Claims of Crippling TRICARE Cost Questioned

July 31, 2012 | Terry Howell

As many of our readers know, the DoD has been pushing a proposal to increase TRICARE fees by claiming TRICARE costs are spiraling out of control. The proposal has drawn fire from military retirees and military advocacy organizations. One such organization, the Military Officer Association of America, recently reported that a recent DoD request to divert $500 million from Defense Department Health Care to other programs proves that the DoD’s “claims were bogus.”

After telling the media and Congress that the escalating cost of TRICARE and other DoD health programs are “eating us alive,” the DoD is now telling Congress that military health care will cost $708 million less than what was budgeted for FY2012 and that the excess to can be used for “higher priority items with no impact to the program.”

MOAA also reports that the the DoD health budget had a surplus of $500 million at the end of FY2011.

According to reports, many of the House Armed Services Committees members were upset by the request after taking a lot of flak for not supporting the DoD’s request to increase TRICARE Fees earlier this year.

A letter sent to Secretary Leon Panetta by the HASC states, “We have heard that ‘TRICARE is crippling’ the DoD. This does not appear to be the case if DoD has a $708 million surplus in FY2012…We do not understand how DoD can justify a request to raise fees on a class of people whose costs to the department are actually decreasing.”

Let Your Opinion Be Known - Contact your elected officials to tell them how you feel about this issue.

More on the subject can be found following these links:

 

Comments

  1. retiree says:

    THIS is a valid reason for reducing, if not eliminating the 3.6% TriCare hike. DoD should not look at moving surplus money out, but instead using it to help either fund medical service improvements or seek congressional support to use it next year to reduce the TriCare hike.

    • retiree,

      I can't wait to hear what DOD has to say about this.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Don't worry Charles no reason to worry about that small increase, just write your congressman and thank them for the increase.

        • Idmtmedic,

          "Don't worry Charles no reason to worry about that small increase, just write your congressman and thank them for the increase."

          What did I post that makes you think I am worried. Not sure I understand what it is you're trying to get across, but should I also write someone of your choosing and thank them for my COLA also?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            I forgot Charles your not worried, happy as a clam:)

          • Idmtmedic,

            "I forgot Charles your not worried, happy as a clam:)"

            You would be correct, since 1994 there has never been a fee increase so a $3.28 fee increase per month beginning in October has NO effect on me at all.

    • Idmtmedic says:

      I'm guessing that it's not ok with you now? Remember it's a premium? Hasn't had an increase in many years? Costs are out of control.. Yea ok

      • I never said I was OK with it – I have merely tried to make certain opposition was based on FACTS, not falsehoods, and recognized that Congress does have the right to change things.

        Apparently you're too busy pushing for us having Congress's benefits (34% retirement after 20 years, payable at age 50, paying 1.6% of our base pay for the privilege, and forking over a minimum of $157 every two weeks for our healthcare) to really read what I have been saying.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Now your saying congress is the one who found this? The letter I posted many months ago from the general stated that very fact long before this article came out identified what they were doing with the excess funds. You countered with the fact it was "unfortunate" that he used the word promise in his letter to McCain. Congress is and will always be responsible. Now who approved the Tricare increase again?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            And by the way, at YOU keep saying that's what I want. If I get that salary then heXX yes I will take those benefits. Two to three times more generous than the private sector. Taxpayers cover 80%. Do some math and figure who has the better plan at those pay scales! Not to mention what they make AFTER office AND receive retirement. Let's means test them. If they make over 200gs then no retirement. Fair game, stop making bank off the taxpayers while their careers are taking off.

          • You want their salary, run for Congress. However, if you advocate we get their benefits, I want everyone to know what those benefits are – which is worse than ours.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            You keep saying that, worse than ours? With that salary? Shaking head.

          • reminder to all what IDMTMedic is proposing for us:

            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty. – Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.

            I'm certain Congress appreciates your generosity in giving up your benefits to help with the budget.

            Me, I'll work to keep what we have.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            You forgot the salary part and millionaires receiving those benefits largely funded by us. Hey glad your happy with that.
            So let's review what retiree and Charles are proposing. That multi millionaires that serve in congress deserve that retirement and it's ok for them to give themselves raises when they choose while raising our fees with a surplus. Ok got it! So with an EXTRA surplus now that we have to pay more then it's ok because after all it's been years without a fee increase. Ok got it. I do admit that retiree is stating he is fighting for what we have! I certainly respect that. Now if you could just pull charles' feet out of your ……… Maybe he could take a look around at the real world.

          • Reminder to everyone what IDMTMedic is advocating for us:
            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty. – Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.

            They are, as they have been since 1984, under FERS and FEHBP, same as the Federal Civil Servants. Their healthcare costs are going up by 3.8% this year. They (to include Congress) have not had a pay raise since 2009.

            If you would quit arguing for your fantasy world where a private makes $170K a year for life, is automatically granted millions of dollars, gets free travel around the world whenever he wants it, gets his medical care paid for for life at the Mayo Clinic, etc – all for singing on once as a private – and instead pay attention to the real world, you would understand you are advocating a cut in our benefits.

            As far as Charles, he is absolutely correct – our benefits have gone nowhere but UP since the volunteer force was created. He is in the real world. You seem to live in a fantasy world.

            Again, if you want the benefits of Congress, run for Congress. However, if you want the retirement plan and healthcare plan of Congress, be aware you are talking about a CUT to our retirement and healthcare:

            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty. – Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.

          • idmtmedic,

            "You forgot the salary part and millionaires receiving those benefits largely funded by us."

            DUH, just who do you think pays for your benefits? LOL

            "Hey glad your happy with that."

            No, not happy nor unhappy, I just don't care.

            "So let's review what retiree and Charles are proposing. That multi millionaires that serve in congress deserve that retirement and it's ok for them to give themselves raises when they choose while raising our fees with a surplus. Ok got it! So with an EXTRA surplus now that we have to pay more then it's ok because after all it's been years without a fee increase. Ok got it."

            No, I've made zero proposals.

          • BTW – as Charles has indicated, I haven't proposed anything other than to, as much as possible, protect what we have. You're the one going down the rabbit hole of Congressional benefits, in order to force them to put us on their plan, thus giving us:

            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty. – Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.

            Keep advocating for their program, and that's what we'll get. As the saying goes "be careful what you ask for, you may get it."

          • Idmtmedic,

            Very hard to understand just what it is you're advocating. The way I understand you, is that you want all service men/women to recieve the average salary of $174,000.00 per year that a Congressmen gets and then you would be willing to pay into and recieve the same benefits that they recieve. All this without ever setting foot in the Senate or the House.

            LMAO

          • Idmtmedic says:

            No Charles, lmao I'm simply pointing out that their plan is based on that salary. Now you do the math. As far as setting my feet anywhere, Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Egypt would be something that maybe a congressman should try. Preferably with a weapon and no security detail. Then that salary would be earned off our tax dollars.

          • Their plan is FERS, same as the Federal Civil Servants. If we go under that, we will get FERS, same as the Federal Civil Servants.

            You want the benefits and pay of Congress – run for Congress.

            Until then, for everyone's reminder, here's what IDMTMedic is proposing to replace OUR Retirement and TriCare/MTF Space A with:
            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty. – Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.

          • Idmtmedic,

            LMAO, no, their plan isn't based on $174,000.00, in that all Federal Civil Servants have that same plan you're talking about. If you want that same plan, you should have stayed out of the service and got a job working for the Government as a Civil Servant.

            OR

            Even better, after you retired from the service you could have then gotten a job with the Government like a lot of soldiers do when they get out of the Military. Just remember, your life was your life to do with what you wanted. Please stop whining about what someone else did with their live and worry about what you didn't do with yours.

            Sorry, I don't much care where you have been, doesn't have anything to do with the subject.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Charles that's your problem you don't care about anyone but yourself. Your making assumptions about my career post military and assure you I'm doing just fine. Let me make an assumption of you and your support of veterans benefits. That extra chromosome your carrying hasn't done you any favors, LMAO. I guess all of these veterans organizations are just whining to congress also? They fight to preserve what we earned. You fight for nothing and let others do it for you and then enjoy the hard work done by others as I am certain you did in the service also. Sorry but a millionaire that serves in congress does not DESERVE a retirement that is largely funded by TAXPAYERS. As the other posted get out of your panties and step away from your keyboard. You have contributed none, zilch, nada to promote veterans and I would consider you a …………..well enough said…lmao.

          • No, Charles understands reality. You're living in a fantasy world. And the millionaire in Congress gets the same retirement plan as the "joe worker" who runs for Congress, or the "Joe Civil Servant" who works for him. If Congress is not compensated, I guarantee only millionaires will be in Congress.

            And whether they get a retirement or not has NO BEARING on our retirement. The most you're going to accomplish is get us put under FERS and FEHBP.

            For everyone, here's what ITMTMedic advocates for military retirees:

            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty.
            - Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.

          • idmtmedic, Part 2

            "Let me make an assumption of you and your support of veterans benefits. That extra chromosome your carrying hasn't done you any favors, LMAO. I guess all of these veterans organizations are just whining to congress also? They fight to preserve what we earned. You fight for nothing and let others do it for you and then enjoy the hard work done by others as I am certain you did in the service also."

            Here you go again, making everything I post personal. Also, if you wish to give credit for my retirement check and healthcare away, so be it.

            "Sorry but a millionaire that serves in congress does not DESERVE a retirement that is largely funded by TAXPAYERS. As the other posted get out of your panties and step away from your keyboard. You have contributed none, zilch, nada to promote veterans and I would consider you a …………..well enough said…lmao."

            This is the subject: Claims of Crippling TRICARE Cost Discredited

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Ohhh yes back to that cost increase that you can afford.

          • idmtmedic,

            "Ohhh yes back to that cost increase that you can afford."

            Yep, seems we have come full circle and back to what I've already made clear.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Well guess congress and federal workers should have joined the military. Seems they have it so rough with those HORRIBLE benefits. Of course that would entail a bit more sacrifice. Do they have a memorial monument for congress or federal workers? By the way you said you served in Iraq and? 20 years and that's it? What was your job again. Share would you.

          • idmedic,

            "Well guess congress and federal workers should have joined the military. Seems they have it so rough with those HORRIBLE benefits. Of course that would entail a bit more sacrifice. Do they have a memorial monument for congress or federal workers?"

            LMAO, so you're advocating that all those that served in the Military should have to serve in Congress also!

            "By the way you said you served in Iraq and? 20 years and that's it? What was your job again. Share would you."

            idmedic, this site isn't set up for you to ask personal questions, but to comment on article's written by Terry Howell. I don't recall telling you anything other setting up a site with my DD Form 214 and 215 for you go to so you can get all your questions answered. As I told you before, just click on my HIGHLIGHTED name, then click on photo's and read my 214 and 215.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Yes I know but that question was for retiree. Yours cannot be accessed unless your a member for photos. I couldn't sign up due to the rush to become a member. Ummm ohhh let's see, one member. Popular page you have there, but anyway back to Tricare and Panettas responsibility to inform congress on transfer of funds. Sec. 8007 or 8707, you read those? Ok so now back on track.

          • idmedic,

            The only reason that site is there, was because of your constant questions to me about me. I made it for you, and if you wish to get your questions answered, then Join the site, read what you want, and then delete yourself. I really don't care what you do.

            No I didn't read that, but it really doesn't matter to me. Just what is your point, it still doesn't change what this article is about.

          • Some of them have served in the military. Some of them (Civil servants) have served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. I've had them work for me in both places.

            Assuming Congress does what you advocate and puts us under the same program as them, would you be happy if they then do what you suggest and cut their own retirement and healthcare, thus also cutting ours? They would have been giving you EXACTLY what you asked for. Unfortunately it's not what you wanted.

            For those who have not been following, IDMTMedic is proposing we go under the same system as congress (FERS and FEHBP). That would give us the following benefits:

            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty.
            - Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.

            Oh, and to return to the original subject – DoD proposed the original increase in TriCare, on the grounds healthcare costs are ruining DoD. DoD has requested moving funds from TriCare to other, non-medical, areas of the Budget. Congress has asked the question "if TriCare is such a financial problem, why are you asking to move funds out of it while at the same time asking for an increase in funding for it?"

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Yea ok. Remember my letter isn't special. When I write my rep, about my concerns then I have to have facts right? Don't want to look stupid. So you are a member of MOAA? why not post some of those FACTS they publish and why it is they are writing in the first place. I still would like to know your retirement status and service job, but hey it says retiree so could mean just about anything. Want to post more copy and paste response? Stats? Why not start your own chapter of something related to vet benefits, or better yet, a link to somebody who has already done it?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Charles let me try and give you a response you understand, if I respected you I would readily register to see your service record because I believe "usually" it is an honor. In your case, as you have stated I don't fn care. Your lack of respect for the retirement of the military benefits disgusts me. Lack of respect for the ones who died disgusts me and your complete disregard for those that rely AND deserve those benefits are at the least appalling. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

          • idmedic, Part 1

            "Charles let me try and give you a response you understand, if I respected you I would readily register to see your service record because I believe "usually" it is an honor."

            Ahhhh, I understand, as long as I agree with YOU, then I get your respect! LOL Just remember, it is you that keeps asking me and retiree for information about our military careers, and then in my case, you find it to hard to sign up. Well, I've fixed that problem for you. I posted my DD Form 214/215 on the message board so you won't have to actually sign up to read. I expect you to post your (DD Form 214/215) also before you leave the site. Remember, that site was started because you asked.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Read it Charles, very nice career. Now I will post mine when I see retirees. :)

          • idmedic, Part 2

            "In your case, as you have stated I don't fn care. Your lack of respect for the retirement of the military benefits disgusts me. Lack of respect for the ones who died disgusts me and your complete disregard for those that rely AND deserve those benefits are at the least appalling. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE."

            What you really mean to say, is that you're unhappy with me and "retiree" because we don't agree with you and have our own opinion. Worst of all, we bring the facts to the table with links to said information. You just hate it when the facts get in the way of your banter.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            My facts were pretty much summed up in that article I posted a link to that you failed to comment on.. A veterans organization that pretty much put all of yours and retirees BS to bed. But again no comment from either of you on it's content.

          • idmtmedic, Part 1

            "Charles that's your problem you don't care about anyone but yourself."

            Huh, what does my opinion have to do with reality? Everything I and 'retiree' post are based on facts which I give you the link too. I think you must be living in an entirely different universe then we do.

            "Your making assumptions about my career post military and assure you I'm doing just fine."

            I'm not assuming anything, I just don't care, and wish you would stop making this about you. You don't see me nor "retiree" injecting our time in the service in these TOPIC's.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            So did retiree help you with the big words on H.R. 1473? It's ok to not care. That's a fact for you.

          • idmedic,

            Did you read H.R. 1267, H.R. 204 and S.R. 954?

          • Ben Dover says:

            Hey, why did you kids stop bickering?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Lmao.in my case it's called a job.

    • Thresher146 says:

      The extra money should be diverted to the wounded warriors fund.

  2. We won't hear anything about this since, once again, politicians have been caught lying. They should all be fired, cout-martialed, whatever, just so they can no longer be in any position to hold any influence or power over us, the real military vicitms in this whole sad, pathetic affair.

    • adam,

      Maybe I didn't read the same article that you did, but I don't see what our politicians have to do with this, other then bringing attention to this and asking the right questions of DOD.

    • Ben Dover says:

      This was not the politicians that were caught lying this time but our own DOD–they lied to us and the politicians both.

  3. Three Bears says:

    …and I am considering swiitching form the VA health care to Tricare…?!…mmmmmaaabye NOT!!

  4. So our DOD personnel, Pentigon, Some members of Congress are always using health care to cut costs. Since Obama care health care has already gone up and not because of health demand. Our troops don't make over 100,000 dollars a year like the people mentioned above. They do deserve good health care. leave our troop alone!!!!

    • Graywolf says:

      Ben, agree with ,most of what you are saying. However, mid grade officers (O-4) and above earn well over $100,000 annually when you add their base pay, BAQ and BAS together (O-4 with 14 years earns $102,530.40). If they are stationed overseas their pay is even greater not to also include all of the specialty pay that is out there. The enlisted soliders definitely earn less than 100,000 a year. http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlemen

      • VCT_Retired-Army says:

        You are over estimating the BAH as the majority of O-4 and above live in Government housing and either don't get BAH of get and then it is deducted for the housing. It never reaches their bank account.

  5. commonality says:

    So typical it makes me sick. Now I need to go to the doctor.

  6. SFC Ollie says:

    We've seen it so many times. If you don't spend it you won't get it next year. I guess someone forgot to spend it……

  7. JJefferson says:

    I will go get my updated shots now. Maybe some tests that I have been waiting to get. We better start using our entitlements before we lose them.

  8. Well Sen. Brown, What will you do now? I suggest you at least check the information first, the next time you support raising our fees, or at least read the bill first!!!! I’m looking for your return letter on my letter to you on this subject and so will my fellow military retirees.

  9. bjerkebek says:

    don't complain. go to the MOAA.org website and email the prepared letter to your congressman, senator, SECDEF and the POTUS. I added in mine that they should publicly apologize to the Vets and stop trying to use us like an ATM.

  10. Dennis Curtis says:

    Panetta's a clown and so is his hand puppet Dempsey. All they care about is what's good for them. Self-centered and amoral. But inside the beltway those are highly sought after character traits. Contrary to what we were told for so many years in the military where character was paramount (see UCMJ). All the phony 'love the military' BS is simply that. When they need you they love you (sometimes). Why is it necessary for groups like the "Wounded Warrior Project" to furnish necessities to severely injured military? Where's the VA — on a conference with the GSA? Hey, here's an idea — the country didn't want a draft and went 'all volunteer' decades ago, right? Is it time for a union? Just thinking out loud. Have a great day.

  11. To top it off try to go and update your disability and they will deny that as well. Just when we the Old TImers were told that we would be taken care for the rest of our lives. I guess they sure were wrong on this one? Squeeze the living crap out of the Veterans. Sure glad Im not in anymore cant stand the way this administration and the gov is treating us vets.

    • oh yea, romney and a republican ran house and senate would REALLY be better… like they were the four years they had their chance, with out any resistance from the other side. these same people would like to increase your fees while decreasing the amount of taxes paid for by the rich in which you fought for. their freedoms to exploit us. the people who actually support you. the joe tax payer. the rich aren't paying. so who do you think is? you and me david.

      • You sir are also another useful idiot

      • bczernuchSCPORET says:

        Another Kool Aid slurper. If you knew anything about military History you would know Republican presidents always take care of the military. I remember getting a 17% raise after Reagan got elected. Then Clinton got in and gutted the military. Bush Jr, he's an asshole even though he's a republican. Democrats gut the military and Republicans build it back up. We should never got into Iraq or Afghanistan, big mistake. I served in Desert Storm, we came, we saw, we kicked ass and went home.

        • bcxemuchSCPORET,

          Sorry, if you knew anything about military history your would know that on President Reagan watch, that pay raise was no more than 14.3% not 17%.

          Also, during Carter's watch his payraises were 6.1 % on average, which is overall higher than any President that has preceded him.

  12. It is apparent that those peanut counting jugglers in DEF have plenty of character in this area, however, absolutely none in the area of integrity towards our military personnel, active and retired, and their healthcare needs. Everytime I read of these creative budgeting schemes for funds to be transferred to one of the politicians and administration appointees for other pet projects, often totally related to what was the intended use, makes me want to puke. Throw the whole bunch out come November.

    • 'Throw the whole bunch out come November'

      I Agree!

    • Since it is Congress that identified the problem, and military leadership (who are NOT elected) that caused the problem, how will voting Congress (who is on our side here) out help the situation?

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Yes congress. Lol thank goodness they are looking out for us because they have the "right" to change things. Well they did and here we are.

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

          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."

          Don't like it – Article V spells out how to change it:
          "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

          These are facts -we gave them the rights in 1789. Rather than arguing why they "can't do" what, by the Constitution, they're chartered to do, we should argue why WE should get the support of them, based on reality.

          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."

          They themselves admit (no law, but it is their words) that our service and sacrifice constitutes a premium that is "over and above what the member pays with money."

          • IdmtmedicScott says:

            Well said or quoted. So, the increases are paying for what?
            As I have said congress doesn't make money it spends ours. Now that two wars are almost over and our services are decreasing in numbers then the healthcare fees will also drop. Charles and yourself have both given statistics on the small number of personnel that reach retirement. We will see what happens with the increase but I highly doubt the fees will be rescinded because it's not how government works. I agree with your earlier post but mark my words, no changes and the money will not come back to retirees or the VA.

          • I never said what they paid for – I said they have the authority to change it.

            Actually, healthcare costs will go up – because of medical inflation and the increased number of retirees over the last 5 years, especially medical retirees.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            http://Www.scribd.com/doc/50680951/TRICARE-NAUS-Legislat...
            For any question Charles or retiree may have on our future benefits being attacked a must read. Especially the part about the "Trojan horse" for increased fees Charles

          • idmedic,

            You do realize this is 5 August 2012, and the link you've posted is almost over a year and a half old!

            Now, as posted by 'retiree', "Oh, and to return to the original subject – DoD proposed the original increase in TriCare, on the grounds healthcare costs are ruining DoD. DoD has requested moving funds from TriCare to other, non-medical, areas of the Budget. Congress has asked the question "if TriCare is such a financial problem, why are you asking to move funds out of it while at the same time asking for an increase in funding for it?""

          • Idmtmedic says:

            And you read it? You know thos dam whining vets you keep talking about? Vet organizations that fight for our benefits? Of course no comment, or didn't bother to read it

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Ohhhh and you kept defending it !!!!! Now? The surplus went back to 2011. Panetta had to have given written notice to congress prior to transferring those funds also. Now as far as the increased fees, which you support, you did read what happens after this little modest increase in the coming years? The promise that they point out? No of course not,

          • Idmtmedic says:

            H.R.204

          • That (a congressional pay cut) has WHAT to do with our retirement and healthcare?

            You are more concerned with Congress's benefits than ours, so you continually advocate we get their benefits. For everyone else, IDMTMedic wants us to have the following benefits instead of what we currently receive:

            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty.
            - Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.
            - No cap on healthcare cost increases

            His rationale is that since this is what Congress gets, it must be better than ours. I don't see 34% after 20 years (for example) as being better than 50% after 20 years.

            Unlike you, I am concentrating on OUR benefits, and working to protect OUR benefits, REGARDLESS of what Congress does or does not get. And yes, I HAVE posted MOAA positions here, as they, along with ROA, AUSA, and other organizations understand reality, and understand keeping on message.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Yesssssir!!! Join NAUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or any military organization that fights for those benefits that retiree and Charles state are only going up? No reason to worry and no reason to complain. Just have to wonder why a retired vet would say anything of the sort. Well they do and continue to. Not taking into account the work all of these veterans organization do to keep CONGRESS in check.

          • Anytime you want to post facts, feel free to do so. In the meantime, to remind people what IDMTMedic is proposing for us:

            - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
            - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
            - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
            - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty.
            - Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
            - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.
            - No cap on healthcare cost increases

            Oh, and I am a member of veterans organizations, and I have posted both MOAA and ROA positions here. Which match mine. Interestingly, the year and a half old article that you posted didn't contradict the facts I've been posting. I guess you failed to read it.

        • Idmtmedic,

          Yes, they are looking out for us, because they are the ones that found this out. Seems your agrument now is that they should have had a working "crystal ball" and never have passed the increase in the first place.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Keep those rose colored glasses on Charles. We need optimism, even at our expense, literally.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            And your right, they never should have made the increase. The scary part is even after this article, you are ok with it.

          • Idmtmedic,

            I never said any of what you have posted. Please stop making up stories.

          • Idmtmedic,

            "Keep those rose colored glasses on Charles. We need optimism, even at our expense, literally."

            If you have some evidence of wrong doing, then post it, if not, then what you are saying is only opinion and finger pointing.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            I do have a finger for you. Try reading what panetta is responsible to do when transferring funds in H.R. 1473. My sense is that he did what he was supposed to do, but we will have more info soon enough. It's ALOT of reading but it seems you have plenty of time and hopefully will put some clothes on to read it. Preferably your uniform and remember that your a vet. Ashamed to say that but, hey my hope is you could renounce your retirement and give it to somebody who cares or needs it.

          • Idmtmedic,

            Ahhhhh, so as of yet you have no evidence of wrong doing by anyone!

            And you want me to renounce my retirement check because I point out the deficiencies in all your agruments!

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Deficiencies? Read the link I posted above and then maybe you could explain what all the whining is about, and your apathy will do for VETERANS.

          • Idmtmedic,

            Ahhhhh, so as of yet you have no evidence of wrong doing by anyone!

          • Idmtmedic says:

            H.R. 204 :)

  13. Retired MSG says:

    Just another disgruntled USAF retiree. I only wish it were possible for our
    senators and representatives to try living on the salaries we received
    when I first enlisted in 1953

    • you voted them in, why not vote them out

    • I can imagine what you got in 1953- in 1962 my husband got a total of $105 . and that included my allotment to live on for a month and we paid $65.00 for rent. left us with $40.00 a month to live on-wow

    • Given that Congress is the one that spotted the DoD request, and is asking the question "why do you need an increase in TriCare if you have money left over?" – what is your issue here with Congress?

      • Idmtmedic says:

        I will tell you. If he did it in 2011 why is the question now? If they had a surplus then why did we get an increase? He did it once and he had to do it in writing to congress, why didn't they question it the first time?

        • You're absolutely right. we shouldn't oppose this until we correct the past.

          Unlike you, I deal with what IS. Whatever the 2011 funding transfer, that is past. THIS is what we need to deal with.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            No the two are connected and when you find out what happened in 2011 then you know why it was brought up now. Political pressure from retirement groups for one. You can't argue a problem unless you first acknowledge there is one. You vote for what a politicians record is on military benefits I would hope, which would mean looking into his PAST voting record.

      • retiree,

        You're exactly right. I have zero problems with waiting for DOD's answer to why this is happening before I get all up-in-arms about it.

      • IraqVet04 says:

        Maybe they are not moving quickly enough, and once this starts there will be no going back.

    • shouldn't your ire be directed at the current administration and political appointees at the Pentagon who requested these increases rather than the senators and representatives who are questioning them?

      • 30yrsgm,

        Excellent thought, I figure they will go back and look at the figure's that brought them over requesting more monies for TRICARE that was needed. I really don't think people did any scheming to get more placed into TRICARE so they could just transfer it into other accounts years later.

      • IraqVet04 says:

        I agree, but congress depends on their staffers, these expert Pentagon "political appointtees" and an assortment of retired general officers for their opinions on what's best for everyone else.

  14. So I guess we can now cancel the fee hikes scheduled for Oct 1st and need not hear about any futher hike prposals RIGHT?????

  15. Well….well Liars liars pants on fires!!!

  16. Don't you get it they want to take another $500 million or much more if not more from the military retirees so they can pay for other pet projects other than those who served and need medical treatment

  17. Ben Dover says:

    So there was a surplus in 2011 and they are looking for a bigger surplus in 2012. Some of that surplus came from several of my meds that were taken off the formulary list that I have to pay a bigger deductible on now.
    I'm still keeping the faith, but not so much with the DOD anymore, they have slipped too far on their integrity and trustworthiness.

  18. emoryv67 says:

    Didn't they figure this into there budget when they got us into two wars. Didn't they know that they are shooting real bullets and our men are getting shot and legs and arms blown off. It's not cheap treating these boys wounds.

    • The politicos don't care about the military, never have never will. We are used and then cast aside like yesterdays newspapers. I am glad I am no longer part of the military industrial complex. Since the all volunteer military I have seen young kids get sent to those hell holes 6-10 times. during the Vietnam War you did your 12-months rotated home and that was hit. I don't condone either war, just when there is a draft seems they think twice. Still sucks.

    • How could they know? I believe there is only ONE member of congress with a child in the military. ONE, out of the 535 members in those two chambers. We are expected to fight for their lavish lifestyles, but not ask for anything in return. Hey, that's the American way today!

  19. What is the military coming too. I am getting to the point where I am almost ashamed to let anyone know I retired from the Navy. When I first joined in 74 the big thing was tatoos and getting drunk. Then it became dyed hair and ear rings. Now it's guys kissing guys, women on ships and sailors marching in gay parades. They outlawed smoking and drinking is frowned upon. I, for the life of me can't see why any normal person want's to enlist anymore. I wonder if recruiters are still meeting their goals? Never hear much about that anymore. Of course with downsizing and budget cuts I imagine their goals have been drastically reduced. What does this have to do with the article? Absolutely nothing at all. Just had to get all that off my chest.

  20. C. Knight says:

    I’m just an old retired E-8 who’s trying to get along. When I retired recruiters were still selling lifetime free medical as our Statesmen in Congress (scratch statesmen, add legislators)were shredding these and other benefits. I fight with VA for 20 years to gt the benefits they had refused me since1970. Now I’m on social security and have to pay $99 per month. I don’t live anywhere near a military hospital. The cause of the escalating cost comes from the same ignorance that continually plagued the Viet am era. If you start a war don’t expect the warriors to play r. Also remember the costs that war will escalate as those warriors age and the effects of their increase, naturally costing e money. In 25 or 30 years Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans will be entering that curve. I wonder what the arguments will look like then.

    • Idmtmedic says:

      Yesssssir!!! Join NAUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or any military organization that fights for those benefits that retiree and Charles state are only going up? No reason to worry and no reason to complain. Just have to wonder why a retired vet would say anything of the sort. Well they do and continue to. Not taking into account the work all of these veterans organization do to keep CONGRESS in check.

      • I never said there was no reason to worry. But, in fact, our benefits have been steadily rising. Unlike you, I deal in facts. And work with and through veterans groups to try and keep our benefits. Unlike you, I don't try and tie our benefits to someone else's. I base our benefits on what we have done and what law is. You, on the other hand, have consistently advocated that we get the same benefits as Congress –
        - 34% after 20 years (instead of 50%) (1.7%/year vice 2.5% per year)
        - Collect at age 50 (instead of retirement)
        - Pay 1.6% of your base every year for it.
        - Pay at least $157 every two weeks (HMO, no dependents) for your healthcare while on active duty.
        - Pay the same after you start receiving retirement pay.
        - No healthcare at all between retirement and the start of collecting retirement pay.
        - No cap on healthcare cost increases

        If you want their benefits, run for Congress. If you want ours, you (and we) need to be able to passionately provide FACT-BASED arguments.

      • idmedic,

        "Or any military organization that fights for those benefits that retiree and Charles state are only going up?"

        Please list those benefits that I have recieved that are going down and not up!

    • Congress will be doing the same as they are now. They are refusing to admit that the returning Vet's have problems other then what is already on the books. Why do we need outside organizations to look after those wounded from the war. Why doesn't the congress decide that it was our government that created their problems and take care of them for life? You said yourself that you have been fighting the VA for 20 years. I have been fighting them for almost 30 for something that is on my records back in 1962 and had been seen for as late as 1982. They are still refusing to say it is service connected. We need our government to fess up to what it is doing to those that have to go out and fight. It makes no difference if they volunteered or were drafted.

  21. USAF MSgt (Ret.) says:

    I originally gave the administration the benefit of any doubt about the "need" to increase Tricare fees. However, given surpluses in 2011 and 2012, what a slap in the face to increase fees now and put us on a permanent track for automatic annual increases. I also agree with Ben Dover. We've also been bumped from meds that have worked for years into cheaper generics that don't work as well. If we want the name brand we pay the market price. Also wonder if previously approved procedures and devices are now denied just to save money. Will have to take a closer look at Romney. I understand the effort to cover the uninsured but not by slowly strangling Tricare and the VA.

  22. I would be curious to know if the outsourcing of medical care is cost effective, as I suspect it is not. A comparative study by an unbiased university, or other credible source would be nice.

  23. IraqVet04 says:

    All right, nobody panic…this is all part of the unread health care tax plan to build a Soviet style healthcare system for the poor and middle class…of course Senator Murray exempted CON-gress mandate/tax she helped write, and lets not forget those 1200+++ union and corporation Obama donors who received waivers from unHealthy and inHuman Services exempting themselves from this travesty
    So the only ones left are the working poor and middle class in the lower tier with rationed sub-standard medicine and the rich tier (CON_gress included) which can afford the best care without long wait lines.
    Yup, don't worry Panneta, Shinseki have everything under contoll.

    • So IraqVet04, you are saying do away with Medicare, VA Health Care, and Tricare? Come out and say it? And remember when you are 65 you said this. But by then you will have long ago changed your tune.

      • IraqVet04 says:

        No sweetheart, you missed the point…what I said doesn't require an interpretation…but for your sake, I'll spell it out…Obama Care has scrood th poor, the tax paying working class poor and the middle class…THERE WERE REASONS CONGRESS EXEMPTED ITSELF AND UNIONS AND CORPORATIONS BEGGED FOR WAIVERS…I changed my tune when I started reading through this legislative travesty…you might want to try before running your pie hole

        • Congress is under FERS and FEHBP, they fall squarely under the PPACA umbrella. TriCare has been defined by law as meeting the requirements.

          The only people getting "soviet style healthcare" (I assume you mean provided by the government) under PPACA are those who currently get it – the military, the VA, and the BIA. Everyone else will still be getting their care from private doctors.

        • Served and Serving says:

          Nice IRAQDIP. It was your pie hole that cleared up who was an idiot and …yeah…come on down, you are the winner! Insulting you are.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            Easy sweetheart, I've faced bigger girls than yourself in my life…and I almost married one;) Now, clearly you can't take it, so I would recommend not dishing it out.

  24. So where is the suprise. The DOD always lies about their budget and their needs. In the AF, I worked with budget planning for our site and the normal routine was "always ask for more than you need". The problem with doing it with our healthcare so they can fund their "extras" is they're playing with our lives. Everytime one of these people, like Gates, talks about our healthcare, they say that it was never in our contract or promised. These losers and the politicians that think like them should be removed from office. Shame on them!! Remember who they are, especially those in the White House, when it comes time to vote.

  25. Here is something to think about. Since we now have universal health care, why does the government need to fund other health care pograms such as Tricare, Medicare and the VA? Only the elderly and military will get screwed again! And why is univeral health so good for us that Congress exempts themselves from the program? Again the middle class are being treated as second class citizens! We will be paying for this governments incompetince for years to come…

    • Because we don't have universal healthcare. We have (starting in 2014) a requirement to purchase healthcare. The insurance companies will still be running the business.

      And I don't know about you, but $540/year for healthcare, I don't feel I'm "getting screwed again." I know a number of folks who would like to get their healthcare costs down to $540/month.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        And I know a few families who would love to have their family member come back home alive. So let's compare costs again.

        • Are you saying you didn't come back alive? Great trick – being dead and still posting here.

          FYI – surviving dependents of those killed on active duty are NOT subject to the increases mentioned in the previous article. It even said so. Of course, you're probably still so busy fighting to get us onto FERS and FEHBP you didn't bother reading it.

          Also, pay attention to what I responded to – that we now have universal healthcare. Again, I try to correct errors – in this case that we have universal healthcare. We do not. Nor will we under PPACA. Health insurance companies will still be selling health insurance, the only ones getting their care from the government will be VA, MTFs, and the BIA.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Nice how you can't seem to wrap your little head around the fact people die in this job and then compare our benefits to the civilian sector and how they would love our costs. Any 214 forthcoming anytime soon? Would love to see your battle tested facts. You maybe get a purple heart for that paper cut? Lmao

          • idmedic,

            "Nice how you can't seem to wrap your little head around the fact people die in this job and then compare our benefits to the civilian sector and how they would love our costs."

            The "Eleventh Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation" did the comparison not "retiree". Hello

            "Any 214 forthcoming anytime soon?"

            Next you'll want to see 10 years of tax returns.

            LMAO Big Time

          • Idmtmedic says:

            "I know a number of folks who would like to get their healthcare costs down to $540 a month." that was in the review?

          • For those who died, I believe we have an obligation to care for their families. For those who lived, they did NOT pay the ultimate price. Just because SGT Snuffy died, and his family deserves compensation / support does NOT mean YOU deserve it. The US Military person deserves that support earned through HIS/HER hardship – as Congress indicated in the NDAA 2012 in recognizing our service constitutes a prepayment on healthcare beyond money.

            Your appeals to emotion are just that – it's called a logical fallacy.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Yes beyond money, which means an increase in payments isn't real money and the fact we survived means we pay more. The fact SGT TIMOTHY PADGETT died, not snuffy is what puts a real face on war. Your constant corrections of legal, factual stats belies the fact you know anyone personally that actually died in combat. You call it an appeal to emotion? I call it hardship, devastation, to the family, friends, and the nation. Be damned if the congress has any sense of what sacrifice means at all for the military nor do you. Next time you would like to post a name for a dead soldier use the name Padgett. Least I know your fantasy, "war experience" stats have a real FACT in them. They certainly deserve more than what they get in money. You and Charles may now share your combat experience with all of us please. Because Congress has the right to change what we pay doesn't mean they EVER should. Never said I wanted or needed a soldiers DEATH benefits. what I want is the elite of this country to stop fning with our earned benefits.

          • idmedic,

            "Never said I wanted or needed a soldiers DEATH benefits. what I want is the elite of this country to stop fning with our earned benefits."

            No one is messing with my benefits. Who is messing with yours, and just what benefits are they messing with. I know since I retired, my benefits have only gone up.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            How? From 2008-2011 there was no COLA for retirees, then those on Tricare Prime get a rate increase starting in 2012 that goes up again in 2013 and 2014. So how did your benefits go up?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Right on target brother!!!!!!

          • COLA was 5.8% in 2009 – if you didn't get it, talk to DFAS. The only two years COLA was not paid was 2010 and 2011, as the economy tanked and the CPI-W (the measure used for COLA for SS, military and federal retirement) dropped. We got the 5.8% in 2009 because energy prices peaked in 3rd quarter 2008, when it was measured.

            By law (NDAA 2012), the RATE of TriCare increase is limited to the RATE of COLA increase. TriCare is an annual cost. Unless your retirement is under $500/year ($41.67/month), you see a greater increase in your monthly retirement check from COLA than what the increase of TriCare costs.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            Your complacency with your retirement and benefits is noted and I hope it works out for you going forward…

          • Your disregard of FACTS is noted as well. Hopefully you were never involved in combat planning with such a disregard for the facts.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            Combat planning? No, I excuted the plans and then had to improvise and adapt…because someone elses game board planning was flawed.
            No disregard to the facts here, just open to all the facts not just the ones somebody else picks and chooses according to their political ideology.

          • Iraqvet04,

            You mean 2010 and 2011 no COLA for anyone! http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/colaseries.html

            Huh, just because I didn't get COLA for 2 years and my Tricare Fee may go up, don't equate to benefits going down.

            For more detailed info, see what "retiree" posted.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            Of course it does equate…it has not kept pace with inflation and it reduces purchasing power (meaning the necessities). The other benefits do not offset this. There are no real limitations here once set in stone. Our government has a history of rarely giving something back to the Citizens once taken.
            But, for the sake of arguement, prove yourself right in two years…when the real impact takes effect.

          • since the 1970's, the retiree (and SS and federal retiree and VA benefits) COLA has been based on CPI-W, per law. If you don't like it, feel free to give back the 5.8% you got in 2009 when the rest of the economy was tanking.

            Equally important – how would YOU measure inflation? Remember to include everything. Remember that it has to cover people from around the US with different costs, and across age groups, and result in a single number. I'll be glad to see your proposal, as will the BLS, who tracks this stuff.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            Well, it sounds like you have done pretty darn good…Now back to real people and the impact this is going to have. Your 5.9% was prorated, and I'd gladly give it back in return for my foot.
            Unlike Spanky Bernanke at the fed, I don't measure inflation in toaster ovens and TVs, I base it on the constant devaluation of the dollar (QE1, QE2 and the up and coming QE3) and the impact it has on my purchasing power of lifes necessities (food, heat etc).

          • I Got it. You want $170K a year for life for just joining, with free medical care at the Mayo clinic, trips around the world at any time on military aircraft, paid for by the Government, a few million handed to you, just because you raised your right hand. You think the world owes you a living. Guess what – they don't and you ain't getting it, because you aren't owed it.

            I'm sorry, but I have had friends and bosses die – to include at 9/11. The fact that they died means we need to care for their families. The fact that they died does NOT mean the world should be handed to me (or you) on a silver platter. Let me repeat – THEY paid the price, NOT YOU. YOU did what YOU did. For that there is an obligation, spelled out both in the moral contract and in law. But no one owes you a living because SGT TIMOTHY PADGETT died. They owe the family of SGT TIMOTHY PADGETT.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Hey DA, what you consider a silver platter I call retirement AND health care that I earned. You, I'm not so sure. The fact they "congress" continue to propose cuts to benefits and cut corners shows the gratitude. Your friends that died on 9/11 received a generous package and has NOTHING to do with defending this country. You have done nothing I'm sure to assist those families. Take your silver platter and shove it. Your a joke as a soldier unless you want to throw stats at the enemy. Typing 80 words a minute may get you respect at work but is USELESS when your being shot at. If you don't respect the dead, or injured in your arguments, sorry "debates" as you call them, then your debating stats and nothing else. Useless POS.

          • idmedic,

            Do you have any idea just how many benefits you actually recieve after you've retired from the Military?

            Now that you've listed those, list those benefits you will recieve when you retire from that Civilian job you have now.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            I thought you were talking about con-gress in your first paragraph…have you shared this [passion with them?

        • idmedic,

          What does Tricare have to do with a dead soldier?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Pre-paid premium maybe? The sacrifices we as VETERANS endure maybe? The real cost and not in dollars. Remember that "sense of congress" statement. I don't feel exactly right talking about benefits when you know, the dead aren't able to use them, raise their kids, or enjoy their life. So yes the families do get to be safe from increases, but I'm taking a long shot here, maybe just maybe a family member is worth more than any money they are going to save from increases. Ohhh yes sorry back to the topic.

          • idmedic,

            Based on the topic of article, I still have no idea what the hell you're talking about. Not sure why, but in most all your response to all topic's you talk about everything under the sun but what the article is about.

      • IraqVet04 says:

        You are over simplifying. Your 540 starts in October 2012, then it goes up year after year in relation to the cost of living index…so any COLA gains will now be diverted to increased Tricare costs. That is just one issue regarding this Obama Care Mandate/Tax pandora. For veterans that are struggling that's alot. Of course, we have not seen the long term effects this is going to have on the VA hospitals who are already struggling with cost overruns. You might be sitting okay for now, but this travesty will eventually catch up with all but those who can pay out of pocket for good private practice care.

        • Unless your retirement benefits are less that $540/year, you will always see a greater increase in your retirement benefits than the extra cost of TriCare.

          Feel free to use MTFs space-A, that's still available for free, same as always.

          • IraqVet04 says:

            Space-A? I'd rather have the money thank you. Space is great if you have way too much free time to get to where you want to go and get back…or even longer if you get bumped by a retired general officer.

  26. Idmtmedic says:

    This article will give many vets a reason to join and know what is being done for our benefit. Join the NAUS. RETIREE AND CHARLES would like to ignore it but here it is. http://Www.scribd.com/doc/50680951/Tricare-NAUS-Legislat...
    It is over a year old but is relevant to this topic. Read it and become part of the process.

  27. shadowzerosix says:

    Tricare is NOT crippling DOD. There is plenty of money to take care of business….our business. Budget 101 and sound advice always says, "Pay yourself first". Before one dime goes outside our borders we must pay our military, veterans, entitlements, etc., first. We must take of ourselves first and once that is done, we help out our allies only and stop giving money to our enemies. Many say it's more complicated than that but I will assure you it is not. Politicans want to make it complicated so no one can follow the money. The money right back to their pockets. The money is there, it's that simple.

  28. A complete house cleaning is needed for Washington DC especially in the Defense Dept (Gates) who think veterans were not promised "free" health care as an incentive for making the military a career. Since I have retired (1979) with more than 24 years service. Health care has never been free as promised.
    Why do politicians lie? It is time for America to wake up (especially veterans) and get out the vote and vote yourselves. Let us save America as we once did and return to the Anerican Way of Life.

    • tdhowell says:

      Just to be clear, Panetta is the current Sec of Defense.

    • Luke B,

      Ok, I'm ready to vote. So, which of our leaders out there that are up for a vote actually believe that a "RECRUITER" can promise "FREE HEALTH CARE FOR LIFE"?????

    • Billy Meeks says:

      Now wait a second. I do not hold most politicians in the highest regard but I've been reading that the House Armed Services Committee recently told DoD to suck it up and forget about fee increases. Everyone should write and thank them; Buck Mckeon, Chairman, especially. The problem is that when agencies formulate budget requirements they "fudge" in a pad because they know when the crunch of reality time comes " big daddy" is going to take back from everybody. Thus, if big daddy takes back – or doesn't – at least whatever the pad was they will still bel fat. It''s all a game. They try to manipulate $'s (708m in this case) around to programs which yield the most style points for their careers. The manager who sits down and meticously calculates his EAC down to the last dime will absolutely, without fail, take it in the shorts. I agree there should be an almost wholesale house cleaning in DC. However, please know there are many folks there who are working their hearts out in an honest and diligent effort to get things right. The culprits, I feel are the appointees and that's where we should concentrate our efforts to clean house. Do you think SecDef was appointed because he was a good guy? Nah, he was appointed because he is a good ol' boy and to do what he was appointed to do. It's ideology baby…Make no mistake about that. Can him and put the word out…who's next? Yes, vote. We know what we have to do. If you don't then perhaps we would be better off if you just passed.

    • I'm right beside you brother, as one of our proud heros once said on an airliner Let's Roll!

  29. They could use the extra 500 million dollars to fund the GSA social
    geatherings.

    • IraqVet04 says:

      LMAO. This is the best one yet….Sadly, the boys and girls at the GSA have no shame…and I'll bet my next Tricare premium increase that they are all civilians who never served.

  30. Bob Weins says:

    Having a surplus is no surprise, that is typical for the way the military budget process is implemented. The report would be much more meaningful if they specified the amount that was originally budgeted and the percentage of the surplus compared to the funding level. If that exceeds 10% then there is an issue.

    • thank you sir for your insightful question. The 2012 Defense Health Program budget was about 42 Billion. DoD had tan additional ~ 10 Billion more than that into the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund – to pre-pay for health care current and recently retired Service members will use once they reach 65. A surplus of about 700 million is less than 2%. A budget is an estimate, and you have to predict how many people will actually need health care – especially from the TRICARE portion. Medicare growth went down too – because folks didn't get health care as much – possibly because of the co-pays.

  31. on the defense with DoD says:

    whoa there DoD. how far do you want to take this? obviously you want to milk us dry of all this fake money your friends in the fed can print so by the time I’m 40 (20 years now) i can be subjected to your tyrannical laws. myquestion is now as citizens how far are you willing to let this go on? we must fight every day and show them who to really be scared of

  32. DocC1957 says:

    DOD is trying to make TRICARE like most commercial plans. Lets not tell the whole tuth about costs then we can take the excess and use it where we want. 708 million less for FY 12 and 500 million less in FY11 that more then a billion DOD has flat out lied about. Lets tae that billion and say we need it for something else. Upper leadership in DOD is no different then the scum bags we have in te house and senate They are all crooked as a dog leg right

  33. There is a saying, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." Spend it or lose it was the motto every year in the military. Now they are grooming us to do the same thing with Tricare. There should be some reward for saving money, perhaps carrying the savings over to next year. However, a pot of money sitting around just means a pot for reallocation of funding. When we can solve this problem we may be able to solve some of the overspending.

  34. shadowzerosix says:

    Tricare is NOT crippling DOD. There is plenty of money to take care of business….our business. Budget 101 and sound advice always says, "Pay yourself first". Before one dime goes outside our borders we must pay our military, veterans, entitlements, etc., first. We must take of ourselves first and once that is done, we help out our allies only and stop giving money to our enemies. Many say it's more complicated than that but I will assure you it is not. Politicans want to make it complicated so no one can follow the money. The money right back to their pockets. The money is there, it's that simple.

  35. GRSHADRICK says:

    INEFFICENCY IS CRIPPLING TRICARE IF INDEED IT IS HAPPENING.EVERY PROGRAM THE GOVERNMENT GETS ITS HAND IN WILL EVENTUALLY GO BROKE. ( POST OFFICE DEPT, MEDICARE SOCIAL SECURITY ) JUST TO NAME A FEW. ONCE CONGRESS GETS ITS HANDS IN THE MIX IT IS DOOMED. GOVERNMENT BY ITS FOUNDINGS ARE NOT SET UP TO MANAGE LARGE SPECIFIC PROGRAMS SUCH AS MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY THE POST OFFICE AND SO ON. OBAMA CARE WILL CRIPPLE US ALL AND TWENTY YEARS FROM WE WILL REALLY BE TAXED AT A HIGH RATE, THEIR WILL BE DEATH PANELS AND COMMISSIONS TO DECIDE HEALTH CARE.

  36. Joe Broyles says:

    I was promised “free” medical for myself and family for “life” when I entered military service during the Vietnam War era. They had posters all over the recruitment offices I visited stating that as a benefit. I visited the Air Force, Army, and Navy recruitment offices to see what each had to offer. Today I am paying several thousand dollars a year to cover the medical costs our government refuses to pay. I have contacted my Congressman and US Senators about this situation and they still have done little to rectify this injustice! It seems the government is unwilling to keep its promises to it military heroes and veterans!! This behavior is absolutely disgraceful in light of the fact that the Congress has exempted themselves for the medical programs they are now trying to force upon the general public. Hell, people on medicaid (welfare) pay less than our country’s heros for the medical care!! Congress’s behavior is so below the bar that we should tar and feather each one of them and run them out of town on a rail. This veteran’s family has served this country with distinction since the Revolutionary War!!! I will keep fighting to hold all these liars accountable for their actions!!! Maybe, as several of our founding fathers have suggested, a democratic republic needs to be refreshed with it patriot’s blood from time to time to insure the that liberties and rights we were all promised live on. That time may be approaching much quicker than anyone of us had hoped! God Bless America and the new American patriots who will stand up and defend this country from the government corruption/malaise that has seized it.

  37. All,

    Got my guestions answered.

    http://naus.informz.net/naus/archives/archive_255

  38. I'm angry! I called in to request whatever paperwork necessary to submit a reimbursement claim and was told it would take six (6) months before same would be mailed> It has been eight (8) mos and time is running out. & they want to raise rates??

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