Military benefits at risk

April 15, 2012 • Dear Editor

Dear Editor:

I am a retired Air Force officer and a member of MOAA (Military Officers [auth] Association of America) and received the following information regarding FY 2013 Budget that pertains to the active and retired military people and their dependents. Quoted from: Military Officers Association of America, March 2012.

“In January, the White House and Pentagon announced the FY 2013 defense budget proposal would include nearly $500 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, with a significant share of the cuts being absorbed in personnel, compensation, health care, and other military benefits. As this (magazine) went to press, details weren’t expected until release of the president’s FY 2013 budget in February. But Pentagon and administration leaders already have tipped their hands via previous proposals to 2011’s ill-fated congressional ‘super committee,’ among others. Proposals already endorsed by the administration and/or others in government include:

Health Care

Establish a $300-per person annual enrollment fee for TRICARE For Life (TFL). Impose an additional $500 annual deductible for TFL and limit TFL coverage to 50 percent of the next $5,000 in medical costs.

Raise TRICARE Standard fees (through enrollment fees and higher deductibles) by $1,000 to $2,000 a year or more.

Bar non-active duty beneficiaries under age 65 from enrolling in TRICARE Prime. Raise pharmacy co-payments as high as $40 or more per prescription.

Military Pay and Force Levels

Cap military pay raises below private-sector pay growth.

Cut back in bonuses and/or allowance levels.

Cut family support programs.

Impose large force reductions, particularly for the Army and Marine Corps, which can only add to deployment hardships in the continuing wartime environment.

Military Retirement

Curtail annual COLAs.

“Civilianize” military retirement by moving to a 401(k)-style system, and dramatically reduce retired pay upon leaving service with 20 to 30 years.

MOAA’s Position: MOAA believes such ill-advised proposals (1) grossly devalue the extraordinary sacrifices demanded of career service-members in return for their earned compensation, and (2) undermine retention and readiness by discouraging career service.”

This information is important to everyone — not just the military — as it tells the future of our military and the security of our country.

Thank you,

James L. Beatty (Ret. USAF, CWO-4)


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