Air Force Magazine contributing editor To Philpott reports that DOD wants to increase enrollment fees and deductibles for retirees under age 65. Senior Pentagon officials have decried the rising cost of military health care, which they attribute largely to new benefits for retirees. Philpott says that, by October 2008, the Pentagon wants to boost the annual Tricare Prime (the managed care option) enrollment fee to three times the present rate for working-age retired officers and double for working-age enlisted retirees. Those using Tricare Standard would pay an enrollment fee, for the first time, and see their deductibles rise, as well. The Military Coalition has sent a letter to lawmakers asking for Congressional intervention.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.