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Obama tries to "SCREW" our military AGAIN

Birthpangs 2012/02/28 00:15:48
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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.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

“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.”

Administration officials 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.

Military personnel from several of the armed services voiced their opposition to a means-tested tier system for Tricare, prompting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to issue a statement Feb. 21.

Dempsey said the military is making tough choices in cutting defense spending. In addition to the $487 billion over 10 years, the Pentagon is facing automatic cuts that could push the total reductions to $1 trillion.

“I want those of you who serve and who have served to know that we’ve heard your concerns, in particular your concern about the tiered enrollment fee structure for Tricare in retirement,” Dempsey said. “You have our commitment that we will continue to review our health care system to make it as responsive, as affordable, and as equitable as possible.”

Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting 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.

Spokesmen for the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not respond to requests for comment on the Tricare increases.

The massive increases beginning next year appear timed to avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year, critics of the plan say.

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.

Congressional aides said that despite unanimous support among the military chiefs for the current healthcare changes, some senior officials in the Pentagon are opposing the reforms, in particular the tiered system of healthcare.

“It doesn’t matter what the benefit is, whether it’s commissary, PX, or healthcare, or whatever … under the rationale that if you raise your hand and sign up to serve, you earn a base set of benefits, and it should have nothing to do with your rank when you served, and how much you’re making when you retire,” the first aide said.

Military service organizations are opposing the healthcare changes and say the Pentagon is “means-testing” benefits for service personnel as if they were a social program, and not something earned with 20 or more years of military service.

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.

Congressional hearings are set for next month.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars on Feb. 23 called on all military personnel and the veterans’ community to block the healthcare increases.

“There is no military personnel issue more sacrosanct than pay and benefits,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, head of the 2 million-member VFW. “Any proposal that negatively impacts any quality of life program must be defeated, and that’s why the VFW is asking everyone to join the fight and send a united voice to Congress.”

Senior Air Force leaders are expected to be asked about the health care cost increases during a House Armed Services Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Congress must pass all the proposed changes into law, as last year’s defense authorization bill preemptively limited how much the Pentagon could increase some Tricare fees, while other fees already were limited in law.

Tricare for Life, Tricare Prime, and Tricare Standard increases must be approved, as well as some of the pharmacy fee increases, congressional aides said.

Current law limits Tricare fee increases to cost of living increases in retirement pay.

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Top Opinion

  • HOMBRE 2012/02/28 00:22:24
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    HOMBRE
    +6
    Im wondering if he will be low enough to turn military soldiers over for the burning of that Koran book.

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  • TheTruth1313 2012/03/03 06:45:40
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    TheTruth1313
    +1
    Military Pay
    If you get this more than once, feel honored that you know more than one person who supports our military and appreciates what they do.


    CINDY WILLIAMS was appointed by Obama as an Assistant Director for NATIONAL SECURITY in the Congressional Budget Office.


    This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

    Ms. Cindy William wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members' way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.

    A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.


    "Ms Williams:

    I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and...

































    Military Pay
    If you get this more than once, feel honored that you know more than one person who supports our military and appreciates what they do.


    CINDY WILLIAMS was appointed by Obama as an Assistant Director for NATIONAL SECURITY in the Congressional Budget Office.


    This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

    Ms. Cindy William wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members' way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.

    A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.


    "Ms Williams:

    I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.

    I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for "Network Technicians" in the Washington , D.C. Area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum. I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

    Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.

    Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience."

    As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

    Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE's (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.

    Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece.

    But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish. On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

    And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve? What do you think someone should be paid to defend your life, and the of your family?

    A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC



    IF YOU AGREE,

    PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO

    AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN.



    And from me:

    FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW.
    (more)
  • Ghostwo... TheTrut... 2012/03/04 12:47:39 (edited)
    Ghostwolf1968
    +2
    You said it so well I can't "Add" anything to it. I agree with what your saying! This Cindy Williams and Obama and our whole government has no idea the sacrifice involved. You and all who have served and are serving know what's involved because it takes:


    and it takes:

    Valor

    and you know what:

    Duty Honor Country

    and would be willing to make:

    Sacrifice
  • TheTrut... Ghostwo... 2012/03/05 07:01:42
    TheTruth1313
    +1
    Absolutely. Our veterans deserve much more than they get.
  • Ghostwo... TheTrut... 2012/03/05 17:35:29 (edited)
    Ghostwolf1968
    +2
    They don't, your right. I don't see how our government can in a sense put a "price tag" or "get a round to it" tag on what they have done for us. It makes me wonder what people see when they see a veteran? Do they see the obvious when walking down the street:

    Veterans

    A good 50% chance that one of these in the picture above is a Vet

    And then a 100% chance:

    Veterans

    And so is:

    Veteran

    And so is he:

    Vets Veterans German Shepherds

    All I can say is this:

    Veterans
  • TheTrut... Ghostwo... 2012/03/06 06:38:49
    TheTruth1313
    I still know some that are still waiting for the government to take care of the health care costs for injuries that they had gotten while in service. It's just not right.
  • Birthpangs TheTrut... 2012/03/06 14:40:16 (edited)
  • TheTrut... Birthpangs 2012/03/06 23:45:46
    TheTruth1313
    +1
    Exactly, these lazy scum that simply push a kid out every 2 years get what ever they need for free, but, the people that serve and protect this country and our rights get overlooked time and time again.
    Thank you for the reply.
  • Sig Sauer P220 2012/03/01 01:34:28
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    Sig Sauer P220
    +1
    A$$Hole ... I loth this jerk off ...
  • mrk5panzer 2012/02/28 16:31:50
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    mrk5panzer
    +2
    Ya I read that and all I have to say is Obama can kiss my red-white-blue ass. I'm one of those Troopers that gave 20yrs of his life for those rights.
    Besides he needs congress to support that change in benefits and thats not going to happen.
    Don't mess with the beast because all you will do is get eaten.
  • Birthpangs mrk5panzer 2012/02/28 16:34:08
  • Ghostwo... mrk5panzer 2012/02/29 00:28:05
    Ghostwolf1968
    +2
    I agree. I can say this to Obama: I have a poem for you (Obama), hence:

    Obama Roses Violets
  • sglmom 2012/02/28 04:20:57
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    sglmom
    +2
    This is specifically TARGETED to the Military Community .. and was intended this way ..

    Some of the terms coming out are .. (doesn't matter if Active, Reserve, or Retiree .. or even Service Connected)

    Our Premiums .. will be raised with a specific target of fee based on the RANK we hold .. (or were Retired at). The same with the Co-Pays/Deductibles and excess charges. The allocation of medical care will be based on age/condition (and given that I'm also Service-Connect .. that is scary indeed ..since I already pay a lot out annually for my co-pays, deductibles, premiums, and supplemental insurance (never mind the charges for medical care that are specifically NOT covered for the Military community as a whole) ..

    Then .. for those who fall under the Medicare (and that is our Elder Retirees) .. they will be required to pay THESE COSTS .. PLUS the Insurance cost per month for Medicare A/B .. (in other words .. this is a MILITARY SPECIFIC TAX .. directed at us because of our Military Service) .. something that CIVILIANS won't have to experience ..

    Now out of the committee .. it is coming out that this is also going to be tied to a COLA increase also annually .. (this will start this year .. 2012 -- by the way)

    PLUS .. given that the 27% CUT in Reimbursement Rates was onl...





    This is specifically TARGETED to the Military Community .. and was intended this way ..

    Some of the terms coming out are .. (doesn't matter if Active, Reserve, or Retiree .. or even Service Connected)

    Our Premiums .. will be raised with a specific target of fee based on the RANK we hold .. (or were Retired at). The same with the Co-Pays/Deductibles and excess charges. The allocation of medical care will be based on age/condition (and given that I'm also Service-Connect .. that is scary indeed ..since I already pay a lot out annually for my co-pays, deductibles, premiums, and supplemental insurance (never mind the charges for medical care that are specifically NOT covered for the Military community as a whole) ..

    Then .. for those who fall under the Medicare (and that is our Elder Retirees) .. they will be required to pay THESE COSTS .. PLUS the Insurance cost per month for Medicare A/B .. (in other words .. this is a MILITARY SPECIFIC TAX .. directed at us because of our Military Service) .. something that CIVILIANS won't have to experience ..

    Now out of the committee .. it is coming out that this is also going to be tied to a COLA increase also annually .. (this will start this year .. 2012 -- by the way)

    PLUS .. given that the 27% CUT in Reimbursement Rates was only DELAYED by approx 10 months (no permanent fix .. these RATS in CONgress ... tied Military Health Care to the same rate structure as Medicare .. ) .. the numbers of pre-approved, pre-authorized providers are shrinking (as they pull out of the pre-authorized pool .. and close their practices or refuse to take patients with Tricare or Medicare) ..



    YET .. curiously .. UNIONS .. and CONGRESS/Administration/Judic... .. (NOTE -- Politicians or political appointees) do NOT get this punishing TAX .. the increased costs .. the lack of care .. (they've made sure of it) ..

    TIME to Retire all these RATS who sign for that mess (ObieScare) in the first place ..
    (more)
  • sglmom sglmom 2012/02/28 04:24:32
    sglmom
    +2
    Let me make this emphasis ..

    “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 TRUTH of the matter is .. the programs that REALLY and TRULY need to be CUT .. (including Entitlements) are not picking up ANY portion of Deficit Reduction .. in fact, these programs are being INCREASED .. while DEFENSE is the punching bag (and especially the Military Community) for these politically driven scams ..

    TIME To demand that NOTHING be hidden .. and that ALL Programs (including Entitlements) find a way to /make cuts/ as well ..
  • DM Twin 2012/02/28 03:33:28
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    DM Twin
    +2
    NO....He cannot....

    OUT HE GOES ON NOVEMBER 6TH PEOPLE.......OUT.....INTO CUFFS AND A ONE WAY TRIP TO GITMO FOR HIS TRIAL FOR TREASON ....
  • Birthpangs DM Twin 2012/02/28 16:18:42
  • Ghostwolf1968 2012/02/28 02:07:11
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    Ghostwolf1968
    +4
    Yeh if he can figure out how to use a shovel he can go lower.
  • HOMBRE 2012/02/28 00:22:24
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    HOMBRE
    +6
    Im wondering if he will be low enough to turn military soldiers over for the burning of that Koran book.
  • ☆ Queen... HOMBRE 2012/02/28 02:09:39
    ☆ QueenAline
    +1
    i'm wondering too...but I bet he will
  • HOMBRE ☆ Queen... 2012/02/28 02:14:03
    HOMBRE
    +2
    Now isn't this something this should be a no brainer. Bush would have told them to piss up a rope and with Obama people dont know what the clown would do. People keep their fingers cross he do the right thing. With Obama plan the worst and your never disappointed
  • BlueMax372 2012/02/28 00:20:25
    Can this SCUMBAG crawl any lower to the ground
    BlueMax372
    +5
    $h*t-for-balls has no concept of the meaning of a "breach of faith." As I've observed on numerous occasions this sack of pus couldn't amount to a pimple on a first day E-1's @$$. He should be dragged out of the White House and turned into a $h*t pinata.
  • Birthpangs 2012/02/28 00:18:03
  • ☆ Queen... Birthpangs 2012/02/28 02:10:07 (edited)
    ☆ QueenAline
    +2
    mine too, and I'm no spring chicken!

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