Health care costs a hefty price tag for PENTAGON – AP

By at May 8, 2011 | 7:13 pm | Print

May 8, 2011

Health care costs a hefty price tag for Pentagon

By DONNA CASSATA

WASHINGTON (AP) — A military built for fighting wars is looking more and more like a health care entitlement program.

Costs of the program that provides health coverage to some 10 million active duty personnel, retirees, reservists and their families have jumped from $19 billion in 2001 to $53 billion in the Pentagon’s latest budget request.

Desperate to cut spending in Washington’s time of fiscal austerity, President Barack Obama has proposed increasing the fees for working-age retirees in the decades-old health program, known as TRICARE. After years of resisting proposed increases for the military men and women who sacrificed for a nation, budget-conscious lawmakers suddenly are poised to make them pay a bit more for their health care, though not on the president’s terms.

The current fees, unchanged in 11 years, are $230 a year for an individual and $460 for a family. That’s far less than what civilian federal workers pay for health care, about $5,000 a year, and what most other people in the U.S. pay.

via News from The Associated Press.

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