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Lawmakers open to changes in military benefits (lifetime health care on the chopping block?)
Seattle Times ^ | 10/22/11 | DONNA CASSATA

Posted on 10/22/2011 6:22:24 AM PDT by Libloather

Lawmakers open to changes in military benefits
By DONNA CASSATA
Associated Press
Originally published Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 4:43 AM

WASHINGTON — The government's promise of lifetime health care for the military's men and women is suddenly a little less sacrosanct as Congress looks to slash trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

Republicans and Democrats alike are signaling a willingness - unheard of at the height of two post-Sept. 11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - to make military retirees pay more for coverage. It's a reflection of Washington's newfound embrace of fiscal austerity and the Pentagon's push to cut health care costs that have skyrocketed from $19 billion in 2001 to $53 billion.

The numbers are daunting for a military focused on building and arming an all-volunteer force for war. The Pentagon is providing health care coverage for 3.3 million active duty personnel and their dependents and 5.5 million retirees, eligible dependents and surviving spouses. Retirees outnumber the active duty, 2.3 million to 1.4 million.

(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: benefits; budget; debt; military
How about cutting teacher pensions by 95%?
1 posted on 10/22/2011 6:22:32 AM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather

These “lawmakers” had better be updating their resume’s. They will be out of work, soon.


2 posted on 10/22/2011 6:27:00 AM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November (2012) from my house.)
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To: Libloather
Yep, I want to see any "Republitards" sign on to this.

They had better not have given up their "Day Jobs" cuz they will be returning to them in 2013...no matter WHO they are!!!

3 posted on 10/22/2011 6:30:35 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: Libloather

“Republicans and Democrats alike are signaling a willingness - unheard of at the height of two post-Sept. 11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - to make military retirees pay more for coverage.”

Just wondering if these wonderful *leaders* will lead by example: accept the same health care plan as the military.


4 posted on 10/22/2011 6:33:47 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: Libloather

This sounds like something cut and run Paul would come up with. Is this another on of his bright ideas?


5 posted on 10/22/2011 6:37:55 AM PDT by John D
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To: Libloather

....arguing that Americans who were willing to die for their country should be treated differently than the average worker


The implementation of Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) was unstainable, but they did it anyway. The continuing increase in SSI and unemployment benefits goes unquestioned. And G-d knows how many billions of $$ go to illegals. The point is that there are plenty of places to cut in the budget that would more than pay for this.

But, hey, its okay to take benefits away from Vets. Congress probably feels that they are the safest group to screw because they actually love their country.


6 posted on 10/22/2011 6:43:23 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: Libloather
What about eliminating the benefits of the Congressthugs!

You think those thugs in Congress are willing to eliminate THIER lifetime health coverage?

Those THUGS in Congress should be thrown out of office and handed mops.

7 posted on 10/22/2011 6:59:57 AM PDT by Savage Beast (America's best hope is the Left's worst nightmare: Herman Cain!)
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To: Libloather
How about a ten percent reduction in the number of government employees ?
Why not close down the Departments of Energy and Education ?

A round of guberment layoffs would be just what the doctor ordered.

8 posted on 10/22/2011 7:00:22 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: rbg81
Yet the Kong-ress Kritters forget that the military & vets/retirees meant it when they took their oaths to Support and Defend the Constitution against ALL ENEMIES - Foreign and DOMESTIC; the Kong-ress Kritters may rue messing with the military & vets/retirees.
9 posted on 10/22/2011 7:02:14 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: rbg81

‘But, hey, its okay to take benefits away from Vets. Congress probably feels that they are the safest group to screw because they actually love their country.’

Yes, they do. And the brain dead dipshits in Congress need to be reminded that they can be replaced. All the veterans I know
also keep saying that not only do they love their country but they have the guns to defend her from all enemies, foreign and domestic.


10 posted on 10/22/2011 7:08:55 AM PDT by SwatTeam
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To: Libloather

I’ve got mixed emotions on this one. First let me say those that have retired and those that are active should see no cut in benefits. But I do think there are a few things need to change and the first thing would be the treatment of alcoholic’s and those that are prescription drug addicted. My sister and brother in-law are both retired directors from the local VA here and claim that at least 40 percent of their patients fall under that category. They have no service related problems other than they’re addictions and are a considerable drain on resources. Another would be to look closely at staffing and see where it can be cut, we have far too many people at this VA who’s jobs have little to do with patient care, many in my opinion are unnecessary. On the fifth floor of the local VA they have a capacity for up to 60 patients yet they’ve never had more than 25 on the floor at one time, yet they keep a staff of RN’s, LVN’s and aids to handle a full load. It’s my opinion that the VA is being abused by both patients and employee’s at a huge cost to taxpayers.


11 posted on 10/22/2011 7:17:41 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Libloather
"The government's promise of lifetime health care for the military's men and women"

Not true.

12 posted on 10/22/2011 7:23:58 AM PDT by verity (The Obama Administration is a Criminal Enterprise.)
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To: Libloather

Apples and oranges — teacher pensions do not appear in the federal budget. If you are going to make an argument, it’s generally considered good form to at least connect it to reality.


13 posted on 10/22/2011 7:28:11 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Libloather

Any proposals out there to cut the out-of-control Food Stamp Programs? That’s eating up billions, and a lot of it is going to illegal aliens...


14 posted on 10/22/2011 7:33:43 AM PDT by Gritty (There's no other way to say it... (Obama is) an enemy within - Matt Barber)
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To: Dusty Road

I also have some mixed emotions. The VA Hospitals, from my limited viewpoint, are like pushers. They build their portfolio by convincing veterans that they have ‘needs’, or by treating folks for stuff the folks caused themselves - like drug abuse.

OTOH, the Tricare set-up for retirees is cheap...and cheap. It isn’t high end insurance, and it was part of selling folks on staying in. I wouldn’t mind seeing co-payments go up, since I think that would save money without adding too much burden on the honest users.

I also think it needs to be a package deal - reduce the Tricare benefit at the same time you reduce Medicaid and Medicare - both of which have huge amounts of fraud and abuse. But don’t try to balance the budget on the backs of military retirees. Heck, I’d take a 10% cut in my retired pay (which has, after taxes, gone down 8% over the last 3 years anyways) IF EVERYONE getting a check cut by the government got a 10% cut.

But oddly enough, I only see these reductions discussed for military folks. Never for civilians...


15 posted on 10/22/2011 7:40:28 AM PDT by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: Libloather

These same lawmakers should be open to changes in reducing their own pay and benefits BEFORE considering changes in military benefits, you think!? =.=


16 posted on 10/22/2011 7:53:54 AM PDT by cranked
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To: Libloather

I see their point, after all, by making these cuts it should make it easier to continue the free medical care provided to the illegal aliens.

We also need those funds to send to other country’s and to support Obama’s special projects, such as “non-war wars”.

Besides, these veterans have never bothered to form or join a union, so screw ‘em.

We should all relax.... this is just all part of the wealth redistribution program and fundamentally changing America.


17 posted on 10/22/2011 8:06:34 AM PDT by Gator113 (`)
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To: Libloather

They should cut their own pay and lifetime benefits (which they shouldn’t have in the first place), as well as EVERYTHING else, before they touch the military.


18 posted on 10/22/2011 8:14:11 AM PDT by teenyelliott (www.therightscoop.com/herman-cain-brings-the-house-down-at-values-voter-summit/)
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19 posted on 10/22/2011 8:18:08 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: Libloather

I have a proposal:

New recruits get as many years of free healthcare as they served in active duty.

Current obligations don’t change. Future benefits match service time rendered. (Any injury incurred in the line of duty is permanently covered.)

That seems fair.

(Donning flame retardant suit.)


20 posted on 10/22/2011 8:41:00 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Gore Lauds Romney on Climate Position; 0bamaCare was based on RomneyCare.)
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To: Libloather
And no one talking about the hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on:

Anchor babies, illegals, new immigrants, and their respective extended families,
Fixing up ramshackle Mexican trucks that will put Americans out of work,
Sponsoring green technology overseas,
Paying college tuition for students from China,
Setting up the Moslem Brotherhood and al-Quaeda in Libya and Egypt,
Setting up CDC labs overseas,
Paying for post doctoral degrees for Indian scientists,
Billions in tax credits for illegals from the IRS,
Subsidizing Palestinian terrorists,
Funding the Taliban and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan,
Paying Oregon Forestry companies to hire foreign workers
21 posted on 10/22/2011 8:43:04 AM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: Libloather; Jim Robinson

we’ve got millions on the government dole for phantom ailments like ADD and bad backitis, so the idiot lawmakers decide that’s a good time to chop back on LEGITIMATE payments to people they made promises to who ACTUALLY went and did a job at risk of life and limb.

Lawmakers make me sick. I despise every SOB who tries to touch anything either promised, indicated, or even hinted at to our troops for the VOLUNTEER job that they do that none of those sorry-ass welfare clowns would ever consider doing..

I will vote for NO candidate who supports cutting our legitimate debt to our veterans and retirees in ANY way.


22 posted on 10/22/2011 8:49:09 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
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To: algernonpj

Woah, I didn’t even know about some of this stuff. :(


23 posted on 10/22/2011 8:49:40 AM PDT by bushwon ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait till it is free"--PJ O'rourke)
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To: bushwon
Woah, I didn’t even know about some of this stuff. :(

A few months ago, I started a folder 'Where Our Money's Spent'. Every time I read about some outrageous use of our money I put the article in there and add it to the list. This only what I have collected over a few months.

Most people are unaware that illegal aliens, anchor babies, and their extended families cost us $113 billion NET each year based upon a very careful study dome using the outdated number of 13 million illegals.

The real number of illegals is about 3 x that. so illegals cost approx $1/4 to 1/3 Trillion per year.

Low skill immigrant households cost $19,000 NET each year, for each of 4.5 million households.

This is why the last people I'd cut money from are veteran's and seniors. Yet these are the first two mentioned by the political elite.
24 posted on 10/22/2011 9:21:09 AM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: Libloather

We’ve got to reform military retirement. It’s simply too expensive in it’s current form to be sustained.


25 posted on 10/22/2011 9:35:14 AM PDT by Poundstone (A recent Federal retiree and proud of it!)
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To: verity
"Not true."

No it's not. But the truth wouldn't twist the lefties knickers.

26 posted on 10/22/2011 9:40:54 AM PDT by moehoward
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To: Poundstone

“(A recent Federal retiree and proud of it!)”

and yet you call for military retirement to be cut? There’s a word for people who say such things. It isn’t a very nice word, and I won’t repeat it here. But I would very much dislike to have it applied to me. Apparently you have different standards.


27 posted on 10/22/2011 10:08:54 AM PDT by Mountain Troll (My investment plan - Canned food and shotguns)
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To: Poundstone

We’ve got to reform military retirement. It’s simply too expensive in it’s current form to be sustained.

Yes military retirement is so good, european vacations every year, Alaska fishing trips, eat out when ever I want,live in a great house, the nicest clothes...............OH........Wait....That was a day dream. Struggle to make ends meet, no vacations either Europa or Alaska, eat out once or twice a month if lucky, live in a double wide that is falling apart and most of my clothes are two decades old.

Where the hell did you get the idea that military retirement is so lucrative?


28 posted on 10/22/2011 10:51:05 AM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Obama is an instrument of enslavement)
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To: Poundstone

The average military retiree is an E-6, some college but not a degree, with 2-3 school age children, trying to re-enter the job market at 40 years of age. Not a very easy thing to do especially for those in the Army and Marines who were in combat arms MOS’s. Armor, artillery, and infantry is the backbone of the military but are not skills that transfer easily to the civilian environment. Change the retirement and how will we every get anyone to spend a career in the military in those MOS’s? Yes, military retirement is expensive but by looking at the quality of our military I would say it is money well spent.


29 posted on 10/22/2011 11:03:36 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: Libloather
How about complete elimination of all congressional retirement benefits icluding their outragious pay? A perfect idea to encourage term limits.
30 posted on 10/22/2011 11:13:50 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Poundstone

>We’ve got to reform military retirement. It’s simply too expensive in it’s current form to be sustained.

Yeah right, right after we reform the handouts to the unions and illegals. Oh, that’s right, they keep these parasites in office, rather than support your freedom. Rudyard Kipling had it right back then, no change now.


31 posted on 10/22/2011 12:07:13 PM PDT by gunner03
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To: ops33

>The average military retiree is an E-6, some college but not a degree, with 2-3 school age children, trying to re-enter the job market at 40 years of age. Not a very easy thing to do especially for those in the Army and Marines who were in combat arms MOS’s. Armor, artillery, and infantry is the backbone of the military but are not skills that transfer easily to the civilian environment. Change the retirement and how will we every get anyone to spend a career in the military in those MOS’s? Yes, military retirement is expensive but by looking at the quality of our military I would say it is money well spent.

Well put


32 posted on 10/22/2011 12:12:53 PM PDT by gunner03
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To: Libloather

Congress first

Slash their budgets, staff, pensions and bennies first.


33 posted on 10/22/2011 2:29:01 PM PDT by hattend (If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead. - Cameron Connor)
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To: xzins

Absolutely...100% The ‘welfare clowns’ should be required to serve someway for the welfare they receive.


34 posted on 10/22/2011 2:33:50 PM PDT by Vernon
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To: gunner03

Sorry, but no matter how deserving our military members may be, the current military retirement system is simply too expensive to be sustainable. Current serving military members shouldn’t be affected by the coming changes, but new entrants will have to understand that things are going to be different — that’s only fair.


35 posted on 10/22/2011 6:03:24 PM PDT by Poundstone (A recent Federal retiree and proud of it!)
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To: Mountain Troll

Don’t be an ignoramus. I served in Afghanistan, among other places. And anyway, my own service doesn’t affect the fact that military retirement bennies are simply unsustainable.


36 posted on 10/22/2011 6:07:28 PM PDT by Poundstone (A recent Federal retiree and proud of it!)
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To: Poundstone
It is affordable as the size of the military is dropping substancially. Since 1998 we have cut over 800,000 active duty troops. Before that you may not be old enough to remember we also lost many more through the Bush sr/Clinton downsizing in the early to mid 1990's. These were troops who had up too 16 or more years vested time in service who got screwed out of their retirement.

Below is the active duty End Troop Strengths for 2004

(1) The Army, 482,400.
(2) The Navy, 373,800.
(3) The Marine Corps, 175,000.
(4) The Air Force, 359,300

Now the 1987 numbers

Army 781,000
Navy 587,000
Marine Corps 199,000
Air Force 607,000

Now add too this the fact the average Lifer unless he is a permenant stateside desk jockey will likely put in nearly twice the total hours per year worked or at least more than a third more hours than civilians for lesser pay. The military retirement system is a bargain. The congressional retirement system is a massive rip off. In my job at sea work days were abut 18-20 hours. It ages you fast.

Carter also had the same bright idea too try and cut military retirement by making it a 30 year required obligation. It never got made policy or if it did it was quickly rescinded by the next CIC.

BTW of those numbers I posted as active duty most of the troops are either junior NCO's or E-3 and below. Most persons joining the military do their first enlistment and get out usually by the end of their second one.

I wasn't a lifer myself. A 6 year sea/2 year shore duty Sea Duty&Shore Duty rotation my job required was one of the many reasons.

I do support the eliminaion of many useless alaphabet agenies who's annual budgets likely exceed the military retirement cost for 20 years though. Let's start with the EPA.

37 posted on 10/23/2011 1:34:47 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Poundstone
Don’t be an ignoramus. I served in Afghanistan, among other places. And anyway, my own service doesn’t affect the fact that military retirement bennies are simply unsustainable.

Now lets see in just what capacity you served there.

No Proposed Change to Federal Retirement, Pay Systems in Budget Proposal

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 11:02:42 PM · 11 of 12 Poundstone to WVKayaker

Nope, I meant ALL Federal employees, civilian and military. Plenty of civilian Feds are serving in Afghanistan (as I did), Iraq, and other dangerous places, sometimes alongside US military members, and sometimes in places where there are NO US military!

If you get killed in the line of duty, you bleed red, bub, regardless of what kind of clothing you’re wearing. Wise up.

Your posting didn't make sense so I checked your posting history. You were a civilian drawing a nice fat government employee check while working in Afghanistan it seems. You also drive a Beamer? Or is it two you have? I don't know any enlisted retirees or active duty for that matter driving Beamers. Actually I know of none who can retire as in no longer have too work and live only on their service retirement. Most Lifers after they retire from the military must go on to civilian jobs because even an 0-5 retired isn't likely drawing close too what you are nor likely as great of benefits.

38 posted on 10/23/2011 2:08:31 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Poundstone

Yes, new entrants will understand, do their time in uniform (many simply as a patriotic chore) and leave well before the ten year mark. The military tried this with the 40% retirement and they had to reverse course because the attrition was so large.


39 posted on 11/21/2011 10:43:01 AM PST by MSF BU (YR'S Please Support our troops: JOIN THEM!)
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