Government punishes military retirees with another cut: Tricare center closures

Once upon a time those who gave a life of service, sacrifice, and commitment to our military were promised quality medical and dental care, free, for life, and for their spouse. I remember when that promise was broken, because according to government “bean counters,” it was no longer affordable.

So a new program was established called Tricare where retirees would pay a small price for their healthcare. Then came ruminations that military retirees were costing the government too much for their healthcare. You must understand we are talking about less than one percent of the American population. Let me say that again, less than one percent of the population even qualify for these benefits.

Now we hear Capitol Hill lawmakers say they can save money by taking away the annual one percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retirees until they reach 62.

Doggone, it must be hell to have served over 20 years in deplorable situations and conditions for pay that was less than civilian counterparts — risking your life along the way, now to find out you’re just too expensive for the US government.

It’s death by a thousand cuts — and here’s the next one.

According to Amy Bushatz at Military.com,

All stateside Tricare in-person service centers will be closing April 1, Tricare officials recently confirmed. The closure of the 189 facilities is expected to save the Defense Department about $50 million a year, officials said. The Tricare Service Centers, which handle about 137,000 visitors a month, are staffed by contractors and handle issues ranging from processing provider changes to billing problems.

Supposedly the closures won’t affect Tricare benefits or health care service but will allow the department to save $250 million over the next five years. Bear in mind $250 million represents about .007 percent of the current budget – so you can see how tiny that savings is over five years.

The savings will allow Tricare to invest in “more important services.” Such as? Maybe Obamacare-related?

Clearly the goal isn’t personal service to our men and women serving, especially their families. Instead, what the heck, they can just call the toll-free number. Or can they?

I honestly do not know what we would have done this past year without in-person Tricare help,” wrote Danielle Kaczor, on Military.com’s SpouseBuzz blog. “My daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and gets all treatment and medications at a children’s hospital, and billing for all this was quite screwy in the beginning.” And Jim Lamberson wrote, “I’ve been on the phone and used the website and both are useless,” Jim Lamberson wrote on SpouseBuzz.com. “When I go to the Tricare Service center, they are always helpful. There is a level of care and concern when talking face to face vice over the phone or website. I vote to keep these centers. They are valuable to the aging retiree.

Unfortunately Jim, aging retirees, young retirees, veterans, the military — none of it is important to the Obama administration. Look, he won reelection so there’s no need for him to go make empty speeches to the VFW or American Legion anymore.

I find it unconscionable and despicable that we are witnessing the disrespect and disregard of the sacrifices done by so few, for so many. I am quite sure that if Danielle Kaczor and Jim Lamberson, or any of us for that matter, spent a week with the federal budget we could find savings to maintain these Tricare service centers, and military retiree annual Cost of Living Allowances. I believe a call to every member of the House and Senate is warranted, especially if you have a representative who serves on the veterans affairs committee.

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58 Comments on "Government punishes military retirees with another cut: Tricare center closures"

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Julia
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To comment on this would require profanity. What a sad day that Veteran’s and families are being treated this way by the &*^% in the White House.

Martha Helms
Guest

This is a sorry way to conduct business, cut us while giving themselves raises and FREE HEALTHCARE!!! I bet all they entitled themselves with cost more than the so called saving due to cuts to the Military Retirees! My husband served and you people broke your promise, also contract! May God have mercy on you all cause I have none for you!

Tina Renee Walls Moody
Guest
Tina Renee Walls Moody

My local Tricare representative, Charlene, has been invaluable to me these past 18 months since being diagnosed with cancer in 2012. This makes me furious. I didn’t think it was possible to hate this president anymore than I already did.

Greg
Guest

Tina but it seems everyday the jackass in the White House finds a way to make me hate him even more. I don’t even have the stomach to refer to him as the “president”.

Kent Horton
Guest
Since I retired from the Army in 1995, we haven’t cost the government hardly anything since I was automatically covered by an employer plan for 14 years until a couple of years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and my wife was diagnosed with cirrhosis. I lost my prostate, and she her gall bladder. So far I’m cancer free, and her cirrhosis is not progressing. Tricare, our fabulous doctors, and hospital handled our cases with professionalism and reasonable out of pocket cost for us. Snice then, our deductibles have jumped and our prescription copays have doubled. Now, they’re taking… Read more »
4MeNoRinos
Guest

The Military and Veterans sacrifice so much many their lives. Pathetically sad of this administration along with this Congress to allow this to happen… Funding, abortions, Illegals, Iran, I could continue on.

Mohammed's pink swastika
Guest
Mohammed's pink swastika

hey sudsy,
Do you remember before we attacked iraq? When it was all that talk about weapons of mass destruction? Well we all watched the caravans driving into Syria then what happens 10 years later…chemical weapons were used on the Syrian people.

At least George Bush got permission from Congress and a coalition of governments around the world before he invaded Iraq.

Obama is just a petty little dictatorial tyrant who will invade any country he wants to, anytime without congressional approval.

The biggest blunder of the Iraq war was the liberal media’s coverage of it.

Obama lied, people died.

sudsy
Guest

It all pales in comparison to the Iraq BLUNDER!

Bruce Barnes
Guest

sudsy, typical liberal troll. Stay off the computer and let the grownups talk.

Free1974a
Guest

And tell me more about Iraq please….we’re you there? Did see any of the good that came from it? I am guessing not…have you ever left the United States? Or are you talking through your college professor that thinks they knows what they are referring to.
Every person makes mistakes. I have an idea….Suday for President since it is so easy.

MJTP
Guest

Enough with the Iraq blunder crap Sudsy… That has nothing to do with this situation. It’s about veterans and the promises made that have been broken..

Marilyn Whitmore
Guest
My husband served 22 years with 30% disability from his retirement. It is so true that compared to civilian counterparts the pay after 22 yrs would not support us at all in the part of US we live in. Fortunately my husband was able to get a job but now we will be taxed on the portion his employer pays for health benefits. If he were to fall prey to illness then we would be in real trouble. I find also find it sad and a “slap in the face” of every Veteran who made it possible for freedom to… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

Marylyn,
Does your husband receive medical care at the VA Medical Center? He is entitled to sign up for that medical care because of his 30% disability. They will treat him for all conditions, even those not service connected. There would be a small co-pay for those conditions not service connected.

Chris Chambre
Guest

Thanks to the Generals for making the reccomendatio!

Anti-Parole Dude
Guest

These moves by the administration have absolutely nothing to do with “saving” money. This is about one thing, and one thing only – to demoralize the men and women of the armed services – those who have served and those currently serving. We can debate all day WHY would they want to demoralize those who sacrificed so much – but it doesn’t change the fact of what they are trying to do.

John Lepper
Guest

I don’t believe they will be demoralized. I know they will be pissed off and that’s the wrong group to piss off.

Reiki-ology Master Healing
Guest
Reiki-ology Master Healing

Petition??

Joe
Guest

$500 million for a dam in Afghanistan

sudsy
Guest

Is that Cheney’s company?

Jenny Rodriguez
Guest

Coming from a first family that spent half a billion dollars for an African Safari, cutting costs is NOT the issue. This is a deliberate attack.

Joseph
Guest

Jenny,
I agree with your deliberate attack. The issue is gun-control. He has not been able to get laws passed to take away our guns. By creating all of these “deliberate attacks”, the hope is that we will get riled enough to use arms and thus he will be given a reason to take them away.

John Andrews USN FMF
Guest

Obama is a liberal bum who has to be impeached!!!!! The Bum has Lied,Cheated,Invaded The Privacy Of American Citizens.His Scandal goes on to include the Murder Of American Citizens in Embassy’s around the world, including American Soldiers.His Actions are as a Dumb Puppet who is strung up on Vacations and Traveling.I served in the military and gave my country all.This Bum never sat in a foxhole in a fire zone.To cut Benefits of Veterans shows how much he cares about American Troops.Hope his children have the right to vacation on a Police Action Conflict!!

WhoBeen
Guest

Regarding impeachment…Maybe you might change your mind after reading this: http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2010/10/obamas-fallpretty-soon-well-be-able-to.html Norm

Micaiah
Guest

The moral of this story is to quit volunteering to go kill people, in illegal and unconstitutional wars of aggression, for a government that has completely slipped the bounds of its charter and doesn’t give a rat’s arse about you anyway. And before they start ordering you to kill Americans.

Linda
Guest

You know nothing about what you are talking about!

Micaiah
Guest

If there is some factual error, you might point it out and provide you evidence. Mostly your comment is without meaning. You seem just an unthinking tribalist mindlessly devoted to the enforcement wing of the out of control central government.

MotherBatherick
Guest

If you voted for obama, you voted for a Communist whose healthcare policy will kill thousands, if not millions of people. Murderer.

Micaiah
Guest

What ever makes you think I would vote for Obama? The people they kill because of government regulated healthcare, will just be fewer they will have to kill with the government controlled military. Wouldn’t you say?

Bruce Barnes
Guest

Go back in your hole weasel. We could care less about your opinion especially when you come on a pro-military site and start spouting your worthless POS liberal position.

Micaiah
Guest
Ad hominem attacks reflect one of three things– an empty mind, a weak argument, or intellectual dishonesty. Which category do you fit in? I wouldn’t hardly go to an anti-military site to argue for the defects of the warfare state, now would I? Presumably they would already be aware of the dangers of the military industrial bankster complex. It is among those who suppose they are patriots, but are aiding an abetting in the destruction of the constitution and country, by encouraging the growth of the police state that the alarm must be sounded. The alarm must be sounded on… Read more »
Larry Franklin
Guest

well, in stead of talking about doing something, i know there are millions of people ready to do something. all we need is for some ex military man, a “Guardian” if you will, who has the connections for decisive action and the knowledge to lead us and our country back to her former glory! im sure the ready and willing are just waiting for such a man(gross hint hint..lol), to rally us with a plan of action. HOPEFULLY BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

Birdbranze
Guest

We have to take our party back first. We need to know which candidates the Tea Party backs.

concernedcitizen
Guest

May 16th. Washington DC Look it up.

carolesandlerkahn
Guest

You are soooooo right!!!

Dolly Rickerman
Guest

My congressman, Doug Lamborne (R) Colorado voted for th
E budget that killed the COLAs…even after I appealed to him. What good does it do to complain to our congressmen when they roll over for the democrats anyway? I’m so sick I could puke.

Birdbranze
Guest

Both RINO’s here in Georgia have been helping “Build” the Obamanation we live in now. Chambliss and Isakson claimed to be conservative republicans. I’m leaving the party behind, it has become the Democrat Lite party.

Bruce Barnes
Guest

Make sure you vote him out in the primaries.

Dolly Rickerman
Guest

I plan on it…but are there enough of us outraged voters to unseat these useless republican politicians? We need new blood in Congress…ones who aren’t afraid to do the right thing instead of the easy thing.

sudsy
Guest

Was Allen West a supporter of the Iraq Invasion which has led to most of this problem? I can’t imagine him not being sure it was the right thing for America!!

MotherBatherick
Guest

You must be a Pinko or else a Puke. You shouldn’t be drawing attention to it.

Bruce Barnes
Guest

You are without a doubt the biggest jerk on here. Please do us all a favor and let the grownups discuss this. He’s more American than you will ever hope to be.

Free1974a
Guest

What are you talking about? Allen West was a Soldier and a leader at that time. In case you did not know, Soldiers take an oath. In that oath we swear to support the president and the officers appointed over you. As stated, he was in the military when our President–yes the one we as a nation elected–made the decision to go in.
It is not a decision a Solider makes, the Soldier simply executes his or her mission.

What have YOU done for this country?

Laura E. Lauber
Guest

This isn’t just another example of how this administration and Congress despise those who’ve served. It’s another part of the leftist goal of single-payer healthcare. Just ask retirees in Germany what a hard time they’re having getting Tricare to pay claims for their healthcare.

nbamron
Guest

well gee whiz, we’re getting down to USSR standards of living pretty quick here, except of course for all those left-wing billionaires and multi-millionaires, who are part of the elite and the Vanguard. Especially reviled by the left — counter-revolutionary members of the military who served prior to Eden on Earth Obama and who harbor unhealthy ideas of liberty.

nbamron
Guest

probably allow them to use the funds for USG-funded abortions or sex-change operations.

Birdbranze
Guest

But hey, congress gets theirs right? I mean, look at all the sacrifices those “Poor, underpaid” congressmen/women make. And they have to “serve” a whole 4 years to get theirs.

Linda
Guest

There is where the real problem lies…they have allocated so much of our money to themselves for life that there isn’t much left for military retirees or anyone else!

Sean
Guest

1% ? Mr. West may want to hire a fact checker because that isn’t even close to the real number.

ANCIENT MARINER
Guest

The real number is about 2/3 of one percent, or less than Mr. West stated.

See this: http://www.statista.com/statistics/217354/forecast-number-of-military-retirees-in-the-us/

Ed Armbruster
Guest

Mr. West: Is TRICARE FOR LIFE affected by this budget cut? A lot of us old timers that served during the German Occupation after WWII received TRICARE FOR LIFE. Bud Day went to the Supreme Court and that is when it came into being after proving the promises made for we veterans of that time frame. Could you let me know if this is under assault, too? Thank you!

MotherBatherick
Guest

obama is a switch-hitter; he makes promises then switches things around and lies about it.

WhoBeen
Guest

Ref:”…a switch hitter…”

Have you ever heard of Saul Alinsky? Find out more here: http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2009/09/who-is-saul-alinsky-heres-little-run.html
and here: http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2013/11/what-is-alinskyism.html

MotherBatherick
Guest

“Barack Obama’s Rules For Revolution -The Alinsky Model” written by David Horowitz. A good little red pocketbook to share..

Eagles_USA
Guest

The obama administration is dismantling America.

Deep Cover
Guest
As a TriCare contractor employee, let me allay some fears: the PROGRAM isn’t changing. This goes, so far as I know, for TFL as well. The government, in its infinite wisdom, has just decided to eliminate walk-in services. Not all local EMPLOYEES are being given the heave-ho, however. Some of us are being kept on as sort of consultants for the military clinics, and to continue to provide informational briefings. You just won’t be able to enjoy the quick, personal service you’ve come to enjoy. Allen is right. Make a stink! Contact your rep/Senator and let them know you are… Read more »
Dan
Guest
I have a deep fear that somehow TRICARE will get rolled into the ObamaLie health program and that we will simply stand in line with millions who have done nothing for this country but bleed it dry via the welfare system. I want what I was promised and nothing more. Have you ever heard of the Bethesda Naval Medical Center – not recently because it is now called the National Health Care Center, staffed and no doubt funded by the DoD. Now take a guess who gets access to this facility? – the ones who would close Walter Reed AMC… Read more »
Guy Bowles
Guest
After seeing generations of family going to VA hospitals I can attest they need to be closed. My uncle who served in WWII told my dad not to let that [email protected]$h come back in here to give me another one of thous shots she’s trying to kill me, well he died. Then there was the case of the brilliant Psychiatrist while waiting for my friend in the waiting room (we’re both Army Nam victims of political micro management) came over to me and said he’d be with me in a minute and ask if the changes in medication was helping… Read more »
WhoBeen
Guest

Ref:”I believe a call to every member of the House and Senate is warranted, …”
and if that doesn’t work, how ’bout a call to arms!
Norm H. 21 years USAF …no I wasn’t a ‘Lifer’ ya had to do 30 for that title…and I wish I had !!!