Posted: July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

In late MAY Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter warned Congress that holding the line on TRICARE fees would upset the “carefully balanced” budget request from the administration and undo key domestic priorities. The Deputy Secretary cast yet another administration insult toward those who served saying any change in the earned benefit of health care could harm our national security. The Deputy Secretary is not the only administration official looking to tag retired servicemembers and their families with the bill for deficit reduction. Robert Hale, DoD's comptroller, warned that if Congress rejected the administration’s increase it could mean less palatable cuts elsewhere. "If, for example, Congress turned down all of our compensation proposals and we offset that hole with additional force cuts, we could have to cut roughly another 60,000 troops by 2017…These additional cuts will surely jeopardize the new defense strategy that we have recently put in play," Hale said. And Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and director of TRICARE Management Activity, said that increasing TRICARE fees nearly four-fold over the next 5-years is the right way to meet the nation’s side of the promise for a 20-year or more career in uniform. The TRICARE benefit has been one of the "most comprehensive and generous health benefits in this country, and our proposals keep it that way,” Woodson said. [Source: NAUS Weekly Update 1 Jun 2012 ++]


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