May 26, 2009
Are Democrats Planning an Attack on Military Retiree Health Benefits?
Are Democrats Planning an Attack on Military Retiree Health Benefits?
Thomas D. Segel
While the Obama Administration loudly proclaims that it has a mandate to make health care available to every American, a move is underway by the Democrats, through the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to effectively reduce such care for some of the most vulnerable of military veterans.
Legislation has already been prepared that will drastically change and reduce the Tricare for Life benefit plan that assists military retirees over the age of 65.
The Tricare for Life plan was established by law after a decades long fight to make the government live up to its promise to provide earned health care to military retirees and their dependents, who had faithfully served their nation for more than 20 years. Though a battle on this issue traveled all the way to the Supreme Court, it was determined that the Armed Forces of the United States did in fact promise lifetime health care to career service personnel, but did not have the authority to make such promises. Congress was admonished to take corrective action.
The end result was only half a loaf. Congress agreed to provide a supplement to Medicare for those military retirees above the age of 65. That supplement, titled Tricare for Life, would cover any additional costs not paid by Medicare. However, the retiree would still be required to enroll in Medicare and accept the services that program offered.
Many of these retired military veterans were in desperate need of these medical services when the law was enacted. Those needs continue today. These men and women, many of whom suffer the after effects of combat related wounds, illnesses associated with everything from Agent Orange to the Gulf War Syndrome and multiple ailments inflicted upon them during years of military operations on foreign shores, are among our most vulnerable senior citizens.
This appears to mean little to our new administration and a majority congressional membership that campaigned for election and reelection on the backs of the leftist anti-war, anti-military faction of this country. Now with an almost unstoppable majority in the legislative branch of government, they are seeking to severely alter a medical service previously awarded to a very deserving body of retired service personnel, because, according the CBO, these retirees "overuse" their health care program. There seems to be no thought given to the fact that these particular senior citizens are more medically impaired than the average American of similar age.
The CBO is now seeking passage of their draft legislation that would require these retired military personnel to pay the first $525 of medical cost and 50% of the next $4,750 per person. They claim these changes are needed to help pay for the other programs the President has promised his constituents.
Such a change will effectively end the Tricare for Life program that has offered comfort to those who spent their lives defending the nation. Anyone who has worn the uniform of this country should voice their concerns to their elected officials about this legislation.
Wild Thing's comment........
I have always felt that our government should take complete care of those that served our country. That NO Veteran should have to pay for any medicinal care,any dental or eye care either. That if they needed even an aspirin it would be free to a Veteran. Hospital stays free too, all care on any level and to any degree.
That money for our military's need for equipment etc., and for Veterans should never even be an issue of how much is spent. An open check book so to speak!
There are plenty of other places where cut backs can be taken that are simply things that kiss up to the voters in a politicians backyard and have nothing to do with the rest of the country. Lots of money there to take from and the abundant and stupid grants that so many are waste of tax payers dollars.
BUT our military, our Veterans......America's heroes deserve to be treated First Class all the way.
They should not be given the poor treatment they are so often given. That’s what this article is about. It’s about Congress once again cutting the military first.
Long ago when I entered college, my dream was not the career that I ended up with, my goal was to be a physical therapist, and my dream was to one day open places across our country for Veterans. Places they could heal physically and emotionally, get first class physical therapy, a place to live if they wanted to with homes and apartments that would be free to them, much like we see in Golf communities where homes outline the golf course. These would be homes and apt.'s and medical buildings etc. shopping centers, movie theaters, social places so many things all for Veterans and their family or single Veterans.
A place where this could all be available for them if they wanted. Also if a Veteran needed a place to get back on his/her feet if they had a ruff go of it. Courses could be taught as well if they were interested for careers. They could live there for good or for just the time they needed before going out in the civilian world with it's own unique challenges.
After meeting and seeing so many Veterans and how they had been treated after Vietnam I would made a list of the things I saw and heard happening. Vets kept out of some of the colleges and why? Because they were told it would be too disruptive to have Vietnam Veterans at the school. That sent my blood boiling to say the least. So all these things I would include in what would be needed at these places scattered across our country for Veterans.
My life took a different course but that dream is still is in my heart. When Nick and I talk about our wish list if we ever win the Lotto, this is at the top of my list. No government funding, it would be paid for every penny and no debt owed to man or political beast. haha
Anyway, when I read things like this article and have yet to hear any politician even run on the issues for our Veterans and God forbid in the past even mention POW-MIA's. I have to wonder just how many realize what our Freedom has cost and who has given it to us. I know the reality is that will not change, but by God it should. The few times I got to meet a politician that was running for office I have always asked him about our Veterans and our POW-MIA's. Each time it has caught them off guard. Their eyes take on a deer in the headlights look and they come up with the lingo.... yes we must always remember our Veterans and do what we can for them. Hello-o-o-o how about specifics, how about what YOUR plan is for standing up for them.
Regarding this article I would ask:
How much of the Congressional medical benefits will be offered to be reduced or modified to help offset the budget crisis? For that matter, how much of any Congressional pensions, benefits, perks, payola or graft will be terminated or reduced to help those who fought for the rights of this country?
.....Thank you DH for sending this to me.
Posted by Wild Thing at May 26, 2009 07:47 AM
I did a lot of reflecting this weekend on my dad and his medical struggles during the last 2 years of his life. His dedication to country seemed to mean nothing when it came to healthcare. 22 years in the Army and 12 years civil service at NSWC Crane. At 65 he was pretty much thrown into the medicare system like everyone else. I suspect that his demise was brought about from radiation exposure as the symptoms seemed to indicate that. Through many FOIA requests, I have been able to determine nothing for sure. It certainly seems unfair that a one term politician can receive better treatment than a soldier who stands the long watches and performs the hazardous duties of his job.
Posted by: jim warren at May 26, 2009 09:29 AM
Nick & Chrissey,
You have filled a part of that dream fer this old salt.I'mm sure there are a few more that will agree.4th generation Veteran.Thank you!!
Posted by: Chief at May 26, 2009 10:18 AM
The past long weekend was very tough and gratifying. As Jim Warren states, 65 seems to be the magic age of disallowing for a lifetime of service yet that one term politico gets set up for life at any age of retirement. Truman was the last president to retire without a federal pension for life, Congress included him in their system of perks by legislation, a balloon payment, paltry for Harry and Bess at the time but a start, life is now good for all politicians. My lifetime VA benefits to date, $18.17, that was a mileage reimbursement too, heck I'd rather have them owe me than think they'd screw me out of my benefits, you see my private insurance gets tapped first under the rules. Expendable, heck yes, thank you very much congress. The last benefit my father in law received was a $50 death benefit from SS, that was just before SS became taxable income. Hamas and illegals need the money, let's take care of them first before we care for our own needs.
Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2009 01:55 PM
Obama wanted the Military to pay for their own Health Care and current care and I 'think' that got shot down. If he is that cheap then look out. He will figger out a way to screw the only people that would actually be willing to protect him regardless of what kind of whuss he is.
Posted by: Mark at May 26, 2009 04:07 PM
They are BASTARDS. The veterans deserve ALL their benefits, and with a MINIMUM of B.S. So, NOW, the BANKERS are going to protect this country with all their BILLIONS of FREE MONEY?? I get APOPLECTIC when I read this stuff. (and people WONDER how/WHY revolutions are started...)
Posted by: pontiff alex at May 26, 2009 06:04 PM
Every Military Retiree is a Veteran but not every Veteran is a Military Retiree.
These retirees are going to be thrown to the wolves when they reach 65. A Military Retiree spent the best years of his/her life in service to this nation. They moved around the country and world on orders in defense of the Constitution of the United States. They put their lives on hold to serve this nation and its people. Most retirees don’t purchase their first house until they retire or are close to retirement. Their civilian counterparts are looking at paying their house off by time the retiree starts their first payments. At 65 years old, most people have “burned” the mortgage but the retiree is still looking at another 10 to 15 years to go. I’ve got another 19 years to go on my mortgage. The guys I grew up with, my old friends have their houses paid off. So now those retirees at 65 are going to have to worry about not only making their house payments but paying for the FREE health care for life they were promised by their government.
The Military Retirees are the most venerable of our Veterans. They only number about 2 million of the close to 30 million Veterans and those 65 and older are even fewer in number. If the government can do that to this small group of Retirees, how much longer will it be before they go after the remaining Retirees and eventually all Veterans?
Posted by: BobF at May 26, 2009 10:05 PM
Jim, I agree, we pay for all the goodies
our politicians get and imo they owe us.
They sure forget all of that.
I am so sorry about your Father, I agree
with you so much about his care vs. the
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 26, 2009 11:36 PM
Chief, thank you, I wish so much people
would really know with all their hearts
that it is our Veterans that have made
so much possible.
Thank you Chief.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 26, 2009 11:41 PM
Jack, exactly that is what Obama prefers to
" Hamas and illegals need the money, let's take care of them first before we care for our own needs."
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 26, 2009 11:44 PM
Mark, I wouldn't put anything past what
Obama would do. He makes my skin crawl.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 26, 2009 11:48 PM
Alex, your right, all these things
added together are why revolutions
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 26, 2009 11:52 PM
BobF., well said, that is exactly right.
They have already been making the wounded
from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars pay
for some of their care and other things.
I have heard for 4 wives that have told me
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 26, 2009 11:54 PM
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. --Declaration of Independence
These elitist bastards from Obama on down are not upholding their oaths as we always have and still do, "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. So help me God." .
Posted by: Jack at May 27, 2009 01:34 AM