Club Gitmo gets the Nod - Meanwhile U.S. Troop Healthcare gets the Shaft.
Guantanamo Bay detainees will have something new to occupy their time after the completion of a brand new soccer field at the detention facility.
The new field — roughly half the size of an American football field —
will be available for use by "highly compliant" detainees at
Guantanamo's Camp 6 this spring, FOX News Channel reported Tuesday.
The project, which cost US taxpayers nearly $750,000, was started in April 2011.
A military police representative, who asked not to be identified, told
FOX that allowing outdoor activity helped reduce behavior problems at
the camps and limited the amount of interaction between detainees and
Detainees will be afforded "maximum access" of about 20 hours a day to
the facility, and will be able to get their via secured passage ways
that allow them to reach the recreation yard without the need for
of a growing controversy in Congress and the Pentagon over the Obama
administration’s latest brainstorm for cutting our defense budget:
The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military
families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while
leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The
proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S.
officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to
increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.
The disparity in
treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash
within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.
The proposed increases
in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by
Congress, are 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.
(Emphasis mine.) Military personnel have voiced
some understandable concerns about this little scheme, which could
“severely impact efforts to recruit and maintain a high-quality
all-volunteer military force.” Here’s why:
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
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.
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,” according to critics.
There will be congressional hearings on the new
military health care policies next month. Opposition is building in
Congress, and among veterans’ organizations, including the VFW, which
has “called on all military personnel and the veterans’ community to
block the health care increases.”
Retired Navy Capt.
Kathryn M. Beasley, of the Military Officers Association of America,
said the Military Coalition, 32 military service and veterans groups
with an estimated 5 million members, is fighting the proposed healthcare
increases, specifically the use of mean-testing for cost increases.
“We think it’s
absolutely wrong,” Beasley told the Free Beacon. “This is a breach of
faith” for both the active duty and retiree communities.
A strong opponent has already emerged in the House of Representatives:
“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,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon,
chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from
California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t
keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”
Besides relieving the pressure for spending
reductions in the many, many programs that Barack Obama and the
Democratic Party would rather fund than benefits for soldiers, an
important Obama political objective is served by these cuts:
told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military
retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out
of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
“When they talked to us, they did mention the option of healthcare exchanges under Obamacare. So it’s in their mind,” said a congressional aide involved in the issue.
In other words, this is part of the overall
strategy to dump as many Americans as possible into those
budget-blasting “public exchanges,” which were already on course to cost
at least $460 billion by 2019. The Heritage Foundation completed a study last year that concluded this cost could more than double, if
enough private-sector employers decide to wash their hands of Obama’s
health-care nightmare and dump their employees into the public
exchanges… and that study didn’t anticipate a tidal wave of military
veterans sliding into the deficit pit.
The long-term goal of provoking utter collapse in
the ObamaCare “hybrid” of public control and private insurance will be
met more swiftly, paving the way for the same people who shoved the
ObamaCare fraud down America’s throat to declare the only real solution is a total government takeover: single-payer socialized medicine.
Congratulations, soldiers! You’ve been “recruited”
into an operation Barack Obama considers much more important than
national defense. That’s a fair assessment, isn’t it, liberals? After
all, you’re always insisting that public funding is the sole measure of
how much “America cares” about any other topic. Cutting those
compulsory tax “investments” means the heartless budget-cutter just
doesn’t “care” about the people who will be “harmed” by the cuts. That
must certainly apply to the military – one of the very few programs our
central government actually is authorized to spend money on by the Constitution. If not, can you explain why not?
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