Slashing the military’s medical force would dismantle military medicine and jeopardize force readiness, according to an opinion piece authored by a MOAA board member in the Capital Gazette this month.
“When individuals agree to serve in the military, there is a promise made to provide medical for them and their families,” writes Rear Adm. Tom Jurkowsky, USN (Ret). “However, we see this commitment, and others, being nibbled at.”
About 18,000 billets could be eliminated through cuts made to the Defense Department’s budget.
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MOAA has sought intervention from Congress to delay the proposed cuts until a thorough review of military medical manpower requirements could be conducted. The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act would provide such a provision, and MOAA is calling on the Senate to include the same.
“Military medicine is a national treasure,” Jurkowsky wrote. “Cutting the military’s medical forces by 20 percent would constitute a qualitative change to the entire military health system, clearly impacting access to care for our service members and their families.”