It seems that the Department of Defense is continually looking for new and improved ways of breaking its contract with Military Veterans. Starting during the Clinton administration, continued through the Democrat controlled Congress of the Bush administration, and blessed by the Obama administration, the Department of Defense has repeatedly attempted to undermine the healthcare benefits of military retirees and their families. Last year, the annual fees for Tricare coverage were nearly doubled. The copays for prescription drugs went up also, and will do so again soon. The increases will be tied to any cost of living increases in retirement pay. Effectively negating those raises.
Now, about a week ago, retirees in the Tricare South region were informed by email that as of October 1, 2013, those who live more than forty miles from a military medical facility will have their Tricare Prime coverage stripped from them. This change will force Veterans and their families into the prohibitively more expensive Tricare Standard coverage. Two groups of military retirees will be hit especially hard. Those who still have young children, and those who live solely off of their military retirement pay and Social Security.
Most Veterans understand that in order to balance the Federal Budget cuts will have to be made somewhere. But as long as waste, fraud, abuse, and redundancies remain a part of business as usual in Washington, balancing the budget on the backs of Veterans who have served with pride and honor, who have already sacrificed much, is simply unforgivable. These changes flew under the radar. There was no press coverage, no media outrage. No, it’s as if the Obama administration purposely keeps anything from the general public that doesn’t support the narrative of “health care for all”. Americans support and honor their Veterans. Even when the government they served under does not. For President Obama to claim affordable healthcare as his legacy while allowing an increase in the cost for those who served their Commander-in-Chief, is the height of hypocrisy.
Veterans and their families can’t fight this battle alone. We need all Americans to write their representatives, and the President. Get involved and make some noise. Compel Washington to keep its promise and right this wrong.
- Pentagon Moves Forward on Cutting Prime Health Coverage for Vets (pjmedia.com)
- Tricare changes could move 174,000 beneficiaries to fee-for-service health plan (with poll) (al.com)
- Retirees not near bases to lose Tricare Prime Oct. 1 (thenewstribune.com)