Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon is reporting today on changes proposed by the Obama Administration to the medical benefits of our military veterans.
The article reports:
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.
I have already posted articles showing the difference between government workers pay and benefits and those of the private sector. (See Congressional Budget Office chart). Needless to say, military salaries are considerably lower than both. Why in the world would the President cut military benefits and not cut civilian defense department employees’ benefits?
The article further reports:
“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.
This is an outrage. Additionally the plan calls for large increases in the cost of Tricare for military families.
The article states:
According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.
This doesn’t sound like much, but consider the sacrifices our servicemen and their families make during their twenty or more years of life in the military. The favoring of civilian union employees over the military is obscene. These changes have to be passed by Congress–any bill proposed needs to be dead on arrival.