Source: The Military Officers Association of America
[The following is a statement by MOAA in regard to President Obama's proposed 2014 defense budget.]
Military Officers Association of America says White House defense proposals cross the line
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) believes the President’s pay and TRICARE fee proposals in the FY2014 budget cross the line for the all-volunteer force, including those serving and those that have served a career. MOAA intends to use its influence and that of its 380,000-plus members to fight both proposals.
Specifically, MOAA opposes the suggested pay cap for currently serving members of the uniformed services of 1% (versus a 1.8% raise by law) and the Pentagon’s plan to shift $25+ billion in costs to military beneficiaries over 10 years by:
- Raising annual fees by $1,000 or more for retired families of all ages.
- Imposing means-testing of military retiree health benefits – which no other federal retirees endure.
- Dramatically increasing pharmacy copays to approach or surpass the median of civilian plans.
DoD cites the need to impose these benefit cuts in order to curb “exploding” personnel cost since 2000 reiterating that health care and personnel costs now consume “one-third of the defense budget.”
“DoD’s own documents prove military health costs are not ‘exploding’ – the combined personnel and health costs are less than one-third of DoD budget the same as they’ve been for 30 years,” Ryan stated.
The Pentagon proposed similar fee increases last year and in the past; however, Congress dampened those proposals enacting selected current and future increases in 2011 and 2012, but explicitly limited discretionary increases by DoD.
Congress rejected larger increases on the basis that:
- Pentagon leaders need to do more to more effectively manage costs instead of penalizing beneficiaries.
- Achieving savings by driving beneficiaries away from using service-earned benefits is inappropriate.