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Selected Legislative Goals for 2014

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January 6, 2014

Active/Reserve Force/Family Issues

  • Sustain active duty, Guard and Reserve force sizes to meet mission requirements
  • Sustain military pay comparability with private sector
  • Protect currently serving and retiree benefits against severe, arbitrary sequestration cuts
  • Credit all post-9/11 active duty service toward Guard/Reserve early retirement
  • Restore tax deduction for reservists’ out-of-pocket expenses for military travel of 50 miles or more
  • Create new incentives for employers to hire and retain drilling Guard/Reserve members
  • Provide incentives for employers/government/contractors to hire military spouses
  • Protect funding for commissary/exchange, dependent schools and family support programs
  • Require better education on serious financial disadvantages of the REDUX retirement option
  • Improve professional licensure transferability for service members and military spouses
  • Ensure Service sexual assault and suicide prevention measures provide positive outcomes 

Health Care Issues

  • Avert 25% Medicare/TRICARE payment cut and fix statutory formula to improve access to care
  • Protect against increasing TRICARE fees beyond COLA-cap
  • Oppose enrollment fee for TRICARE Standard and TFL For Life or curtailment of TRICARE Standard or TFL coverage
  • Oppose means-testing TRICARE benefit
  • Improve access for all beneficiaries by making participation in TRICARE more attractive to providers
  • Improve seamless transition and protect Defense and VA health/benefits/support systems budgets
  • Authorize option to subsidize retention of operational reservists' civilian family health insurance
  • Increase orthodontia payment cap under active duty dental plan
  • Authorize TRICARE coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) for active and retired members of all the uniformed services

Retirement/Survivor Issues 

  • Oppose military benefit changes that are inconsistent with service career sacrifices 
  • Preserve full-inflation cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs)
  • End deduction of VA disability compensation from military retired pay
  • End deduction of VA survivor benefits (DIC) from military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities 
  • Implement a more equitable military disability retirement system  
  • Restore VA DIC compensation for qualifying survivors  who remarry after age 55  
  • Reform SBP calculation for a reservist who dies performing IDT as for active duty deaths 
  • Authorize survivors to retain a deceased retiree’s full final-month retired pay
  • Authorize SBP annuities to be paid to Special Needs Trusts for permanently disabled children 
  • Reform the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)
  • Implement full Space-A travel for ‘gray area’ Guard-Reserve retirees and qualifying survivors

Veterans and Other Issues

  • Eliminate VA claims backlog and improve quality, efficiency, transparency, of VA claims-processing
  • Establish Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for surviving spouses of Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts
  • Extend advance (2 year) funding authority to all VA accounts, not only health care
  • Improve VA health services and access for women veterans
  • Review caregiver legislation to provide legislative proposals to address remaining gaps
  • Authorize pre-tax payment of health, dental and long-term care premiums
  • Reduce Social Security penalties for certain civil service and state retirees/survivors
  • Prevent disproportional Social Security/Medicare penalties for any population segment