Jason was concerned when we reported that the Obama Administration planned on cutting a few hundred thousand veterans out of the Tricare Prime program in April, so he wrote the White House with his concerns and here’s how they responded;
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I have heard from many military families concerned about TRICARE, and I appreciate your perspective.
Over the past 3 years, I have worked to address the growing cost of health care by implementing efficiencies in Government spending that will improve TRICARE and ensure military families have access to high-quality medical care. These efficiencies include the creation of virtual lifetime electronic health records that will follow service members from military to civilian life. Additionally, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, military hospitals received funding for much-needed facility improvements.
Under the Affordable Care Act, all features of TRICARE remain in place. The law does not affect health insurance coverage received through TRICARE in any way, and the Department of Defense maintains exclusive authority over providing the highest quality care to our service members, retirees, and their families. In fact, many of the key reforms put in place by the Affordable Care Act are already common practice in TRICARE—including coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, access to preventive care services with no cost sharing, and no annual or lifetime caps on coverage. The Affordable Care Act also makes clear that those who are covered by TRICARE will meet the law’s minimum coverage provision.
One benefit addressed by the Affordable Care Act, but not already in place under TRICARE, was allowing young adults up to age 26 to remain on their families’ health plans. As of January 2011, the Department of Defense now offers similar benefits to young adults with a parent enrolled in TRICARE through the TRICARE Young Adult program.
TRICARE will continue to provide affordable care to over nine million service members and their families. When Americans answer the call of duty and serve in our Armed Forces, a sacred trust is forged. From day one of their enlistment through retirement, the United States must always support those who serve and have served in uniform. These men and women risked their lives to protect our freedoms, and we must do all in our power to provide them with the benefits they have earned, including comprehensive health care. For more information or assistance with TRICARE, please visit www.TRICARE.mil.
Thank you, again, for writing.
So, I guess that by getting rid of Tricare Prime that will make the system better somehow. Whoever wrote the letter didn’t even acknowledge that Tricare is being shut down in some western states in April. So, I guess we should stop worrying about it and start watching the squirrels instead.