No, Yet Again, to Tricare Fee Hikes

The House Armed Services Committee has rebuffed the Bush Administration’s latest attempt to raise Tricare fees for military retirees, as did its Senate counterpart, when marking up the Fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill. According to the House panel’s mark-up summary, issued May 15, “The committee does not accept the philosophy that the only way to control cost growth is to dramatically raise fees in order to discourage beneficiaries from seeking care or participating in Tricare.” A cautionary note: The committee’s military personnel panel chair, Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), has said that she doesn’t know how much longer Congress can hold off an increase, but she wants DOD to focus on “other cost drivers” first.