Summer Storm Recap: Work Remains to Preserve Military Health Care

Summer Storm Recap: Work Remains to Preserve Military Health Care

MOAA’s Summer Storm 2020 was a success thanks to thousands of members – and likely some friends and family, too.

 

Together, we amassed over 6,600 letters to Capitol Hill, covering every state. More than 4,500 of those messages came in the second half of the Storm – momentum that will go a long way toward our fight to preserve military health care benefits.

 

[SEND A MESSAGE: Ask Your Senator to Protect the Military Medical Benefit]

 

To recap:

  • We have been asking for members of Congress to help get two critical House provisions (Sections 715 and 716) into the final version of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These provisions will protect beneficiary access to care by halting planned cuts to military medical capacity and requiring additional DoD analysis and congressional oversight of the process.
  • The House is already on board, voting their bill into the conference by a comfortable margin (295 to 125).
  • However, the Senate was silent on these provisions and their bill was passed by a significant margin (86 to 14).

 

Tell Your Senator Where You Stand

The differences in these votes highlight two areas of risk. First, the Senate may remain comfortable leaving plans for health care reform and medical billet reductions intact, as passed in the 2017 NDAA. A second risk, with longer-lasting impact, is that cuts to military medicine cannot be easily reversed. As such, any reductions must be the result of rigorous analyses of DoD capacity relative to civilian care availability across varying regions.

 

While Congress continues to wrestle with COVID-19 relief measures, and a likely continuing resolution, while preparing for elections in November, somewhere in that midst, or shortly thereafter, will be an NDAA conference committee where the House and Senate will iron out their differences.

 

[RELATED: More Advocacy News From MOAA]

 

As we followed the measures through the Senate, we were heartened to hear from our contacts that the letters and pressure on the Senate are getting members’ attention. But we need more than their attention – we need their vote.

 

Please send this revised letter to your senators now – we need to remind them about the pitfalls and risks of continuing on the current path. And please share this information so others can put their weight behind this effort:

  • Share this article, and our link to send a letter to your senators, with your family and friends. Anyone can use the link to send a message.
  • Share other Summer Storm resources – answers to frequently asked questions, how to call your lawmakers, and much more.
  • Engage on social media to spread the word even farther. Share the importance of this issue on social media using #MOAASummerStorm. Already on Twitter? Just click here to make your voice heard.

 

MOAA Knows Why You Serve

We understand the needs and concerns of military families – and we’re here to help you meet life’s challenges along the way. Join MOAA now and get the support you need.

JOIN TODAY Join a Chapter

About the Author

Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret)
Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret)

Merry earned his commission in 1989 through AFROTC and commanded DoD’s Port Mortuary at Dover AFB, Del. He has served in multiple overseas conflicts since the 1990s and has served as the VP of government relations since August 2016.