“President” Obama is trying very hard to cut our nation’s defense spending. Obama thinks that we are spending way too much money (which, honestly, we are) but is cutting our defense really the best place to start? What’s even worse is that in trying to cut spending, the Obama Administration is also planning on cutting health benefits for active duty and retired military personnel and their families while the benefits given to unionized civilian defense workers won’t be touched.
Congressional aids believe that this move is an attempt by Obama to force these military personnel into Obamacare. According to Bill Gertz of The Washington Free Beacon, “The proposed increase in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, is part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.”
What this basically means is that military personnel would see their Tricare premiums increase anywhere from 30% to 78% in the first year alone. After that, their premiums could increase exponentially, “ranging from 94% to 345%, more than three times the current level. According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048,” Gertz added.
In addition to higher premiums, active duty personnel would also see an increase in the price of pharmaceuticals with the incentive to use cheaper, generic drugs disappearing. Health benefits have also been a big reason many people sign up for the military. If you take that away then it could greatly decrease recruitment and retention.
Human Events’ John Hayward also added, “Veterans will also be hit with a new annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, on top of the monthly premiums they already pay, while some benefits will become “means-tested” in the manner of a social program – treating them like welfare instead of benefits for military service. Naturally, this is all timed to begin next year and ‘avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year.'”
Aside from that, there are other concerns that this will provide a double standard between uniformed military personnel and civilian defense workers who belong to public sectors. Representative Howard McKeon (R-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, is standing by the troops on this issue.
According to McKeon, “We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population. We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.” Nearly 5 million members of the 32 military service and veterans groups will join McKeon as they call the plan a “breach of faith.”
All this “hope” and “change” from Obama didn’t mean that he was going to change our country for the better and give the American people hope; it was I “hope” the American people don’t notice when I “change” the country from Democracy to Socialism. If he gets re-elected in 2012, I may seriously consider moving out of the country.
Source: Examiner.com – Obama to cut medical benefits for active, retired military, not union workers
Human Events – Obama cuts military health care benefits, leaves unionized civilians untouched
The Washington Free Beacon – Trashing Tricare: Obama to Cut Healthcare Benefits for Active Duty and Retired US Military