Top Officer Association Fights Taxing Military People First

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Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is challenging the Defense Department, White House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders for endorsing significant health care fee hikes for TRICARE beneficiaries of all ages, as well as reviews of options to curtail the total military compensation and retirement package.

Now more than ever,” MOAA President Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, Jr. said, “it’s essential to recognize that the military community already has sacrificed more for America than any other segment of the population.

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is challenging the Defense Department, White House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders for endorsing significant health care fee hikes for TRICARE beneficiaries of all ages, as well as reviews of options to curtail the total military compensation and retirement package.

The organization asserts that while defense officials say health costs are eating them alive, these officials have done little to meet their own cost management responsibilities…ignoring billions in savings opportunities to be realized from more efficient management, ignoring repeated studies that urged combining redundant service and contractor systems, and failing to effectively promote the cost-saving home delivery (mail-order) pharmacy program.

“While evading their own oversight responsibilities,” MOAA President Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, Jr. stated, “defense and Administration leaders have blamed beneficiaries and sought to shift significantly more costs to patients.

“This is a crucial week for the military community,” Ryan continued, “as the so-called Super Committee is supposed to offer its recommendations by Wednesday on initiatives to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.”

Last Wednesday, at a meeting with Senate Democratic leaders, including Super Committee co-chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Ryan thanked them for what they are doing for veterans and for their efforts to support military families. But he noted that MOAA membership has been shocked and disappointed at how those expressions of support are being contradicted by recent White House and congressional proposals to cut back and civilianize military healthcare and retirement programs -- including significant enrollment fees for TRICARE for Life and pharmacy copays of $40 or more for all family members, retirees and survivors.

Ryan said further that the Pentagon has historically resisted almost every significant people-program initiative, while Congress has taken on the responsibility to ensure military people are fairly treated.

“Now more than ever,” Ryan said, “it’s essential to recognize that the military community already has sacrificed more for America than any other segment of the population.”

MOAA is urging its 370,000 members, countless more family members and supporters in the general public to take grassroots action to get actively involved and ensure government leaders don’t “tax military people first.”

“As the Super Committee nears its reporting deadline (or risks automatic budget cuts if it can’t agree) and as Congress takes up the FY2012 Defense Authorization Bill, it’s essential for all concerned members and supporters of the military community to let legislators know your thoughts,” Ryan concluded.

About MOAA:
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest officers association with 370,000 members from every branch of service, including active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve, and former officers and their families and survivors. MOAA is a nonprofit and politically nonpartisan organization and an influential force in promoting a strong national defense. MOAA represents the interests of service members and their families in every stage of their lives and careers, and for those who are not eligible to join MOAA, Voices for America’s Troops is a nonprofit MOAA affiliate that supports a strong national defense. For more information, visit http://www.moaa.org

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