PDA

View Full Version : Bit of a rant



SGT Rock
2012-11-13, 09:57
I just got this yesterday: http://www.military.com/military-report/171k-may-soon-lose-tricare-prime

Basically the military is going to reduce costs by changing Tricare Prime for Retirees. I totally understand why and, and though it sucks for me, I get it and will deal with it. What irks me is the way the timing was specifically delayed until after the election so it wouldn't hurt anyone's chance to get re-elected. I find this a totally chickenshit move by politicians. I've sent a letter to my senators, congressman, and the President (it probably won't do any good) expressing the issue from our standpoint.


Listen please,

I am a retired Army soldier with over 22 years service and a few deployments to hot spots over the years. I've been shot at, blown up, and sucked desert dust more than a few times for this nation. I am currently using Tricare Prime for Retirees and I live more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility. I totally understand why the military is doing this to save money. It makes total sense with reduced budgets and the mission still needing to be accomplished.

But waiting until November to tell us that Retiree Prime is going away has left retirees like me in a spot. See, if I could have found out about 2 months ago, then I could have changed to my employer's medical plan during their open enrollment period in October. But since you guys decided to wait until AFTER the election, I am finding out about it too late to do anything about it this year. Now I have to wait until October 2013 to sign into my employer's plan, and then the new coverage with them will not start until January 2014. So between whatever date is set to terminate Retiree Prime for me, and January 2014 I have greatly reduced coverage and increased cost. My wife is being treated for an auto-immune disorder and this is probably going to increase our costs by a few thousand dollars next year.

So in closing, I totally understand why this is happening. But I am totally disgusted at the way you guys timed this so that you avoid losing votes. This cowardly tactic puts your interests before those people that you served and have served you for a lifetime.

Sincerely,


MSG Ernest Engman, Retired

Anyhow, I don't want to turn this into a political thread. But I do have friends that come here and are going to be affected by it. I wanted to get this information out there because I'm already getting questions about it. If you find this action as chickenshit as I do, there is a form page that allows you to send a message to your elected officials: http://www.capwiz.com/military/issues/alert/?alertid=62125486&type=ML

It is probably worthless, but who knows.

Superman
2012-11-13, 11:07
Retirees used to get 100% free medical care plus dependents for life. They had access to any VA or military medical. Plus...if neither of those were available they would get civilian medical on fee basis (free). Ever since Vietnam they've been cutting every benefit they could...mostly on the down low. It's only political in terms of it being done by both the rep and the dems. The VA/gov. has been cooking their stats on vets and retirees for so long that I doubt that anyone knows what's really going on.

Cuffs
2012-11-13, 11:22
Forwarded to Yak...

thanks for sharing.

SGT Rock
2012-11-13, 12:04
It's only political in terms of it being done by both the rep and the dems.I totally agree.

SGT Rock
2012-11-13, 12:06
Forwarded to Yak...

thanks for sharing.

I think you guys might be OK, seems like the Navy had some sort of base in that area. But that also makes their medical facilities your new primary care providers.

Cuffs
2012-11-13, 12:27
The base is close to 20 miles. (the reason we only commissary shop every 3-4 weeks) He uses a non-base doc, but dont know all the specifics.

SGT Rock
2012-11-13, 12:32
The base is close to 20 miles. (the reason we only commissary shop every 3-4 weeks) He uses a non-base doc, but dont know all the specifics.

Hopefully he doesn't have to change docs, that is always a pain in the ass. But there is a good chance he will end up having one of the clinics on post become his primary doc.

D'Artagnan
2012-11-13, 14:41
Seems like a breach of contract to me. Start a class action lawsuit.

Cuffs
2012-11-13, 15:58
He just responded... "as long as we live within 40 miles of a base. Now... where again were we looking to move? Just find all the base locations in the area and we'll be fine!"

Ray
2012-11-13, 19:44
He just responded... "as long as we live within 40 miles of a base. Now... where again were we looking to move? Just find all the base locations in the area and we'll be fine!"Hope he means bases that won't close soon. Could happen.

A list of places I was stationed is an epitaph of former bases: Ft Dix, Edgewood Arsenal (still open under different name), someplace in Germany, Ft McClellan, Ft Gillem...

Bearpaw
2012-11-13, 20:21
Typical. I would be angry, but I've kind of grown numb to the world these days.

woodsy
2012-11-13, 20:33
Message sent to BO and cohorts.
Hate it when they go after vets benefits.
Remember how pissed i was when they tossed me out of the system .

Rockhound
2012-11-13, 20:53
Whargy is a freak of nature

Rockhound
2012-11-13, 20:55
And Jen dresses him funny

Rockhound
2012-11-13, 20:58
and I am to dumb to delete a whole post so I'll just write this instead.

SGT Rock
2012-11-13, 21:10
Actually RH this would be DoD for this, not VA.

Rockhound
2012-11-13, 21:18
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=311780128935319&set=a.306870899426242.71221.297077023738963&type=1&theater
Here's the whole phone list. Call early, call often

Rockhound
2012-11-13, 21:20
Oops. My bad. I'll go post this on the Veterans day thread.

john pickett
2012-11-14, 09:31
I don't think a letter to a congressperson will have a (lasting) effect this close after an election. Politicians depend on our short memories. The only solution I see is ALWAYS, ALWAYS vote against the incumbent. Pols get WAY too comfortable when they spend a couple of terms in office. Vote them out, even if it means voting against someone with an NRA "A" score. Which I actually did about a week ago.

Rosaleen
2012-11-14, 20:54
Hey, SGT Rock-

OK, your insurance changing their pricing policy may not qualify as a life changing event as something like a job loss does, but still check to see if the timing of this change will allow you to apply for your current employer's insurance. There is no penalty for asking, at least, not so far. A lot of "stuff" is going on for many of us that just stinks.

Sympathies extended!

Rosaleen

SGT Rock
2012-11-14, 20:57
Hey, SGT Rock-

OK, your insurance changing their pricing policy may not qualify as a life changing event as something like a job loss does, but still check to see if the timing of this change will allow you to apply for your current employer's insurance. There is no penalty for asking, at least, not so far. A lot of "stuff" is going on for many of us that just stinks.

Sympathies extended!

RosaleenAlready did. I have to wait until next year's open enrollment period.

Rosaleen
2012-11-14, 21:03
Bummer. We are hoping that we will be able to get hubby into Medicare supplement insurance when his current (temp) job ends. If we sign up now, we will be paying for two insurances. If he drops his company insurance, I will have none. Rock and a hard place for many of us.

Rosaleen

john pickett
2012-11-15, 09:33
This reminds me some of a friend in Georgia, an Air Force Reservist and commercial pilot for a major airline. As I recall from 2 decades Bill Clinton changed the retirement pay formula for reservists so that for each dollar of military retirement pay, they would lose one dollar of social security retirement pay; effectively cancelling their retirement pay. My friend was so upset he resigned his commission and began urging all his friends to do the same.

rhjanes
2012-11-15, 10:37
Private insurance also pulls this mess. I hope that Obama Care WILL force a common enrollment for ALL health insurance. Mine is different than my wifes. It used to be off by like 3 weeks! She'd have to have her enrollment done about 1 day after I got the forms. Leaving us no time to compare and decide which to take, where to land the kids, spending accounts.

D'Artagnan
2012-11-15, 11:54
I'm worried this is only the canary-in-the-coal-mine as far as what we can expect with healthcare.

saimyoji
2012-11-15, 15:18
I'm worried this is only the canary-in-the-coal-mine as far as what we can expect with healthcare.

i predict this will topple our economic system completely. it will lead to businesses cutting back on employees and on their hours, it will lead to businesses passing on the rising costs to customers, and ultimately to higher gas prices.

...oh, wait, its already causing all that....

Cuffs
2012-11-25, 11:35
Hey Rock

Have you read anywhere on how they are going to determine the 40 mile radius of a base? Usually is zip code and not the exact 40 mile circle...

Cuffs
2012-11-25, 11:37
Cuz we're looking around and are liking a few bases but finding homes and jobs will are other factors obviously...

SGT Rock
2012-11-26, 10:47
No idea.

Cuffs
2012-11-26, 10:50
Hmmmm

Nearly Normal
2012-11-27, 00:38
Cuz we're looking around and are liking a few bases but finding homes and jobs will are other factors obviously...

You leaving sugar city?

Cuffs
2012-11-27, 00:44
Maybe.

Nearly Normal
2012-11-27, 00:48
The tall marsh grass is a fine place.

woodsy
2012-11-30, 19:36
A reply from my congressman on the matter, now if the others would get on the same boat..........

November 30, 2012

Dear Dean:
Thank you for contacting me regarding healthcare costs for veterans and active service members. Maine has unique needs that often require bi-partisan solutions, focused attention and thinking outside of the box. That is why I appreciate your taking the time to get in touch with me and why I come home to Maine nearly every weekend.

Access to affordable and sufficient health care resources should always be considered a right of veterans. Our military members and retirees devote their lives to serving our country, and they deserve the best health care we can provide. Unfortunately, Department of Defense officials and some Members of Congress continue to suggest that fees should be increased on certain health care services. I do not believe that increases such as these would be fair or responsible.

Although I ultimately voted against it for unrelated reasons, I was pleased to see that H.R. 4310, the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2013, blocks most of the administration's proposals to increase out-of-pocket fees for participants in the military's TRICARE health care program. Please know that I will keep your thoughtful comments in mind as Congress continues working to pass a final NDAA bill for FY2013.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. In addition, I also provide occasional email updates on a range of issues affecting people in Maine. If you would like to receive this information, please visit my website at https://michaud.house.gov/contact-mike/newsletter and sign up for my email newsletter. I appreciate the opportunity to represent Maine in Congress.
With warmest regards,


Michael H. Michaud
Member of Congress

Skidsteer
2012-11-30, 19:45
I wish he wouldn't have said thinking outside the box.

saimyoji
2012-11-30, 19:54
he supports it, but voted against it for "unrelated reasons?" Sounds like the ole texas two step if ever i saw it....

Superman
2012-11-30, 20:53
I attempted to change my marital status at the VA in July. It still hasn't been processed. I stopped by the admin office today to ask "WTF" and was told that the claims of the Iraq and Afgan vets get marked with a red tag so they can be processed first. The back log is growing by a million claims a day. Basically the system is broken and they don't know or don't want to fix it. I remember before the Iraq War there were VAs that were on the chopping block. I knew this was coming a long time ago. These young vets are going to be startled at how fast it will go from being thanked for their service to "fuck you. "

woodsy
2012-11-30, 21:01
he supports it, but voted against it for "unrelated reasons?" Sounds like the ole texas two step if ever i saw it....

If you didn't write your congressman, STFU about it.

Well did ya punk ?

rcli4
2012-11-30, 21:04
If you didn't write your congressman, STFU about it.

Well did ya punk ?

I took mine to lunch and told him to explain his fucking self. After 30 minutes one of the other diners told him he was full of shit and we walked out and stuck him with the check....

Skidsteer
2012-11-30, 21:22
I took mine to lunch and told him to explain his fucking self. After 30 minutes one of the other diners told him he was full of shit and we walked out and stuck him with the check....

So what you're really sayin' is I got to pay for part of his damn lunch.

Shit. Screwed again.

Tin Man
2012-11-30, 21:59
since we are sharing . . .


Dear Mr. Tin Man,

Thank you for your message regarding military pay and benefits. I appreciate hearing from you and share your concerns about protecting the military retirement system.

While I strongly believe in the need to address our nation’s growing deficit, we cannot break our commitments to our men and women in uniform. The military retirement system must both incentivize military personnel to remain in service and adequately provide for those retirees who have spent their careers dedicated to defending our freedom.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I recently voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. This bill improves the quality of life of all service members and their families. It authorizes an across-the-board pay increase of 1.7 percent for all members of the uniformed services.

Importantly, the bill rejects a Department of Defense proposal to establish enrollment fees for TRICARE and increase TRICARE deductibles. As you may know, in January 2012, the Department of Defense announced a new proposal that calls for increased health care enrollment fees, particularly for those retirees under age 65 in the TRICARE program. This proposal — which was rejected by the Senate Armed Services Committee — would have established a new enrollment fee for the TRICARE for Life program for retirees 65 and older. I voted instead not to authorize Department of Defense proposals that would establish enrollment fees for TRICARE Standard or TRICARE for Life.

The National Defense Authorization Act also rejects the Department of Defense’s recommendations to modify the military retirement system. Instead it establishes a Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to ensure the long-term viability of the All-Volunteer Force and enable a high quality of life for military families.

I voted to maintain the current TRICARE system because I have heard from many Connecticut residents who are concerned that any reductions in retirement or health care benefits would go against the promises made to current service members when they joined the military. Based on your concerns, I joined with my Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of Defense urging him not to cut benefits for our current service members. A copy of this letter is attached for your review. I am pleased that in response to this letter, the Department of Defense has recommended that any retirement benefit changes preserve the present benefits for those currently serving.

There are many proposals under consideration to limit the long-term costs of health care while still providing service members, military retirees, and their families with the benefits they deserve. One such proposal would move certain military retirees living in Oregon, Iowa, Minnesota, Reno, Nevada, and Springfield, Missouri from TRICARE Prime to TRICARE Standard. The Department of Defense is currently considering this proposal, which does not require Congressional approval, but has not made any decisions on whether to make this change.

I take all concerns regarding modifications to military pay, health care, or retirement very seriously, and that is why I voted to keep faith with our service members by maintaining their benefits. Above all, I am committed to honoring the brave men and women who have sacrificed for our country by protecting the benefits that they deserve.

Thank you again for writing. Please feel free to contact me in the future with any additional questions or concerns.


Sincerely,

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senate

SGT Rock
2012-11-30, 23:28
I attempted to change my marital status at the VA in July. It still hasn't been processed. I stopped by the admin office today to ask "WTF" and was told that the claims of the Iraq and Afgan vets get marked with a red tag so they can be processed first. The back log is growing by a million claims a day. Basically the system is broken and they don't know or don't want to fix it. I remember before the Iraq War there were VAs that were on the chopping block. I knew this was coming a long time ago. These young vets are going to be startled at how fast it will go from being thanked for their service to "fuck you. "

I know it is coming.

SGT Rock
2012-11-30, 23:32
What I got from my senator:



Thank you for getting in touch with me and letting me know what’s on your mind regarding military health benefits under the TRICARE program.

In recent years, TRICARE benefits have been improved in a number of ways, such as eliminating co-payments for active duty family members and reducing the catastrophic cap for retirees from $7,500 to $3,000. Over this same period, out-of-pocket costs for TRICARE participants remained stable, even as such costs were increasing for those enrolled in civilian health care plans.

TRICARE is experiencing rapidly escalating costs, which have more than doubled since 2001. In Fiscal Year 2009, TRICARE spending exceeded $44.8 billion. Without reforms to the program, the Department of Defense (DOD) projects that TRICARE spending will increase to $64 billion by Fiscal Year 2015. DOD has warned that such increases are unsustainable and that benefit adjustments are needed to ensure future U.S. military capability.

Although Congress needs to needs to find ways to control costs while maintaining quality in TRICARE and other health spending programs, I have concerns about the President’s proposal and will study it carefully.

I am committed to doing my part to ensure that our government keeps its promise to our nation’s service members, our veterans, and their dependents. I’ll be sure to keep your views and comments in mind as modifications to TRICARE are discussed here in Washington and in Tennessee.


Sincerely,
Lamar

SGT Rock
2012-11-30, 23:33
And from my congressman


Dear Mr. Engman:

Thank you for contacting me recently with your thoughts on TRICARE coverage. I always appreciate hearing from the people whom I represent in Congress.

I certainly understand your views on this matter, and I depend very much on the opinions of the people from my District. As Congress makes decisions on TRICARE and other healthcare matters, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

If I can ever be of service to you, your family or friends, please do not hesitate to let me know.


With kindest regards, I am






Yours truly,

JOHN J. DUNCAN, JR.
Member of Congress

D'Artagnan
2012-12-01, 22:30
The one from your congressman was a very, very poor form letter.

saimyoji
2012-12-01, 22:33
I wrote my congressman, but he said, and I quote, "I'd like to help you son but you're too young to vote."

My lawyer is filing a civil suit.