TRICARE For Life, Star Act, Housing Help Will Anchor MOAA’s Spring Advocacy Push

TRICARE For Life, Star Act, Housing Help Will Anchor MOAA’s Spring Advocacy Push
Illustration by John Harman/MOAA

By MOAA Staff

 

The three issue areas comprising this year’s Advocacy in Action (AiA) campaign show the range of MOAA’s legislative priorities – not just for officers, not just for retirees, and not wavering on our commitment to long-term advocacy goals.

 

Here’s a quick look at each of the issues, which were approved by MOAA’s board of directors Jan. 19. Want to get involved? Click here for details.

 

Concurrent Receipt

What’s at Stake: The Major Richard Star Act (H.R. 1282/S. 344) would end an unjust offset for combat-injured veterans who lose a dollar of service-earned retirement pay for every dollar of VA disability compensation. The bill has a supermajority of bipartisan support – more than 325 House co-sponsors and more than 70 in the Senate – thanks in part to past grassroots efforts from MOAA and partners in The Military Coalition.

MOAA’s Mission: We need to keep up this momentum and secure the bill’s inclusion in the FY 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It’s time for lawmakers to push this long-delayed step toward concurrent receipt for all past the finish line.


[TAKE ACTION ONLINE:
Ask Your Legislators to Support Combat-Injured Veterans]

 

Full Housing Allowance

What’s at Stake: The BAH Restoration Act (H.R. 2537/S. 1823) reverses DoD policy capping the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at 95% of local rental and utilities costs – a policy that’s placing a financial burden on servicemembers and families in the middle of a nationwide rental shortage and ongoing recruiting challenges. Restoring this benefit – it was cut by Congress incrementally beginning in 2015 – would make a difference in the quality of life for all who serve, but especially among junior enlisted members and their families, who rely on this allowance as a large percentage of their compensation.

 

MOAA’s Mission: Language requiring an incremental increase reached the late stages of the FY 2024 NDAA process but ultimately was not included in the final bill. We must send a message to lawmakers that close isn’t good enough – servicemembers deserve a full housing allowance, and more progress must be made this legislative session.

 

[TAKE ACTION ONLINE: Ask Your Legislators to Support Full BAH for Servicemembers]

 

TRICARE For Life

What’s at Stake: Protecting TRICARE For Life (TFL) remains a key issue for all MOAA members – those already covered by TFL and Medicare, along with those who’ll use the benefit when they turn 65. MOAA remains concerned about a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report suggesting two measures which would severely weaken the benefit – enrollment fees topping $1,100 per family, and cost-sharing requirements including an $850 deductible and up to $4,675 in potential yearly medical bills.


MOAA’s Mission:
Legislators seeking solutions to budget gaps must hear a clear message: Maintaining TFL is not just a national obligation to those who spent decades in uniform, it’s also critical to ensuring key influencers in the recruiting process aren’t discouraged from recommending uniformed service to future generations. While TFL fees or cost shares aren’t part of any current legislation, we must counter CBO’s misguided options with our grassroots advocacy efforts. The next CBO release is slated for December of this year, following the elections; MOAA will update our members as soon as we get the report.

 

Take Action Online: MOAA’s last online advocacy effort addressing potential TFL fees resulted in nearly 49,000 messages to lawmakers. Register for MOAA’s Legislative Action Center today so you can be part of upcoming campaigns.  

 

Get Involved

Engaging with your lawmakers online using the links above is a great way to support our AiA efforts. But if you’re ready to do more, here’s how:

  • Connect With Your Chapter: Active members in one of MOAA’s nearly 400 nationwide affiliates are ahead of the game – we rely on our chapters for support on these grassroots issues, with council and chapter leaders serving as key parts of our AiA efforts. Now is the perfect time to reengage with your chapter if you’ve missed some meetings lately, or to find your closest chapter if you’ve never reached out.

  • Watch for Details: If you’re not subscribed to the weekly version of The MOAA Newsletter, update your preferences today to receive the latest advocacy news on AiA topics and other priorities, including new messaging to pass along to your legislators and their staffs.

  • Spread the Word: MOAA membership isn’t required to use our Legislative Action Center – share the links above with your friends and your professional network, and let them know their engagement can help push these critical issues to the forefront of their legislators’ agenda.

 

Thank you for your membership, engagement, and friendship along the way. This is our biggest annual effort to remind Congress that we are still out here and will keep our commitment to never stop serving.

 

When MOAA Speaks, Congress Listens

Learn more about MOAA’s key advocacy issues, and contact your elected officials using our messaging platform.

TAKE ACTION