Friday, January 7, 2011

Secretary Gates wants to raise TRICARE costs

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates thinks that one way to save money for the Pentagon would
be to raise enrollment rates for veterans who are covered under TRICARE. The program
provides health care coverage to active duty and retired military members and their families.

Although Gates mentioned raising the rates for "working age" retired military members. Gates
said that many of these beneficiaries are employed full time while receiving their full pensions
and ofter forgo their employer's health plan to remain with TRICARE."

Gates' plan would raise the rates for fiscal year 2012 and make other changes in military
health care that could save over $7 billion over the next five years.

Gates said, "These will include initiatives to become more efficient as well as modest increases to
TRICARE fees for working age retires to adjust for medical attention."

The current enrollment fee of $460 for the basic family plan has not changed since it was
sent in 1995. Although there have been attempts in the past to raise the rate, Congress
has failed to do so.

Several members of Congress are watching closely to see the exact figures and what the
effect would be on both active duty and retired members.

Once again, it is the veteran who gets cuts first and deepest. Most of us seem to remember
quite clearly being told that we and our families would be taken care of for life.

It just does not happen for most.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996