Senate Panel Debates TRICARE Fees
FRA submitted a written statement for the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee hearing this week at which Pentagon officials testified on active and Reserve personnel programs. Senator Jim Webb (VA.), the Subcommittee Chairman, questioned the administration’s proposed TRICARE fee hikes that would begin in fiscal year 2013. “I’ve said many times that I believe that whether there is a specific contractual obligation or not, when someone has served a full career, we have a moral obligation to provide them with lifetime medical care.” Referring to the proposed TRICARE fee hikes Webb added “You can’t renegotiate the front end once the back end is done. This is an obligation that has been made to people whose military careers are now done.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.), the panel’s Ranking Member stated that Congress should halt sequestration and argued that the proposed budget cuts too few DoD contractors and too many active duty and Reserve Component personnel. He told witnesses that he was willing to work with the Administration on TRICARE fee increases.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) questioned why DoD was back asking for more TRICARE fee increases when the Congress had just enacted a retiree TRICARE Prime increase (13%) this year with further adjustments capped at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) level. In response to DoD’s plan to tie the TRICARE fee to increases in the private sector, she argued that military service is unique and should not be compared to civilian occupations and stated that the Nation has a special obligation to those who served in uniform.
shipmates’ concerns about reductions in healthcare and other
quality-of-life benefits earned through honorable military service.
Proposed reductions would significantly affect military pay and benefits
and be viewed as “devaluing” military service. FRA also
strongly supports legislative proposals in both chambers (H.R. 3662 and
S. 2065) that would exclude DoD from the first year of sequestration.
TRICARE fees go to: http://www.capwiz.com/fra/issues/alert/?alertid=61004261
To stop DoD sequestration go to: http://www.capwiz.com/fra/issues/alert/?alertid=60943611