July 3, 2013—The Congressional Budget Office just posted online
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
Defense Department and White House officials sharply
rebuked Russia for sending an alleged aid convoy into Eastern Ukraine
without obtaining clearance from Ukrainian authorities.
A Chinese fighter on
Aug. 19 conducted a “dangerous intercept” of a US Navy P-8 surveillance
aircraft flying a “routine mission” some 135 miles east of Hainan Island in
international airspace over the South China Sea, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm.
John Kirby announced Aug. 22.
Airmen are not
usually associated with cattle drives, but to the delight of service
personnel, family members, and others, airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing
at Altus AFB, Okla., joined citizens from the surrounding communities in riding
horses to guide more than 20 longhorn cattle around the base on Aug. 21.
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