Random thoughts from flyover country

Tuesday, November 20

With the thanks of a grateful nation...

Nothing like serving your country in war and/or peace for 20 years with the promise that after you retire that the government would provide for you and your family. Now, with one war "ended" and another fixing to wind down, the government finds itself facing a "fiscal cliff" of its own making and its first reaction seems to be grabbing military retirees and throwing them over the edge. According to Military.com, not only is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) targeting future pay raises for active duty military which have gone up more than civilian pay over the past 10 years (Can you say "recession?"), it is also targeting TRICARE and future retirement benefits.

The CBO suggests raising TRICARE enrollment fees, deductibles, and copayments. It also recommends phasing the increases in over a five year period in a "tiered approach" so higher-ranking retirees pay more than lower-ranking retirees.

This would result in higher collections from retirees, thus discouraging us from relying on the military health care that the government promised us rather than using civilian employer health insurance. The higher deductibles and copayments would also lower costs by discouraging us from using medical services (death panels by proxy).

The CBO also wants to save money by restricting access to TRICARE Prime by retirees under age 65 and their families.

It's nice to know that the government honors our service and the sacrifices we and our families made in the course of that service, isn't it?


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