November 25th, 2011
Econintersect: One of the consequences of the Supercommittee failure to reach a compromise on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction could be reduced healthcare benefits for some military personnel and retirees. The agreement that authorized the Supercommittee created automatic cuts to be made in 2013, including cuts for the defense department, should the effort fail to identify how the reduce the deficit. Various possibilities would include higher premiums, higher deductibles and much higher catastrophic out of pocket annual limits.
Both Sen. John McCain (R, AZ) and President Obama have supported aspects of healthcare benefit reduction. From Military.com Benefits:
Looking to kick retirees out of TRICARE Prime, Sen. McCain told the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction, that restricting working-age retirees and their families from participating in TRICARE Prime would help them avoid spending cuts that would directly impact readiness.
As Tom Philpott recently reported, McCain was once a champion for expanded TRICARE benefits to retirees. But, he now feels eliminating retiree TRICARE Prime is more acceptable than alternatives to cut equipment, training or key weapon programs needed by the current force.
In addition, McCain supports President Obama’s proposal to set a $200 a year enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life, for military beneficiaries age 65 and older.
However, according to reader Patricia Swasey, for many military families, especially retirees, the Tricare plans are not effective as they are. Pat wrote:
I might be a little late in getting this message to you; however, please take your time in reading the article below, where our esteem "friend" to the military family (Senator McCain) has OK benefit cuts to the active and retired military members and families.
Forgive my naivete'!! I though they have/had high regards for your military members and families????
For those who doesn't know!! Tricare is the health insurance for military members and their families. It's not free, they have to pay into it monthly $280-$400 the last time I checked some years ago.
Most doctors in major metropolitan areas do not accept Tricare, even those in Raleigh, Cary, and Clayton (North Carolina). The exceptions are some doctors within 10 miles radius of a military base will accept Tricare, but even there not specialists. Like Steven Colbert of The Colbert Report indicated, Tricare is like no care....Does this sound familiar!!!!!!!!!
Source: Military Advantage.military.com