This NDAA Provision Would Halt Planned Military Medical Staffing Cuts

This NDAA Provision Would Halt Planned Military Medical Staffing Cuts
Photo by Pfc. Duke Edwards/Army

The House version of the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a provision halting medical billet cuts for three years, but MOAA needs your help ensuring the final bill includes this critical protection to your access to care.


[TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Senators to Support Halting Cuts to Military Medicine]


The House NDAA also includes increased DoD reporting and congressional oversight regarding military medicine, particularly related to military medical operational readiness. Medical billet cuts have been a top advocacy priority for MOAA since they were first revealed in the FY 2020 administration budget request; for the last three NDAA cycles, we have worked tirelessly to achieve multiple delays in implementation together with enhanced DoD reporting and congressional oversight.


The bill also addresses concerns about the effects of the cuts on readiness – concerns reinvigorated in May when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, USA, told a House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing that billet reductions could pose a risk to battlefield medicine.


MOAA amplified that message, together with concerns about beneficiary access to care, in meetings with House and Senate Armed Services Committee staff and member offices throughout the spring and summer.


[RELATED: What Will Military Health Closures and Realignments Mean for Your Care?]


MOAA members further underscored these messages by highlighting civilian medical system capacity constraints and dire predictions about the health care workforce during Advocacy in Action 2022, our signature spring advocacy event.


We were pleased the House Armed Services Committee responded with three provisions in its mark of the FY 2023 NDAA designed to enhance congressional oversight of military medical downsizing and military treatment facility (MTF) restructuring:

  • Section 721 includes a congressional notification requirement to modify the scope of services provided at MTFs, together with a 180-day delay following notification.

  • Section 745 extends the time allowed for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on medical billet cuts required by the FY 2022 NDAA.

  • Most significantly, Section 780 halts medical billet cuts for three years and requires extensive DoD reporting on military medical manning related to operational requirements, including the National Defense Strategy, the National Military Strategy, campaign plans of the combatant commands, theater strategies, and global patient movement.


Please join MOAA by urging your senators to support Section 780 as the FY 2023 NDAA moves toward conference, where differences between the House and Senate versions will be resolved.


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About the Author

Karen Ruedisueli
Karen Ruedisueli

Ruedisueli is MOAA’s Director of Government Relations for Health Affairs and also serves as co-chair of The Military Coalition’s (TMC) Health Care Committee. She spent six years with the National Military Family Association, advocating for families of the uniformed services with a focus on health care and military caregivers.