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Eye of the Beholder

July 3, 2013—The Congressional Budget Office just posted online a new briefing looking at options for sustaining the defense health program, concluding like DOD that retirees should pay more. The first graph shows an increase in military health care's share of the defense budget—from today's nearly 10 percent to about 14 percent in 2030. The Military Coalition (TMC), a consortium of more than 30 military support organizations, told Congress earlier this year that military healthcare, including retiree care, at 10 percent of the defense budget is "a bargain compared to health cost share of the federal budget (23%), the average state budget (22%) ... ." Looking at similar size corporate entities, TMC says the military health share is even more dramatically lower. TMC suggests that    rather than raising beneficiary costs, "defense leaders should be held accountable for improving efficiency and consolidating redundant, counterproductive health systems." (TMC written testimony)