Congress has long accepted an obligation to provide health care to military retirees who earned this care through their decades of service and sacrifice. However, rising budget tensions seem to magnetically draw this earned benefit onto the chopping block repeatedly, bolstered by a misleading narrative that DoD personnel and health care costs are spiraling out of control. Adding to the confusion is another false narrative that military retirees pay little to nothing for their health care.
MOAA has done the research and provided context to the increases in personnel and health care costs (which, combined, remain approximately 33 percent of the DoD budget) as well as a deeper look into what military retirees pay for their health care. Further complicating these current discussions, MOAA research contends, are the immeasurable health care uncertainties awaiting our post-9/11 servicemembers and their families.
After over 17 years of deployments and war, there are retiree health care needs for which we must account, and for which we must not subject to further premium costs or expose to theerosion of this benefit.
Reviewing the history of TRICARE program changes - DoD underwent its first major change in 1956 when it began including dependent coverage - one might sense the federal government intends to deter beneficiaries from fully using their earned benefit. Any such impediments or challenges to the benefit tarnish a once ironclad recruiting and retention tool.