Thursday, March 1, 2012

News by *es


From the Washington Free Beacon:

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare*, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched** . The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges***.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare****.

* Hey, look on the bright side; at least this isn't as bad as the worst idea of all-time the administration floated when it first took office that would leave wounded and disabled service men and women on the hook to pay for their own injuries and resulting rehab.

** Natch.

*** For those of you out there that fretted over the exclusion of a public option contained within ObamaCare, fear not! This piece of legislation through a combination of commission and ommission is chock full of cases whereby private insurers are squeezed out of the competition and the effected parties will have no other option but to seek health care insurance via the government.

**** Making further hash of the promise made by the Commander-in-Chief that under ObamaCare, if we liked our current health care insurance plan, we could keep it.

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