Balancing the budget on the backs of veterans

| October 20, 2012

The president told the American Legion Convention in 2011 that he wouldn’t balance the federal budget on the backs of veterans, yet, here’s the Department of Defense shutting down Tricare Prime in the western states which gets replaced with Tricare Standard.

As of April 1, as many as 30,000 Prime beneficiaries — retirees, Active Guard and Reserve troops, and family members — in Iowa; Minnesota; Oregon; Reno, Nev.; and Springfield, Mo., will have to switch to Tricare Standard, a traditional fee-for-service health plan, according to a source with knowledge of the reorganization.
Under the changes that will start April 1, as many as 170,000 Prime enrollees across all three regions eventually may have to drive longer distances to see a Prime provider or switch to Tricare Standard, which has no enrollment fees but carries greater out-of-pocket costs:

The point I’ve made in the past is that Obamacare was supposed to reduce healthcare costs for Americans, yet, the single opportunity that the government has to control healthcare costs, they jack up costs to retired American veterans. That’s probably because we earned the benefit of healthcare instead of standing with our hands out.

And I’m not convinced that a Romney/Ryan presidency would reverse the Obama Administration’s actions against veterans, because I can’t get an answer from the campaign.

Thanks to all of you who sent us the link over the last few days,

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Veteran Health Care

Comments (14)

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  1. Jabatam says:

    “The move to eliminate Prime service areas away from military installations has been in the works since 2007, when the Defense Department released a draft of its new Tricare contract proposal. But a series of contract disputes delayed the launch of the new initiative.”

    Seems, to me, this was put in motion by the Bush administration, not Obama

  2. JMLubecky says:

    And then there is the CRSC issue that is also being used to balance the budget on the backs of wounded vets, fortunatly, with CRDP 20 yr retirees dont have to face this problem so since its usually lower enlisted who get hosed, it will never get fixed.

  3. Dave Thul says:

    This will be a swift kick in the nuts for thousands of AGR soldiers.

    I understand that the military needs to take its lumps in the budget cutting that is surely coming, but show me some other government agency that is getting a huge downgrade in their healthcare benefits.

  4. 2-17 AirCav says:

    I was curious about police retirees and their medical benies. My search was hardly exhaustive, merely cursory. What I saw immediately in the google hits that some (many? most?) states offer police retirees coverage at no cost. I’m wondering if this is generally true. There are so many Vets and others from all sorts of backgrounds here, does anyone know? As for no answers from Romney/Ryan, it strongly appears that this issue is one they either have not studied or that they have looked at and would prefer not to discuss. There seems to be no position statements whatsoever on this.

  5. Stacy0311 says:

    I am SHOCKED, shocked I tell you to find out that the government is willing to fuck over veterans. At least we’ve finally achieved bipartisan consensus on something.

  6. 77 11c20 says:

    2-17 AirCAv, it depends on the state and the city. NYC a retiree can have a plan that has no additional cost but also can have one that has a cost to the retiree of over $13,000.00. Guess which one has better benifits.

  7. SFC Holland says:

    Getting rid of the extra F35 engine could pay for the whole thing, or any other Super wizardly aircraft for that matter. This from the folks that said they (Biden) could never pay us enough, or thank us enough. Of course we were fighting in Iran at the time. Yes, the Republicans/Democrats alike are going to be very bad for veterans in the next decade, but personnel costs versus systems costs are always going to be a problem, and if they didn’t want a bunch of broken, disabled veterans on the dole, they shouldn’t have had us fighting wars for the past 12 years either. We did our part. Pay us for services rendered.

  8. 2-17 AirCav says:

    @6. The reason I asked is that I was wondering whether police are better off than Veterans with respect to health care benefits. My guess was that they are better off, but, as you say, I guess it depends. Behind my inquiry is the forgetful nature of the public when it comes to the sacrifices made by military and their families. The police, however, are ‘here’ not there and ‘now’ not then. So, I figured that police were better taken care of, government levels notwithstanding.

  9. UpNorth says:

    AirCav, my benefit from the city when I retired was so good, that I got a job in education to qualify for their health care plan. The health care cost is far less than the cost I would have incurred if I had stayed with the city’s plan. And, the coverage is better.
    Probably due to the fact that the plan I’m in is a statewide plan, not just one city’s plan. That lowers the per-person cost to a manageable level.

  10. 2-17 AirCav says:

    @9. Okay, I’ll can my theory.

  11. Kevin says:

    There are two large groups of people that get to depend solely on Government Health Care. One get the VA, the other IHS. To see how IHS works you should google “don’t get sick after June”.

    I just can’t wait to get the opportunity to have the Federal Government’s “supply” my healthcare.

  12. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    AirCav, PD and Fire, in most states/municipalities, are on a completely different retirement system than other government employees or civilians. Here in Az all LEOs & Fire Fighters are part of the Az Public Safety Retirement System. Here APSRS members pay 10% towards their retirement which allows members to retire after 20 years despite their age. Members don’t pay SS or FICA. Some cities here in Az allow Public Safety to opt in to their city pension system. Each individual Dept’s union negotiates their benefits package and 99% have some provision for free or low cost health insurance after retirement.