14 May 2012
I write on behalf of the members of the Association of the United States Army to express our thanks for your leadership in introducing legislation to protect uniformed services beneficiaries from proposed dramatic fee increases for their TRICARE coverage.
Recent Pentagon proposals would triple or quadruple fees for retired service families of all ages, including large increases in the TRICARE Standard deductible, TRICARE Prime enrollment fee, and TRICARE pharmacy copays, while seeking new enrollment fees for TRICARE Standard and TRICARE For Life. The Pentagon proposal would also discriminate against uniformed beneficiaries through a means-tested proposal that no other federal retiree suffers, and which would penalize longer and more successful service by reductions in military health benefits.
Your proposed legislation would protect beneficiaries against these dramatic, unfair increases. First, it would acknowledge explicitly that career service members pre-pay very large premiums for their health care in retirement through decades of service and sacrifice, over and above what they pay in cash. Equally important, it would limit any annual increases in existing fees to the percentage increases in military retired pay.
AUSA believes strongly that this is the proper way to acknowledge the unique nature of military service and protect against imposing disproportional financial sacrifices on those who already have sacrificed more for their country than any other group of Americans.
Thank you again for introducing this important legislation. We pledge our strong support in seeking its immediate enactment.
GORDON R. SULLIVAN
General, USA Retired