations fault you need read and do your research

    • Well stated Jean. I sorta get that impression myself.

  49. I am a retired, 100% disabled veteran and under the age of 62. I am unable to work. The closest military pharmacy is 4 hours away. The VA clinic does not have a pharmacy in it, so unless I need it right away I wait 10 days through the mail to receive anything. There is a lot of medication that is not in the VA or military pharmacys formularies. The outside doctors I have would rather go through a local pharmacy. I always try to get a 90 day supply per refill, but depending upon the drug determines how it gets filled. My civilian doctors do not have much faith in theTricare mail order system. On occassion I have had to fill a narcotic, Walgreens was the only place I could get it (after I visited four others). Walgreens has dumped TriCare.

    • Walgreens did not dump Tricare. It was Express Scripts that ended the contract with Walgreens. Walgreens even offered to lower their cost's to renew the contract, but never did get a response from Express Scripts. I too used Walgreens and was upset they (Express Scripts) took my choice of Pharmacies from me.

  50. Rose Marie Henry says:

    I think this objection is a little late. Tricare home delivery and outside prescription prices have already doubled. And, not only that, they have come up with new ways to harrass the receipent, like medicine you have been taking for years……now they want to you to get prior approval from the insurance co. to even buy it. When did the insurance companies get their degree in pharacology and get the right to tell the doctors what medicine you can take. I am most disgusted with what is happening to the american public. It's hard to believe that the public is so dumb!

  51. we should all give up our ctzenship then come back as an illegal to get better benefits

  52. running hot says:

    so they are going to give up medical/drug care for new weapons? just how many sets of camouflage uniforms do they need at the cost of medical/drug care for serving/retirees? i will tell you right up front, its election time and will cast my votes with this in mind. wish i could have set at a desk for 25 years instead of digging fox holes and listening to bullets fly by. a coward is a coward and washington is full of them.

  53. jerryhamilton says:

    will the cost of government workers insurance go up.how much could be added to the government to give away.maybe they should be put on social security that would help out. maybe we could find a way to put thse others who are not paying into fund.pres.vice-pres. an congress.

  54. Lets just gut the military, open the borders, put out a big open sign, and say to heck with it. I was stupid enough to waste 20 years of my life and wreck my health serving in a military because of a mistaken idea that this country was special. It is not! In fact i think we should hurry up and dive the rest of the way into Chinese ownership…take down the flag, put everyone here into poverty, limit all families to only 1 child, limit education to a bare minimum and only for the very rich, set up government bread and soup lines, and just let the political elite live in luxury at our expense…Ya gotta love socialism get rid of your cars, property, and ipods for the greater good of our leader. He will provide all you need trust him!!! It worked for the Soviet Union, North Korea, and China obviously since your great grandchildren will be slaves to Chinese Communists. Just quit your jobs and stay home till He comes to take it from you to build a re-education center….lol you bunch of fools!!

    • AMEN! Someone that finally has some common sense and that will tell the real deal to these brain washed fools! Gotta love the Freedom of Speech! I love this post. Maybe you could send it to some of the socialist liberal media, that have backed this Presidentcy from day one.

  55. I pretty sure we just wasted 24 years in army…… I WILL MAKE SURE MY CHILDREN WILL NOT JOIN ARMY! Thank you very much

  56. remember it is congress that passes the laws and the budget, those in congress created all the problems do not reelect them to fix it. get them all out. you can bitch all you want but if you don't vote it doesn't matter.

  57. Why do we keep these benefits in the DOD budget? Every time we have a budget dilemma, military retirees and their families are the first the DOD looks to cut. I STRONGLY SUGGEST TAKING RETIREE BENEFITS OUT OF THE DOD BUDGET AND PUT THEM IN AN AGENCY THAT CARES OR THAT WONT BE CUT SO OFTEN. Get involved, contact your rep and tell them your opinion.

  58. Ken Simmons says:

    this is the same Joe Wilson that showed such disrespect for the President in the 2011 State of the Union Speech.

    • The Banshee says:

      He told the truth! If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen!!!

      • Telling the truth has never been disrespectful

        • He pushed to cut the budget spending as a whole now you are paying for that vote. Load mouth Wilson can't have it both ways. As for Obamas failures the Republicans block almost everything he has tried to do.

          • John John quit drinking the kool-aid, we're 16 trillion in debt. gas is 5.00 when he took office it was 1.86 why wouldn't the republicans try and block everything. they are trying to look out for your well being…..quit drinking the kool-aid

    • Ken should recall some of the disrespectful comments made by the community organizer, and his minions about then President Bush.

    • alofarmy says:

      The man screamed out "you lie" when the President was addressing the Congress of the United States concerning health care. The President said that the health care bill did not provide coverage for illegal immIgrants. Joe Wilson shouted "you lie"! The person that said that Joe Wilson was speaking the truth is wrong just as Joe Wilson was wrong. An address before Congress is not the proper venue for Joe Wilson's behavior and his own party admonished him for it.

  59. GOLDENSINGLE says:

    i'M FROM WW2 TIME. OLD AND WORN OUT BUT I AM SO UNHAPPY ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY COUNTRY. AND I CAN'T DO ANYTHING TO FIX IT.
    I AM LEAVING. GOODBYE MY FRIENDS. HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL IN A HAPPIER PLACE ONE DAY

    • My friend, first of all, thank you for your commitment to our country and your service. I retired after 34 years and I used to think like you. However, I have found that communicating with your elected officials goes a long way. Write a letter, send an e-mail, make a toll-free phone call. And, there is something that WE can do, VOTE!!!!

  60. I retired in 1975 we had full benefits than,we still had FREE medical,and use of navy hospitals,since I retired from the navy most benefits have been taken away.the navy's motto used to be ,we take care of our own,now it seems to be how can we screw our troops and our retires

    • I'm with you 100%. All the politicians know is to give big bucks overseas and screw our troops and retires.

    • Remember this guy? " The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their Nation." – George Washington.

    • retiree says:

      Still have free use (Space-A) of naval hospitals (and other MTFs). In 1975 the only other care was CHAMPUS, which was not free.

      Nothing has been taken away – but now there are more options.

      Timeline for Military Health Care:
      Pre-CHAMPUS
      - Space-A treatment at MTFs (free)

      CHAMPUS (1967)
      - Space-A treatment at MTFs (Free)
      - CHAMPUS (no premium, copay and deductible)

      TriCare (1994)
      - Space-A treatment at MTFs (Free)
      - Tricare Standard (no premium, copay and deductible)
      - Tricare Extra (similar to standard, some lower rates, as I understand it)
      - Tricare Prime (premium, extremely reduced copay in many cases, no deductible).

      Some pages of reference: http://www.tricare.mil

      http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/94xx/doc9405/87doc80.p
      http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimo

  61. I joined the Navy in 1960 and retired as a CWO4 Bosun in 1987. Very few of the benefits I was promised exist today. The erosion of benefits started a long time ago and continues. I didn't sign up for the benefits. I sincerely wanted to serve my country. I have yet to use most of the benefits afforded me. That being said,
    our government made a deal with all of us. That deal has been broken and little by little it continues to be broken. Not by those who serve but by those whom we served. Its time for it to stop. Taking away our benefits is wrong…
    We lived up to our oath to protect the Constition knowing full well that we could be called upon at any time to give our lives for our country.
    Its time for us to let our leaders know how we feel. Contact your representatives and let them know that its time for them to live up to their end of the deal.

  62. we should start a face book blog to send to our Reps. in Washington. It worked for B of AM, Honda, and Verizon. I am as pissed as you all are.

    • Retired Service says:

      My question is as a newly retired vet, where are all of the associations that is supposed to be lobbying for the vets at now; e.g., Military officers Association, Warrant Officiers Association, NCOA, VFW, etc. I often watch the congressional hearings and listen to the active army leaders state why we have to raise fees and cut benefits but we never hear why it is important to keep these promised benefits. Our voices are not being heard!!!!!!!

      • The biggest political opponent of retiree health care is the lovely POW and decorated Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
        We can't even have our OWN fighting for us

  63. richard l. hill says:

    What really irritates the hell out of me is the fact the President wants to sock it to the military dependents, retirees, and veterans with additional fees, but he wants to build a damn soccer field for the GITMO BA_TA_DS at a tune of $765,000.00. Think ALL Americans (democrat, republican, independent,etc.) should question where the President's true allegiance really is. SHAME ON HIM.

  64. We can have another lawsuit against the Federal Government if they mess with our tricare for life, We won once we can do it again. A contract is a contract

    • deleted9891968 says:

      Colette,

      You may be correct, but as I recall, we lost that lawsuit back in 2003.

      “On December 8, 1999, the Coalition of Retired Military Veterans appealed their case to the Supreme Court.20 The Supreme Court denied the petition to review the lower court ruling on April 17, 2000.”

  65. fiftyone says:

    In 1980 the deal I willing signed on to relocate when told no matter what was happening in my life; to have duties that can be 24 hours in length, to work anytime anywhere with little notice regardless of environment; to be separated from my family, miss important milestones of their lives, and possibly die in one of a hundred different ways; because the Navy came first. In return I was promised a retirement pay, and free health care the rest of my life. I kept my end of the deal..

    • retiree says:

      In 1980, CHAMPUS was NOT free. In 1995 TriCare was NOT free. At no point in your career was CHAMPUS/TriCare free. Space-A in MTFs was the only free part of health care. It is still available.

      You can complain about many things, and throw back their own words:
      NDAA 2012 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h11

      "Title VII – Health Care Provisions
      Subtitle A – Improvements to Health Benefits
      Section 701 –
      Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) career military personnel and their families endure unique and extraordinary demands and make extraordinary sacrifices over the course of a 20-30 year career, and (2) those decades of sacrifice constitute a significant pre-paid premium for health care during a career member's retirement that is over and above what the member pays with money. Limits, beginning with FY2012, the increase in the annual DOD patient enrollment fees to the percentage by which retired pay is increased."

      But complaining that you were promised something you weren't, and for which you should have known was not true (since CHAMPUS/TriCare were not free while you served), isn't one of them.

      Timeline of military health care:
      Pre-CHAMPUS
      - Space-A treatment at MTFs (free)

      CHAMPUS
      - Space-A treatment at MTFs (Free)
      - CHAMPUS (no premium, copay and deductible)

      TriCare
      - Space-A treatment at MTFs (Free)
      - Tricare Standard (no premium, copay and deductible)
      - Tricare Extra (similar to standard, some lower rates, as I understand it)
      - Tricare Prime (premium, extremely reduced copay in many cases, no deductible).

      Some pages of reference: http://www.tricare.mil

      http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/94xx/doc9405/87doc80.p
      http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimo

      The "Promise" of Free Health Care – and that it was never promised: http://mrgrg-ms.org/crs1006e-the-issue-of-promise

  66. R. Merkel says:

    First THEY raped SS, now THEY are trying to rape retirees and vets from all wars, this is not what was promised to us. When was the last revolution???????????????????

  67. disabled veteran says:

    If Obama has his way veterans will have no health care at all. John McCain sent the president a letter supporting the president's plan to make working age veterans get private medical insurance. No more Tri Care. The president's plan to keep kids on parents health care until age 26. Tri Care stated it will cost 2500 dollars a year per dependent. Name a career in the civilian world that you can spend a year or more away from your family. Move every few years. and send you to defend another country for freedom and die for it. If anyone should have free medical care it should be veterans.