Originally created 06/20/06

Military health benefits are in peril

The CSRA has approximately 30,000 military personnel, many of whom are retired. The Department of Defense is attempting to buy the mine while we get the shaft!

The American Military Society has informed me that William Winkenwerder Jr., M.D., the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, has told the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel that "the facts show that our expansion of health benefits, such as those for our senior (military) retirees, underlines the growth (funding), and that growth could put today's operations and sustainability at risk." Furthermore, "caring for military retirees is the principal underlying factor of the rising costs (to the defense budget)."

The doctor is attempting to justify making military retirees pay more for their health care. The good (?) doctor wants to double the TRICARE Prime enrollment fee for enlisted personnel over the next three years, and more than triple the enrollment fee for officers.

Our champion, U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, has been a driving force in striving to preserve military retirees' medical care. You and I and our wives, husbands and survivors older than 65 were promised that, in return for our service to our country, we would receive free health care for life when we retired.

Dr. Winkenwerder is attempting a coup d'etat by taking away something that we have earned. ...

It is imperative that veterans e-mail Sen. John Warner, the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, the chairman of the House Armed Forces Committee. Do not write. Snail mail is too slow, and the budget will have been decided. As I pen this letter to the editor, Congress is tackling the fiscal year 2007 budget. Time is of the essence. ...

David G. Edmiston, Grovetown


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