GovHelp: How Can DoD Avoid Raising Fees for Military Retirees?

Government Executive reports that numerous watchdog groups are calling for reform of military health care programs for retirees. The article highlights that the non-profits Government Oversight and Taxpayers for Common Sense have proposed $586 billion in cuts to national security over the next 10 years. The cuts would include decreases in weapons systems, reform TRICARE, and reduce funding for service contracting.

Government Executive states:

“The proposal would raise TRICARE fees for ex-service members to bring premium costs in line with other health care plans. According to the report, many military retirees opt to keep TRICARE coverage over employer-backed insurance, which amounts to a taxpayer subsidy for private companies. A fee increase would affect primarily former military personnel between the ages of 38 and 65 and would save $60 billion over 10 years, the report estimated.

"We certainly didn't want to punish any active-duty service personnel," said Ben Freeman, national security fellow at POGO. "We're certainly not trying to take any benefits away from veterans, but we wanted to give everyone an incentive to go ahead and get on their employer's health insurance plan."

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla), has also proposed changes to TRICARE, such as enormous price increases to prescription drugs - in some cases going from $3 to $15 for generic drugs and $9 to $25 for brand-name drugs.

So what do you think?

Should DoD raise TRICARE fees for retirees?
How can the DoD avoid the increases in fees and cuts in services?

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