Late Breaking News
House Subcommittee Questions Proposed TRICARE Fee Increases
Under the proposals, DoD would tier enrollment fees so retirees making more would pay more. Wilson, however, said he was concerned that the formula would mean that an E7 who served 28 years would pay more than an E7 who served 20 years.
“That doesn’t seem fair to me that people who serve longer pay more,” he said.
Woodson responded that the formula was “uniform driven,” and that DoD leadership felt strongly “that those who make more should pay more.”
Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) asked what would happen if the proposed changes do not go forward.
Woodson said that, if DoD did not go forward with the TRICARE fees, it will be necessary to look at “planes, ships and people” for more cuts, and the reductions could involve anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 troops.
Davis also questioned Strobridge about where savings could be found in the absence of the current budget proposals.
“MOAA and 22 other associations have not taken the view that there should never be a single fee increase,” Strobridge explained. “We think, over time, that as retirement pay rises, there is an expectation that fees will rise. But we think that they have to be reasonable.”
Furthermore, he said he believed there are ways to make the system more efficient without raising beneficiary fees. Savings could come through “significant reorganization” in how healthcare is delivered in the military system, he said.
Strobridge’s written testimony explained the coalition’s view that Defense leaders should be held accountable “for their own management, oversight and efficiency failures before seeking to shift more costs to beneficiaries.”