Monday, February 27, 2012

Obama Pushing To Cut Healthcare Benefits For Active And Retired Military

In spite of the cute toys marketed in conjunction with President Obama's boasting about 'getting bin-Laden', it's been obvious for some time that this president and many others around him neither understand nor appreciate our military, except when it's useful politically.

You might remember the use of dead military bodies being flown as a political photo-op in defiance of Department of Defense regulations,(not to mention common decency) Senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett famously ordering a decorated military officer to bring her a fresh drink at a White House soiree and the ongoing efforts by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Department of Justice to deliberately disenfranchise military votes during the 2010 midterms in a clear violation of the MOVE Act passed by Congress....and there are many more examples I could site.

The latest attack on our military by President Obama is an attempt to slash their health benefits.

The president tried this once before, in a scheme that would have seen wounded combat veterans cut off from VA benefits and being forced to take out their own private insurance to get treatment, but the outcry from groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion and polling data that showed that Americans overwhelmingly disapproved made him back off.

Now, he's brought it back again in his new defense budget, which calls for slashing benefits from VA. specifically from a program many vets depend on called TriCare.

This is part of the massive cuts in defense the Obama Administration is demanding . Under the Obama plan, the main targets would be under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay:

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.

The changes are worrying some in the Pentagon who fear it will severely impact efforts to recruit and maintain a high-quality all-volunteer military force. Such benefits have been a key tool for recruiting qualified people and keeping them in uniform.

“Would you stay with a car insurance company that raised your premiums by 345 percent in five years? Probably not,” said the congressional aide. “Would anybody accept their taxes being raised 345 percent in five years? Probably not.”

A second congressional aide said the administration’s approach to the cuts shows a double standard that hurts the military.

“We all recognize that we are in a time of austerity,” this aide said. “But defense has made up to this point 50 percent of deficit reduction cuts that we agreed to, but is only 20 percent of the budget.”

The administration is asking troops to get by without the equipment and force levels needed for global missions. “And now they are going to them again and asking them to pay more for their health care when you’ve held the civilian workforce at DoD and across the federal government virtually harmless in all of these cuts. And it just doesn’t seem fair,” the second aide said.{...}

Additionally, the critics said leaving civilian workers’ benefits unchanged while hitting the military reflect the administration’s effort to court labor unions, as government unions are the only segment of organized labor that has increased in recent years.

As part of the increased healthcare costs, the Pentagon also will impose an annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, a new program that all military retirees automatically must join at age 65. Currently, to enroll in Tricare for Life, retirees pay the equivalent of a monthly Medicare premium.

Under the proposed Pentagon plan, retirees will be hit with an additional annual enrollment fee on top of the monthly premium.

Union votes that vote Democrat as opposed to military who predominantly vote Republican? When it comes to this president deciding whose benefits to slash, it's no contest.

It will be interesting to see how Congress deals with this.


louielouie said...

considering the effect hussein is having on the private sector, this could be a wash as far as recruiting goes.
it goes something like, "let's make sure actual unemployment hovers around 20%, so when their unemployment runs out, they can either join the military or starve".
can't you hear the current occupant of the white house saying that?

Anonymous said...

If you look closely you can see this action figure has neither spine nor balls. Quite realistic.

Anonymous said...

When will we finally understand Obama is trying to destroy the country. Everything he does is contrary to common sense and makes things worse. Do you really believe it is accidental or incompetence?

B.Poster said...

Clearly cuts to government spending are going to have to be made and these cuts are going to be VERY painful for allot of people. Since the military is a very large government spender, we would expect cuts to the military to bear the brunt of many of these very necessary cuts to government spending.

Now where I have a problem with this government is they seem to think that ONLY the military should have to take a haircut. The truth is ALL government organizations must take a haircut. In fact, some need to be eliminated all together. Since the constitution mandates that the federal government provide for defense and a robust national defense is vital to the survival of a soverign nation, obviously the military cannot be one of these government organizations that are eliminated.

While it is true that ALL government spending including that on the military must be cut substantialy, it is mission critical to the success of a military that the benefits to its service members not be cut. To do this would affect troop morale and troop retention at a time when both are in dire straits.

How can we provide our troops with the health care and other benefits they need and deserve while cutting military spending? I'd suggest redeploying all of our forces to defensible positions along our borders and upgrading and expanding the nuclear arsenal.

Nuclear weapons have the advantage of being more effective and less expensive than many of the systems we currently use. Redeploying our forces to defensible positions would likely be a substantial money saver as it should be less expensive than having them deployed in various places around the world. The logistics alone should yield substantial cost savings.

This approach has additional advantages as well. It gives our warriors a much better chance to defend our country and since they will be doing what most of them signed up to do any way which is to defend America it should increase troop morale and troop retention. Both of these are desparately needed.

These changes in how we deploy and use our forces yield enough cost savings that we should not have to cut any benefits to our veterans, however, if it is not enough, I can think of several government agencies off hand that should be slated for IMMEDIATE elimination. These are EPA, OSHA, Dept of Education, and NLRB. Elimination of these agencies along with these redeplomnets of our forces and the proposed changes in military force structures should yield the necessary cost savings to preserve veterans benefits.

Rick Perry was asked to name three government agencies he would cut and he had all kinds of time to think about it along with highly paid advisors to help him prepare for his debate. I had very little time to prepare and have no highly compensated advisors to advise me in this area yet I came it with four government agencies to be eliminated straight away.

B.Poster said...

"Do you really believe it is accidental or incompetence?" Yes, I do. At this time I think it is a combination of incompetence along with being blined by ideology. I don't think there is evil intent.

With that said whether what he and his team are doing is deliberate or if it is a case of incompetence the solution to the problem is the same. Vote him and his team out of office and replace them with different leadership.