Lt. Gen. Theodore Stroup, USA, Ret.,
The vice president for education at the Association of the United States Army told the Army Chief of Staff’s Retiree Council that he wanted them “to take away” from his presentation that the new national health care law will not impact TRICARE.
Speaking at an April 25 reception before the council begins a week of meetings with senior Army leaders and deliberations, Lt. Gen. Theodore Stroup, USA, Ret., thanked Sen. James Webb and Rep. Ike Skelton for their work in keeping TRICARE out of the legislation.
He said there was a lot of disinformation floating about following the December release of the annual report of the Congressional Budget Office’s suggestions on ways to curtail federal spending.
“We got a lot of questions,” as did other organizations, Stroup said.
Adding, “It never got out of the four committees most concerned with TRICARE. They didn’t even consider it.”
Looking at potential future raises in co-payments in TRICARE, Stroup said, “We’re not out of the woods yet.” Calling raising co-pays after 13 years without any change the “third rail of military health care,” he said, “Someone will bring that idea up again.”
There is no request for a change in co-pays in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget sent to Congress in February.
Turning to AUSA’s resolutions for the year, Stroup said the Association’s legislative agenda calls for fixing SBP and DIC. “The camel’s nose and shoulders are in the tent.” He added AUSA will continue to fight for Concurrent Receipt, which would especially benefit mid-grade noncommissioned officers and to lower to 55 the age reserve component retirees can receive their retirement pay.
Lastly, he said the Association would continue fighting to “protect access and presence” of exchanges and commissaries on installations affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and the drawdown of forces in Europe and Korea.
“We’re going to be listening to you. You are important.” Stroup said to the council members.
Retirees make up about 20 percent of AUSA’s membership of more than 106,000. To join AUSA, click here.