Report Calls for Tricare and Military Retirement Cuts

On October 31, the Center for American Progress, an influential think tank, released a report titled ‘Rebalancing Our National Security.’ The report calls for freezing future military pay raises, forcing working age military retirees to use employer-provided health care plans, and changing the current 20-year retirement plan to a 401K style pension program, which would make retirees wait until age 60 to start receiving it – this could affect anyone currently in the military with less than 10 years of service.

The report also recommends changing Tricare for Life coverage by making older retiree’s cover their first $500 expenses out-of-pocket and only cover 50 percent of the next $5,000 in Medicare cost-sharing.

The Military Officers Association of America responded with the following editorial.

MOAA Boos CAP Halloween Report

On Halloween, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released yet another report that is anything but a Halloween treat — calling for huge cuts to military pay, retirement, and health care benefits.

Titled “Rebalancing Our National Security,” the report’s task force opposes the across-the-board cuts of sequestration, but suggests shifting more spending from the Defense Department to the State Department and Homeland Security. In CAP’s terminology, the intent would be to move from “offense” to “prevention” (non-military international engagement) and “defense.”

As part of that process, CAP recommends capping military pay raises, cutting troops assigned permanently in Europe and Asia, and scaling back military retirement and health care benefits.

Their retirement reform proposal is a retention-killing combination of the Defense Business Board and 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation recommendations. It would put new recruits under a 401K-like retirement system, and would grandfather only part of the current force.

Troops with 10 or more years of service could choose the existing plan or opt-in to the new 401K. Those with less than 10 years would have to choose the new 401K plan or be converted to a much-reduced retirement benefit that would provide 40 percent of basis pay for 20 years’ service…with payments delayed until age 60.

As if this doorstep gift bag were not sufficiently aflame, CAP would also cut back dramatically on TRICARE for Life coverage, imposing a $500 deductible and capping TFL coverage at 50% of the next $5,000 in annual health costs.

MOAA believes such attacks on career service benefits are reckless and misguided in the extreme.

They ignore that the current package of retirement and health benefits is the primary incentive to induce top-quality people to endure the extraordinary demands and sacrifices inherent in a 20-30 year career in uniform.

They also ignore that a far less-drastic retirement change imposed on new service entrants after 1986 had to be repealed after the Joint Chiefs of Staff complained it was undermining retention and readiness.

These kinds of trick-or-treat proposals would be ludicrous if the threat they’d pose to readiness weren’t so serious.

Boo.

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

About the Author

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

75 Comments on "Report Calls for Tricare and Military Retirement Cuts"

  1. Wow! I'd bet that these so called "think tanks" didn't think what "military readiness" is and what service to your country means. $500 deductible and 50% of the next $5000 is not what TFL retirees can afford nor should they be forced to pay after so much sacrifice. Think about it some more!

  2. And the hits just keep coming. Can't wait to hear the "spin" on this one by certain folks on these blogs. Good thing the government is on our side to fight these think tanks. Oh wait, that's what our military retiree organizations are trying to do.

  3. Lets Rebalance the following: Welfare, Illegal Immigration, Congressional Salaries and Benefits and Foreign Aid. Bet that will "rebalance" a lot.

  4. Interesting, no one asked, "Where does this "think tank" get its funding?" ……..Reminds me of the song by Bachmann Turner Overdrive, "I love to be think tank employed, sit around and do nothing all day. And they will takin care of thinking everyday.'

  5. I also love the part about 1986 changes having to be REPEALED due to readiness and retention problems. Now go figure why that would happen again?

  6. Glad I waisted 20 years of my life to be thrown under the bus. The fist full of pills I take to be able to function will be switched to M&Ms.

  7. The older the retiree gets, the more dependent he/she is on Medicare and TriCare. I am 72 years old and have several service-related disabilities. Seems that I visit several doctors and have appointments for lab work, etc., every few weeks. I shuffle around, can barely see, can't hear well and spend a lot of time standing over the toilet peeing (mostly on the floor). The DOD needs to take a pragmatic look at those who have been retrired for more than 30 years. One solution is an Executive Order requiring those who have been retired for 30 years be euthanized for the good of society. Spare those retirees who take fewer than 20 medications daily, and those who do not have to use Depends. We old retirees are still viable in ways. We personify the cantankerous codgers whose caustic comments are needed to balance out the liberal segment of society. Let's implement the Military Retiree Euthanasia Program soon, but I would like it to be done alphabetically starting with those who last names begin with "A". That way it would take a while to get to me. I might last a few years. By that time I would look forward to being put out of my misery.

  8. I notice none of the prior commenters said anything about the provision to force working-aged retirees to use employer's healthcare. I also spent 20+ years serving my country, and it is only thanks to the (very) modest retirement pension that I can afford to work where I like, instead of having to work 2 or 3 jobs. However I can NOT afford my employer's healthcare plan unless I do work another job. I was promised (free) healthcare for life for my family and I when I joined in 1983, regardless of the DOD & Congress' claims that my recruiter wasn't authorized to make those promises, so now I have to pay for my Tricare as a retiree. Now these 'thinking' people want to take it away from me since I have to work. What a country we have made for ourselves. I am sickened by the plans that these folks come up with to balance the budget on my back. And now we have another 4 years of Socialist agenda to face. Oh Joy!

  9. just think what another 4 yrs of this administration will bring.

  10. Our contract promised health care for life if we completed the 20 (+) years. It isn't free, although its not expensive now. VA covers some, tricare covers some, medicare covers some. If we need assisted living we can get it, provided the waiting list isn't too long, only about a year or three now, if we qualify.
    I'm in my second career and am making several thousands more than when I was in service. This will allow me and the wife to have a decent, comfortable retirement, when I reach full retirement age. That wouldn't be the case if this "retirement plan" had been initiated.
    Besides let's not forget, retirement isn't. Our retirment is actually a retainer paid by the gov't for possible future services, as part of the retirement the contract says the gov't can at its option recall us to service at its convenience. We don't get a choice at that point of not coming back, no matter what we "want".
    If they want to initiate this "plan" I suppose we could ask that it be a real retirement with no possibility of being called back to service.

  11. If they force working age retirees to use employer provided insurance instead of tricare then i would think in a couple years at most they would then be forced into obamacare. Sounds like the beginning of the end for Tricare to me and without a doubt the end of Tricare for life. If your not yet retired this should be extremely important to you and if your retired like me then why worry becuase a socialist government will do what it wants without caring about what we think.

  12. How about these think tank members give up the same benefits their deamnding of us, see if they're still willing to go through with it then.

  13. This "think tank" is all wrong.Totally lacking in knowledge about our military and how we function from recruit to retiree.This will decimate our ability to recruit and retain much needed talent.Send these bozos to another planet.

  14. It's all a push to put everyone, except politicians, on Obamacare.

  15. oh ok i get it… so the military personal and their families are suppose to live worse than those who are currently living on food stamps and medicare… great! its exactly what this country needs. Why not just have a complete reserve military that way the military personal can get jobs so that they can at least afford to purchase the uniform they sacrifice everything for.

  16. All,

    I would hope that everyone here realizes that this is just a report from some Think Tank with zero links to making any of what they are saying into LAW. I see the above article the same as many here when they post their opinion, and we all know, that opinions won't change anything.

    Spin Stops Here

  17. Leo Gerald Johnson | November 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm |

    Seth Mill's is right .The Presicent isn't the only person that can recall us.The Secretary of Defense can recall all Military retirees But only in the event of a National Emergency.

  18. The CAP should recommend this plan for congress, state and local politicians. I'm sure they would love having their cadillac health plans taken away, their pay and incentives frozen, and all for a 401k plan after serving for 20+ yrs which they could collect at age 60. Would they continue to serve in government if that happened to them? I think not! So what makes them believe those in the military with less than 10 yrs will stay? The CAP recommendation creates the possibility that our military will not be able to retain experienced service members past an initial enlistment. People will enter the military for the training and a few short years of experience, then exit for a job with real benefits on the outside. As a result, this will have a devastating effect on our national security. Instead of paying to retain experience, the DOD will be paying to train new personnel coming in through this revolving door plan. The CAP’s recommendation further decimates our military as if the pending sequestration and the administration would not be enough. (con’t)

  19. Their recommendation to shift DOD funding to the State Department and Homeland Security is ludicrous. The CAP has also forgotten that the military is on duty 24/7, deployable worldwide at a moment’s notice (except Benghazi, not enough intelligence… I believe they were talking about the situation room!). Our military is NOT overpaid nor are the health care benefits for which we had a contract excessive! Unfortunately our congress has the fewest former military members in history, which probably means that the CAP recommendation makes perfect sense to the rest of them! God Bless America, God Bless our Military, and God Bless ALL who have served, including their families!

  20. CAP should be looking at the benefits congress gets; AND MAKE BIG CHANGES THERE !
    1. Put ALL OF THEM (staff and all) under social security; NO GRANDFATHER CLAUSE for any retired/replaced member of congress!
    2. Put them under Obamacare!
    3. While we're on the subject of congress – TERM LIMITS!

  21. NOTE: The Center for American Progress is a progressive liberal public policy research and advocacy organization.

    Another commie socialist org making judgement calls on the military that Obammy HATES

  22. Come on everyone. As a prior (non-retired) military vet who works as a federal employee, I can firmly state that the miltary gets GREAT retirement benefits, far beyond most of the US. Retired officers benifits are almost obscence. Those who are low income shout continue to receive priority assistance, but most retired military can afford to pay more for the exceptional benifits they receive. Add the fact that civil service is a jobs program for retired officers (Many GS-13 and above jobs "appear" for retiring officers and are not competed") which provides them with finanical security for life. Time to join the rest of American society folks!

  23. My sister and brother veterans. Watch this congress they will reduce our benefits and will increase theirs. I don't trust our congress,they work for the special interests. Are they out to destroy the middle class of this country?

  24. Meech,

    I guess I'm just supposed to take you word for this????? Why don't you take us back to 20 Jan. 2009 when President Obama was sworn in and show me the Reports coming out of this THINK TANK and then show me new bills voted on by the Senate and the House and then signed into Law by the President that came out of this THINK TANK.

  25. If they do this to the military, they need to do it to the federal government employees and include elected political positions

  26. Fitz HT1 Ret | November 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

    only if congress gets the same treatment, which it won't, they don't even have to worry about obamacare. time for those in congress to suffer along with the rest of us. they created this big mess by free spending, now let them help pay for it

  27. SFC J. Billings, Ret | November 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

    Three-three in the military and I have never seen such hatred for people like us. We enlisted to fight and guard for this great country and was promised some rewards for this life, if we lived thru it all. Now the punks in Congress want to change in the middle of the stream. We should be able to put an M16 on each one of their lously shoulders and haul their ass to Afgan, on the front lines.

  28. Idmtmedic,

    Yes there is, and they have been doing this for years now, and it is called the Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, and the last one done, was on June 2012. Now, you can say anything you wish, but the facts are what they are.

    Just remember Idmtmedic, you can have your own opinions, but not your own FACTS.

  29. The correct name is stink tank because they are full of sht

  30. IIiFF f this becomes law, then forget ETHEN FORGET both enlistees and reinlistments. Also, no on e would volunteer in future wars.nter text right here!

  31. What happens to a widow who uses TriCare ? …

  32. Stand by, they have been doing this to state employees across the country with much pain and suffering was wondering when the feds would jump the bandwagon

  33. Thanks for all the people that voted for Obama…more changes is coming…he don't care about Americans and America. MAY GOD BLESS THE USA.

  34. roberta castile | November 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm |

    what happens if your a widow who wants to move near her kids before she dies,will i still have tricare for life if i can find a dr?im 78 years old,cant sell house now,very alarmihg what is happenihg,and scared.

  35. RET Msgt Ohio | November 13, 2012 at 9:18 am |

    THIS THINK TANK COMMUNIST GROUP MUST BE ESCORTED RIGHT OUT OF THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!
    WE AS VET'S THAT GAVE MORE YEARS IN A UNIFORM THEN SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN OFF THE NIPPLE PROTECTED YOU AND YOU THAT NEVER WORE A UNIFORM OR FACE A WAR TORN AREA OVER SEA'S NEED A REALITY CHECK! sEND ALL YOU OVE TO AFGANISTAN AND LET THEM BE SHOT AT AND BLOWED APART LIKE SOME OF FELLOW SOLDIERS HAVE FACED FOR YOU!

    AMERICANS NEED TO STOP THESE GROUPS FROM EVEN PUTTING THIS KIND OF TRASH OUT!

    RET MSGT OF THE AIR FORCE AFTER 28 YEARS!

  36. Big Bang DBT | November 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |

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  37. S Smith LT USCG Ret. | November 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

    Wonder how many former military are employed by the Center for American Progress? If you haven't walked the walk then you shouldn't have any input.
    I'm sure my two son's, one a Marine wounded in Iraq the other a currently serving Air Force pilot, would love to see their benefits cut.

  38. David L. Hintzke | November 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

    The personnel at CAP are socialist, propgressive activists who apparently
    do not appreciate the sacrifices of retired career military persons who now are
    dependent on the benefits wihch they have earned. I would hope that the
    DOD and Congress will put a stop to this CAP foolishness. I am an 83 year-old,
    STGCS USN retired.

  39. Roger Walston | November 16, 2012 at 11:07 am |

    Idon't understand why the Politicians aren't included in paying anything, I beleive they are the guilty ones, look at their retirement pay, their spending tons of money in grants to be re-elected, working loo days a year, scheluding
    trips so they get a free vacation overseas. Why isn't the IOU's called in?
    I retired with 20 years, today I have so many things wrong with me that I spend so much time with Dr.s visits, I'm real close to 81 years old. I served in the Korean and the Vietnam Conflicts. It took 30 or more before I could draw
    my retirement because I was drawing service connected disabilities.They say I have free Gov. insurance, I pay $196.00 a month for my wife and myself for Medicare. TFL pays a little that left.

  40. I agree with Roger Waldon. The politicians need to live on social security and have the same medicare that we have. And they should be limited to only 2 terms like the president. Washington should not be a career.

  41. I have been retired since1991 with a service connected disability. My wife and I are on tricare prime. Sinced retirement both my wife and I have recieved additional major medical problems which have been life changiing. These medical problems requiring us to see doctor's and get med's refilled. I don't know how we can pay more ! It's been hard to pay all the co pay's and make it to the end of the month. When I went to Walmart the other day most people checking out were using some sort of Gov, assistance, What happened to us in the U.S A, Veterans deserve to be taken care of first! WE earned it; people who haven't served needs to be the first one':s to get in line. Second, polititions who have been in office for overfour years should be held accountable for this debt our nation is in. I am sorry if I mispelled allot of words in this post; it is due to all the pain meds i'm on. God Bless the U.S.A.

  42. If retired military life is so outstanding, then why do less than 1% of our entire population wear the uniform, and out of that 1 % who serve, only 17% out of the 1% ever reach 20 plus for retirement. The last 11 years have been a cake walk lol. Some members have 7-10 combat tours. Piece of cake. Come on people be for real.

  43. ? How much are the elected going to give of their benifits?

  44. Mave S. Fla. | November 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    I am the caregiver of a Vetran – Navy. 4 years active 21 ready reaserve We went to The Vetrans Hospital 10 Years ago and they took care of my Husband. But now we are being challenged to show all the money we may or may not have. I am the the person who does every thing for him as he has reached 72 and life is getting harder, with Parkinsons. and Cancer.
    more difficult every day. When we visit the VA. we are treated with coursty, but
    the indication is that they are reviewing each and every ones file, so they can make room for others. He was and still is very proud to have served his country. What I have just read today I am so upset . Those people should be teated the same as the past serviceman will soon be treated. Thank you all for your service

  45. The first thing I noticed on this report was that CAP was misspelled. The "R" was omitted in "CAP". The second thing missing was the date to reinstate the DRAFT to give the people who write this CAP (again misspelled) a chance to serve in combat. We should demand that the other 90% have a chance to serve our wonderful, free country that they live in and do nothing in return for it. Anyone that can vote benefit cuts or sits in their plush office and recommends cuts for those that serve or have served should first serve 3 months walking point in a combat zone followed by 3 months being taken care of or taking care of the military in the VA hospital system.

  46. Pete estrada | November 20, 2012 at 1:46 am |

    Did you Vote in last election. Those thst voted for the current president .should and will get all they deserve.If you did not vote this is just a small part of what's comming

  47. Charles Bryant? Take a new name?????? Why no comments? Career blogger stating no CUTS? Where you at Charles. Protecting your post count? Fn loser. Comment on all the cuts. CUTS to benefits. Come out Charles. Waaaaaaiiiiting. If anybody is not familiar, he claims we are all whiners, complainers, and liars. Make sure you check out his site and his opinions should he ever posts again….

  48. My response to this article – sent to Congress & WH… I expect the black SUV's to be parked outside my house within a week:

     Why don't you disrespectful, arrogant failures take the cuts in your pay and benefits FIRST? You are not doing YOUR JOB…$16 Trillion in debt, no budget in nearly 4 years, argue and pontificate like school children and accomplish NOTHING. The military comes first, and you are suppose to have their back (hopefully NOT like Benghazi) and to even consider their benefits to be excessive or over-rated is criminal on your part. They have done EVERYTHING asked of them, along with their families, and you have failed the American people continuously for the last 6 years. Look in the mirror and really, really think about who has actually DONE THEIR JOB and EARNED what they are being paid (not even close to enough) and be honest with yourself and your constituents about where the cuts should be made…what a pathetic example of accountability and 'FAIRNESS'.
    If this happens, you should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourselves. Do the right thing and forego your pay and benefits package until at some point you can honestly say you have done your job.

  49. It will never change. Our elected leaders in Washington will always go for the easy target (the military). Why ? Because the know that true Americans will do whats best for their country. We (retired military) all know that we more then earned what was promised to us with our service. What this goverment is trying to do to us is wrong. Our nation is broken and may never recover this distrubes me much more the haveing another promise broken. It sickens me to think of all I gave to my country my have been wasted. Times have changed and people in power know who to use this to fufill their agenda.

  50. My husband and I were loyal, hard working, did what we promised, pro military. I never thought we'd have to fight for promised benefits (from the 50's), and even for the money taken from my paid up annuity. And needed medical care. How depressing.

  51. If our elected officials had to live on military or retirement pay, they would not last very long!!! My deceased husband served 21years suffering from PTSD after Vietnam and the the debilitating effects of Agent Orange for which we had to fight 5 years to obtain any benefits. The man suffered terribly before he died 3 years ago. I live on a very small annuity from his other work and depend on tricare to pay for my numerous medications for heart disease and other illnesses. My husband died thinking I would be taken care of with Medicare and Tricare for Life.
    Little did he know that promises by our government were made to be broken. It stinks.

  52. I appreciate all veterans who ever served this country, including my father, husband, and 2 sons (one active duty, one vet). People serve out of a sense of selflessness, as well as the good jobs and training available through the military. But let's face it: who, in their right mind, would volunteer to enlist in the military and give up their own freedoms without the promise of certain benefits? Not too many people. I say give up their own freedoms, because i have witnessed from the perspective of a daughter, wife, and mother that military members don't have the same freedoms regular civilians have on a job. If I get mad and want to quit my job tomorrow, that's an option for me (though a stupid one), but it is my choice to make. Not so with the armed forces: you signed on the dotted line, and you will do as you are told until that contractual period ends. I have always had the highest respect for the military and a sincere belief that armed forces are essential for our freedom, but I no longer encourage young people to join the military. I am now a supporter of the draft.

  53. Time to end these legacy pension costs once and for all. To those in the military, I salute your hard-work and dedication. Please understand, however, that you cannot expect to get a handout for life based on a mere 20 years of work. Keep up the good work…. I will be doing so as well. God Bless the USA!

  54. Patriot in Georgia | January 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

    The Center for American Progress is not a patriotic organization. Think leftist and anti-American. And if you really care, take time to learn who runs it and what they really stand for. They are in the White House, the cabinet, the Senate, special commisssions, and the Democratic party. 'Nuf said.

  55. DON'T PANIC: THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS IS A LIBERAL THINK TANK THAT WOULD LOVE TO SEE A NEUTERED MILITARY WITH FEW BENEFITS FOR SERVICE MEMBERS. HOPEFULLY ANY OF IT'S PROGRESSIVE IDEAS WILL BE REJECTED BY REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT LAWMAKERS WHO UNDERSTAND HOW DAMAGING THESE CHANGES WOULD BE TO OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE AND OUR OBLIGATIONS TO OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM.

  56. I spent 20 years in service, been through every 3rd world shithole out there. Spent what amounted to years separated from my wife and kids who eventually decided she couldn't handle my absences and left. I lost a lot serving my country so little #$%^%$ like you can sit on your couch playing Xbox and complain how we live off the fat of the land. I could have got out of the service and made much more money and still had my family, but I didn't serve for 20 years to get rich. I did it because I Love my Country and want my children and their children to have the Freedoms enacted by the Constitution and The Bill of Rights. You have those protections because we protected them for you. You better wake up son before it's too late.

  57. Why? Why? Why?
    Why mess with Military Veteran Benefits? Ever!
    If you are one of the people involved in affecting decreasing or eliminating Military Benefits, you should see what it is like to serve on Active Duty for 20 to 30 years, and what it does to your Physical & Mental Health AND your entire family!
    Bottom Line!

  58. I hardly used military retirement benefits, like many, until I past 65 years old and now need them. Why doesn't Congress try to retire on our "generous" benefits and see just how generous they actually are! They should note that THEY,not us, are directly responsible for America's economic and world decline. How much are they going to cut their retirement and medical benefits? We don't see expensive "think tanks" issuing reports on congressional benefits…do we! We need to not reelect one incumbent.

  59. Dennis…….how many people actually live on $1500 a month?

  60. Look! We are at a crossroads where pensions and healthcare for life are destroying the private and government industry. Bottom line it is not sustainable. Someone needs to move from a defined benefit model to a defined contribution model. Veterans need to take a more proactive stance in their healthcare. Why does a veteran who does not smoke, eats right and watches their weight, have to pay for the fat guy, smoker and fast food kings health problems. I drink beer, I have high cholesterol, I don't exercise like I use to, I need to pay more for my health insurance. I should be rewarded for good behavior, not bad behavior.
    Now I will take a stab at all those in Washington. Ask them to use our Veteran services and Tricare plans. Then see how those hammerheads vote. Rise up veterans and let your voices be heard.

  61. There is nothing wrong with the retirement plan or the supposed medical coverage for an American that dedicates their youth in defense of this Nation. There are plenty of Corporations and Billionaires making trillions from the sacrifices made by service men and women. Is greed that strong a force that America will turn it's back on the folks sent into harms way on her behalf ?

    Pathetic ! If we as the working class don't demand preservation of what was offered at the time of entrance into service now there will be continuous flow of BOHICA's to follow !!!!

  62. I joined the Army when I was 17 (1970), and retired in 1997. One of the first things I was promised back in 1970 was medical care for life. They lied. I should have known when at the retirement phsyical the Doc kept saying "Yeah…right" when I told him which parts did not work well…while he made plans the whole time to go to lunch with the nurse. They lied.

  63. It is a fact that the last several years worth of military medical needs has increased dramatically and placed a much bigger burden on the system, but would our government turn its back on all those who have served in defense of our country?
    Please 1st look at the benefits accrued by members of congress…representatives and senators receive far more in benefits than military personnel and they don't have to serve a minimum of 20 years, nor is it anywhere close to arduous duty.
    Then take a look at what union members receive when they retire…talk about breaking the back of industry. And a person working on the automotive assembly line doesn't come close to the arduous duty of a military member.

    I don't mind paying a larger amount for my retired military healthcare if it helps the country recover, but lets start with our good people in congress first. Lead the way…

  64. WHY??? It does no good to make complaints that make sense, to politicians
    that could care less as long as their benefits are not cut back. Most of them don't even have a son or daughter who will sacrifice in the military. They better start building ROBOTS to go along with the DRONES, because no human in their right mind will serve or sacrifice. Start up the DRAFT again, and force men and women to serve and sacrafice for these selfish primadona POLITICIANS.

  65. Think tank? Over rated people doing nothing productive but making comments they know nothing about. I bet it pays well.

  66. CDM USAF RET | April 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm |

    I am 42 years old. I can barely walk, I have severe arthritis in my knees and shoulders. I am disappointed in this secdef and president for proposing these drastic cuts. Its so easy to pick on the veterans, why not look elsewhere for defense costs. There is so much waste in defense contractors and programs. Don't take from us, who sacrificed their best years and youth for the good of the country. Look elsewhere.

  67. Heres the problem, when these troops were in the recruiters office. They were told… After 20 + 1/2 base pay for life. an Medical. My father put in 28 Years started in 1943. My brother did 21 ROTC.. Both retired but even they have had to pay for co-pays etc.. Now if the Govt wants to change the rules you Start as of TODAY>. Due notice NEW RECRUITS> and good luck with retention or getting volunteers.

  68. I guess noting that comes out anymore surprises me after getting the shaft on promised lifetime healthcare for a careerist went away. I expect that eventually anything that used to help keep a person in the military will evaporate. No other career civilian or otherwise in this country other than the military exposes it's participants to the things military life does. Eventually the flag that covers the coffins will be charged for as well as the free VA hole in the ground to be placed in. Once everything is gone what will they use to keep folks career and volunteer to fight the wars around the world. Guess the draft may have to make a comeback!

  69. Ted Newton | July 23, 2013 at 8:02 am |

    Congressmen who supports any cuts to Tricare for older retirees should be kicked out of office.

  70. Panetta says "Everything should be on the table." Does that mean is going to amputate both of his legs before he eliminates pay and and benefits those who did just that?

  71. Norma chapman | September 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm |

    Name one civilian job that requires you to be on call 24/7 365 days a yr. FYI 30 days vacation includes any holidays/weekends during that period count as leave days against those 30 days leave. You also had to call or come in to check out on leave. if you called they wanted a local number to call back just to make sure you didnt leave the area before your leave started. If you wanted to go more then 150 miles from your duty station for a long weekend you needed the commands permission. If you are sick you can't call in you needed to get up go to sick call with all the others plucking their guts out from the flu so that a dr could write you a note and put you on bed rest. luckily when I got out I got a job right away because I was not eligible for unemployment since I had a job but did not want to reenlist unlike my civilian counterpart who got fired and was receiving it because the employer didn't object.

  72. Carl Bundesen | February 11, 2014 at 8:51 pm |

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    Thomas Jefferson
    It is not about a hand out. This was a LEGAL promise by our government. A signed document, a CONTRACT, stating if you do this, you earn this, for this long, starting on this date. For them to change that for new enlisties is stupid, but at least those coming in have a choice based on todays facts. For them to change it for those who have already made the deal and paid the dues is ILEGAL. It is fraud. It is out right theft. We allow congress to breach this contract while retaining thier own cushy retirement and medical plans then where does it stop. Taxation without representation is alive in America! Dont tread on me, the time is now! "
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    Thomas Jefferson

  73. carl bundesen | February 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm |

    go ahead and put into your companies 401K for 10, 15, 20 years with the promise that it will pay out X ammount at 65. Only to have the bank system controlling it say 20 years in that it cost to much to pay up and due to the econimy and the CEO needing more slush fund money your 401 K has to wait untill you are 78, oh but it will be a larger pay out at that time. IF YOU MAKE IT>

  74. It was a contract to keep a Tricare for life. My husband risk his life for it. And the written agreement was Tricare for life. We are 60 how long do u think we have…and u want to rip TRICARE from us….u will hear a sink about this

  75. I cannot believe the military has to always take the fall. it is not fair. We are the ones risking our life. And the proposal and agreement was for us to have Tricare to are for life. And now u are trashing that. U plan to cut military pensions by 20 percent and then u want to give up our incentive to and be in the military…at least one big one. Paid it a big price in life or death. TRICARE has been good to us we get to see our doctors. And for the younger ones ….and us go to Obamacare….they need to good care Tricare can give us… Hell we had cuts in pay and healthcare of price raised. Okay we dealt with that now u want our active Dixie to suffer too. They will probably will not get it I until it is too late. The older ppl should be grandfathered in. at his will not end well!!!! So please congress net reconsider.

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