Chief Tango and Pat sent us a link to the Washington Post’s editorial today in which the Post advocates jacking up Tricare costs for military retirees.
Yeah, big surprise that the liberals at the Washington Post, who support Obamacare on the false premise that it will lower everyone’s healthcare costs, is willing to jack up healthcare costs for Tricare participants.
…[T]he administration plans cuts, including shrinking the Army and the Marine Corps. This is risky, given the potential threats the United States faces. Unfortunately, Congress is compounding the problem by protecting expensive items that inflate personnel costs without any corresponding payoff in defense readiness.
We refer to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s refusal to accept an administration proposal to trim Tricare, the military health-care program for which 9.7 million active and retired military personnel and family members are eligible. Obviously, those who serve or served their country deserve generous health benefits. But Tricare goes well beyond that. The service is free for active-duty service members and their families except for some prescription copayments. For retirees under the age of 65, many of whom are in the work force and eligible for employer-provided benefits, Tricare costs at most $1,000 per year out of pocket — less than a fifth of civilian plans, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Um, “without any corresponding payoff in defense readiness”? How about retention? Isn’t retention a readiness issue? Who the hell is going to reenlist if we can’t trust the Pentagon to keep their promises?
Of course, their argument is that many retirees work and can afford health care, but then that’s not the point is it? We paid for our healthcare with our youth and our blood and sweat, based on promises that were made to us. That’s why it’s called a benefit. I don’t care if Tricare costs $.05/year – it’s too much, because that’s what we stayed in the service for.
The Post supports quadrupling Tricare enrollment fees;
The maximum fee would quadruple to $2,000 — still far less than most civilian plans. Most beneficiaries would not pay even that much.
I really don’t care how much less than civilian plans it would cost, that’s not the point. We were promised free healthcare in exchange for our youth and commitment. Now that we’ve fulfilled our end of the bargain, they want to renege on their promise.
No doubt America’s military retirees are a powerful lobby, their might enhanced by the basic justice of their claim to have given much to their country. At the moment, however, debt is one of the main threats to future U.S. national strength and security, and it makes no sense to deal with it in ways that would also undermine military readiness.
Oh, so now we’re a powerful lobby? Like the NRA or something? And, yes, the national debt is a security threat, but I don’t see the Post recommending a spending cut anywhere else but for military retirees. You’d think that if they were so concerned about the debt, they’d be urging the administration to make cuts in entitlement programs, like House GOPers are recommending, rather than trying to convince Congress to break their promise to veterans.
The modest cuts in Tricare benefits that Mr. Obama seeks are abundantly justified by the national interest. His Office of Management and Budget announced Thursday that the president’s advisers will urge a veto of a defense bill without Tricare reform; they would be right to do so.
You can call them “modest cuts” as much as you want, anything over “free” makes the government a liar. How many young soldiers are looking at this battle over their futures and deciding that it’s not worth their lives and the lives of their families to fight a battle with the government over every little benefit. And you don’t think that has an impact on military readiness?