The Obama Administration has proposed defense budget cuts, which would raise Tricare (military health insurance) premiums by 30 – 78%. The budget cuts do not cut the premiums of civilians working for the Defense Department. Preside
nt Obama has been on his “We Can’t Wait” campaign and has touted fairness since his speech in Kansas. Apparently fairness does not apply to the military who have given so much over the past ten years, while it is fair for computer jockeys who are part of public unions, to keep their benefits.
<a href=”http://www.politisite.com/2012/02/28/defence-budget-cuts-healthcare-for-military-not-civilians-a-matter-of-fairness/returning-dead-soldiers/” rel=”attachment wp-att-39153″><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-39153″ src=”http://www.politisite.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Returning-Dead-soldiers-250×166.jpg” alt=”” width=”250″ height=”166″ /></a>The disparity between the military and their civilian counterparts has caused concern for Pentagon planners, fearing that a backlash by the military could affect retention and recruitment rates. Of course none of the increases are prior to the election. No big surprise there. This is how the
President plays the game.
The returning military has one of the highest unemployment rates as a group in the country. For many there are broken bodies and mental issues. These ailments don’t result in immediate benefits, but must be fought for every step of the way. On top of that the Administration piles another burden on returning soldiers to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal year 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.
While the increases will be 30 to 78% in fiscal year 2013 the increase in premiums will reach 94 percent to 345 percent spread over a five year period, which three times above current premium levels.
<blockquote>According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family <strong>currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.</strong>
The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.
Veterans will also be hit with a new annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, <em>on top of </em>the monthly premiums they already pay, while some benefits will become “means-tested” in the manner of a social program – treating them like welfare instead of benefits for military service. Naturally, this is all timed to begin next year and “avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year,” according to critics. <a href=”http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=49819″>Human Events</a></blockquote>
The proposal has to be approved by Congress and is part of the $487 Billion in defense budget cuts. This proposal should be a no go if public service employees are not required to share the pain. To pick on the military, who have sacrificed so much is borderline obscene. President Obama should put his money where his mouth is. This is certainly a matter of fairness.