Your free healthcare just got more expensive

| September 30, 2011

The Defense Department announced a premium increase for your Tricare premiums. Nice of them to wait until they were told to raise premiums by Congress, wasn’t it? The Associated Press likes to refer to the increases as “just a fraction of what civilians pay”, “modest” and “slightly more”;

Military retirees will pay slightly more for their health care starting Saturday, and more cost increases are on the way.

Premiums haven’t been raised since 1994 and still will be just a fraction of what civilians pay. Under a change announced by the Defense Department on Thursday, individuals who enroll in the retiree program as of Saturday will pay $260 annually, up from $230, and it will be $520 annually for a family, up from $460.

Retirees already in the program will not see any increase until next year because they have already paid for this year. But “modest annual increases” are planned in the future, Cynthia Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said.

It doesn’t matter how much the increase is, it’s 100% higher than “none” which is what the government promised when we decided to make a career out of the military and make the sacrifices we made in exchange for this benefit.

But don’t worry, DoD has unilaterally decided that you can afford this and future increases, despite what your own budget math might show;

Gates particularly singled out working-age retirees – those in their 40s who retired after 20 years in the military and can go on to second careers, meaning they are likely to be able to afford a small increase, he said.

“Likely”? What if it’s “unlikely” that a veteran can’t afford to pay the higher premiums? What benefits are Education Department or EPA retirees willing to sacrifice to balance the budget? Has anyone even asked them?

Category: Veteran Health Care

Comments (17)

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  1. QMC says:

    Well, I hate to point this out to Secretary Gates, but comparing what a twenty year veteran is paying for healthcare coverage and what some cubicle potato in Peoria pays is really not an apples-to-apples comparison.

  2. OWB says:

    May I whine a moment?

    It thoroughly ticks me off that I played by all the rules and planned for my retirement and presumed increase in health care needs as well as costs for same. Not that I ever expected to prognosticate with complete accuracy, but with a little thought fully anticipated being able to take care of myself well beyond my caring about reality. Kinda like normal Americans have been doing for generations.

    My head is now ready to explode because I have no idea whatever who is going to pay for it should I need a doctor’s care next week! Or how it is to be supplied. Tri-Care? Medicare? Blue Cross (or whatever it’s called this week)? And do I pay for all of it, 20%, or some other magical figure?

    Was this the plan all along? Get enough of us so frustrated with it all that the “single-payer” (aka “we” take care of you from cradle to grave) crap looks like a good alternative?

  3. UpNorth says:

    OWB, maybe the next step is to roll it all into O-care, just to “make it fair”.
    Gates apparently thinks that all vets can just step up and get a job at a think tank, or as a lobbyist.

  4. jerry920 says:

    #3 UpNorth. You figured it out. Keep raising the price of anything and eventually even being shoved into Obamacare will begin to look good. It’s an old ploy. Raise the price or taxes on anything until it becomes out of reach.

  5. Old Trooper says:

    Let’s see; the administration wants to cut $6 billion over 10 years on the backs of Vets, and they applaud this, and in the same week that they are cheering that, the EPA testifies to congress that they want $21 billion per year to hire 230,000 people to observe and report violations to their new regulations. So; let’s lay this out: $6 billion over 10 years as a great cost savings from those that have earned it vs. $210 billion in spending over the same time frame for crap that isn’t necessary and is overly burdensome on business and the economy. That’s a net loss of $204 billion to the taxpayers.

    Does anyone else see the completely fucked up thinking within the government?

  6. Well, this is what the government does. It doesn’t give a fuck about you or how you excelled at your chosen trade and sacrificed for years to earn your benefits. You are to work, pay taxes, retire and hopefully die soon after retirement so that you’re not a burden on the establishment. If you get a few crumbs here and there, take it and shut your face. Congress doesn’t care about you. At the root of the matter a politician’s main motivation in life is to get re-elected. If they have to bow to the wishes of the people who want to cut every single benefit people get, then they will do so just to get re-elected for a few more years.

    Don’t ever think that the people making the big decisions care about you.

  7. Dave Thul says:

    Watching Fox News and Alan Simpson just said this ‘free healthcare’ is nuts and retirees need to pay their fair share.

  8. PintoNag says:

    Maybe some time with an infantry unit in Afghanistan would convince Simpson what someone’s “fair share” looks like.

  9. OWB says:

    Perhaps reflecting only a very small percentage of the populace, but I have no interest in being taken care of. What I want is for “them” to get out of the way so that I can take care of myself.

    Mutter, mumble…

  10. #10 just fyi I was referring to military retirees mostly.

  11. DaveO says:

    OH NOES! THE GUBMINT IS BREAKING ANOTHER PROMISE! Pray they don’t alter it further…

    When we say “free” on this site, do we mean free as in we expect another human being (or groups of humans) to work weeks with no hope of ever seeing the money s/he’s earned because we want the government to confiscate it entirely to fund a government-run system instead?

    Since nothing that consumes resources is actually free.

    Question for group: how can the system be improved so that veterans get health care without financially enslaving citizens or themselves?

  12. QMC says:


    Really? This is the last group of people to which one should wave the “poor financially enslaved citizen who has to give up something so you xxx can get free xxx.”

    It’s not free. It is simply deferred compensation.

    Either have a volunteer military or don’t. Either pay them everything up front or spread it out across their entire lives. Time for all those poor “financially enslaved” citizens to make that call.

  13. OWB says:

    There is a huge dif between an employer (any employer) contract being fulfilled and paying folks to not contribute anything to anyone.

    Military retirees whose health care in retirement is part of their employment contract are morally, legally and in every other way due what was promised in their contract. Parasites being paid for being “present” are not owed a dime from any of us. If politicians want to buy their votes they need to dig deep into their own pockets.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bring your own K-Y… you might need it.

  15. DaveO says:

    QMC: up front I don’t disagree with you. The foundational issue is the perfectly legal right of our government to dishonor contracts.

    Our elected, appointed, and hired government does not have to honor contracts. It can break faith unilaterally while punishing service members who break faith. Reading the fine print, one usually finds the clause stating the government reserves the right to honor or dishonor the contract at any time, for any reason.

    Until the law is changed, we’ll see the headlines announcing old ways of jacking with our pensions, compensation and so on annually until we die of very old age.

    Good outrage, wrong target (healthcare).