Anyone who joined the military up until the mid 1980s were told if they served 20 years in the military then they would get free healthcare for life. Healthcare was also free for their immediate family, too.
Slowly but surely that benefit went the way of CHAMPUS (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services) and now it’s called TRICARE and co-pays are the norm.
Sure, it is still not a bad deal for military retirees, but it was not what many were promised. The bad thing is that good old Uncle Sam can increase the co-payments with little or no fanfare to help pay for the out of control spending they have done over the past few years.
Most members of Congress never served in the military. President Obama never served, either. I just thought I would throw that fact out for all to read.
In yesterday’s Washington Post we find:
The deficit reduction plan put forth by President Obama on Monday would increase pharmacy co-payments for military beneficiaries and establish a first-ever annual fee in the military’s Tricare for Life health benefits for Medicare-eligible retirees.
This Administration sure seems to like breaking new ground, huh?
Readers may remember that this is the same Administration that floated the plan back in 2009 “to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.” That idea was flushed down the toilet because veterans were outraged.
They (Obama Administration and Congress) are still looking for ways to stick it to the veteran and the military retiree.
On Sunday, the New York Times reported:
As Washington looks to squeeze savings from once-sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big social welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees.
A “big social welfare system”? Come on New York Times – military retirement pay is hardly social welfare. Reporting like this is why you’re losing subscribers.
The Times also found their good friend, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, and was able to get a quote from him for the story. Panetta said, “We’ve got to put everything on the table.”
It’s important that veterans, military retirees, and their families keep their guard up because we really don’t have that many friends in Washington these days.
Follow Jack, who is a military veteran, on Twitter @TheWesternWord for independent commentary about politics, sports, the media, and current events.