Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tri Care

I am concerned that eviscerating Tri-Care for retirees will have a profoundly devastating impact on our military quality. I understand that this is a time where everyone must shoulder the burden of bidet woes. And the pentagon is no exception. However, since less than 1 % of our population has any active duty experience and far less are retired after 20+ years of active service it seems unconscionable that senate, congressional and white house budget talks are considering any down grade to Tri-Care.

Moreover the argument that TRI-Rates have not been adjusted in some time doesn’t hold water. Especially when I consider that I was promised free health care for life for my wife and me. Even thought the Supreme Court said (in the late 80’s or early 90’s) the service secretaries didn’t have the authority to make that deal, the court – in the same decision -- also admonished the congress and senate to do the right thing and fulfill the obligation they made to veterans.

Please do the “right thing” and protect Tri-Care, decouple it from Medicare, and make it easier to use for doctors and patients. 

I understand medical costs are rising. But I don’t see a whole lot of discussions about why, just a lot of discussion about how do we curtail benefits.

While I do have an interest in this topic, it is a readiness issue too. Making career service less attractive puts us at risk because good people won’t join and stay.

Other solutions than eviscerating Tri-Care could include:

Don’t buy big items we don’t need
Put people programs before equipment programs
Don’t start wars without revenue sources in place to fund them
Closing the military academies – ROTC and OCS can do the same job for much less. Given the philandering going on from West Point grads we might even get a better product
Be thoughtful in the application of military power and remember war has hidden costs such as wounded care
Reduce the size of the force and realign some missions

More tomorrow

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