Was Free Health Care for Life Promised?

May 22, 2012 | Terry Howell

A reader of  Tom Philpott’s ”Military Update” recently wrote him commenting on Senator Lindsay Graham’s remarks about the promise of free health care for life for military retirees.

The following is an excerpt from Tom’s latest “Military Forum” in which he explains the background and lawsuit history behind Sen. Graham’s statement.

One of your recent columns quotes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as stating, “I don’t believe anybody was promised free lifetime medical care.  That’s a popular myth.” He further stated, “I think we have an obligation to the retired force to be generous and to be compassionate to help recruiting and retention.  But, you know, there was never any contract with anybody that, for the rest of your life, you will get free medical care. That’s not part of the deal and was never part of the deal.”

Colonel George “Bud” Day, a lawyer and a Medal of Honor winner, took this implied free medical care issue for retiree to the Supreme Court and the court, in a compromise verdict, ruled that any military veteran who served prior to a date in 1956 and were honorably retired were eligible for free medical care under TRICARE For Life. There are few of us still living and our numbers decrease daily.

To extol the value of decreasing this hard-earned care to these veterans is abominable. Our block of veterans who qualify for this legally binding medical care is small and our political power is, for all practical senses, miniscule.  But when the bureaucrats feast on $16 croissants, the GSA spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for trips to Hawaii and our Secret Service spends per diem and expense money on prostitutes, maybe it is understandable that we protest Graham’s attitude toward veterans’ medical costs.

JOSEPH A. McKLOSKI
USAF-Ret
Via email

The lawsuit that Col. George “Bud” Day (USAF-Ret.) brought on behalf of an older generation of military retirees raised public awareness of the decline in promised health care and spurred Congress to enact TRICARE for Life and a robust pharmacy benefit.  The outcome of the lawsuit, however, wasn’t the “compromise” victory you suggest.

In 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled 9-to-4 that whatever recruiters had promised was not binding unless supported by statute, and that Congress never passed a law authorizing free lifetime health care.  The court acknowledged the “moral claims” of plaintiffs but rejected every legal argument on their behalf.  These were arguments a three-judge panel of the same court had embraced a year earlier.

The Supreme Court brought Day’s remarkable seven-year court fight to a close in 2003 when it declined to hear an appeal.  By then, however, Congress had enacted TRICARE for Life and the TRICARE Senior Pharmacy program, the biggest expansion in government-funded health benefits in decades.  This left some retirees satisfied that the promise of lifetime care had been restored.  Day, pointing to the Medicare Part B premium retirees must pay, disagreed.

“Paying a hundred bucks a month is not free,” he said. – Tom Philpott

If you have questions or comments about any of Tom Philpott’s ‘Military Update’ articles, write to Military Forum, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA 20120-1111, send e-mail to militaryforum@aol.com or visit www.militaryupdate.com.

Comments

  1. Charles says:

    Nope!

  2. MTPotter says:

    My ROTC instructors sure told me I'd have healthcare for me & my spouse for life. But little did they know that they were lying to us… They believed that was absolutely true.

  3. I remember the promise of HEALTH CARE, as far as the ability to be treated at military facilities and have coverage in retirement. But I never heard anything about it being FREE for life.

    • I should specify: I remember doctor visits on base and other military clinic / hospital services being free (it's never really been in my plans to retire anywhere there wasn't a military base nearby). Part of the logic I always had was that the military ALREADY was paying for those doctors and facilities. I do NOT remember if that went the same for medications or off-base services.

      To me, having coverage at all has become the priority. I recently battled cancer, and a big reason for fortifyng my plans to retire is that I would have coverage as a retiree. But I remember talking to the (off-base) oncologist's office. As an Active Duty member, my sessions were free to me. My dad, a retiree, would pay something around $30-$50 dollars a session. But someone who DIDN'T have coverage would be paying in the THOUSANDS for each session.

      • retiree says:

        You remember correctly. CHAMPUS and TriCare were NEVER free.

        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

      • cc Diane says:

        My dad had cancer and wasn't near a military base. He had Medicare, too (this was in 1996) and his bills were taken care of. He died in the hospital, after spending 7 days in intensive care. The bill? $25. My civilian sister was astounded.

  4. I just hope the Senate goes along with the House on dumbing these ridiculous Tricare fee increases. The President has promised a veto, at his own politrical peril.

  5. Logic Mine says:

    I find it unamusingly ironic that our government requires bravery, integrity, loyalty from each and every one of its ARMED FORCES SERVICE MEMBERS; yet, I consistently run into stories of THAT SAME GOVERNMENT flipping the script and changing interpretations of what was a commonly understood agreement between the service member and the government to the benefit of the government.

    I find it a more common place that the Service Members of the Armed Forces display more loyalty, integrity and bravery than those in power sitting in leather chairs consistantly trying to find ways to "CHEAT" the service members out of what they had earned.

  6. Barry Deems says:

    Only those in Congress and Senate and their lackys get free healthcare for life and for way…. risking getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar, not puttlng their lives on the line. This is criminal and the health care of the military should be tied to that of the President and Congress, nothing less.

  7. jack powell says:

    retired AF,27 years active duty.. squadron career adviser, 1978-82..i was advised at base level what to brief first termers; we are paid 25% below a fair wage as contribution toward retirement (so don't gripe about pay) and our health care would be provided for life… at the time i thought health care meant hearing, eye care, and dental.. how wrong i was..

    • funny you should mention that, because as an Army Recruiter 78-88, we were informing our future recruits, the same thing, especially if the potential recruit was married.

      • retiree says:

        Funny, but CHAMPUS was started in 1967, and it was NOT free. Neither was TriCare when it came into being in 1994.

        Apparently you failed to look at what was happening in the retirement community while you were recruiting.

        The only military healthcare EVER freely available to retirees has been space-A in MTFs, and that's still available.

        And there never was a promise, because Congress never passed a law to enable funding of said action –

        US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
        "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

  8. $100 a month for Medicare part "B" plus perscription CO pays every month . Where does the " Free " come in ?

    • retiree says:

      Did you read the article? Per the Constitution (that document we all swore to protect and defend), only CONGRESS can make such a promise. They did not. So no promise.

      If the President of the United States came on national television tonight and promised free healthcare for life to every retiree, it still would not happen – because he does not have the authority to make such a promise. If he doesn't, neither do recruiters, supervisors, friends, drill instructors, etc.

      Let's focus on Congress' 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."

  9. Smilin' Jack says:

    When I enlisted in the Marines in 1966, the recruiter told me that, if I decided to stay in I would have free health care for the rest of my life. When I enlisted in the Army in 1972, the recruiter told me that, if I decided to stay in I would have free health care for the rest of my life.

    Both these men thought they were speaking the truth with the full weight, might and backing of the United States Government. I believed them. Everyone wearing a uniform believed it. Why shouldn't we?

    Too late I find that we're left hung out by a technicality. Only when the service had been performed did we find out that our government can dissemble, rationalize and stonewall with the best of them.

    It's a shame.

    • retiree says:

      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

      Note that start of CHAMPUS – 1967. So for your entire career, NO retiree got CHAMPUS for free. You never noticed? You never read the material at the base hospital/clinic? I know I read the material, and it wasn't hard to figure out that if current retirees paid for CHAMPUS (and TriCare later on), I would have to as well.

      Amazing how many people here believed their recruiter, and then for 20 years never once looked at what was happening IN THEIR OWN SERVICE.
      "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

      Let's instead keep reminding them of their words in the 2012 NDAA, and that they continue with what the HASC and SASC have done and turn down the proposed increases:

      "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."
      Not that it matters, because the Constitution trumps all –

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Retiree? Your game is BS as usual. You and Charles need to go on TV and say exactly what you say on here. Hell I will call the tv stations for you. Tell them that the recruiters LIED according to you because they weren't trained by the government properly, no wait, that Congress didn't train them or authorize them to promise certain things. OUR money, that's right, OUR tax dollars run this country and congress works for us. Now if YOU have been a recruiter then please tell us about your training? Always full of BS and defend a BS defense. Any and all arguments by you and Charles are suspect to say the least. Free funerals aren't covered by the congress either are they?

        • retiree says:

          Having problems dealing with reality? read the article. Read the court cases. Read the Constitution.

          Wonder why MOAA et al don't bring up the "promise?" Because unlike you, they do read that material, and they know there was no promise. Maybe if you READ the links Charles and I post, you might learn something.

          Since i give links to my information, it's not BS. Then again, unlike you, I actually know how to put together an argument.

        • Charles says:

          IDMTmedic,

          "Free funerals aren't covered by the congress either are they?"

          Ask before and answer! YES, free funerals are covered in the US CODE.

  10. G. Pearson says:

    Retired AF E-8, 24+ years service. Recruiter in 1968-stay 20 years and get free medical care for life for you and your family. Ditto the squadron career adviser in 1972 upon first re-up. This benefit was commonly expected among all of us lifers. Don't try to repair the economy on the backs of those who have given so much for so little. All we hear is support the troops support the troops. How about doing just that?

    • kmrobinson says:

      My son and I had the same conversation just yesterday. Just because our government has screwed up our economy by overspending and bailing out corrupt CEOs inder businesses does it mean

    • cc Diane says:

      What was expected doesn't matter. What was said doesn't matter. What was in the contract you signed before joining up–that matters.

      • Ian MacLeod says:

        That's why I spent over three hours reading that contract before signing it at the AFEES when I enlisted and took my physical. Pissed 'em off no end. I'd watched too many other buddies get screwed not to, though. They called me everything but a human being, distracted me every chance they got until I started leaning back and letting 'em rant and wouldn't read any more until shut up. They finally went away. I would have lost the "A" school I wanted had I failed to read – and amend – that contract, too!

        Ian

    • Charles says:

      G. Pearson,

      As already posted by 'retiree', we were under CHAMPUS back in 1967 when you say your recruiter told that back in 1968 and 1972. That's no difference than if recruiters were saying the same thing today, with us being under TRICARE.

      Recruiters DON'T trump LAW.

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

      • IDMTmedic says:

        You two still in bed together I see. Maybe you could start your own benefits section for new recruits? Tell them that whatever a recruiter tells you is a lie?

        • retiree says:

          You're still an idiot I see, can't even read and follow simple links. Please have your local 12 year old teach you how to follow links. Maybe you can get a 3rd grade teacher to help you with the big words in the articles – those of over 1 syllable.

          See – I can insult to. However, I can also put together facts and research. CHAMPUS and TriCare were NEVER free

          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

          If you retired anytime after 1967, you should have been paying attention. Of course, if you want free healthcare, it's still available the only way it always has been – space-available in MTFs.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Letter to the honorable John Mccain from Lieutenant General Klimp, reitred USMC, president NAUS.
            Dear Senator Mccain,
            I am writing as the President of the NAUS to express the deep dissapointment of our members, supporters and others we serve with the positions you have recently announced with regard to TRICARE for life and the military retirement system.
            Like yoou I grew up in a military family. My father was an Air Force enlisted man who started his career a s a16-18y/o gunner on a B-17 in WWII. When he retired in 65, he was told that he and my mother would receive health care

          • IDMTmedic says:

            for life. He and my mother both lived long enough, however to see this promise, this contract, compromised with the implementation of CHAMPUS, a program that was such a disaster that it was quickly replaced by TRICARE.
            Today these surviving members of my father's generation, along with the veteran retirees of the Korean war, the war in Vietnam, the Cold War and Desert Shield/Desert Storm, are faced with the potential of yet another failure to honor the nations's commitment to them.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            The elimination of Tricare Prime as an option for "working age retirees" will mean higher out of pocket costs to already financially strapped families. It has been suggested that some might rely on health care provided by civilian employers. However, with a veterans' unemployment rate of 24% this suggestion is unrealistic. When we understand that over 70% of all retirees are of the grade of E-7 or below, and make less than $30,000

          • IDMTmedic says:

            a year, any additional costs will have a significant impact on their quality of life. this is not the way to honor the promise, to honor the contract; our nation made with these men and women who stayed for a career. Liwewise the proposal to implement a $200 annual fee for Tricare for Life recipients would be yet another failure to honor the nations commitment. These men and women have already paid for most if not their entire adult lives for Medicare, and continue to pay a monthly fee. this fee should not be imposed.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            These proposed changes to military health care, we have been told, are designed to rein in "runaway costs." Certainly TRICARE costs have increased in recent years. We have after all, been at war for more than a decade. In response to the demands of these wars,we have significantly increased the size of our military, particularly the Army and Marine Corps. in addition, Congress has also brought new populations of reservists and their families into the program. Caring for our casualties, the moral responsibility, most certainly helped drive up costs. However, after hearing from the senior leadership at the DOD for more than a year that TRICARE was "breaking the department," our members are angered to learn $330 million "unused" TRICARE funding was shifted by Congress to medical research, much of which was a duplication of on-going military projects or had nothing to do with military medicine.

            More to come —–Breaking it up for idiots like retiree so they can keep up.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            These war-related costs will certainly decrease as we withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and downsize the force, a process that is already underway.
            The argument for changing the military retirement system has been based on two assertions: (1) that the system is "unaffordable ans spinning out of control" and (2) that it is unfair to those who serve less than the time required for retirement. In recent testimony before a congressional panel, Jo Ann Rooney, the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, denied the first argument. Under the current system, those who leave the service before retirement do not leave empty handed. In fact, as education, home loans, vocational rehabilitation and medical and life insurance. Furthermore while on active duty, they also had the opportunity to participate in the "Thrift Savings Plan," a Federal Gov.- sponsored retirement savings and investment plan.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Approximately 1/2 of 1% of our nation's population serves in the military. Only about 16% of them go on to serve to retirement. It is unfair to place the burden of balancing our nation's budget on this .008%. They have already served. They have already sacrificed. They have already done more than their share.
            In his Veterans Day speech at the Tomb of the Unknowns, President Obama said of veterans of the current conflicts: "You will come home to an America that will be there for you just as you have been there for us.". Senator McCain please help us ensure that our nation honors the promises made, not only to these men and women, but to all those who served, sacrificed and fought before them.

            Now THAT "retiree" is an argument!!!!!! He gets it and you never will.

          • retiree says:

            Sorry, but I do, you don't. Most of what he says is NOT contradictory to the MOAA arguments I support – based on the NDAA language, that balancing the budget on the small number of retirees who have sacrificed is not the way to do it. That shifting the burden to the retiree does NOT solve the problem, merely shifts it.

            Apparently you still have reading comprehension problems – you think because I state the truth I am in favor of the Administration's proposal. I am not. However, I am also not in favor of going to Congress and demanding they fulfill a promise they did not make.

            To put this into terms you may understand. Imagine you go to brief the Chief of Staff of the Army, and DEMAND he fulfill a promise. He knows he didn't make said promise. When questioned, you state you heard it from State Department that he had made said promise. Do you think he'll say "Oh, if State Department says it I must do that, even if I never made said promise."? Or do you think he'll tell you he doesn't care what State says he said, here's what he said?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Apparently you correcting every post on here is a mission for you as opposed to the human factor. We all know that the legal option is done and yet you continue to reiterate the BS ruling. Same posts and you suck as a leader as I am sure you did while serving. Maybe you should have some emotion in your arguments? No, just links and If you had any crosses to bear or losses then maybe your "links" would bear some fruit. I for one have no respect for you, your arguments or your facts.

          • retiree says:

            If you know the legal argument is done, why do you continue to continue to claim their was a promise?

            See my other posts where I do lay out arguments. However, unlike you, I'm aware that laying out false arguments gets us nowhere.

          • retiree says:

            Referring to the 2012 NDAA – see my previous postings. MOAA also talks about the commitment (NOT PROMISE).

            Sorry he referred to the word promise – it did not happen.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Hey DA, how about you tell a retired General that. The fact congress never said it means crap. It was said and I don't FN care how many times you say it wasn't said. You are a delusional old officer who is now on a power trip because you pushed paper your entire career. Your bs is old as is your argument. What is amazing to me is you did twenty? And by the way if I EVER stepped into your office it wouldn't be a head spinning. It would be much more than that before I left. Need to have a craniorectoimpaction removed.

          • retiree says:

            Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution:
            "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

            What Congress says matters very much – because only THEY can make said promise – and they did not. yes, I would tell him that. Unless, per chance, you don't want to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States" – but it still rules supreme.

            Threatening assault? I guess you REALLY don't have anything to say.

            At least you looked up this info from NAUS. Now go read all the links Charles and I have posted – guess what, no Promise CAN be made unless Congress makes it.

            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."

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Good then email him and let him know he is wrong, as well as the rest of the military and please post his response.

          • retiree says:

            BTW – his words were "receive health care for life" – which is NOT the same as "free healthcare for ilfe."

            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

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Tell me the difference of "health care for life" for veterans and what every person in this country has? Anyone and everyone has health care for life. Just walk into your local emergency room.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "Tell me the difference of "health care for life" for veterans and what every person in this country has?"

            Tricare for Life (TFL) is for those retired military 65 and older on Medicare Part A and B. The difference, is that civilians don't have this.

            "Anyone and everyone has health care for life. Just walk into your local emergency room."

            Not true, they can't only get emergency care. Here is the US Code that covers that.

            http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1395dd

          • retiree says:

            What is the difference between "healthcare for life" and "free healthcare for life"?

            Amazing what one word does.

            Hint – CHAMPUS and TriCare have NEVER been free.

          • retiree says:

            http://www.naus.org/documents/Release%2004-16-12%

            While he unfortunately uses the term "promised" in t here, he refers to it as a moral contract – which Congress basically agrees in their 2012 NDAA – but he does NOT claim it as a contract.

            Learn the difference.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Lmao, how about you read what was said and don't spin it.

          • retiree says:

            How about you read what was posted in the link – which includes it was a moral contract?

            You claim in another post you understand the legal battle was lost, yet you continue to claim there was a promise. The legal battle ended that.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            No legal battle ended anything. I say they said it and will continue to say THEY said it. Legal or not.

          • retiree says:

            And continue to lose.

            Either we acknowledge there was NO law, but there is a moral element (as evidenced by their own words in NDAAs), and press from that standpoint, or we continue to lose the battle.

            Continuing to fight a losing strategy is madness – when the strategy doesn't work, you change strategies.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Email? Tell you what I am going to do. I will email him and ask him to respond in kind to your OPINIONS. I will post after I receive his response and ask him to help with this particular forum and your particular views so that we will get a more balanced approach regarding your legal OPINIONS!!,

          • retiree says:

            Yep, all problems that should be considered in any change. Again, no promise from Congress.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Read the posts?

          • retiree says:

            Yep – healthcare for life. Which is NOT FREE HEALTHCARE FOR LIFE. Please learn what that one word means.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            You read the letter?

          • retiree says:

            did you?

        • Charles says:

          IDMTmedic,

          Everything a recruiter tells you isn't a lie, but what is or isn't in your 'ENLISTMENT CONTRACT' is the truth!

          Note: This article like others like it, was to put forward once again that the promise of 'free health care for life' was a myth.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            What's 'really interesting was the first time I asked you if free funerals were included you stated that they weren't. Apparently a little research helped clear that up. Guess what you signed wasn't that clear after all huh?

          • retiree says:

            Guess the law is clear.

            US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
            "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

            Care to post a link to the law that provides free healthcare for life?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "What's 'really interesting was the first time I asked you if free funerals were included you stated that they weren't. Apparently a little research helped clear that up. Guess what you signed wasn't that clear after all huh?"

            Not true, all military benefits have always been in the US Code.

  11. Frankly speaking says:

    Retired Air Force 25 years and an Air Force Recruiter 1979 to 1983. I was trained to tell recruits they would have health care for life and it stated so in our training and recruiting material. Sure wish I had it, but it wouldn't matter. The active Air Force no longer needs us or can afford us to give us what was promised. As one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen we worked the Tricare issue before it became our entitlement and were told and chastised if we did not support Tricare and no promises were ever made. We were given no room for discussion. As long as our voting block is small and fractured no amount of complaining will change the economics and budgetary restraints. Keep a healthy lifestyle brothers and sisters as it will never get better as we die and fade away.

  12. 33 years, and four wars. Yes, this is exactly what we were told during the ROTC Indictrination briefings. Ask those from west Point, Annapolis, and the USAF Academies if they were not told this. And you all thought that Bernie Madoff was the biggest swindiler. Lindsey Graham should hang his head in shame. But, as we all know, politicians have no shame. BTW, what does prior to 1956 mean? Where do they come up with these arbitrary dates?

  13. Who would you beleive.???? A Veteran who served honorably and well, or a politician??

    • retiree says:

      In this case, I'll believe the US Supreme Court and the US Constitution (which I swore to uphold and defend) – and that says only Congress can make said promise ("No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law:). They did not, so no promise.

      We need to deal with the facts, not keep wishing for what is not true.

      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."

      • sick and tired says:

        You will make a great used car saleman. Tell them lies upfront and then legally screw them when it comes time to pay up.

        • Charles says:

          sick and tired,

          You’re entitled to your own opinions. Your are not entitled to your own facts.

        • retiree says:

          Having trouble dealing with the Truth? read the article. Read http://mrgrg-ms.org/crs1006e-the-issue-of-promise

          Finally, read the Constitution – Article I, Section 9 "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

          Read that again from the document you swore to uphold and defend. No Law, no money. No money, no free health care. Congress NEVER passed a law authorizing it – so no promise COULD be made.

          As I've said elsewhere, the President of the US could get on national TV tonight, promise every retiree free healthcare for life. It would NOT make it so. ONLY CONGRESS can make said promise, per the Constitution. Until they do, no promise is made.

  14. Philip Bruton says:

    In November 1968, when I got to basic training, my inlistment papers were taken away from me. The 'recurter made a mistake'. I had to take the oath again and was issued 'new' enlistment papers. I wish I could find someone in my group who was smart enough to 'lose' his papers before we got to Sheppard AFB.

  15. Dawn Eagle says:

    The govenment is run by politicians. All politicians lie on a regular basis. Why be suprised when the free health care for life is taken away. The moral of the story, never put your trust in a politicians's promise.

  16. Ponzer_Boy says:

    Politicians are like opinions and opinions are like a**h***s, they all have them and most of them stink! I entered service 1969 and retired 1993 – SEA/RVN, a few minor "skirmishes" Grenada & Panama and then the "mother of all battles" DS/DS. The big selling point for enlistment/re-enlistment (note the year 1969 and Vietnam) and we all were "guaranteed" as a bennie for retirement "free health for life" for me and my spouse. Can't any legal eagle find something in statutes/enlistment papers that supprts that? You know politicians won't.

  17. skip stewart says:

    Ya they said free health care for you and your spouce for life after 20 years of service to the nation. But I thought there was a law out on Bate and Switch. Isn't this the same thing!!!!!

    • retiree says:

      No bait and switch – under Law YOU are responsible for determining if what the Government representative promises you he is authorized to promise. If you take action based on his promises and it turns out you were wrong, it is your problem.

      This is established by courts going back to the 1800's, and is cited in the court case above.

      Bottom line – the Constitution trumps everything:
      US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
      "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

  18. JJMurray says:

    Mr. McKLOSKI,
    You can call iot a myth all you want but I was told not just by a forked tongue recruiter but on more than one occasional AFTER I was in the service that we would have free health care for life and I am not the only one who can relate that experience to you…as you can see from the posts here. So stop trying to defend a government that has no compunction with either lying to the people willing to sacrifice the most for their country or breaking their promises to them when it is convenient.

    • retiree says:

      US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
      "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

      Please provide reference to the law authorizing free healthcare for life. Hint – there isn't one, so there was no promise. Unless you don't believe in the Constitution you swore to uphold and defend.

  19. Dave Owens says:

    I was separated from active duty in 1967 and the one thing that I remember was the Sgt in separations telling me, you know if ever get real sick the VA will take care of you. What BS. I firmly believe the only time the Politicans will ever really promise you anything is a time of war and then they cross their fingers and say later, you must have misunderstood me. McCain, Rommney, and Graham should have their children or Grandchildren fight for the USA and depend on the VA for benefits.

  20. Our elected officials are more concerned with giving benefits to illegals because both parties don't want to offend the Hispanic community and not receive the Hispanic vote. I have read reports that our government spends close to $100 billion a year on illegals or more just for benefits. That money would go a long way on keeping the Free Medical that we all were promised. Retired Air Force, 1990-2011.

  21. cheryl snead says:

    retired Army 20 years. I recruited for eight long years. when i went to recruiting school free medical and dental care was our biggest selling points. I worked as a recruiter and as a guidance counselor. the Army regulation stated if you serve 20 years you would get free medical and dental for life. I do not know how many people i enlisted that went on to complete 20 years,but I'm sure that they think that I lied to them just to get them in the Army. back in 1991 when they were trying to give out bonuses for early retirement if you retired early you could not get free medical and dental and that is why i decided to stay for the whole 20 years. and look what i got

    • Exactly right, Cheryl. Many of us would have included the medical/dental benefits in our decision matrix on whether to stay for 20+ or move on to private sector.

  22. 30NavyVet says:

    Thirty year Navy veteran, but what I don't understand is why Congress doesn't talk about their retirement from serving in Congress! And don't question voting on your own pay raises.

  23. My basic pay entry date is 12/1955. Large posters were in front of almost every Post Office with Uncle Sam poiting his figure at you saying that he will give you Free Medical Care for you and your family if you enlist and stay in for 20 years.

    • Jim — True. My BPED was 10/1953. I was told by active reserve recruiters and by my ROTC instructors that my family members and me would be eligible for FREE medical and dental care for life after 20+ years of active service,

  24. Charles says:

    Has anyone read this article? There was no promise ever made by our Government.

    • SFCJimbo says:

      BS Charles. many were given that promise for enlisting back in the 70′s. Are you telling me that a military recruiter would purposely lie?

      • Charles says:

        SFCJimbo.

        Read the article, it explains it.

      • retiree says:

        US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
        "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

        doesn't matter what your recruiter said, why he said, it, who else said it. Only Congress, via law, can make said promise. They did not. Read the article.

        • sick and tired says:

          give it a rest. This was told to many recruits throughout the 80's and early 90's. You may keep quoting all you want but the military never denied it either in a public manner.

          • Charles says:

            sick and tired,

            The facts are what they are. Just telling the story over and over again doesn't change the fact, that Congress made no law giving you free health care life.

          • retiree says:

            Read the article. Read the court cases. Read the Constitution (that document you swore to uphold and defend). What the military said DOES NOT MATTER. Only Congress can make said promise. They did not. The President CANNOT promise those benefits. NEVER. Not since 1789.

            No law, no money. No money, no promise. NADA. NEVER. NOT DONE.

            Instead of fighting a losing battle, focus on what Congress HAS said:

            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. "

          • IDMTmedic says:

            NADA is your bs. Talk talk talk. Fact is it was presented by an agent of the government signing us up to defend this country for certain benefits. My sons nor any other relative will serve this country again because of it unless an immediate threat exists. The pay to play game is up. College paid for BS and Medical game is over.

          • retiree says:

            Have trouble understanding the Constitution there? Only Congress can make said promise. Been through the courts, been lost, latest in June 2003. The US Government is under Law, not Equity – YOU are responsible for determining what an agent is authorized to promise, NOT the government. Been that way since court decisions in the 1800s.

            Oh, and your CHAMPUS and TriCare have NEVER been free.

            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

            Assuming you retired anytime after 1967, you apparently failed to pay attention to what was going on around you.

        • Don't fight against yourself ….. educate yourself to the fullest read what the Government Pringting Office (USGPO) was responsiable for
          sending out to the military service recutiing Officers and I did rceive them and still to this day are in my possion. Meaning Posters that in a court of law would not mis-interpeted unless it is for the purpose of conveninance of the Gov't. But, non the less the promise was given.

          See the examples below:

          Superb Health Care. Health care is provided to you and your family members while you are in the Army and for the rest of your life if you serve a minimum of 20 years of Federal service to earn your retirement.
          RPI 909.NOVEMBER 1991
          U.S.G.P.O.1992 643-711

          Take a close look at the health care promise that was being made as late as 1991. Not only does it promise health care, but it promises "superb health care". It clearly indicates that health care is promised to you (the service member), and also to your family members while in the Army and for the rest of your life if you earn retirement. Note the numbers in the boxes. Note that the poster was printed in the United States Government Printing Office
          (U.S.G.P.O.1992 643-711).

          As a resut of the misinformation and the then cost prohibitive idea to fight the truth:

          In the late 1980s, Congress and the Department of Defense started the process of closing military bases and medical facilities where the medical care promise was supposed to be kept. As a result the space, facilities, and the capabilities of
          the medical staff were substantially reduced, the Military Health Care System had to change, and TRICARE was born.

          In addition I can tell you the 16th amendment of the Constitution mentions that taxes are to be implemented for the purposes of paying soldiers and for theirs and their dependants pay and care! So postures are in line with the 16th admt. is ment to infer.

          • ldcruz1,

            I've read what you posted, and nowhere does it mention "FREE" Health Care for Life, that is what this article by Terry is about. IMO, and the way I read what you have posted, you have proved that there was no promise of "FREE" Health Care for Life, only Health Care.

          • ldcruz1,

            PS: Below is what the 16th Amendment says:

            "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

          • retiree says:

            Strange, I read the 16th Amendment –
            "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

            And I don't see the military listed there at all. Can you tell me where in the 16th amendment it says that, as I quoted it in total above?

            Oh, and your first – note it says "health care" NOT "free health care." Amazing what one word does.

    • Combat Camera#1 says:

      Pete, I don't know your status, and don't care, but when I enlisted in 1951 I and many others were told that I and My family would have medical care for life. I don't know of anyone that hired a lawyer to confirm what was put forth by the recruiter. The recruiter was accepted as a representative of the "government".
      After retiring in '70 the first indication of the "big lie" is that we have to pay Medicare, now about $1200 a year for the wife and me. Then Jimmy Carter decided the VA must charge a co-pay of $3. for non-service connected meds. Now it's tripled.Do you get the point? We Pay, and the proposal for the future of Tri-care for life is a pre-pay of $3000.

      • retiree says:

        Did you read the article? Yes, the lawsuits have happened, and the courts specifically were sympathetic, but could not do anything because the Constitution is very clear: "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law." No law, no promise.

        I am not in favor of the WH proposed increases, and have written my Congressional Delegation against it. I continue to remind them of 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."

        However, continuing to go to Congress to fight for a "promise" that THEY KNOW they did not make results in us being treated as idiots who did NOT do our research.

        Again, the President of the US could get on national TV tonight and announce free healthcare for life for all retirees. It still won't happen – because, by the Constitution (that document we all swore to uphold and defend), only CONGRESS can make said promise, and they did not.

        • IDMTmedic says:

          Your a back stabbing card carrying unfortunate member. Hope you can get a job to inform the new recruits of what they are getting into. Like that will happen. Your a joke, enjoy that retirement check because congress didn't promise that either did they?

          • retiree says:

            Having trouble dealing with reality? What I said is FACT. What you said was insults. Apparently you have no arguments.

            US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:

            "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

            Been that way since 1789. Reality. Learn to deal with it.

          • ldcruz1 says:

            Have you ever read the 16th amend of the Constitution? If not you ought to?

            the 16th amendment of the Constitution defiitely mentions that taxes are to be implemented for the purposes of paying soldiers and for theirs and their dependants pay and care! So posters are in line with what the 16th admt. is ment to infer.

            Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/05/is-
            MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

            I am ok with posting this fact once again:

            See the examples below:

            Superb Health Care. Health care is provided to you and your family members while you are in the Army and for the rest of your life if you serve a minimum of 20 years of Federal service to earn your retirement.
            RPI 909.NOVEMBER 1991
            U.S.G.P.O.1992 643-711

            Take a close look at the health care promise that was being made as late as 1991. Not only does it promise health care, but it promises "superb health care". It clearly indicates that health care is promised to you (the service member), and also to your family members while in the Army and for the rest of your life if you earn retirement. Note the numbers in the boxes. Note that the poster was printed in the United States Government Printing Office
            (U.S.G.P.O.1992 643-711).

            As a resut of the misinformation and the then cost prohibitive idea to fight the truth:

            In the late 1980s, Congress and the Department of Defense started the process of closing military bases and medical facilities where the medical care promise was supposed to be kept. As a result the space, facilities, and the capabilities of
            the medical staff were substantially reduced, the Military Health Care System had to change, and TRICARE was born.

            Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/05/is-
            MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

          • Charles says:
          • retiree says:

            "health care" NOT "free health care" – that one word makes the difference.

            Charles has posted a number of links to the 16th amendment, one more from the government:
            http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constit

          • retiree says:

            BTW, Congress DID promise the retirement check, as well as COLA – the COLA law passed in the 1970's.

            Maybe you should spend less time insulting people and more time doing research.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            You mean until they change that as well right?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            We never had 'free health care for life' for them to change.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Discussing retirement, keep up charles

          • retiree says:

            "as well" – as well as what? Please keep up with your own posts.

            Please provide pointer to the law providing free healthcare for life for retirees.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "You mean until they change that as well right?"

            I am keeping up, but when you stated the above, you implied they changed 'free health care for life'. If that isn't what you meant, then what did you mean when you said 'as well'?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            How many versions do we have for health care right now? I am sure there will be many more.

          • retiree says:

            - 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).

            Note that 1st one – same as has been available since before CHAMPUS and TriCare
            http://www.tricare.mil

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

          • Actually, yes we did. My husband retired in 1992 and we (husband, children and myself) never paid for health care at a MTF until Tricare in 1995. My stepfather retired in 1980 and he and my mother got free medical care at a MTF until Tricare. My father-in-law also. For those who did not live near a MTF, Champus was used. You met the deductable ($150 individual or $300 family) then it was 80/20 except for certain categories.

          • Hera12,

            At some MTF's free health care is still avalible on "space avalible bases.

          • retiree says:

            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

            Free healthcare at MTFs is still available under the same conditions as always – space-available.

            CHAMPUS and TriCare were NEVER free – as you nicely illustrate.

            What we had is what we still have, and they've added options, if folks are willing to pay for them.

          • retiree says:

            http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/subtitl

            That's the LAW governing retirement. Care to provide pointer to the LAW providing free healthcare for life?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Here is your proof right in front of your face! No need for links, no need for anything else. Read the posts. Apparently you can't face reality. Apparently your facts missed 99.9% of the military population. Now unless I can't read than every response is the same unless you consider Charles, CC, and DA. I am no expert but damn, guess delusional is only in a few drinks.

          • retiree says:

            In other words, no you can't. Now you argue from repetition, and it still does not get you free healthcare for life.

            I don't know what problem you have with the Constitution, but it's very clear that ONLY Congress can authorize funds. They HAVE NOT. Case lost June 2003.

            Again, the President of the US could get on TV tonight and state we are all entitled to free medical care for life, and IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.

            What part of "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law" are you having a problem with?

            If we want to keep our medical care costs down (CHAMPUS and TriCare were NEVER free), we need to give fact-based arguments that provide real reasons for Congress NOT to increase healthcare. To start with, their own words that our service was a prepayment on healthcare (NDAA 2012). But yelling that we have a "promise" that they KNOW they did not make, yelling about their "free healthcare for life" that they KNOW they don't get, yelling about their "1 term and retire at 100% for life" when they KNOW they don't get it – that just makes us look like idiots who don't do our research.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            For the record I never have posted any of those things. My posts have been regarding the "promise" which was made regardless whether congress made it or not.

          • retiree says:

            You appear incapable of reading plain english, as written in the constitution and posted here – NO RECRUITER EVER HAD THE AUTHORITY TO PROMISE FREE HEALTHCARE FOR LIFE. EVER. NOT ONCE. Nor did / does the President.

            What part of "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law" are you having a problem with?

          • toothless says:

            Recruiters were authorized to use free health care for enlistees if they served for full term of their enlistment honorably. Read any recuiters handbook after 1953. In my book that would be called fraud now.

          • retiree says:

            It may be fraud, but CONGRESS NEVER AUTHORIZED IT. And check those materials. Did they say "free healthcare for life" or "healthcare for life?" Did they limit the healthcare to space-a at MTFs?

            from http://www.law.umaryland.edu/Marshall/crsreports/… (quoting recruiting literature)

            "Healthcare is provided to you and your family members while you are in the Army, and for the rest of your life if you serve a minimum of 20 years of Federal service to earn your retirement."

            Note the missing word there – "Free"

          • retiree says:

            From http://www.law.umaryland.edu/Marshall/crsreports/

            "Notably, some former recruiters claim to have made such promises. Nevertheless, as pointed out above, unauthorized promises based on mistakes, fraud, etc., do not constitute a contractual obligation on the part of the government/taxpayer."

            Only CONGRESS can make said promise – and it did not.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Make sure you send your arguments to Congress so we can begin getting our 'Free Health Care For Life'.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            We never will get it and it doesn't change the fact that recruiters said it. Just because you say it wasn't promised doesn't make it so. Legally? Ok fine congress didn't authorize it, so be it. The fact they didn't say it doesn't erase the promise.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Congress can't be held responsible for what you believe to be true as shown by the Supreme Court decision in 2003.

          • retiree says:

            Read the Constitution. Yes, the fact that they did not authorize it means there was no promise.

            I'll try again and put it into terms you understand. Your 15 year old daughter comes to you and says you promised her a brand new Corvette for her 16th birthday. You KNOW you didn't, and ask her where she got that idea. She tells you all her friends told her it's common knowledge parents provide a brand new Corvette to daughters on their 16th birthday – they've all said it, so it must be true. Do you buy her that 'vette just because "everyone knows it?"

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Your analogy is not quite right. Let me help you. If the scenario is that your wife promised her that car without your knowledge and you did not approve after promise was made then I guess your going to piss off your wife and your daughter. She apparently doesn't have the authority "yea right" or you just don't want to spend the money regardless of what she does for you and the family

          • retiree says:

            Nope – it's not your wife, it's you neighbor. Reread the Constitution (you did swear to uphold and defend it). the 3 branches are co-equal, but Congress holds the purse strings.

            Congress is under no obligation to fund what the Executive Branch wants. If they were, do you think any President would have made a lot of promises and then forced Congress to fund them? Sorry – but the President has the bully pulpit, but he doesn't have the purse strings. As I have said, President Obama could get on TV tonight, promise us all free healthcare for life – and we still would not get it until Congress authorized it.

            To repeat, Article I, Section 9:
            "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

            Still waiting for the pointer to that law providing us with free heathcare for life. When you have it, you have an argument.

            I'll depend on using Congress's own words against them – because I have them in writing from them.

            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."

            I prefer to use Sen Webb's own words:
            "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,”

            I prefer to use Congressman Heck's words:
            “You’re cost shifting. It does nothing to control costs by shifting the burden to those we are suppose to be taking care of,”
            http://www.moaa.org/Main_Menu/Take_Action/Legisla

            I'm not depending on a congressional "promise" that didn't happen – I'm depending on them living up the words they HAVE stated.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            If you post those statements more often then game on. Now it can't be my neighbor because he doesn't know the inner workings of the family dynamic. Unless he dresses like us and talks like us then he couldn't possibly offer her a new car. He would have to know (1) that she was turning 16 (2) that there was an implied or direct statement by myself or wife to buy her a car (3) he firmly believed and relied or was trained on a plan for such purpose.

          • retiree says:

            exactly – he can state anything he wants, it makes no difference. YOU didn't make a promise, and are not bound by his statements.

            Congress, the only ones who CAN make said promise (see the Constitution) are NOT bound by the statements of the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, or your recruiter.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Not "exactly" if the neighbor had no reason to offer car without training then why on this earth would he make such a promise to every girl turning 16? Ohhhhh that's right parents are wayyyyyyyy out of touch with teenagers these days and prefer to turn their heads for years until the repo man comes.

          • retiree says:

            Who knows why he offers. IT DOESN'T MATTER. YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO FOLLOW. Neither is Congress obligated to fulfill a promise made by the Executive Branch. Been that way since 1789.

            The alternative is called a dictatorship, with Congress obligated to do exactly what the President proposes. I think we fought that battle back in 1776.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Don't worry Charles you will be paying a nice little sum for your service in 3 years. But I'm sure you can afford it. Why? Your retirement check will be paying for your health insurance. It's a win win. What's not to love about that. Well maybe, because they "may" grandfather us in for the new and improved retirement proposals.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Your argument is based on your crystal ball which I'm not willing to attempt to predict the future. I save close to $1,300.00 per month, and I'm not worried about what if's, and you shouldn't be worried about me either.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            By the way please post a link for the new proposals for retirement. No wait let me help you. http://Www.armytimes.com/money/retirement/military

          • retiree says:

            ?? Who's retirement? Congress's?
            http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.38

            Drops their retirement to 0.7%/year, and ups the cost. Also applies to Federal Civil Service.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            No military

          • retiree says:

            the link didn't show up the first time, and it says the page is non-existent now.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            http://Www.armytimes.com/money/retirement/military-retir...
            Gotta love congress and our future military. Juuuuust waiting for the free travel and expense accounts for congress to start dwindling so that young fresh congressman will not be a millionaire after or before leaving congress. How many days a year they work again?

          • retiree says:

            1. Old news, and long since shot down.

            2. Yes, Congress can change the rules – because in 1789 we gave the legislative power – it's called Article I of the Constitution. Don't like it? Propose changing the Constitution. Article V spells it out.

            3. Want Congressional perks? Run for Congress.

            Personally I'm not waiting for the perfect Congress, and I'm not distracting my arguments about what someone else gets/doesn't get – because arguing about that means we're NOT defending OUR position. Instead, I'm concentrating on ensuring we have minimal impact to retirees and those in the service, partly through using Congress' own words to support our position.

            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."

        • IDMTmedic says:

          sense of congress?

          • retiree says:

            This is why you keep losing the battles with Congress -you have no clue about them. A "Sense of Congress" language is a non-binding way to make statements. It means nothing.

            Remember that Congress is a debate society writ large (and with large powers). In order to get the message across, you need to understand their buttons and their means of operation. Learn about them. Remember your military lessons.

          • retiree says:

            To add – it may not be binding, but it IS their words.

          • retiree says:

            Yes, and their words – just like those words in the 1998 NDAA. Those are THEIR words, and can be brought up to them as a reminder of their own statements. No force of law, but a moral force.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I'm waiting for your email response to the General and his response?

    • old ham guy says:

      True, nothing was ever put in writing but and it is a BIG BUT, every recruiter that I know of in the 50's and 60's touted that as a benefit and it would appear to me that since the claims were never denied by the Government, they should be honored. One problem I see is the draft was done away with and too many people in Washington have never served and many of those in office are the dodgers of the 60's. They are truly an ignoble lot but we will carry on in spite of our so-called leaders.

    • Then by what statute or authority were they delivering that same non-promised care for decades? My dad was career military and he had free care until his death as did my mom until her passing. I, as a retired army veteran with a disability rating, hold private insurance to pay for my care .

      Either this was a plan to be sprung whenever the costs became unsustainable or a recently discovered weasel interpretation by unctous politicians. Can Obamacare be far from following the same course?

      • theduck6,

        The care they were recieving was called "space availability", and some militarty hospitals still do it, (up to the (post commander). Anyway, there was no plan sprung, they were taken to court over it, and we Veterans lost our case back in 2003. If we want better than what everyone else has, we have to come up with a new argument other than the same old chit lost in 2003.

  25. NeoConVet says:

    As a retired 23 yr Army veteran with 30% combat related disabilties, I recently went to a VA Out-Patient facility and asked for an appointment to see a Dr. for a painful foot problem (not combatt related). The next available appointment for my Class 2/3 priority was 63 days out! With the related co-pay it would not have been free. The net result is I went to my normal TriCare Standard Dr. and payed anyway.
    I guess this is what ObamaCare will be for all of us.

    • cc Diane says:

      TRICARE was specifically exempted from the Health Care Reform Act. Read it.

      You might want to consider TRICARE Prime. I think we pay $60/month, and I'm pretty sure my husband (the retiree) doesn't pay more than a $12 copay for off-base visits.

      • retiree says:

        Actually, TriCare was specifically stated as meeting the requirements. And it's still not free – never was.
        http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.48
        http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr4887
        To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that health coverage provided by the Department of Defense is treated as minimal essential coverage.

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Your husband? Lmao……..great he is doing a wonderful job for vets. Wish he was an actual card carrying vet that can load a weapon as opposed to running his mouth about what WE should be getting as self proclaimed expert. Hiding his butt on a chair and stating what monies should be granted to us. I would LOVE to see him speak at a veterans organization or a parade with his personal views as a vet.

        • retiree says:

          Still with the insults, no facts. Apparently you never learned to make a coherent argument. my 12 year old scouts can put together a better argument.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            That's scary that your in charge of 12 y/o kids. Make sure you tell them that before "uncle retiree" signs off on their merit badges that they call the board to ensure that your legally able to sign them off.

          • retiree says:

            What's scary is you STILL have no arguments, only insults.

            I guess you never took Communications Merit Badge in Scouts.

            BTW – still waiting for you to point out the law authorizing free healthcare for life for retirees.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            And I'm waiting for you to admit promises we're made regarding free health care whether they were legal or not. After all it isn't binding but it is their words. You know "Veterans"

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            What is it you want someone to admit, that someone in the Military promised them free health care for life?

            If that is all you want, then ok, someone said it, but I'm only guessing at this and am believing hearsay.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Of course you are, who wouldn't believe recruiters, thousands of your fellow soldiers? Someone said it alright, more than someone. But it's ok, legal is over, moral? You tell us what a fair cost is for medical or retirement? Tier system? Flat rate? None at all? I am certain you and "retiree" could share your insights into our retirement and medical benefits and compare them with our congress. Let's crunch some numbers and see what we can come up with.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "Of course you are, who wouldn't believe recruiters, thousands of your fellow soldiers? Someone said it alright, more than someone. But it's ok, legal is over, moral?"

            It's over, need to get over it and move on. The battle of what the recruiter said has played out.

            "You tell us what a fair cost is for medical or retirement? Tier system? Flat rate? None at all? I am certain you and "retiree" could share your insights into our retirement and medical benefits and compare them with our congress."

            Never been my job to write laws dealing with the Military. A much better comparison would be with other soldier in other countries. Comparing us to Congressmen is just plan silly.

            "Let's crunch some numbers and see what we can come up with."

            You told a military wife that she has no dog in the fight since she wasn't military and she shouldn't be posting about retirees, so, since you've never been a Congressmen, you shouldn't be making any comparisons.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Oooook yes compare with other countries. That's a real winner Charles.
            As far as a spouse posting on here, no disrespect intended. He or she also endured and suffered. Some more than others. My apologies in that regard.

  26. Thunder 7 says:

    I retired after 22 years in the Army and I remember when I joined in 1986 I was told that my medical and dental would be free for the rest of my life if I were to serve 20+ years. Now that I am retired and ofcourse still working I am grateful for the benefits I have. I pay $765 a year for my family with Tricare and over $100 a month for my family for dental. I reckon I could complain, however, looking at what my civilian counter parts are paying for medical insurance, I won't. If I do have one complaint it is this; Obama and his Administration is determined to raise military retiree's healthcare and that is wrong! Any military person worth their salt shouldn't support this and should vote these treasonous people out for dereliction of duty!

    • cc Diane says:

      Have you seen President Obama raise the amount military retirees pay for health care? Do you have the number of the Executive Order he signed that ordered higher health care costs for retirees? No, because it didn't happen.

      The Department of Defense controls what TRICARE costs. The DOD and, specifically, TRICARE, was exempted from every part of the Health Care Reform Act.

      Last year, prices rose for prescriptions filled at network pharmacies. At the same time, Express Scripts started filling all generic prescriptions for free, and it charges only one month's co-pay ($12) for three months of brand name prescriptions. I don't know about you, but that saves me hundreds of dollars (plus 20-some trips to the base pharmacy).

      My husband joined in 1987, and he knew he wouldn't have free health care for life unless he went to a military hospital, ditto for dental care. He knew he could only get prescriptions for free through a military hospital.

      Retirees have a free option: If you use TRICARE Standard, you pay no premiums or deductibles; *if* you use the military facilities for everything. That *is* free health care for life. Like you, we know how low our health care costs are. Our yearly costs wouldn't cover one month of my medical treatment. One of my adult children has civilian insurance–*good* civilian insurance–and his first prescription drug cost him $175.

      It's 2012; the Presidential election is in November. Vote how you choose, but get the facts first. There has been no treason, no dereliction of duty. The Department of Defense controls TRICARE. Complain to them. As for my family, we support President Obama.

  27. My husband retired about a year with 21 years of honorably service in the Navy and he and I remember when they told us free medical care for life. However people come without papers and get free medical service,free food and housing an we have so many homeless veterans around the US tell me if is something wrong with this picture.

  28. If a representative of a private company verbally stated "free healthcare for life" , that would be considered legally binding in many/most cases. The Federal government, and its judges, gave themselves a pass because, simply, they could. I equate thier actions with an aircraft crewman discretly disabling his aircraft before a comabt mission…

    • retiree says:

      Established by case law dating to the 1800's – the Federal Government is governed by Law, not Equity. It cannot be held to what it's agents say, but instead it is your responsibility to determine if they are authorized to promise what they claim.

      US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
      "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

      No law (i.e. Congress), no money, no promise.

      It's up to you to figure out if that recruiter could offer you "free healthcare for life" – not the government.

      BTW – I still have my enlistment contract – no mention of "free health care" and it is the sole contract between me and the Government, superseding all representations.

  29. Richard says:

    Ronald Regan was the one who said you could free medical care for life but some one in Congress changed it.

    • retiree says:

      US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
      "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

      Doesn't matter what ANYONE says – unless Congress promises, via law, it isn't a promise of the US Government. Whether President Reagan, President George H. W. Bush, President Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Obama, your recruiter, your sergeant, your commander, whatever. Only Congress can make said promise.

      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

  30. My father was in the service and I grew up being told by enlisted and officers of the benefits of being the US military. I hear from multiple O-6s about Medical care for life as one of the major benefits! Our government officials have made liars out of these gentlemen! This and the current treatment of our servicemen returning from the current war is a continuation of not supporting our war fighters.

  31. A. Babbitt says:

    If you have to pay a small amount toward your medical care feel lucky, as far as I know, those coming back in recent years only get co-pay medical benefits for a very short period of time depending on how long they were on active duty.____THAT STINKS THE BIG ONE, POLITICIANS GET FREE MEDICAL FOR A LIFE AFTER SERVING ONLY ONE TERM. IS THAT FAIR??? I THINK NOT.

  32. fred.st.amant says:

    so much for the lies – we were told yes that we would get Tricare for Life – what does that mean? In English for LIfe means for Life. So I am a Vietnam vet, 26 years of service- I retire and told the lie – tht for Life is not for life – so I turn 65 go for my physical am referred and get a bill – told I have to sign up for medicare a pay close to 4 hundred bucks a quarter – so tricare workd for me until I got to be 65 – now I have to pay – that is a bunch of crap; promised lifetime exchange and commissary privileges – but haha for me they close all the bases around. get real politicians

    • cc Diane says:

      That's odd–TRICARE wasn't even in existence when you signed up.

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Here is what's odd. You retired military?

        • retiree says:

          Still with the insults, no facts. Apparently you have no arguments. At least I can quote 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."

          If you had worked for me, and tried to use these arguments with me, you'd have been out of the office so fast your head would spin. Rather than spending your time insulting people, go back to that military training you had (you did serve, right?) and learn to put together fact-based arguments. Then you might have a chance.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Lmao if you ever worked for me your uniform would get dirty and you would have to actually get out of your office and hold a pressure dressing on someone's guts without puking.

          • retiree says:

            Still no facts to back your case. Too bad.

            And yes, I've not only held pressure dressings, but done CPR. Guess what, that still doesn't get you free health care for life – because Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution still rules this land. Try reading it.

          • retiree says:

            BTW, your argument is a logical fallacy called "appeal to accomplishment" – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_accomplish

            Doesn't matter what you or I have done, what matters in this context is what CONGRESS has/has not done. Until someone can point to a law where Congress authorized free healthcare for life, it doesn't exist.

            US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
            "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

        • Charles says:

          IDMTmedic,

          What does being retired military have to do with anything? I mean heck, you aren't a retired Congressmen and you always talk about them!

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I guess you are in the wrong room then Charles. Maybe you would do better in the spouses blog?

  33. John Brown says:

    I think we ALL know that our government LIES!!! Look at our politicians – look at that clown from North Carolina who was sleeping with and impregnating another woman while his wife was dying with cancer!!! Are you going to believe these people??? I sure don't!!!

  34. Don Laws says:

    I joined the US Army in 1972 and was told by the recruiter, that if I gave them 20 years, that they would take care of my medical expenses till I stopped breathing. Sounded like a good deal to me. So, after 20 years and 7 months, I can say that they have sorta lived up to that promise. I still get a bill from every doctor I see. And the co-pays keep going up too. But as was stated earlier, the government lies on a daily basis (so whats new?).

    • Charles says:

      Don Laws,

      In 1967 we were under the CHAMPUS Health Care System. Seems to me, that the Government didn't lie, but the Recruiter did the lying.

      "History

      Prior to the 1980s, there were basically two ways for military personnel, retirees, and family members to receive military health care. Military members received treatment at military medical facilities, and retirees and family members received free treatment (space available) at military medical facilities, or could use a program known as CHAMPUS (Civilian Health and Medical Program Uniformed Services) to receive government-substidized medical care from civilian providers."

      http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/healthcare/a/medic

    • No free health care for old veterans? Well, these politicians have lost my confidence, permanently.

  35. IDMTmedic says:

    This is for Charles and "RETIREE" again. "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:

      Yep, heard that. Guess what, President Washington couldn't promise free healthcare for life either.

      Apparently you have trouble understanding the Constitution you swore to uphold and defend – Article I, Section 9 "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

      This isn't about what "should" be, this is about what IS. What IS is that there never was a promise (read the article, read http://mrgrg-ms.org/crs1006e-the-issue-of-promise

      read the Constitution.

      Oh, and TriCare and it's predecessor CHAMPUS have NEVER been free.

      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

      Finally, if we want to argue for support, bringing up a non-existant promise will NOT work. Bringing up their own words MAY work:

      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."

      Both the HASC and the SASC have so far sided with us.

      • IDMTmedic says:

        You see the part about perceived regardless of legality? Now let's review ALL of the responses on here and see exactly what the state of recruitment will be for the next generation!

        • retiree says:

          Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution:
          "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

          Everyone here can argue against it, the Constitution (you did swear to uphold and defend it, didn't you), still is the Supreme Law of the Land.

          Regarding Recruitment, as Charles posted:

          Recruiting Data
          2006 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

          2007 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

          2008 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

          2009 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

          2010 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

          2011 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

          2012 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele… through April

          Doesn't look like we're having a recruiting problem. BTW – in 2006, when those stats start, DoD retirees paid for TriCare – guess it didn't have much effect.

          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

          The only free healthcare there ever has been has been space-a at MTFs, and it's still available. Anyone who has served since 1967 should have noticed CHAMPUS and TriCare were NOT free.

          But then again, you have yet to provide a single fact to back your arguments.

          • Charles says:

            retiree,

            Let me just add to the my enlistment stats. I've seen many variations of this statement brought forward and posted in support of many military arguments (changes) that were to come.

            "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."

            CONTINUED

          • Charles says:

            As of yet, there has been no time in history that I've found where this ever came true. In my time in and out of service, the above modified statement came when the Military was looking into the VOLAR Project (Volunteer Army), the RIF (Reduction In Force) in the 70's after Viet Nam, the not true promise of Health Care For Life, DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) was repealed and now the 2013 RIF (Reduction In Force) coming soon. All sorts of things were predicted that were to happen that never did.

            IMO, all these predictions are all made up in an effort to support there arguments that if such and such happens/change is made, the Military will be 'going to hell in a handbasket'. History has shown, it has yet to happen.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            The invasion of Granada should have shown you the price of these reductions, changes in force. It shows in lack of leadership, properly trained personnel and deaths due to both of those.

          • retiree says:

            ???
            1. The reductions and changes in force have NOTHING to do with recruitment quality (subject of your quote from President Washington) – those are decisions of the political and military leaders on how to meet the planned threat.

            2. http://www.ausa.org/publications/armymagazine/arc

            Read that – fixes started in 1979. The quality of the force before then was NOT due to the treatment of retirees, it was due to treatment and perceived treatment while IN the service, as well as a belief that service in the army was "disgraceful."

            Still waiting for you to provide a pointer to the law authorizing free healthcare for life for retirees.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            You won't see a reference because it isn't written unless you use the "healthcare for life" statement in all of the literature. As I have said, that is no different than healthcare for life for civilians. Walk in to an ER any day or night. Legally I have nothing to show it was offered "free." verbal statements or promises will always be trumped by written law. So how is it recruiters were so inept, untrained, out of touch? How far up do we look for the training materials?

          • retiree says:

            No, as Charles pointed out, emergency healthcare (only) is written into law.

            So you admit there is no legal basis. So why keep harping on it? Whether recruiters were duped, incompetent, etc DOES NOT MATTER. There was no promise. No let's move on.

            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."

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Of course it wasn't due to the treatment of retirees. Once they charge more for medical and change retirement they will have serious recruitment issues and retention problems. NOBODY will join if retirement starts at 62 or medical fees replace a retirement check altogether. We will see in the coming years.

          • retiree says:

            So if your point was that retiree changes would affect recruitment, and your example was Grenada, which had NOTHING to do with retirement, what was your argument again?

            Oh, and I'm still waiting for that pointer to the law giving free healthcare for life to retirees.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            My argument is that the use and misuse of active, retired or otherwise in your case will reflect on the organization as a whole.

          • retiree says:

            Again you change topic – show me how the Grenada invasion is related to the topic YOU brought up – that changes to retirement and retiree healthcare will affect military recruitment.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I didn't bring it up yer pal Charles did. You know that part about retention and recruitment in and out of service? Regards to Grenada or other problems with recruitment is an easy one. Lower the standards and guess what? You now have enough recruits.

          • retiree says:

            You deny saying

            "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

            ???

            You obviously missed the point about Grenada – they fixed the recruiting problems in 1979 – we DIDN'T have a lower standard of recruit in 1983. And again, the 1970's problems were due to issues in the SERVICE, not RETIREMENT.

            Please provide any study that shows retirement changes affect RECRUITING.

            Charles provided numerous numbers that I amplified on that show that the current retirement system has NOT affected recruitment, DESPITE CHAMPUS and TriCare not being free (and they have NEVER been free).

            I will admit retirement changes CAN affect RETENTION – the REDUX plan. But that's RETENTION, not RECRUITMENT.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I didn't say it, George said it. Every retiree will tell every friend, cousin, brother, aunt, uncle, sister, sons and daughters to stay away from the military. Until they start recruiting felons or high school drop outs. Recruitment is relative to economy, STANDARDS, and those free college scams or bonuses. Any problem in the military throw money at it. Any problem after retirement, take money from it.

          • retiree says:

            Care to provide ANY evidence that paying for TriCare is affecting recruitment and enlistment?

            So far you have lots of statements, no facts. the past decade of FACTS indicate that retiree healthcare has no effect on enlistment.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Give me 3 years and you will have your facts? I am curious to know what the standards were for recruitment in 83?

          • retiree says:

            There's this amazing thing called the Internet. Feel free to look it up.

          • retiree says:

            You posted it. Do you deny that?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "Any problem after retirement, take money from it.."

            Speaking for myself, I've only gained monies and benefits since I retired in 1995, not lost.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            http://www.ou.edu/deptcomm/dodjcc/
            groups/99C1/Paper.html http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/
            10207/bitstreams/20192.pdf

          • retiree says:

            Same comment as I made when you posted it before – still awaiting proof that RETIREMENT changes affect RECRUITMENT.

            NEITHER of the studies you post indicate RETIREMENT changes have any affect on RECRUITMENT.

            YOUR statement: "Now let's review ALL of the responses on here and see exactly what the state of recruitment will be for the next generation!"

            You specifically indicate youj believe it will affect RECRUITMENT. So me ANYTHING that indicates RETIREMENT (especially retirement healthcare) changes affect RECRUITMENT.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Including Grenada, there has been 94 Interventions, with non of them having anything to do with Enlistments or Reenlistments.

          • IDMTmedic says:
          • IDMTmedic says:

            r_stories/2008/01/dumb_and_dumber.html

          • retiree says:

            And that has WHAT to do with RETIREMENT BENEFITS?

            From the article: "The main reason for the decline in standards is the war in Iraq and its onerous "operations tempo"—soldiers going back for third and fourth tours of duty, with no end in sight."

            Don't see retirement benefits in there at all – I see that folks are getting out of the military due to frequent deployments.

            And before you come back, I know what Charles said, but I'm staying on topic – military retirement. Recruitment is something to worry about, but if you have 5 minutes in a Reps or Senators office to talk about retirement, and you spend 2 – 3 minutes talking recruitment without tying it back into retirement benefits, he/she will focus on recruitment, NOT retirement.

          • IDMTmedic says:
          • Please provide evidence that the changes in RETIREMENT policy affect RECRUITMENT. What you posted is about RETENTION, but your statement at the beginning was about RECRUITMENT.

            Your statement –
            "Now let's review ALL of the responses on here and see exactly what the state of recruitment will be for the next generation!"

            Since you are questioning RECRUITMENT, you must provide evidence of RECRUITMENT issues that are affected by RETIREMENT.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            http://www.ou.edu/deptcomm/dodjcc/
            groups/99C1/Paper.html http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/
            10207/bitstreams/20192.pdf

          • retiree says:

            So you don't have any such study (or you didn't read your own links). NEITHER of your posted studies indicates ANY changes to RETIREMENT affect RECRUITMENT.

          • BTW, from your posting:

            "The key underlying issue related to retention is PERSTEMPO"

            Don't see anything about retirement benefits affecting it. Having said that, before you bring it up, I'm very aware of the REDUX issues, which is why any changes to retirement NEED to be studied for effects on RETENTION. But again, that's RETENTION, not RECRUITMENT – which is the issue YOU brought up.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            see links above and argue with em

          • Links inop.

          • retiree says:

            Saw the links, read them. NEITHER talks about RETIREMENT changes affecting RECRUITMENT.

            Having trouble reading your own links?

          • Link inop.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Had to break up the link Charles. Try adding the two together?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            CORRECTION:

            Including Grenada, since the end of the Viet Nam Conflict there has been 94 Interventions, with none of them having anything to do with Enlistments or Reenlistments.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Nothing to do with enlistments or re-enlistments ???? THAT is a very interesting statement.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Thanks, we finally argree on something.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            No we don't. Sarcasm isn't your strong suit either

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Place the recruitment standards with those stats next time.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Don't need to post anything else, for it has nothing to do with the MYTH about 'free health care for life'.

    • Charles says:

      IDMTmedic,

      We have zero problems with recruitment in the services as you see below.

      2006 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

      2007 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

      2008 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

      2009 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

      2010 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

      2011 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele

      2012 Recruiting Data http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?rele… through April

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Great info! Now wait and see what happens when the economy improves, if ever. Let's check those stats in 5 years.

        • retiree says:

          I suspect we'll still not have a problem – back in 2006 the economy was going good, Retirees paid for TriCare, and we met recruitment
          http://prhome.defense.gov/rfm/MPP/ACCESSION%20POL

          1998 data – we met quotas and had an improved quality, at the top of the dot-Com boom. Oh, and Tricare was NOT free then either.

          Still not facts from you.

          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."

          Words of Congressmen themselves:

          Congressman (Dr.) Joe Heck (R-NV), an Army Reserve physician who practiced medicine in the military for over 21 years, took exception to the witnesses’ statements that the Pentagon needs to do this to control health care costs. “You’re cost shifting. It does nothing to control costs by shifting the burden to those we are suppose to be taking care of,” Heck asserted.

          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.

          He noted that the debate on TRICARE fee increases was only beginning in Congress, but pointed out that health care cost growth is a national problem, and not localized to the Department of Defense.
          http://www.moaa.org/Main_Menu/Take_Action/Legisla

        • Charles says:

          IDMTmedic,

          LOL, that may be true, but that is a whole nother argument than what you made earlier and has nothing to do with the MYTH of "Promised Health Care for Life".

  36. Free health care for our military retirees and their spouses is not unreasonable. Consider what our loved ones have sacrificed and compare it to the "free" health care congress and the President get. If congress and the President were forced to take the health care our vets and the civilian world get, maybe they would see things more clearly. As a spouse of retiree and a daughter of a retired Chief after 31 years and did a tour in Korea and Viet Nam, I believe they deserve FREE health care.

    • retiree says:

      Congressional Health Care: http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…
      http://www.costello.house.gov/issues_MythsFactsHe

      Sorry, Congress does NOT get free health care. They, like the Federal Civil Service, pay cold hard cash every two weeks for their healthcare.

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Yes and get 10 times the money as well as many unpublished perks and future insider trading tips.

        • retiree says:

          You want to earn what they earn, run for Congress.

          I also note you still can't provide a single fact to back your position.

          • IDMTmedic says:
          • IDMTmedic says:
          • IDMTmedic says:

            congress.indiana.edu/congress-and-lobbyists

          • IDMTmedic says:

            thecitizen.com/blogs/kent-kingsley/05-29-2012/lightning-round-congressional-pay-raises-obamacare-0

          • IDMTmedic says:

            mrgrg-ms.org/swindle.ppt

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "mrgrg-ms.org/swindle.ppt "

            This is mere propaganda and already proven false by the article at the top of the page.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            That article doesn't prove anything. Propaganda? Which part would that be?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Read the above article.

          • retiree says:

            to quote from the Appeals Court decision (the deciding ruling that matters here):

            IV. Conclusion

            We cannot readily imagine more sympathetic plaintiffs than the retired officers of the World War II and Korean War era involved in this case. They served their country for at least 20 years with the understanding that when they retired they and their dependents would receive full free health care for life. The promise of such health care was made in good faith and relied upon. Again, however, because no authority existed to make such promises in the first place, and because Congress has never ratified or acquiesced to this promise, we have no alternative but to uphold the judgment against the retirees' breach-of-contract claim.

            Federal judges have a duty to uphold the Constitution and the laws, even if that means making unpleasant or unpopular decisions. Congress, on the other hand, has the power to make law, not simply to interpret and apply it. As our predecessor court said:

            Congress has the power and authority under the Constitution to establish a system for the payment of retired pay [for military service members] and to change the system from time to time. . . . We understand and appreciate the dissatisfaction of the plaintiffs with the change in the retirement pay system, as they have rendered long and faithful service to our country in time of peace and war. However, if they are to get any relief, it must come from Congress, as this is not within [a court's] jurisdiction.
            Abbott v. United States, 200 Ct. Cl. 384, 390 (1973). Perhaps Congress will consider using its legal power to address the moral claims raised by Schism and Reinlie on their own behalf, and indirectly for other affected retirees.
            http://mrgrg-ms.org/f99-1402.html#conclusion

            Read that – there was no promise, because Congress never authorized it.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Not sure what pointing fingers at what others make has to do with the MYTH of 'free health care for life'!

            As we both know, this was settled back in 2003 by the Supreme Court!

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Yes true enough. Settled in 2003. It's enlightening to see our congressman receive a pension when they need it on top of their millions. Talk about pensions gone wrong! The links show what our almighty congressmen have been doing while in the service of our country. Enriching themselves while ignoring the very people dying for this country. I am one that chooses morality over legality, but that's just me.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            no reply?

          • retiree says:

            You want their benefits, run for Congress.

            Unless you want a law that no one in the US can earn more than an E-9.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            What I want is a congress that represents the people. Not a slew of lawyers making millions while representing our interests instead of lining their wallets.

          • retiree says:

            Feel free to vote however you want. Be sure you look at who you vote FOR (since "none of the above" is not an option).

            Feel free to Propose changes to the Constitution regarding Congressional pay. Article V specifies it. In the meantime they set what they get paid, because that's the Constitution (Article I, Section 6).

            Of course, I prefer recognizing we deal with who we have, and the best we can do is make logical, fact-based arguments (passionately) with those in power, rather than waiting. Because those in power are VOTING now.

            Things like remind them of 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."

          • IDMTmedic says:

            no comment?

        • Charles says:

          IDMTmedic,

          Unpublished?

          Those in the military get numerous perks from day one.

        • retiree says:

          Congressman to you: Thanks you. I will look carefully at the bill reducing Congressional pay, my Admin Assistant will now show you out the door – again thanks for your interest in congressional benefits.

          Note what he's taking away because you got off message – that your concern is his pay and benefits, NOT ours.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            174,000 base salary
            900,000 for salaries of up to 18 permanent employees
            Office expenses -250,000. No limit on office space. Can maintain offices at home and on capital hill
            Franking?? Not sure how much.
            Office furniture 40,000

          • retiree says:

            Congressman: I appreciate your concern. Thank you for your time and consideration concerning Congressional salaries and benefits. My Administrative Assistant will show you out – again thanks for your concern.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            That congressman works for the people not the other way around. He is bound to reply to his/her constituents about concerns. Ridiculous as you say they are. Of course that's only if he wants to keep his/her job. That IS what they run for office for right? To do the people's work? Public servant?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Where is the connection between the MYTH and Congress?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Take your glasses off Charles. No Myth. The connection is from our kings on the court. Morality doesn't elude them just means they aren't legally required to do right from wrong. No surprise most are lawyers.

          • Again, what is the connection between serving Congressional health care and retirement, serving federal civil service healthcare and retirement, and the MYTH of military "free healthcare for life?"

          • IDMTmedic says:

            like the way you now put serving

          • retiree says:

            Again, what is the connection between serving Congressional health care and retirement, serving federal civil service healthcare and retirement, and the MYTH of military "free healthcare for life?"

            Having trouble debating? Maybe you should take lessons? Maybe even, say, learn to use that military education you got on how to develop plans?

          • retiree says:

            Serving as opposed to retired. Having trouble with English?

          • retiree says:

            You have 5 minutes with the Congressman. You spend 3-4 of them complaining about his benefits. What's his takeaway? Right- that you are unhappy with his benefits. NOT that retiree benefits should be protected.

            Again, please go to a debating group at your local high school. Talk to some trial lawyers, esp those with a track record of winning. Staying on topic is critical. Keep talking about congressional salaries, and that's what they'll record your visit about.

            works the same with mail – they record 1 topic. You talk about 2 (or more), and they chose one. Possibly NOT the one you want.

          • retiree says:

            Average congressional district: 646946

            So you are ONE of those people – NOT the only one.

            Sorry you think you're special, but so do 646495 others. All of which he/she has to answer to.

            And for Senators the average is much higher.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            What happens to the money that goes into their campaigns after elected?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Where does the money go once I've bought a Burger?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I'm sure you eat salads Charles with a healthy dressing and diet coke right? Last I checked you weren't on the corner asking for burger money were you? Then spending it on booze?

          • retiree says:

            You tell Charles and I to be polite, but you can post insults.

            So why should we follow your advice when you don't?

          • retiree says:

            Congressman: Thank you for your concern about Congressional compensation. My administrative assistant will escort you out. thanks again, and feel free to contact me again on this topic of congressional compensation.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            But before you leave my office look at my pictures at the Memorial Day parade. Gosh you Vets are awsome! Ok thanks again for coming in.

    • L Muenich says:

      I agree completely. I was lucky to get back from Vietnam but many friends did not. Congress and President should follow and to take same as vets and civilian have to get and take. I believe they deserve FREE health care.

      • Charles says:

        L Muenich,

        If this happened, then they would have much better health care than they have now, and much, much cheaper.

        • IDMTmedic says:

          lmao. I can see Congress getting much better health care and much cheaper if they went to our plan. Are you living in another world or just "retirees" world?

          • retiree says:

            http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/

            Follow the links there – and then tell me it's cheaper. Cheapest plan (HMO, self only) is about $157 every two weeks.

            Of course, that took all of 2 minutes research.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Not even close when compared to the salary.

          • retiree says:

            So you don't deny that they pay more for their healthcare than us. If you want their healthcare system, feel free to lobby for us to go under FEHBP. Feel free to have a lot of folks upset with you when they start paying for their stay in the military hospitals and paying minimum $157 every two weeks (often much more).

            And if you want their salary, run for Congress. The requirements are in the Constitution.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Omg that is ALOT of money? Can't just use that doctors office and pharmacy in between the Senate and House? http://Www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/congress-hea
            Or maybe those free outpatient visits at military hospitals?
            Cost for that service you ask? Just over $500 a YEAR!!!!!
            My favorite is the last sentence. Grrrrrrrr %#^*}#%+=

          • retiree says:

            Congressman: Thank you for your concern. We agree that our health care is among the best in the world, as is our retirement plan. To implement your suggestions, we will move all military to FERS and FEHBP immediately. They should see the deductions from their pay about 6 months after the law passes.

            BTW – the clinic in the Capital ONLY serves Congressmen, NOT their families. Nor does it provide in-patient care. If they use an MTF (Bethesda) for in-patient care, they have to reimburse the Military.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Your right, not even comparable to Active Military that pays nothing, nothing at all.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            You are delusional. Guess that term pre-paid, and endured, and unique sacrifices means not paying, according to Congress?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Define what it is your arguing about, sorry, but you've lost me.

          • retiree says:

            Congressman: Thank you for your statements about our benefits. We understand you feel military retirees should be under the same system as us. We agree, and I will sponsor legislation to put all military and current retirees under FERS and FEHBP. We appreciate your willingness to pay more to help solve the deficit.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            HUH, I agree, that is just what I said!

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Lawmakers get special treatment at Washington federal medical facilities and for a few hundred dollars a month, access to their own pharmacy and doctors, nurses and medical technicians standing by in an office located between the house and senate chambers.
            Yea they got it rough alright http://Www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/congress-health-car...

          • Charles says:

            IDMT,

            Ok, so what!

      • retiree says:

        "Congress …. should follow and to take same as … civilian have to get and take"

        You are aware Congress is under the same retirement and healthcare plan as the Federal Civil Service?

        • IDMTmedic says:

          Oh I'm aware all right.

          • retiree says:

            So you want us under their system?

            So everyone can know what you're advocating:

            FEHBP: http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp

            FERS: http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fers/index.asp

            I'm certain everyone on the board will be glad to know you advocate increasing their costs and reducing their benefits.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Surely that couldn't happen to us?

          • retiree says:

            You're sure advocating all retirees get FERS and FEHBP instead of what we get.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Sarcasm isn't your strong suit I see

          • retiree says:

            You're the one arguing about the great Congressional benefits, and NOT talking about retiree benefits.

            If they're so great, why shouldn't we have them?

            Or are you suddenly realizing that arguing about congressional pay and benefits is a sideline that can hurt our cause?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Because they are the ones cutting OUR benefits while making huge amounts of money and cutting nothing from their own. Can't be anymore black and white can it??? Why not just admit your happy with our benefits just as Charles is and have no complaints. Nothing is going to hurt our cause. They have studied our situation many times over and nothing will change. http://www.ou.edu/deptcomm/dodjcc/groups/99C1
            /Paper.html http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstream
            /20192.pdf

          • retiree says:

            1. You have failed to spot my posting – HR3813 will severely affect Congressional retirement if it goes through.

            2. Since the subject is the MYTH of "free healthcare for life" – what does their SERVING benefits have to do with that?

            3. Since their benefits are WORSE than ours (look up FERS and FEHBP), arguing about what wonderful benefits they have a) is going to cause them to put your visit/letter in the "congressional benefits" slot, NOT the "military retirement" slot UNLESS you can provide a specific link, and b) cause them to think you want THEIR benefits – FERS and FEHBP. Thus saving budget money as well as answering your complaint.

            How are you going to complain when they do exactly what you asked for?

            Oh, and Congress sets our salary and their benefits because they (and only they) have that authority since 1789 – when the Constitution was passed. Don't like it – Article V of the Constitution spells out how to change it.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            yes I did miss that post. If they will get retirement changes then I am and will stop arguing about it. IF it's proportional to the retirement affecting our future enlistees.

          • retiree says:

            So if they cut their retirement, you're happy to see a cut in our retirement? Got it. You are perfectly happy paying more as long as they pay less.

            Personally I don't care what they do to their retirement, I'm fighting for our retirement and healthcare.

            Remind me again what THEIR retirement and healthcare has to do with the MYTH of "free healthcare for life" for us.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I agree with you. Fighting for our benefits is a good thing. Correcting the "myth" is your thing and if it's to BENEFIT THE RETIREES as you say then ok keep it up. Good luck. If anything is to change it will come through our organizations and not individual letters. So I will leave you two to advance the veteran cause. My discussions/arguments with you are done and the one thing that I did take from it was to do my research and from my point of view "Facts" are relative. Thank you for the LIVELY, angry, sobering, discussions.

          • IDMTmedic,

            "Because they are the ones cutting OUR benefits while making huge amounts of money and cutting nothing from their own."

            As I've stated before, since I retired in 1995, none of my benefits have ever been cut, only added too.

            Although I don't and have never felt that comparing what others make or don't make has nothing what-so-ever to do with my benefits, I will just debunk what you've said about Congress "cutting nothing of its own". As "retiree and me" have already posted time and time again, is that Congress hasn't had a pay raise since 2009.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Ok remind me again Charles what it is your doing on here? Happy as a clam and no complaints? Soooo I'm taking a wild guess that your letters to Congress are thanking them for increased fees and possible cuts in future enlistee benefits and retirements? Possibly our own? I know crystal ball. Well, good to you and your optimism. Wish all of the soldiers had that including me. Guess death tends to make the argument a bit more personal.

          • IDMTmedic, Part 1

            "Ok remind me again Charles what it is your doing on here?

            To 'debunk' the MYTH of "free health care for life" as stated by the above article by Terry Howell (Was Free Health Care for Life Promised?).

            "Happy as a clam and no complaints?"

            So far, I am more than satisfied with all my retirement benefits and have yet to see any them eroded, only added to..

          • IDMTmedic, Part 2

            "Soooo I'm taking a wild guess that your letters to Congress are thanking them for increased fees and possible cuts in future enlistee benefits and retirements?"

            I have no need to write Congress and complain about what I am satisfied with. As to Tricare Fees being increased, I understand the necessity of this because in the history of Tricare (1997) 18 years, there has never been an increase in fees. As for those that come after me, it is for those soldiers to write to Congress about their concerns, not me.

            "Possibly our own?"

            IDMTmedic, please don't concern yourself with my thoughts about my retirement benefits.

            "I know crystal ball. Well, good to you and your optimism. Wish all of the soldiers had that including me. Guess death tends to make the argument a bit more personal."

            Please don't concern yourself with my feeling about my own benefits. I'm not concerned about yours and am not telling you NOT to take your concerns to Congress.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I didn't say that quote. I said I was aware

  37. bourgeois_larry says:

    I feel betrayed. When I enlisted in the Marines in 1977 I was led to believe that I would have VA medical benefits for life. I served 4 years active duty and was Honorably discharged as Sergeant. Now, 30 years later, I'm 53 years old and unemployed. I was laid off 4 years ago and have worked in several states doing temporary work just to survive. I have no medical insurance so I filled out the VA online application to get a VA medical card so I could go see a doctor about my high blood pressure. I never doubted that I would receive a medical card and be able to see a doctor because I knew (I thought) that veterans have VA medical benefits for life. I was shocked to receive a letter in the mail about 3 weeks later that I had been DENIED a VA medical card because according to their guidelines I had made too much money the previous year. It didn't matter to them that I had served honorably for 4 years or that I was unemployed and had no medical insurance. In the blink of an eye I was kicked to the gutter without so much as a "Thank you for your service". I feel BETRAYED!!!

    • Charles says:

      bourgeois-larry,

      This is a new claim I've never heard of before.

      • bourgeois_larry says:

        In 1990 I walked into a VA hospital with pnuemonia. I gave them my SSN, they looked me up in the computer, let me see a doctor, and prescribed medication. This was over 10 years after I had been discharged. Why would they see me back then if I didn't qualify for VA medical benefits?

        • Charles says:

          bourgeois,

          I don't know, didn't you ask them when you went back and they turned you down the 2nd time?

          • bourgeois_larry says:

            They turned me down this time because of financial restrictions from new legislation that came out of Congress recently. Apparently, in this day and age of excessive government overspending and budget deficits they are looking for ways to cut anywhere they can. Veterans are a favorite target of democrats and the republicans don't have the backbone to stop them. If you think you hear grumbling from the veterans, then just wait until the federal government starts cutting medicare, medicaid, and social security. There are many other "Good Causes" that will be cut as well, due to the wreckless overspending. The people on these programs will scream bloody murder and rightfully so. The federal government has made promises that it will not be able to keep. This country has a lot of pain and suffering ahead in order to avoid a total economic colapse. Get ready to survive without any government help at all. This may sound negative but I'm pretty good with predictions and this one has a high probability of coming true, unfortunately. God Bless.

          • retiree says:

            Not recent – VA changed the rules in 2003
            http://veteransunited.org/vacategories.htm

            Since mTF and VA care is the least expensive for the government, they should expand availability of these, rather than restrict them.

          • bourgeois_larry says:

            Thanks! I appreciate the feedback and info.

  38. JOHN MURPHY says:

    i AM RETIRED 21 YEAR ARMY AND i REMEMBER HEARING A REINLISTMENT TALK ABOUT,ABOUT MEDICAL FOR LIFE. ??? ,ARE YOU KIDDING WE WERE ABOUT TO BE SHIPPED TO kOREA AND WE LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND LAUGHED.WE NEVER EXSPECTED TO SEE 21 LET ALONE 65.,SO, WHY DON"T ALL OF YOU QUIT BITCHING AND BE HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ?

  39. Gerry YNC, Ret says:

    Those good old days — military practically begged you to reenlist. Most noteworthy, was the vietnam era vets. We have been promised time and time again, that we will be taken cared of for our lifetime.. I suspect when the HEALTHCARE companies got a foothold of our benefits, politics sets in and none of our politicians would now admit that implied promises were those days a part of the reenlistment decision package presented.

  40. Gerry YNC-Ret says:

    In parting, I hate to say people, but now all that matters are the politicians priorities-no one cares and nobody understand a military person's needs..all they care about is get you somehow to put in your uniform and be sent to war in a moments notice? As for benefits; they will easily and heartlessly refer you, if at all, to the nearest HEALTHCARE company…

  41. Rose Pryer says:

    As a former wife who gave up my military career to follow my husband around. He decided to divorce me after 28 years married. I was left with no medical or any privileges. I lost my military ID because he retired when we were married 19 years and 10 months. He now has a new wife with all the benefits that I feel that I should have. The Marine Corps says that I am not eligible to have an ID.

  42. Glen Jones says:

    Well our Elected federal officials could carelee about us veterans they made sure they get there retirement and medical for life regardlee of how long or litlle
    they serve in congress
    Partly Disabled Vietnam Veteran

  43. why dont you start a vets bill of right you have a good subscriber list we need this

  44. I was promised by MY Navy recruiter that I would have medical care for life and not with retirement as a condition but just being a veteran.

    • retiree says:

      When did you go in? When did you retire? CHAMPUS (which was NOT free) was instituted in 1967. And the only healthcare EVER provided to non-retired veterans is via VA, which is still available. Category 7/8 was restricted in 2003.

    • Ditto my Marine Corps recruiter in the summer of 1969. It was also touted once again during boot camp.

      • My Marine recruiter told me the same thing in 1960. I served on active duty 'til 1963. In 2010 I was told: Since you never had feet dry in Vietnam, you don't qualify. I was on an LST during the Cuban Missle Crisis and did have feet dry on Gitmo. Not good enough – Sorry.

    • Tom Burke says:

      I also was told that I would get free medical carwe for life when I volunteered for the Army and went to fight in the Korean War as an infentryman. How can ythey saw that recruiters are allowed to lie in order to get men to put their life on the line?

      • Charlie says:

        Recruiters, like horse salesmen, have lied since they first existed.
        One of the clauses in the old enlistment contracts basically said that the recruit was obligated to do certain things. The government, on the other-hand, was allowed to change it's obligations when and how it chose to do so, at it's convenience.

    • Jon_Heckendorf says:

      I was told the same thing by my Air Force recruiter back in 1968.

      Recruiters must be the same as cops. Cops do not have to tell the truth.

  45. add FREE medical care. Not with copayments.

  46. Leg Bracer Bob says:

    When I sworn in to the U.S. Air Force on 18 August 1971 I was promised free health care for the rest of my life. It was that way for I think it was several years then the powers to be in our Federal Government decided that they were going to make all Veterans and retirees do a means test every year to declare all taxable income as well as assets and liabilities. Depending on what category each Veteran and retiree was put in determined whether or not a co-pay was charged for medical care as well any pharmaceutical prescriptions. I felt like I had been kicked in the butt by our government when my back was turned after originally being promised that I would be taken care of medically for free for the rest of my life after being discharged from the military and after having given this great country of ours almost four years of my life. The powers to be in Washington , D.C. have a health care plan to die for and either pay very little for it or nothing at all. This is very, very wrong.

    • Charles says:

      Leg Bracer Bob,

      The military was under CHAMPUS in (1967).

    • retiree says:

      "The powers to be in Washington , D.C. have a health care plan to die for and either pay very little for it or nothing at all."

      The "powers that be in Washington" are under FERS and FEHBP, and get WORSE benefits then us. And pay highly for it.

      Congressional Retirement Plan: http://www.factcheck.org/2007/12/congressional-pe
      http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL3
      http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…

      Congressional Salaries and allowances http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…

      Congressional Health Care: http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…
      http://www.costello.house.gov/issues_MythsFactsHe

      And, as Charles has said, when you enlisted CHAMPUS (which was NOT free) was in existence, to be replaced in 1995 with TriCare (which was NOT free). The ONLY free healthcare retirees have EVER had from DoD was / is Space-A in MTFs, still available today.

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Guess getting free medical at military facities for congressman is ALOT of money. Define pay highly for it on their salary? Let's see I guess we all need to just run for congress because that's what Charles and retiree say we need to do. They never mention the perks they get. Anybody ever check them out?
        Just type in congressional perks :) I love checking out how hard it is for them to pay cold hard cash for those terrible health benefits and retirements. I mean after all they could be injured in an accident, lose a limb falling down those big steps, or get PTSD from those loooooong debates. Why on earth would anybody run for congress? Must be hell for them. Voting is strenuous when they can make it and all that travel is exhausting. That law degree will save me from pointing that claymore in the wrong direction. We are so lucky as retired vets. Thank you congress thank you!!!!!

        • retiree says:

          So you don't deny they pay for their health care?

          If you want us to be under their plan, it is FEHBP – feel free to look at it at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/

          Sorry you feel no one deserves more money than an E-9. Guess you believe in socialism.

          Me, I'm going to continue to fight for our veterans based not on what I think someone else is getting, but on what Congress has stated we deserve:

          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."

    • old ham guy says:

      Well, my answer to the yahoos in Washington is to vote against any incumbent that was there during Vietnam and who lately has worked against the military retiree. I think they should have to retire under the same conditions we have. Might wake them up.

  47. Considering that the latest census indicates less than 7% of the population is a veteran or directly related (dependent) to a veteran, it would most certainly not do any harm to provide at least the same medica care our never-served Congress critters receive if they don't agree with the 100% care option.

    • Charles says:

      pete,

      Do you have any idea what Congressmen (federal workers) pay for their healthcare? See information below.

      http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Better yet Pete, you have any idea how much a congressman makes? Mmmm must be hard to pay those medical premiums. Check out one of the links for those poorly paid congressman by retiree. Very enlightening. Why do they get a pension? To entice younger congressional hopefuls. Sounds ALOT like the military doesn't it.

        • IDMTmedic says:

          Btw congressman get free VIP military treatment if they show up at a military hospital http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/lawmakers-ge

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Enjoyed reading this. http://Www.law.umaryland.edu/Marshall/crsreports/
            Interesting view from both sides

          • retiree says:

            Just spotting that? Charles and I have been posting for a while. About time you started reading the links.

            Note what it says – "Without explicit authorization from Congress, such benefits cannot be created or conferred by the military or others. A search of the relevant literature shows that at no time did Congress authorize rules and regulations providing "free healthcare for life at military facilities" for military retirees.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I also noted that the senate acknowledged the promise. Miss that part? Crs9. They also state they felt the current legislation covered that promise.
            And it wasn't either of your links

          • retiree says:

            Page 12.

            1. The actual words in the senate report on the 1998 NDAA were "moral obligation" – which is NOT the same as a promise. Nor is a Senate statement law, only laws are. The writers of the report put the word "promise" in quotes – as in it's not what was said, but an interpretation. Oh, and that's a committee hearing, NOT a law.

            2. The actual "law" that came out of that (Section 752) is a "Sense of Congress" law – which means it has no legal weight.

            so again, no promise.

            Oh, and it's in the link I've been posting – http://mrgrg-ms.org/crs1006e-the-issue-of-promise

            See page 12

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I'm sure that guy probably doesn't have a job anymore. How could he possibly interpret something so obvious?

          • retiree says:

            Having trouble with English? I pointed out that he put "promise" in quotes to show it was not what was said – as in when someone uses their fingers to "quote" something while talking. Reading the report as a whole (not taking single sentences out of context), it's clear the writer knew and was putting across that Congress never authorized the free healthcare, and that without said authorization, no promise was made.

          • retiree says:

            Courtesy of the SecDef. Feel free to write him to change it.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Your point?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Ok but he doesn't hold the purse strings does he? How is it a member of congress is able to get military health care? Guess next thing you know Arlington will have congressman in it huh?

          • retiree says:

            Because Congress authorized the SECDEF to make that call. Oh, and they pay for that too.
            http://mcmorris.house.gov/uploads/August2009Healt

            Oh, and Arlington not only has Congressmen in it, but it has Presidents – JFK for one. All of whom served in the military.

            US Constitution, Article I, Section I:
            "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

            If your point is that Congress can change the rules, that's why – because in 1789 we authorized it when the States ratified the Constitution.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            You see that term "served in the military" for Arlington? You need to see that term for getting military health care also don't you think? I know feel free to email SECDEF. Congress says he can but not for Vets.

          • retiree says:

            Feel free to pay for your care in military hospitals – Congress does.
            http://www.law.umaryland.edu/Marshall/crsreports/

            Sorry you're upset Congress gets to set the rules – feel free to start the process to change the Constitution. Article V spells it out.

            In the meantime, as I said, I'll fight for our retirees and veterans with the Congress we have, using facts expressed passionately. That includes their own words.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            We did pay, arms, legs, blood and 20 years

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            I volunteered each and every time. I new exactly what I was getting myself into.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Thanks Charles, here's your change from that burger.

          • retiree says:

            And now you advocate we pay with cold hard cash by putting us under FERS and FEHBP.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I didn't advocate anything of the sort. Do the other federal workers get private clinics and free outpatients visits at military hospitals? Or is there a special congress "clause" I didn't know about like the free clinic?

          • retiree says:

            So you want us to get their healthcare – note again they are under FERS and FEHBP. If you want "their healthcare" for the military, that is what you advocate.

            Oh, and you do have private clinics – they're called MTFs. And you do have free outpatient clinic visits at Bethesda RIGHT NOW. I've used Bethesda.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            You did say free right?

          • retiree says:

            Have trouble with the English language? Active duty have free access to MTFs, to include Bethesda. Retirees have space-A access to MTFs, to include Bethesda.

            Congressmen have 1 clinic in the Capital that they can access while they are serving. While serving they have space-A access to Bethesda. If their care is in-patient, they PAY for it.

            Retired Congressmen have FEHBP. Period. no access to Bethesda (unless they are also retired military). No access to the clinic in the Capitol.

            Feel free to continue to advocate for their retirement benefits.

            For the rest of the people reading, IDMTmedic is advocating we go under FERS and FEHBP. This would cut our benefits (34% after 20 years, instead of 50%, payable at age 50 instead of immediately on retirement), as well as increase costs (pay 1.6% of your active duty pay for that retirement, pay a minimum of $157 every two weeks for health care).

            Just so everyone reading understands what you are so passionately advocating for us.

            Personally, I'm going to advocate we keep the current system, and they do NO changes until they have done a complete study, with the study panel including retired enlisted and non-GO officers. And that any changes ONLY affect those who join the service AFTER the changes are made.

          • IDMTmedic says:
          • retiree says:

            Right, all the info they need. That you advocate a cut to our benefits and an increase in our costs by moving us under Congressional retirement plan, also known as FERS and FEHBP. As a result, a 20 year veteran will get 34% at age 50, instead of 50% at retirement. Everyone will pay a minimum of $157 every two weeks for their healthcare. Retirees will be cut off from access of any kind to MTFs.

            Sorry, but I'd like to keep the benefits I have.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            So I guess that "study" needs to be done again? I agree NO CUTS or raises in fees regardless how you frame it.. No response to recruitment/retention issues? Facts ARE what your wanting.

          • retiree says:

            See my other posts – retirement changes have historically had NO effect on RECRUITMENT.

            Oh, and since you keep advocating for the great "congressional retirement plan" I assume you want us under that – which is what I posted. Since their plan would increase our costs and decrease our benefits, you are in favor of that. I'm certain Congress appreciates your willingness to help with the budget and take on more costs.

            Or have you decided yet that they may not get that great retirement after all?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            So, your argument is now with the health care difference in what Congress and other Federal Workers get. Just how does this fit into the TOPIC above?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Because the two FACT gods keep giving links without the COMPLETE story behind those benefits.

          • retiree says:

            So how does this fit with the TOPIC above? What does the difference in healthcare between actively serving Congressmen and actively serving federal workers have to do with the MYTH of free healthcare for life for military retirees?

        • retiree says:

          So you admit they pay for their medical care (which is what Charles was countering)?

          If you want the perks of a Congressman, run for Congress.

          If you want to debate their perks with them, fine. Be aware that the time you spend debating THEIR perks with THEM is time you're NOT discussing Veterans benefits. In other words, you're off topic – and thus losing the argument.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Not losing anything arguing about congress. Never said they got it for free. Now reeeeeeead the link

          • retiree says:

            So you post a complaint about my answering a question, and admit my answer was correct.

            Do you just post to see yourself in print?

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Never admit anything you say is correct. Just trying to get the moral sense of your arguments. Oh wait, you don't have a moral stance only a legal one? No, that's not it. You have a moral sense but agree there was no promise because after all a promise didn't exist because it wasn't legal? Noooo, you agree there is a moral obligation because congress said it but don't agree with how they are raising fees. So you agree but don't ok got it.

          • retiree says:

            So far you seem to spend huge amounts of time trying to argue with FACTS. Read that word again – FACTS. I'm TRYING to prevent folks from going to Congress and arguing with them about things that CONGRESS KNOWS is wrong – because that means they will cheerfully ignore our position, since those making the arguments are obviously too stupid to do basic research (most of mine can be found with about 5 minutes of Google research).

            Feel free to argue to Congress we we promised free healthcare for life, that they get free medical care and 100% retirement for life after one term, etc. Feel free to be ignored, because they KNOW you're wrong.

            Or start using FACTS as the basis of your arguments, and add in the passion in HOW you present the FACTS.

            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."

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Ohhh there it is! Expresses the sense of congress??? Useless and meaningless according to you.

          • retiree says:

            No – legally it has no bearing. However, it IS their words, and can be used in the debates.

            Again, quit trying to read into what I say – when I say something has no legal weight, that's what I mean. I don't mean it doesn't have moral weight, or anything else.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            So I guess since vets say they were promised, legally it has no bearing but can be used in debates. Except you are attacking them as if that would be the weak spot in their argument, which it isn't. Now start realizing that your using "your arguments" on vets and not on congress

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            If what "retiree" and myself post is concidered by you "arguing with Veterans", then so be it.

            My question, if someone is a veteran, and posts something that is untrue, should other veterans hold there tongue in respect and just not say anything? If this is how you feel, then this article is doing that by explaining that free health care is a MYTH.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            My suggestion and IMO you should correct them in a respectful constructive way without the links until they ask for clarification. Most don't stick around for a response. Free country, you two don't seem to mind or care how you respond so keep up the GREAT work. Congress will be so relieved

          • IDMTmedic says:

            And I will do the same and bite my lip more often. I do agree that having certain facts corrected is the right thing to do however the approach needs more tact. This issue has far more emotional value than a legal "link". To dismiss the argument as a myth is creating tension. Discussing congressional benefits are fair game if the discussion of FERS or FEHBP IS presented as a black and white issue as well as their retirement percentages. No discussion has been made with a 401k with matching funds in that regard. Military has similar but no matching funds. TAXPAYER funded matching funds.

          • IDMTmedic,

            "No discussion has been made with a 401k with matching funds in that regard. Military has similar but no matching funds. TAXPAYER funded matching funds."

            This is true about there being no discussion about no matching funds, because the Military's TSP Program isn't part of the Military's Retirement Plan which soldiers pay nothing into and mostly, it has nothing to do with the MYTH of "free health care for life".

          • retiree says:

            You want matching funds? Feel free to go under FERS. Accumulate at 1.7%/year (instead of our 2.5%/year). Pay 1.3% of active duty pay to get that. And then get match of up to 5% on your TSP.

            You don't get to pick and choose – you want THEIR benefits, you get the whole package. Personally I like 2.5%/year and no out of pocket expense to receive. Hopefully we can keep that for at least those currently retired and those currently serving.

          • retiree says:

            So you want us under FERS to get the matching funds. 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%), 44% after 30 years (instead of 75%), dependent on the stock market for our retirement benefits, etc. Oh, and pay 1.3% of active duty pay every year for the privilege too.

            I'm certain Congress appreciates your willingness to give back money to help cut the deficit. I'm not certain your fellow retirees do.

            While you continue advocate for cuts to our benefits and increases to our costs, I'll continue to fight for what we have.

          • retiree says:

            Sorry you don't like the links, so don't follow them. I post them to provide anyone who's interested a link to the data.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            You do know about google right. Why would they need a link. Sure don't need your legal google degree.

          • retiree says:

            Feel free to ignore the links then. Sorry they disprove your theories, but that's YOUR problem.

            I've relooked at the internet rules – nope, you are NOT required to follow links. You can ignore them safely.

            And why would someone want the links? I don't know, maybe they want to go back to the source material and verify it? Maybe check that it comes from a verifiable source that has authority (say Congress, the Constitution, the court ruling, etc), and not from random e-mails, joe bob's blog, or "everyone knows?

            Again, if you don't like the links, don't follow them.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Let me suggest you stop making what everyone else posts a personal issue.

            As to the "most don't stick around for a response" comment, as you know, you don't have to stick around, because those posting are sent an email when someone responds to what they have posted. Like me, sometimes I respond to you, and sometimes I don't.

            For posting links up-front, I appreciate that, because it allows me to reseach what was said and saves me a post asking for said reference/link.

            Over all, seems you are the ONLY ONE arguing against "retiree" and myself posting of information that debunk much of what is said.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Perhaps Charles IF you started making it personal then you may start looking through glasses without the rose tint in them. Try treating your benefits as if you were just at a funeral. I think the five stages of death would suffice but denial is a great place for you.

          • retiree says:

            Please review what I posted to you about how to build an argument. It doesn't matter how passionate you are, facts are facts.

            I suppose you're one of those who's war plan is "get a bunch of guys together and charge, we don't need no stinkin' plan." There's a name for those – dead. Which is where your arguments are.

            Instead, try putting your military training to use. Build logical, fact-based arguments. Develop an understanding of the other side's arguments. Use that knowledge to build a strong structure to advocate for your side, if possible using their arguments against them. Then argue them passionately.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            I am very happy with my military benefits (all of them). There is no other job I could have chosen that would have got me more benefits than what I recieve from DOD.

            You just don't realize how good you have it.

          • retiree says:

            You have NO CLUE what I've sent to Congress. As I've said, I've sent e-mail and provided input to my Congressman and Senators arguing for preserving our healthcare and retirement system. I have NOT tied it to any "promise" that did not exist.

            As Charles indicates, if you believe correcting erroneous statements by our fellow veterans BEFORE they go to Congress is a problem, does that mean you are happy if they go to Congress with erroneous information, resulting in us seeing an increase in the costs of healthcare and retirement and reduction in benefits?

            As I've shown, these arguments based on erroneous information are liable to get us placed under FERS and FEHBP (what Congress and the Civil Service are under), with the result of not only paying cold, hard cash for our healthcare (even while on active duty), but also reducing our retirement benefits (Congress gets 34% at 20 years, and it's payable at age 50)

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Thank you for your letter regarding retirement and medical benefits for our most honorable veterans. We as you know are in very challenging times and are evaluating all options for decreasing your retirement and medical benefits and we were hoping that you would agree. As a congressman my benefits are wonderful and I pay pocket change for it. I mean who else has a 401 AND a pension, but you as veterans are not as important. After all we make the laws that keep this country running and enjoy a kings ransom for it. Shhhsss don't tell anybody. We understand your concern and will ignore all of your letters. Please write us again with any future concerns. Your ideas will be placed in the file with the rest.
            Sincerely
            Congressman
            Autum Attic Raises

          • retiree says:

            Feel free to make jokes, but at least I can play with facts – Who else has a 401 (TSP) and pension? Every Federal Civil Servant. And they pay cash for it. Which is what you seem to advocate we go under.

            Oh, and at 20 years they have 34% base pay (top 3), payable at age 50. I'm certain all our military will love the cut from 50% to 34% and the delay in receiving it that you advocate.

            At least you admit I talk about OUR retirement and medical benefits – NOT Congresses.

            Learn to debate – I've already given you suggestions on where to go to get help.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            If I was getting matching funds for my thrift plan then great, why am I not? They do with our money. I don't need any help with arguing thanks. You can call it a debate if you wish but no tactics or strategy needed here. Truth, right and wrong, fairness are my guides. Facts are of course needed if not repetitive, ahem. Facts have been posted and posted with no change in my arguments or opinions as I am sure yours haven't as well.

          • retiree says:

            You want matching funds for the TSP? Fine, go under FERS. Note that the accumulation is now 1.7%, NOT 2.5%. Note you pay 1.6% of your base salary into it.

            If you want part of the benefits, be prepared to get it all.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Yes your good at playing with facts. Much like statistics.

          • retiree says:

            Sorry you dislike facts. Unfortunately for you, CONGRESS deals with FACTS. Debate deals with FACTS. The Military deals with FACTS.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "I mean who else has a 401 AND a pension, but you as veterans are not as important."

            Based on what you have posted, I'm guessing you didn't know that soldier can also signup for Thrift Saving Plan (TSP). Military that contribute while in a 'combat zone', that money is "tax-exempt", not "defered" and interest accrues on the account at an annual rate of 10% (per Executive Order 11298) and compounds quarterly.

          • retiree says:

            Forgot about that – and I have the Military TSP.

            However, the 10% annual rate is on a separate savings account. The tax-exempt TSP is like a ROTH light.

            Of course, our retirement is better than theirs, but that doesn't seem to faze IDMTmedic – he continues to press for FERS and FEHBP for us.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Tell us about the taxpayer contributions matching funds.

          • retiree says:

            What about it? You want matching funds, take FERS – get only 1.7% per year vice 2.5% per year, pay 1.3% of active duty pay into it.

            Feel free to keep advocating cuts in our retirement and increases in our costs. I'm certain Congress would prefer that.

            Personally I'll continue to fight to keep what we have.

          • Charles says:

            retiree,

            Thanks for the correction. My intent was to show IDMTmedic that the military does offer the Thrift Savings Plan to their soldiers, and in addition to that, they also offered "The Savings Deposit Program".

            Correct me if I'm wrong, as I understand it the Roth is different/separate from the Thrift Saving Plan and the Savings Deposit Program (only offered while in a Combat Zone and tax-exempt, not defered).

            http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/moneymatters/a/sav

          • Charles says:
          • retiree says:

            TSP is currently a traditional 401(k) type plan – the money you put in is pre-tax, and the withdrawals are taxed. However, money put in that is tax-excluded (combat zone) is not taxed (although the interest is) when withdrawn.

            Congress voted for and DFAS is putting in place a TSP option that is Roth. A Roth is post-tax deposits, with tax-free withdrawals. However, for a GI in the combat zone (enlisted, junior officer), since they don't pay taxes, their deposits AND withdrawals are tax-free for the Roth option.
            http://militarypay.defense.gov/tsp/index.html
            https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-775.pdf
            https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/Press.Release.2

          • Charles says:

            retiree,

            Roger that, but you left out the DoD Savings Deposit Program.

            http://www.dfas.mil/dfas/militarymembers/payentit

          • retiree,

            Went back and reread what you had posted, and I must have missed what you had posted about the 'Saving Depost Program'.

            Anyway, we're on the same sheet of music in explaining this to IDMTmedic about TSP.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Do I need to provide a link for you again? No research?

          • retiree says:

            Here's your link:
            http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fers/index.asp
            http://militarypay.defense.gov/tsp/index.html

            A reminder of what you posted:
            "I mean who else has a 401 AND a pension,"

            What Charles and I posted were the answer to that question – namely at minimum every federal civil servant and every member of the military.

            I see Charles basically providing good info, and willing to accept corrections. You're just arguing because you dislike the FACTS.

            And what happened to you not needing links? You complained that Charles and I kept posting them, but when we don't you complain.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Since you've deviated so much from the TOPIC of "Was Free Health Care for Life Promised?", would you please post your emails to our Congressmen in relation to the TOPIC at hand so I will understand what your agrument is!

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I would post my letter to Sen. McCain but I don't think you could print it here.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Right, of course.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Got a few more letters from my reps and guess what, nice letterhead with nice pics of veterans day celebrations with the same "thank you for your service" form letters. I am sure all of your correspondence and retirees have much better results? Please do share how you are fighting for our benefits since you have no complaints.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            I'm not fighting for your benefits at all. I'm very happy with what I have. If you are not satisfied with what you have, then you need to do what you fell is necessary.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            That sums it up.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            No I want a congress that represents the people. You want? Let me see, ahhhmmm millionaires with a pension and too much power. Seems ok to you. They decide our future benefits and have the option to change it whenever they like. To include medical and retirement

          • retiree says:

            You have no clue what I want – stop trying to interpret what I posted, and you may gain some reading comprehension.

            While you wait for the perfect Congress, I'll deal with what we have got, and try to get action from them.

            Oh, and Congress will ALWAYS decide our future benefits and have the option to change it – because we granted them that power in 1789 when we (the US states) ratified the Constitution. Don't like it? Lobby for changes to the Constitution.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Yes certainly don't want to interpret anything. Moral obligations certainly don't mean a "promise". Only means right from wrong unless I interpreted the definition wrong? Reminds of a former president who stated "depends on what your definition of is, is."

          • retiree says:

            Reminds me of someone who can't read or think. Here's a hint – unless there's a LAW, there's no PROMISE. What Congress says in a "Sense of Congress" or in a committee meeting means NOTHING in terms of spending money. Because the Constitution is VERY CLEAR –

            US Constitution, Article I, Section 9:
            "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

            In NDAA 2012, Congress expressed their "Sense of Congress" that Reservists who were on active duty between 9/11 and 28 Jan 2008 should be entitled to reduced retirement. Great words – but there was no law to back it up, so all those reservists who served during that timeframe STILL don't get their retirement reduced.

            So no, a "moral obligation" expressed during a senate hearing or in a "Sense of Congress" is NOT a promise. Sorry, the Constitution still rules this country.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            That's interesting because I could swear that your arguments up to this point have been regarding the "sense of congress" statements that you are going to use against them. Guess it's not really binding and why would we use that against them? Thank god we veterans have you in our corner. Whew, as a leader of scouts I can't imagine a better rep for us.

          • retiree says:

            Clearly you have no clue as to how to debate. Why would we use it against them? Because that's THEIR words – they can't deny saying it. However, they CAN deny that "free healthcare for life" was ever promised, because no LAW implemented it.

            "Sir, in Senate debate on xx date, you stated yyy – if that is your position, why are you promoting zzz?"

            Learn to debate. Learn to frame arguments. Learn about the "enemy" – Congress in this case.

            You might try going to Toastmasters, or visiting your High School debate society.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            The FACT is it was promised to thousands. Until you realize that you will always need that removal procedure and the sooner the better

          • retiree says:

            the FACT is that case was lost in 2003.

            Another FACT for your FACT file – CHAMPUS and TriCare have NEVER been free. Arguing to Congress that we that it was "promised" when they know for a FACT it was not, and KNOW you should know (did your family never use TriCare or CHAMPUS while on active duty – mine did. It was NOT free) means they KNOW you did not do your research. Which means they can ignore you.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I know for a FACT it was promised. Legal or not. No reason to discuss moral at all then. If it wasn't promised then what is the moral question?

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            The fact is, is that this article is attempting to tell everyone posting that the notion of PROMISED 'free health care for life" was never promised by those needing to make the promise for it to be true.

            This is settled law and continuing to say we were promised even after it has been explained in fine detail is taking no one no where, and doesn't get us closer to recieving free health care.

            We have what we have, time to move on.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            No we don't have what we have. We have what is left of what we had with an ending that is STILL undecided and will continue to decrease.

          • IDMTmedic,

            Ok, you're correct, speaking for myself, I have what I have. Feel free to define what you have in your own way.

            Again, since I've retired (1995), non of what I had then has decreased one iota, only grown.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Congress doesn't represent what each individual wants, never have and never will.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            No YOUR not discussing VETERANS benefits! Your discussing anything BUT benefits. Your acting as if your our leader to "save" us from disaster when dealing with congress. Our misinformation will make us look like idiots. Let's see, your elected to nothing, represent nobody and want to correct as all on the law and FACTS. You know why they call it practicing law or practicing medicine? Of course you do, that's why you are here right? To educate all of us uneducated misinformed Veterans. I must say with all of the dealings I have had with you I feel enlightened, recharged, and so much more informed. When do we get to vote for your leadership and wisdom and facts again? Your term up soon? Maybe your vice can chime in? I know I forgot to pay my dues but thank you for all of your hard work on our behalf.

          • retiree says:

            I get it – you don't like facts. Fine. Then ignore my posts.

            And for the record, I am not your leader – thankfully. Just a retiree interested in ensuring we are best-armed to go to Congress and fight for our benefits – which includes helping others know what the FACTS are.

            BTW – still waiting for you to post a link to the law authorizing free healthcare for life for military retirement.

        • retiree says:

          So if Congress cuts their salary, you're good with them increasing the amount we pay for our healthcare?

  48. Warren Smith says:

    I retired from the Navy in 1988, HMC E-7. A major ploy by recruiters throughout my career, was that if one retired from the service with at least 20 years, health care would be free for life. Bait and switch is a way of life now in the military. Only the service member must follow a contract. "As of the needs of the service," on reenlistment contracts (in fine print) exempts the government. No loyalty now to anyone serving, in any area. Get your GI Bill and get out (now also must be paid for by recruits). Retired with Bronze Star/Purple Heart/4 Navy Achievement Medals, BS degree, 20yrs, with a minimum wage retirement. Believe in yourself. I would not recommend a military career now to anyone (E-5-E-8 being booted at 14yrs without reason).

    • I agree, as a 25 year Air Force veteran I would never, never try to persuade a person to join the military. When my students question me about serving in the military, I strongly urge them to go to college and become a politician if you want anything for free. A recruiter was actually astounded when I literally cursed him out for talking with my both my daughters at age 17. I had a long talk with both of them and made it clear to them that if they wanted to work for an honest employer, then stay away from any type of public service because the benefits they may promise you is only as good as the paper it is written on at the time, basically worthless.

  49. George Fryk says:

    It does seem very strange that I got the same story from a retired Admiral, CWO 4, and MANY other WW2 and Korean vets when I entered the service in 1956. That the military would allow a false rumor to exist and be used as a recruitment tool for many years is beyond belief.

    Someone here keeps saying show me where in the constitution. Well show me where in the constitution as written by our founding fathers that a politician could spend as little as 6 years in office and get all of the goodies they do,

    Serving our country either in the military or political office was meant as a "step away from civilian life for X years then return to your previous life".
    Now the same people that are afraid to personally do what all vets have done from day one are trying to tell us that we never heard the right thing. Could MILLIONS of actual veterans all have been wrong for over 50 years? I think not sir or mam.

    We ALL put our lives on the line so that you could stay safely at home and say we do not deserve this or that.

    • Tim Wolfe says:

      I tried to sign up for medical benifits about a month ago, 4 years active service, honorable discharge and was a Staff Sgt. I was told that my wife and I made too much money and didn't qualify. I was stationed in Thailand my last year, on the way there I was in Viet Nam for a few days. Was told that there was a rule change in 2003 and I could have signed up before then. We weren't advised of this or would have done so.Thanks a lot!

    • Depressed_American says:

      I joined the Air Force in 1981, and that was one of the KEY selling points my Recruiter told to me, and an audience of Hight School Students.

      I find it extremely hard to believe that the Military would allow Recruiters, Career Advisors, First Shirts, Commanders, and any others in the command chain to allow that falsehood to persist for almost 50 to 60 Years.

      They are full of lies, but what can we do, the courts backed them, and thus it it justified in theirs eyes. Screw all the people who served their country for 20 plus years of their lives…..

  50. ME RLTW says:

    Bottom Line – don't send your love ones to fight until the enemy is at our gates – then we all can share the misery of war, that rest have missed – maybe just maybe they will understand the toll of war/combat. I assume those who are making decision concerning vets would fall to the ground and cry.

  51. I served in the Navy during Viet Nam (64-67) and always believed that I would be able to sign up for VA Medical, at least later in life. After retirement from civilian life, I applied for VA Medical. The only reason they gave for not qualifying was that my household income was too high for the county that I live in. I was told that if my family household income dropped, I could give them the new household income and perhaps then I would qualify. So regardless of actual or implied contract, as of a couple years ago, I would have qualified if my income was low enough. I was also told that millionaires who signed up prior to the income rule were grandfathered in. Senator Lindsay Graham is no longer one of my few respected politicians. // Bill

    • My neighbor served in the Army during Viet Nam and then retired from a civilian job. He applied for VA medical but was denied because his civilian pension was too high. He also believed that at some point in his life, if needed, he would be able to rely on VA medical. Copy forwarded to neighbor Bob. // Bill

  52. I wasn't told I would receive free healthcare for life, I was told I would be eligible to use the Military hospital for life, I just assumed it would mean free healthcare. I was offered TriCare to pay for my healthcare after retirement. Now those hospitals and the care are going away and people are being asked to switch to a civilian provider to relieve the overcrowding at the existing Military hospitals due to dwindling providers.

    • old ham guy says:

      Right and if you make too much money (It isn't much) you can't get in no matter how long served.

    • skyviewer says:

      First they started Tri-Care, Then they down sized military hospitals. Next they moved every one they could to tri-care. Now it is costing the goverment to much money to run tri-care so they want to raise the rates by 4 hundred percent. Just another US goverment shell game and we get to pay the price

  53. MSgt, USAF (Ret.) says:

    First I need to correct a couple of things, MOH holders do not "win" their awards, they earn them. Secondly, members of Congress pay for their medical care, it is not free. They, like most civilians, must join a plan like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, etc. Check the Internet.

    We were promisted healthcare for ourselves and our spouses for life and our children until the age of 18 (or later if enrolled in full-time college). My Air Force recruiter told my parents (I was 17 years old when I enlisted) that and handed them a pamphlet explaining it when they asked I would be taken care of while in the service he further stated the care would be from cradle to grave.

    Now that we are over age 65, we both pay into Medicare every month and Medicare is the second payer on our medical bills with Tri-Care For Life, being the first. In other words, we are not getting totally free medical care now or before Medicare when we paid an annual fee.

    We received excellent care wherever we were stationed starting in 1957 and continuing until our four children turned 18, and continues for my wife and I. And we are very thankful for it.

    • GySgt, (Ret) says:

      that's baloney MSgt and you know it! Members of Congress get the same benefits as a military retiree for one 4 yr term of service in comparison to our 20 years of service and they don't have to get shot at as we were serving our country. have no problem paying Tricare and I expected the costs to go up (it's still less than the outside insurances) but what I can stand is everytime I look, Congress again is taking benefits away from us. And to top it all off, these very same politicians get a pension for the rest of their lifes just as we retirees get for 20 years. Only thing is they get paid more for so little. Now I ask you is that right?

  54. Medical and Dental care in a lot of areas in the Military in my experience have been sub-standard, follow ups to VA have been no better. The Military needs to up its active service health care system standards for its active duty and keep a good health care system for the retired in place to cover the short falls that system has now. Examples of short falls, no Dental cleaning for 15 months while activated, refused prescriptions, blood pressure and temp readinings not made at sick call and these people had better equipment than a lot of medical centers here in the US.

  55. I signed up in 85', Honorable Discharged Vet. I was never told about lifetime Medical care, but I was told all Vets above Dishonorable Discharge would be able to receive low cost medical care for the rest of our life at the VA. That and free burial at a military cemetery. I can't believe our government would pull this crap for so many of us that served and earned lousy pay to not receive anything.

  56. retiree says:

    Thankfully you're not my leader either. So far you' ve done a great job selling arguments that will get Congress to raise our retirement and healthcare – by focusing on everything BUT our retirement and healthcare.

    BTW, in case you didn't notice, many in Congress are lawyers. They know how to argue. Talk to some lawyers on how they build cases.

    1. Start with the facts (those pesky things you don't like)
    2. Build a logical case (sorry, at this stage passion is out the door).
    3. Stay on topic (don't go on about Congressional salaries, what state workers make, etc)
    4. Build the other guys case (how is HE going to argue against you, and where can you take advantage of the holes in his arguments)

    Finally when you do go to court, you argue the above built case passionately.

  57. Charlie says:

    Free medical care was promised in writing into the 1960s, including the early part of the Vietnam war. Unfortunately, many of those were originally eligible lost that when they re-enlisted under the "new" enlistment terms. At one time VA medical care was also promised to many veterans on a "space available" basis.
    In the Vietnam era, the VA immediately started reducing anything that might be considered "space available", and construed the meaning of "space available" to be anything that helped reduce the number of veterans obtaining medical care.

  58. Jon_Hekendorf says:

    I was told the same thing. Serve your country until injured, wounded, or retired and you will receive health care for life. If you believe Senator Lindsay Graham’s statement then it must be true that there was no contractural obligation by the military and the government to take care of us then there is no contract binding us to obey any request for performance (told to do something) nor obey any order until it is in writing and is provento be a lawful order. Do you get my drift? What say you "High Command"? Best yet, do not enlist until everything is in writing and you have a civilian attorney review your contract with the Military. Why risk injury and death when our country is not at risk or has declared war? Do you get my drift? What say you "High Command"? I say Quid pro quo or Omne aut nihil. What say you oh "High Command"?

    • retiree says:

      Suggest you read your contract. Suggest you take a look at your oath of office. yes, there are laws requiring you to obey lawful orders of those above you.

      10 USC Chapter 47 – Uniformed Code of Military Justice

      10 USC 121 – Authority of the President to Issue Regulations governing the DoD

      Show me the equivalent law authorizing free healthcare for life for retirees? Hint – there is none. US COnstitution, Article I, Section 9:
      "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law"

      Rather than beating a very dead horse, let us argue instead using their words recognizing the prepayment (from NDAA 2012):

      "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."

      Let us argue that, as Senator Graham and others have stated, there is money to be wrung out of the military healthcare system through improved efficiencies, which would save money. Let us argue that all they are doing is shifting costs onto those least able, and who the Government should be protecting, to save the Government money – they are NOT cutting healthcare costs (Congressman Joe Heck, a Reserve physician). That there is a moral contract to provide lifetime healthcare (Sen Jim Webb, USMC). Let us argue that that improving and expanding access to MTFs and VA would save more money (http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/03/military-defense-new-health-agency-030212w/). Finally, the Administration proposal included a commission to study retiree healthcare and retirement – doesn't it make sense to do the study and THEN make the changes, instead of making the changes and THEN doing the study?

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Yes like free healthcare for congress at military hospitals. Gotta cut deep, everything helps. Ohhh and don't forget the free parking or multiple first class tickets for them. Death Benefit? Fact finding trips anywhere in the world with their spouses? Ohhh wait I forgot this is about the military NOT Congress. Not sure what I was thinking about, OHHHH yea, I remember now, cuts, yes CUTS for ALL of americans.

        • Jon_Heckendorf says:

          I am with you on this one. Congress lives off of the backs of all Americans especially those who serve.

        • retiree says:

          Want the benefits of Congress, run for Congress. Want the retirement benefits of Congress? Be aware of what they are – FERS and FEHBP. Pay cold hard cash. Collect 34% of your top 3 for 20 years service, payable at age 20.

          Oh, and military have free healthcare at MTFs. Congress has (courtesy of the SECDEF) free outpatient care (space-A) at Bethesda, while they serve. Their clinic in the Capitol – available on outpatient basis to serving members only – every base I have been to has an MTF.

          And yes, this IS about the military – keep arguing for their retirement / healthcare system, we'll get it – and we'll get what I pointed out in the 1st paragraph. Worse benefits, more costs. I'm certain everyone on this list will be grateful to you for raising their costs and reducing their benefits.

      • Jon_Heckendorf says:

        I was never allowed to read my contract (August 1968) that I signed nor was I given a copy of my contract, and, when I asked for a copy it was refused. I was accused of being insubordinate for asking for a copy of my enlistment and I was given punitive duty.

        I remember my Oath of Enlistment and no where in it was I asked to state "lawful" order. This point will be addressed later.

        I believe we are saying the same thing or at least you are proving some of my points. When you state "lawful" orders the law is clear with case law substantiating what a lawful order constitutes. It is upon the soldier who is given the order to judge the lawfulness of the order. See Nuremberg trial transcripts and case law. UCMJ Articles 90, 91, with defining Articles and case law.

        When you state "Show me the equivalent law authorizing free healthcare for life for retirees? Hint – there is none." we are in agreement. I just used the word "told" as my qualifier. Sorry for being too simplistic. And, yes, I was told this many times during my service. I never saw it in writing but nor have I ever seen any verbal orders given to me in writing.

      • Jon_Heckendorf says:

        continued:

        Case in point, I was given orders while in Viet Nam that the ordering officer recanted his order when it turned out to be an illegal order. Ooops!! Who is in trouble now? I have the Article 15 and the verbal threat of a Courts-Martial to prove it.

        The rest of which you state, I am not familiar. Without further study on my part, I can not have an educated opinion one way or the other.

        I hope my attempt to clarify my position has been satisified; Not that you have to agree with it.

  59. The Senator is wrong when he says that there was never a promise of lifetime free medical. I joined in 1971 and was told when I in-processed at Ft. Leonardwood, MO that if I retired from the Army I would have 100% free medical care for me and my eligible family members, ie; spouse. That has gone the way of the GI bill of rights which has been modified from what I was promised when I joined to the watered down version they have today.

    • IDMTmedic says:

      Wait for even more watered down coming soon. Not only medical but starting to include retirement discussions.

  60. Harvey Brandsey says:

    What coverage is there for a dependent of a retired person with dementia?

  61. William Fury says:

    I joined the Navy in April of 1955 .Retired March 5 1998 (2 yrs Out of service ) 41 yrs total ! The pitch of the Recruiters Was" FREE Heatlh care to the Grave" for Serving 20 yrs . So if they Lied ,The Navy was part of it , The Top brass ,Never Stopped the FREE Pitch . We all heard it ,in those yrs ! Why did they pick 1956? Because ,before that !,it was very clear about the Promise ! SS was never collected and was never part of the Pay System . And Medicare was not even developed . So paying $100.00 for Free health care Is BS , WE Paid out of our Civillian Pockets for that ,as Sel RES , Nothing to do with the Navy. So all these Young people ,telling me, they (Navy) Never promised me a Rose Garden ,were not even a Gleem in their Fathers Eye . When I served !! Ask ! them What a Pay chit Was?? and their answer would be a Big Grunt ,Before My Time !! CLUE!! Paid in CASH ,So How in hell do you Youngens Know What they Promised US Old Salts!!?

  62. William Fury says:

    This is for Charles and "RETIREE" again. "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

    Well Pull up the" Bonus Army" 1917 and see how The Country Treated its Veterans, Mac Arther& IKE were In charge of Getting Rid of them .out of Washington DC., Fired on them and Killed some !! So Free Health care wasnt the only thing they lied about !!

  63. My Veteran's Day Toast:, borrowed from the Royal Navy:

    "Here's to us, as no one else is concerned for our welfare."

  64. Bill McDonnell says:

    Rumor: Military academies charge tuition for futures cadets! Retired world War II Master Sgt.

  65. William A. Carpenter says:

    I'm not clear on where the date in 1956, or how it was determined that 1956 was the cut off year for the promise of Lifetime health care for members and their spouses. I joined the military in March 1958, and some of the selling points offered, were the promise of training in a career specialty of my choice, commissary privileges for immediate family, and yes, lifetime healthcare for those who remained in service till retirement.

  66. William A. Carpenter says:

    Now these hard fought for guarantees are once again being threatened. Congress, is slowing eroding the healthcare benefit by increased co-pays (or enrollment fees for Tricare for life beneficiaries). Worse yet, is the new move to charge ever higher fees for the medicines required to treat or control those illnesses, injuries, and diseases caused in great part by military service. It appears we need to start fighting our own government again for those things that were promised to us. As seems to be a continued theme of congress is to renege, where ever possible on commitments previously made. We have to be vigilant of other countries threats to our security, but we need to be more vigilant of our own government threatening our own welfare.

  67. T. Kriebel says:

    I graduated from Navy Career Counseling School in 1967, and served aboard the USS Newport News CA 148 as the Ship's Senior Career Counselor for all of 1968. I can tell you that a large part of our pitch and the counseling materials of that era was "free medical care for you and yours for life". So how the courts came up with the arbitrary date of 1956 mystifies me. Sure wish I still had my counseling materials…..the govt. has lied to us and I unwittingly perpetrated their lies. Our Medical Care for life is NOT free. MCPO, USN Retired

  68. I was living in San Diego during Vietnam. We actually had commercials on television where the PROMISE was that if you joined now you would receive FREE MEDICAL FOR LIFE. This was when they were trying to end the draft. I joined on February 3rd, 1973. This commercial ran for at least 6 months prior. I joined after my father told me that free medical was a big deal. Now that I'm 60 I have co-pays, etc. I don't bitch much. I'm poor and on disability. However, I am still concerned that the VA bills me enough that I can't afford it.

  69. Bob Easterling says:

    I have so much disdain for our government, the sorry policticians who take care of themselves and do not truly appreciate our military, and the sorry way we have been Tri-Care for Life instead of the free medical promised for so many years. I served 22 plus years as a Cavalry scout in some pretty harsh conditions both in and out of combat. Each time my enlistment was about to end, I had to think of the crappy life I was living and do pro & con about the benefits prior to re-enlisting. The free medical was a big factor each time. As we use to say "All you can do is suck it up and continue to march.". I would like to thank our scum sucking politicians and sorry Supreme court for their support.

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