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VFW Against TRICARE Increase Plans

The Department of Defense announced plans to offset Tricare medical program expenses.

WASHINGTON (February 16, 2011) — In the rollout of their fiscal year 2012 budget submission, the Department of Defense on Monday announced plans to offset huge Tricare medical program expenses by increasing the annual enrollment fees paid by working-age military retirees — first by 13 percent, then by linking future increases to double-digit medical inflation.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is against both plans. 

VFW National Commander Richard L. Eubank, a retired Marine and Vietnam combat veteran from Eugene, Ore., believes tying future increases to medical inflation is an escalator clause that will raise Tricare premiums so high that retirees will disenroll and look elsewhere for coverage. 

"Asking someone to voluntarily give up 20 or more years of their youth on the simple promise of a pension and lifelong medical care for themselves and their spouses is a cost this nation and our government should be more than willing to bear," he said.  "Any changes to how military retirees are treated will send an ominous signal to hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women who may be contemplating military careers." 

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