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TriCare to be Cut to Encourage Enrollment in Obamacare.


kchsload

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Doubt it'll pass as it has to be approved by Congress. I'm all for cutting the defense budget back a bit as the wars end but this may go a little too far if the Pentagon wants to maintain some resemblance of the increasingly scant military benefits everyone was entitled to when they signed on.

http://freebeacon.co...ashing-tricare/

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..........Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay.

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

Edited by kchsload
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Humm...any sources that are not ridiculously biased? I was unfamiliar, but after a quick once-over of their website it's perhaps a little slanted. The author of that particular article is from the Washington Times upon further googling.

I also am not sure why it's news that the Administration wants to raise some Tricare fees, we've discussed this somewhere else already. It's been out there for months, they want to raise Tricare fees in order to save some money and MOAA et. al. are not happy about it. That "several unnamed congressional aids" suggested that it was some kind of devious scheme is not really compelling.

Edited by nsplayr
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Humm...any sources that are not ridiculously biased? I was unfamiliar, but after a quick once-over of their website it's perhaps a little slanted. The author of that particular article is from the Washington Times upon further googling.

"Ridiculously biased" or not...this article is pretty factual. This language is in fact in the budget almost exactly as explained in this article. It is indeed madenning, and the elite media has simply chosen not to report on it...imagine that.

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I don't know about you guys, but when I think of legit news sites, the first thing that comes to mind is freebeacon.com (especially since it's apparently existed for a whole 3 weeks now).

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/02/07/the-washington-free-beacon/

Today (7 Feb 2012) marks the debut of the Washington Free Beacon, an innovative Website for news of a particular stripe—an anti-Leftist stripe.
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Humm...any sources that are not ridiculously biased?

How about the cousin of Air Force Crimes.

I love it, the dems want to give free healthcare to those who don't even pay taxes...and then at the same time, want to charge extra for those who pay taxes and who also serve their country for 20 years (enduring more hardship than 95% of the rest of the country). If the military was a bigger voting block, they'd treat us as well...unfortunately current retirees and those of us who will follow are only part of the 1% (or whatever percentage it is). And yes, that was a political slam for effect.

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WTF guys? I heard Obama wants to put microscopic serial numbers on firing pins and RFID tags on ammo... fuck! Gay people are getting married and serving in the military, and all you are worried about is a $25 Tricare fee?

Shit! Almost forgot, I heard Obama was going to make Officers take an oath to him instead of the constitution... just like Hitler did. Also, the whole controversy over the USMC Scout Sniper getting in trouble for the SS flag… turns out Obama is creating an SS (Schutzstaffel) and they sued the Scout Snipers for copy right infringement.

We are fucked!

Edited by Butters
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Shit! Almost forgot, I heard Obama was going to make Officers take an oath to him instead of the constitution... just like Hitler did.

Link? Or rumor?

Or is my sarcasm detector inop?

Edited by Grind
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Humm...any sources that are not ridiculously biased? I was unfamiliar, but after a quick once-over of their website it's perhaps a little slanted. The author of that particular article is from the Washington Times upon further googling.

I also am not sure why it's news that the Administration wants to raise some Tricare fees, we've discussed this somewhere else already. It's been out there for months, they want to raise Tricare fees in order to save some money and MOAA et. al. are not happy about it. That "several unnamed congressional aids" suggested that it was some kind of devious scheme is not really compelling.

Granted the source is not something that I would bet my life on nor trust to the "t," but doesn't just about every news source have an agenda these days? Like I said, I'm all about cutting the budget and everyone doing their part to get it to a sustainable amount but increasing a single fee by up to 70 some-odd percent in a year, then up to triple the original amount by 2017?? Come on, there's got to be better programs and fat to cut that would save a metric shlt ton more that this.

Here's a less "ridiculously biased" source:

http://warnerrobinspatriot.com/bookmark/17668461-Obama-budget-carries-higher-health-med-coverage-costs-for-military-retirees

And a write up of Dempsey's commenets on the matter:

http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2012/02/dempsey-troops-weve-heard-your-concerns-tricare-fees/41257/

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Meh. A retired O-6 with dependents would see a premium of 170/mo; the tiers continue down on a means-testing scale for the retired E/7/8 types et al. Fuck, I paid 200/mo to buy-in the same coverage (reserve equivalent) as a starving O-2 with a 40% paycut and that was a great deal compared to off-the-street BC/BS types...what, yall think civilian employers offer great healthcare for the labor market equivalent of a recent college graduate 10 years removed from college with an online masters in bullshit? AHAHAHAHA! Shit, Continental won't even cover you the first year at all. Welcome to Walmart.

Granpa will be alright. We the no-pension-generation OTOH are sure as shit fucked, my apologies if my indignation for granp's still decent healthcare is not more fervorous.... Look, this is the 1990s; do a day more than your ADSC in this pre-announced environment, that shit's on you...how that sayin' go? Fool can't get fooled again *Bush shuffle chukle*

When life gives ya lemons....just fuck the lemons and bail. :beer:

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Humm...any sources that are not ridiculously biased? I was unfamiliar, but after a quick once-over of their website it's perhaps a little slanted. The author of that particular article is from the Washington Times upon further googling.

And upon further googling you would've seen that this is the case (that the Prez' 2013 Defense budget has exactly those potential costs in it for Tricare). And while this has been known for a while (that the Pres. was going to propose this), it doesn't change the fact that it's any less pleasant for us to hear.

I'm not sure of your status, nsplyr, but when I was a little younger I was at Sheppard AFB and the civilian instructors were furloughed for a few days (back in 1995), and those who were military retirees spent their time off picketing in front of a Whichita Falls recruiting station. They were unhappy with the changes back then and the fact that the DoD was fighting in court to say that they were not entitled to free healthcare for life. I didn't quite get it then, but I understand it now...

When I first enlisted in the 80's, this was a fact: 20 year retirement and healthcare for life. Since then and through this very day, I've held up my end of the bargain. Just because I'm willing to make sacrifices for my country doesn't mean I'm willing to continue making sacrifices upon my retirement. After 26 years (and probably significantly more before I call it a day) I look forward to enjoying missed time with my family and being in my own home w/o picking up and leaving for some armpit of the world. I'm sure you've deployed many times, as have I and everyone around me. I'm not willing to let those sacrifices to my family and my own well-being (physically and mentally) be gobbled up so quickly by the same gov't that made those promises to me in the first place, and all so that ultimately this President can deliver on a claim of providing universal health care to the masses.

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I'm not sure of your status, nsplyr...

I didn't quite get it then, but I understand it now...

He is in the majority of the guys around here defined by your "I didn't quite get it then" comment.

Not their fault, they're young and bullet proof (like you were) so they just don't get it. Yet.

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And upon further googling you would've seen that this is the case (that the Prez' 2013 Defense budget has exactly those potential costs in it for Tricare). And while this has been known for a while (that the Pres. was going to propose this), it doesn't change the fact that it's any less pleasant for us to hear.

This is exactly it...the proposal for increased Tricare fees has been out there for some time and shouldn't come as a surprise. The fact that some journalist came up with the headline "Trashing Tricare" to hawk his new news outlet doesn't really make this "news" again. And his use of unnamed "congressional aids" who suggest some ulterior motive other than saving money doesn't strike me as important new insight.

It may be unpleasant to hear that tricare fees may be going up and that's fine, I just don't understand the fresh outrage when this has been out in the open. And after all Congress has the power of the purse so anything in the President's budget proposal is at best an opening salvo in the budget negotiations.

I'm not sure of your status, nsplyr

ADAF. I am young so maybe I don't "get it" but frankly I don't find (bar napkin numbers ahead!) paying ~$800 a year for a family's healthcare vice ~$500 a huge burden for the top-earning set of military retirees.

Are increased tricare fees my first choice of ways to save money? F*ck no, but if we're cuttin' budgets right away and with an axe then so be it, unintended things get cut when you use an axe. I frankly don't think we needed to do a lot of cutting from the DOD budget in the short-term but you bet your ass I know who in Congress pushed real hard for cuts to government spending. Raising tricare fees is effectively a cut to government spending, mission accomplished apparently.

And honestly if you read Dempsey's numbers on the huge cost of healthcare benefits to the DOD, you have to know changes need to be made, the current system is unsustainable.

When I first enlisted in the 80's, this was a fact: 20 year retirement and healthcare for life.

Thanks for your service. When I commissioned much more recently than that, I was told by those wiser than me that nothing was guaranteed unless it was on paper and I had the signed original copy and even then the rules can and will be changed at any time by the Air Force, Congress, etc. YMMV, and if the government goes back on some promise it made to you 40 years ago, it wouldn't be the first time unfortunately.

Edited by nsplayr
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Here's a less "ridiculously biased" source:

http://warnerrobinsp...litary-retirees

And a write up of Dempsey's commenets on the matter:

http://www.govexec.c...are-fees/41257/

And these sources stuck to the facts at hand and relied on the CJCS's assessment rather than the wild speculation of unnamed congressional aides.

Edited by nsplayr
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This is exactly it...the proposal for increased Tricare fees has been out there for some time and shouldn't come as a surprise. The fact that some journalist came up with the headline "Trashing Tricare" to hawk his new news outlet doesn't really make this "news" again. And his use of unnamed "congressional aids" who suggest some ulterior motive other than saving money doesn't strike me as important new insight.

It may be unpleasant to hear that tricare fees may be going up and that's fine, I just don't understand the fresh outrage when this has been out in the open. And after all Congress has the power of the purse so anything in the President's budget proposal is at best an opening salvo in the budget negotiations.

ADAF. I am young so maybe I don't "get it" but frankly I don't find (bar napkin numbers ahead!) paying ~$800 a year for a family's healthcare vice ~$500 a huge burden for the top-earning set of military retirees.

Yes, we (retirees) all knew this was coming, and IMHO most would be willing to pay a modest increase in TriCare enrollment fees each year. Unfortunately, that's not what they're proposing. Paying ~$800/yr is for a retired O-4 making just over $41k/yr retirement, and only for CY2013. By 2017 your enrollment fee has now tripled, and if you retire as an O-5 or higher it more than quadruples to over $2k. Now add in prescription copay increases (I spend over $1k/yr on prescriptions for my wife) over the same time period, and there's a substantial increase in out-of-pocket expenses. Still relatively cheap compared to the civilian world, but nowhere near the "free" health care we were "promised" in the 80s. Just a WAG, but I'm guessing those retirees in the lower tier on fixed incomes will probably begin going to the VA for more of their medical care as well, only increasing the costs associated with that program...

http://militarytimes.com/projects/benefits/tricare-fee-increases/

Edited by RASH
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You know I am really tired of people saying that cuts need to be everywhere and that it is not that big of a deal if tricare fees increase etc. (Yes, nsplayer I'm looking at you.) The problem with all of this is the principle behind it for me. Are defense civilians seeing increases, Congress, the judicial branch, other agencies? NO! The people who are putting their lives on the line, (fwiw, I say this while I am thinking about the Army and Marines mostly because I don't feel I or most of the AF has to put their lives on the line) have to worry about losing their retirements, increased tricare fees, and other benefits such as TA etc because the military is an easy target. I will stop complaining about this sort of thing AFTER the beauracrats and government aristocrats start cutting their own benefits etc first! Just another reason to punch at the end of my commitment...

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Nsplayer, I think you are missing the bigger picture and the driving force behind these cuts becoming "headlines."

As outlined above, quadrupling the rate for some groups is not a modest increase, it is gouging and not at all in line with the health care we were all promised...However, I get it, these are difficult times and things have to change and I am more than willing to pay my share, but what makes this absolutely maddening is the system is sticking it to military retirees but has done NOTHING about the entitlement programs that are the real problem. It is mind numbing to hear you continuously bang the liberal drum and defend cuts like this when you could be a little more down the middle and admit the real problem is not the DoD budget...how about a rant about entitlement programs and the discussion we really need to have ref Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

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It is mind numbing to hear you continuously bang the liberal drum and defend cuts like this when you could be a little more down the middle and admit the real problem is not the DoD budget...how about a rant about entitlement programs and the discussion we really need to have ref Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

I try to make it a point to always say that I am not for the cuts being made to the DOD budget for the most part. They're not necessary, and don't need to be carried out this fast at any rate.

But like I said before and will say again, if I remember correctly it was not liberals by and large "beating the drum" to slash government spending that forced us into the cuts we're seeing now. Most of the cuts we're seeing (though not the Tricare fees we're talking about here) are part of the Budget Control Act, which would have been completely unnecessary had Congress raised the debt ceiling in a normal fashion without requiring short-term, corresponding spending cuts.

Edited by nsplayr
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I try to make it a point to always say that I am not for the cuts being made to the DOD budget for the most part. They're not necessary, and don't need to be carried out this fast at any rate.

But like I said before and will say again, if I remember correctly it was not liberals by and large "beating the drum" to slash government spending that forced us into the cuts we're seeing now. Most of the cuts we're seeing (though not the Tricare fees we're talking about here) are part of the Budget Control Act, which would have been completely unnecessary had Congress raised the debt ceiling in a normal fashion without requiring short-term, corresponding spending cuts.

What you "try to make a point to say" and how it comes across are two completely different things. Case in point, we know the real issue is with the deficit, but instead of addressing the point you throw it back on the GOp for wanting to reduce spending. Same old drum....same old sound...

For the record, yes the republicans, driven by the Tea Party folks, did call for cuts to spending, but the Liberals scream cut defense, cut defense...when that won't fix the problem. We've said it before, you can cut the DoD budget to zero and we still go under...because of entitlements. We have a fundamental problem that these cuts won't solve...the top 1% n this country pay 36.7% of the total tax burden, the top 10% pay 70% of the tax burden and 50% of Americans don't pay taxes at all. As Matmacwc stated, the liberals continue to shout the Robin Hood mantra, popular to the masses, but it won't fix the problem. Once and for all address the entitlements so we can extract our butts from this mess.

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This is exactly it...the proposal for increased Tricare fees has been out there for some time and shouldn't come as a surprise.

YMMV, and if the government goes back on some promise it made to you 40 years ago, it wouldn't be the first time unfortunately.

So, suck it up fatty?

Would you say your reasonable argument should also be applied to SGLI and Fry Scholarships with the same "'tough shit you should have expected your country to back out on its promises" approach?

Yes, we (retirees) all knew this was coming, and IMHO most would be willing to pay a modest increase in TriCare enrollment fees each year. '

Unfortunately, that's not what they're proposing.

So, you held up your end and you think you have a reasonable expectation of reciprocity?

Gosh, what an interesting polarity between the generations.

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Case in point, we know the real issue is with the deficit, but instead of addressing the point you throw it back on the GOp for wanting to reduce spending. Same old drum....same old sound...

A lot of people here (perhaps not you) wanted to "slash spending" but not one drop of blood from the DOD (except maybe the flat-screen TV and reflective belt accounts). Neither camp (GOP or Dems) can have it both ways and my vote was to not cut spending much at all and I can live with that because I know the spending cuts would not be favorable for many DOD folks' interests including my own.

Since DOD spending (and non-discretionary spending in general) aren't causing 98% of the problem, we shouldn't have taken an axe to anything (DOD, arts programs, national parks, transportation, food stamps, foreign aid, etc.). If cutting those things would solve the problem then great, go for it, but it won't so why make deep cuts to programs and services that people rely on and that do a lot of good just to be in ~1% better shape than you were before?

For the record, yes the republicans, driven by the Tea Party folks, did call for cuts to spending, but the Liberals scream cut defense, cut defense...when that won't fix the problem.

So we shouldn't have made huge cuts to anything! The Tea Party wanted blood from the federal budget but they didn't have the power to control the process so blood is what they got...some of it from the DOD to the horror of McCain/Graham/MeKeon republicans. IMHO the GOP establishment opened Pandora's Box politically by largely embracing the Tea Party and the 2010 fervor to cut spending when they should have known that the Democrats would maintain the Senate and were holding the White House. Hopefully some of them can regroup and partner with moderate democrats and stop the sequestration cuts that the failure of the Super Committee triggered.

Once and for all address the entitlements so we can extract our butts from this mess.

Sounds good, let's throw in reforming the tax code while we're at it. What's the plan and how do you get 60 senators and half the House to back it?

So, suck it up fatty?

I'm saying it sucks but isn't surprising. Personally I don't plan my life based on promises of future good deals from the government or any particular company.

Edited by nsplayr
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