Wednesday, September 21, 2011

White House Unveils Deficit Reduction Plan: ROA Reacts

On September 19, President Obama unveiled his plan for economic growth and deficit reduction. Part of the President’s plan, which the White House asserts will fully fund the Americans Job Act, were several suggested changes to the cost and structure of military retirement benefits. The President's plan calls for the following:

1) Introducing “modest” annual fees for TRICARE For Life, beginning with a $200 annual fee in FY 2013 and would be increased annually thereafter.

2) Adjusting TRICARE pharmacy co-payments to closer parity with Federal employee health plans by shifting retail pharmacy from dollar co-payments to a percentage co-payments, starting at 10 percent for generic drugs and increasing to 20 percent. Brand name and non-formulary drugs would start with a 15 percent copayment and would rise to 30 percent over time. Mail order generics would be free, but brand drugs would increase a $20 dollars co-payment and $35 for non-formulary, with each increasing to a $40 co-payment.

3) Establishing a commission to modernize military retirement benefits. Recommendation would follow a BRAC process, where the Congress could either accept or reject the suggested changes.

ROA responded by sending the White House its concerns over these recommendations, and later participated in a White House teleconference intended to detail these recommendations. Let’s just say that the military and veterans associations that participated in the call did not receive these recommendations warmly.

It should be remembered that the White House may send legislation to Capitol Hill, but Congress must still accept these suggestions and pass them into law, before any change will occur. So while these suggestions should spark the interest of all military retirees, they are far from certain.

ROA will work to sustain the current benefits as outlined National Resolution 10-29 . We will continue to advocate diligently against dangerous cuts to defense spending as well as any cost saving proposals which fail to adequately compensate or otherwise provide for the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform and the burdens borne by their families. As ROA learns more, information will be shared with ROA membership.


Weader said...

We need to hold the line against cuts in our retirement. Those of us who have been retired for some time did not make the salaries made by current members of the military. Therefore, our retirement is less.

Lets get rid of some of the fat in the procurement and large contracts that DOD has to save some real money.

Anonymous said...

Our President appears willing to cancel the promises of years ago that military retirees would be eligible for free medical care for life.

Oh, how I wish he had served in the military!

CPT F. said...

There should be a grandfather clause in place to protect retirees and soon to be retirees but the military retirement system needs to be updated. There should be some type of retirment benefit for people serving less than 20 years. It does not make sense to serve 5-15 years and not be vested in retirement. There is no other employer in the country that could get away with that. Servicemembers should be vested after 5 years to receive some type of benefit. This would be more beneficial to the entire military not just the 20 percent that actually make it to 20

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting how everyone seems willing to scapegoat Obama's lack of military service. The real cause of these problems, and the ultimate reasons why our benefits are now being targeted have to do with decades of wasteful spending across the whole of government. We haven't had a President who legitimately served since H.W. Bush so to assert that the proposals we are now bemoaning are somehow rooted Obama's lack of military service, or that anything would be solved had he served, seems more than slightly spurious.

Anonymous said...

I am very surprised that Obama would want to even put this on paper. I am seriously rething my vote for him. I got hurt on a ship while on active duty. I did what my Senior Chief asked me to do in the middle of a Typhoon.I am 100% disabled and I need my free medical for life. I am so disappointed in this crap.