VFW Legislative Alert:

Background:The Department of Defense has proposed to reduce costs by a total of $1.2 billion for Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) by raising current fees, co-pays and deductibles, along with establishing a new TRICARE standard fee.

This will affect military retirees under the age of 65 and their families.

• Focusing only on retirees' cash fees ignores that retirees and their families have already paid far greater up-front, in-kind premiums for their health care than their civilian counterparts.

• Military health and retirement benefits must be significantly better than civilian benefits, because they are the main offset to the harsh conditions of military service.

• The increase of military health care costs reflects Congress' decision to correct decades of wrongs imposed on older retirees who paid almost all costs from their own pockets before the enactment of TRICARE for Life.

• The increase also reflects conscious government choices; DOD had previously made little effort to promote the mail-order pharmacy program, manage care for the chronically ill, or even promote preventive medicine programs.

Current status:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs presented the FY09 defense budget, making arguments for TRICARE fee increases during testimony Feb. 4.

Action Needed:
Contact your legislators and ask them to say no to any proposed Tricare fee increases for those 65 years older and their families.

Tell them the VFW strongly opposes any increases, and we expect them to do the right thing by protecting the military health care system for today and tomorrow's veterans.

Click now to take action