Should military have to pay more for healthcare?

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Should military have to pay more for healthcare?

Is it fair to ask the military to pay increased healthcare costs especially when the same is not applied to government employees?

The Obama administration?s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers? benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare?s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon?s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

?We shouldn?t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren?t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,? Rep. Howard ?Buck? McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. ?We can?t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.?

Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2012/02/27/pres-obama-cut-health-care-troops#ixzz1zZhbpHKN

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I thought I read it was changing for retirees and not active duty until 2015.

According to the article I read retirees contributions haven't changed since 1996 which is way out of whack for what we as civilians see. I believe it's also putting an enrollment fee for tricare and I vaguely think additional payment to prescriptions. Since that changes yearly for me...never mind not having a change for the past 16 years I'm okay with this. Military is trying to budget so they don't close down bases. Nothing to do with "Obamacare"

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They're trying to budget so they don't have to let people go. Retirees contributions just went up last year; they are raised just at the COLA. And "free" healthcare is why some people join the military and why quite a few of them stay in. We're not that family (blessed as mostly healthy) but for those who put in the time and are now being asked to pay, it sucks. and asking retirees to not only pay for Medicare part b, but also all these little fees most definitely has to do with ObamaCare. The cost of healthcare is going to skyrocket and they want to cover their asses now so when they can't afford to do as they promised long ago to these veterans who put in more than 20 years and for quite a few, their healthy, they can say it had to do with only the budget crisis instead of both. It's sad when our government is much more worried about illegal immigrants and people who refuse to help themselves getting quality healthcare and downplay the affect those issues have on the people who did what they were supposed to do and served their country to boot.

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Many people join civilian work forces with the same idea. Low cost/free bens and things change. Why should the military be exempt?

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"Jessica1980" wrote:

Many people join civilian work forces with the same idea. Low cost/free bens and things change. Why should the military be exempt?

Do you really think a civilian job compares to military service?

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Personally, I'd like to see military and their families receive free healthcare. I think it is the least we can offer them for their sacrifices.

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"Jessica1980" wrote:

Many people join civilian work forces with the same idea. Low cost/free bens and things change. Why should the military be exempt?

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

You say that and you have to live by it for a minimum of 8 years. Even if you know it means you are more than likely going to be separated from your family, be injured, and/or die. All for whatever Congress decides to pay you. You don't get to quit. You don't get to find another job. You don't get to say no. In exchange for those actions, you get "free" healthcare, a paycheck, and an education. Take even one of those options away, and for most military, it is not beneficial (besides emotionally) to say that pledge again/say it in the first place.

My dh is easily worth 6 figures as a civilian and despite that, we're both going to try to retire (for more reasons than this one, but it's the only one that's relevant); he had cancer and we don't want to deal with the expense of the testing/possibility of the cancer coming back. If we both spend 20 years (or just one of us) giving up the 6 figures for the (I think) 34,000 (only the taxable amount) he makes in the Air Force, don't you think it's ****ty to ask him to deal with the same things a civilian who actually received the 6 figures does? Do you really think a civilian job is in any way shape or form comparable?

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Yes for the most part I think everyone should be treated comparatively. If FD and PD have to pay more into their ins and they put their lives on the line just as much as many military.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

You say that and you have to live by it for a minimum of 8 years. Even if you know it means you are more than likely going to be separated from your family, be injured, and/or die. All for whatever Congress decides to pay you. You don't get to quit. You don't get to find another job. You don't get to say no. In exchange for those actions, you get "free" healthcare, a paycheck, and an education. Take even one of those options away, and for most military, it is not beneficial (besides emotionally) to say that pledge again/say it in the first place.

My dh is easily worth 6 figures as a civilian and despite that, we're both going to try to retire (for more reasons than this one, but it's the only one that's relevant); he had cancer and we don't want to deal with the expense of the testing/possibility of the cancer coming back. If we both spend 20 years (or just one of us) giving up the 6 figures for the (I think) 34,000 (only the taxable amount) he makes in the Air Force, don't you think it's ****ty to ask him to deal with the same things a civilian who actually received the 6 figures does? Do you really think a civilian job is in any way shape or form comparable?

unless you are being drafted..accepting that and joining the military is your choice. You are not forced to do anything of the above.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

You say that and you have to live by it for a minimum of 8 years. Even if you know it means you are more than likely going to be separated from your family, be injured, and/or die. All for whatever Congress decides to pay you. You don't get to quit. You don't get to find another job. You don't get to say no. In exchange for those actions, you get "free" healthcare, a paycheck, and an education. Take even one of those options away, and for most military, it is not beneficial (besides emotionally) to say that pledge again/say it in the first place.

My dh is easily worth 6 figures as a civilian and despite that, we're both going to try to retire (for more reasons than this one, but it's the only one that's relevant); he had cancer and we don't want to deal with the expense of the testing/possibility of the cancer coming back. If we both spend 20 years (or just one of us) giving up the 6 figures for the (I think) 34,000 (only the taxable amount) he makes in the Air Force, don't you think it's ****ty to ask him to deal with the same things a civilian who actually received the 6 figures does? Do you really think a civilian job is in any way shape or form comparable?

:clappy:

The military isn't a job; it's your life. If my boss tells me to go work in Southern California for two weeks, I can say no (and have!) or I can negotiate them flying me home for the weekend to see my kids or I can say screw this & find a new job that doesn't require travel. When my BIL's boss told him to go live & fight in Iraq for two years without his family, he went, and when my nephew's boss told him to go live & fight in Afghanistan for a year, he went. If they hadn't, they would have probably gone to prison for quite a long time for not upholding their oath.

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"Jessica1980" wrote:

Yes for the most part I think everyone should be treated comparatively. If FD and PD have to pay more into their ins and they put their lives on the line just as much as many military.

Firefighters & police officers go home to their families after their shifts, and they are free to change their jobs whenever they want. Those are not comparable to the military at all.

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"Jessica1980" wrote:

unless you are being drafted..accepting that and joining the military is your choice. You are not forced to do anything of the above.

I don't want to speak for anyone, but I think you're missing her point. When active/former military signed on they were promised something in terms of healthcare. It is likely one (of the many) reason they signed in the first place. To require them to now pay more for their healthcare when they sacrifice so much already seems like a slap in the face. Of course it was "their choice" to join, but perhaps they made that choice because of the healthcare benefits.

I can somewhat relate to this whole situation as a teacher with a continuing contract. I was promised that my employer would pay my insurance premiums and it was written into my contract. My employer decided they could no longer afford to do that and they broke the contract without my permission. Thankfully the union pursued the issue and I will hopefully get my benefits back soon. It doesn't make up for the time I paid for things out of pocket though. And thanks to our craptastic governor 3% of my paycheck has been taken for the last year and contributed to the FRS because of our state's budget crisis. This affects all employees covered by the FRS - teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc. I think we all have a right to be ticked.

Bottom line is, when we are promised something in return for our services we expect to receive those things, no excuses made. The budget shouldn't be balanced on the backs of military (or teachers, police officers, etc.).

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"Jessica1980" wrote:

unless you are being drafted..accepting that and joining the military is your choice. You are not forced to do anything of the above.

Thanks for the info. Wink

The retirees this would affect the most made even less compared to their counterparts while in the service. It's wrong to ask someone to accept a job contract for a huge chunk of their life, have them fulfill their portion of the contract, and say "oops, we can't control illegal immigrants entering the country, their healthcare costs, the number of people getting degrees that leave them unemployed, their healthcare costs; the number of people having kids that they can't afford, their healthcare costs; the number of people who bought/buy things they can't afford, their healthcare costs; those that lead unhealthy lives, their healthcare costs....so we'll make you pay for that with not only your income taxes, but also take away a large chunk of the benefits we promised you to cover their expenses. Sorry!"

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"Spacers" wrote:

Firefighters & police officers go home to their families after their shifts, and they are free to change their jobs whenever they want. Those are not comparable to the military at all.

Yeah, except for when they get shot or burned to death, or have buildings collapse on them. Of course more members of the military have died in the line of duty, but to make a blanket statement like that makes it sound like cops and firefighters just put in their boring, easy 8 or 12 hours and call it a day. I can tell you that my brother, who is a firefighter, kisses his wife and kids goodbye before each shift like it could be the last time.

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Okay...my dad is a current employee at his company. When he was hired he was told he would get X amount covered for healthcare and X amount in pension upon retirement. He is possibly losing that now. This happens all the time.

I get that it is not 100% comparable to other jobs...but you still agreed to the the terms of not coming home at night and not being able to transfer jobs. I appreciate what the military does for our country but I don't think it makes them exempt from the crap employee perks civilians deal with every day.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Yeah, except for when they get shot or burned to death, or have buildings collapse on them. Of course more members of the military have died in the line of duty, but to make a blanket statement like that makes it sound like cops and firefighters just put in their boring, easy 8 or 12 hours and call it a day. I can tell you that my brother, who is a firefighter, kisses his wife and kids goodbye before each shift like it could be the last time.

I think she was talking about deployments, not death.

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In Canada, our military and rcmp (so most of our police) get all medical expenses covered. I think this is only right. These people put their lives on the line, and a good portion of their medical issues are caused by the job.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I think she was talking about deployments, not death.

If that's the case then I apologize to Stacey for assuming she meant death. I thought she meant 'come home' as in, at the end of the day.

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"Jessica1980" wrote:

Okay...my dad is a current employee at his company. When he was hired he was told he would get X amount covered for healthcare and X amount in pension upon retirement. He is possibly losing that now. This happens all the time.

I get that it is not 100% comparable to other jobs...but you still agreed to the the terms of not coming home at night and not being able to transfer jobs. I appreciate what the military does for our country but I don't think it makes them exempt from the crap employee perks civilians deal with every day.

Did your Dad sign a contract and uphold his end while his employer elects to change the terms? Because that's what we're talking about here. Members of the military aren't complaining about losing their "perks." They are upset because they dedicate their lives to our country and in return get jipped on healthcare benefits due to our country's senseless spending and pitiful economy. They are taking the fall yet again.

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"Jessica1980" wrote:

Okay...my dad is a current employee at his company. When he was hired he was told he would get X amount covered for healthcare and X amount in pension upon retirement. He is possibly losing that now. This happens all the time.

I get that it is not 100% comparable to other jobs...but you still agreed to the the terms of not coming home at night and not being able to transfer jobs. I appreciate what the military does for our country but I don't think it makes them exempt from the crap employee perks civilians deal with every day.

No it would be like if your Dad was given healthcare coverage at retirement and then 10 years later told he would have to pay for it after he already retired and fulfilled his contract.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

No it would be like if your Dad was given healthcare coverage at retirement and then 10 years later told he would have to pay for it after he already retired and fulfilled his contract.

You mean like the retired Stockton city employees? Oh wait, there's nothing left for them to "pay for"; they're just losing all of their benefits.

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yes that can happen. his union can change it during any contract negotiation. It's real life. I don't feel bad that retirees have to pay slightly more than they did....16 years ago! Everyone else does!

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

You mean like the retired Stockton city employees? Oh wait, there's nothing left for them to "pay for"; they're just losing all of their benefits.

It's sad that our federal government is now being compared to the idiots in California and rightly so. So very sad.

"Jessica1980" wrote:

yes that can happen. his union can change it during any contract negotiation. It's real life. I don't feel bad that retirees have to pay slightly more than they did....16 years ago! Everyone else does!

340% more from one year to the next? Again, their fees have increased by the same rates as the COLA, just not on par with the healthcare increases. It has not been the same for the last 16 years. It makes me feel real bad for them. They worked for pittances and dealt with a lot of hatred and now they are getting shafted again. It's a crying shame, not just a shame for our country.

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Sorry I locked myself out of my 1980 name so I could only reset under this name.

I think it is crappy that this happens at all. I just never understand why military members get treated differently. This is something that many retirees and people close to retirement in the private business world experience all the time. It IS awful but where is the outrage for all employees nationwide?

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Sorry I locked myself out of my 1980 name so I could only reset under this name.

I think it is crappy that this happens at all. I just never understand why military members get treated differently. This is something that many retirees and people close to retirement in the private business world experience all the time. It IS awful but where is the outrage for all employees nationwide?

Because military members SHOULD be treated differently. It is not just a job, they are serving our country and putting their LIFE on the line. If it is such an easy thing to serve in the military why haven't you signed up? Besides as was pointed out in this article civilian employees are not even being asked to make the same sacrifice as the military.

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Well again, I feel that lots of people put their lives on the line and/or are away from their families as well for work.

I never said it was an easy job but asking me why I didn't join is pointless. I also didn't become a firefighter or a lawyer. I had no desire to do any of those things.

In general, military personnel receive higher cash compensation than civilian employees and civilian employees already generally pay more than military so what is the issue with that?

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If thats the way you feel about our military then I guess that is just your opinion. Can't argue with that. I for one want the military to get free heathcare, after all they are an investment to our country unless you want a bunch of sick soldiers out there fighting for your freedom. I also don't want some soldier over in Afghanistan worrying about whether his family will be taken care of while he is gone. I'm sorry if I don't see some civilian being away from home a few nights for work the same as a soldier having to spend 6 months or a year or more in Afghanistan or Iraq. My son spent 4 months over there last year and missed his daughters first birthday, and now he is about to go back for another 6 months and will miss her 2nd birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas working in 120 degrees and sleeping in a tent full of sand. No I don't think that is the same as a civilian job.

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Not to mention that a lot of our soldiers & veterans suffer illnesses, both physical & mental, that are a direct result of their service. And I'm curious, Jessica, why you think the military gets paid more than civilians. Nearly everyone I know in the military is making far less than they could in civilian life.

And I am NOT a huge fan of the military -- I believe we are wasting lives & money fighting unnecessary wars and playing world's cop when that's not our job to do -- but anyone willing to stand up & join the military and do whatever is asked of them, even though I don't agree with it, deserves a lifetime of support IMHO.

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I'm not discounting what service they do nor do I not appreciate their service. I've agreed it's an awful move. There are plenty of independent contractors who work in Afghanistan for 6+ months (I have a cousin who is an engineer and HAD to go per his job) away from his wife though so that argument doesn't land well with me.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I'm not discounting what service they do nor do I not appreciate their service. I've agreed it's an awful move. There are plenty of independent contractors who work in Afghanistan for 6+ months (I have a cousin who is an engineer and HAD to go per his job) away from his wife though so that argument doesn't land well with me.

I guarantee you that an independent contractor is paid VERY well for going over there and live in much better conditions, protected by soldiers that are earning less. He also didn't HAVE to go, he could have changed jobs. Military can't just change their mind and decide to go home unless they want to go to jail.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I guarantee you that an independent contractor is paid VERY well for going over there and live in much better conditions, protected by soldiers that are earning less. He also didn't HAVE to go, he could have changed jobs. Military can't just change their mind and decide to go home unless they want to go to jail.

Ditto this. Also, I don't know about Afghanistan, but in Iraq, my BIL told me that the independent contractors were required to go home for at least a week every three months, with their round-trip airfare covered by their employer if they were a sub-contractor. They had to carefully rotate people to make sure they always had coverage. And Gloria's right, they were VERY well paid. A former employer of mine was an independent contractor in Kuwait and he made enough in two years to pay cash for an income-earning apartment building in San Francisco, which now supports him comfortably in his retirement.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Well again, I feel that lots of people put their lives on the line and/or are away from their families as well for work.

I never said it was an easy job but asking me why I didn't join is pointless. I also didn't become a firefighter or a lawyer. I had no desire to do any of those things.

In general, military personnel receive higher cash compensation than civilian employees and civilian employees already generally pay more than military so what is the issue with that?

Oh goodness. You are just wrong. I honestly made more cash compensation as a cocktail waitress with no experience than I do now as a computer programmer (WITH the bonus I received this year). Again, dh has been worth more than 6 figures for the last 6 years of service he's been in even with the economy tanking. I can't imagine how much he'd make now that he's gotten even more training, more certifications, and been through instructor courses.

I could easily live a good 10 years off the amount your engineer friend made in that 6 months and he could easily have found another job if he's good at what he does. You could make much more being on unemployment with foodstamps, WIC, Section 8, and daycare assistance let alone the other help the government hands out now.

Here is the E1-E5 paychart which is what most of the military falls under.
http://www.militaryrates.com/military-pay-charts-e1_e5_2012.cfm

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Okay, one I never said that an engineer or independent contractor didn't earn a decent pay. I was suggesting they were away from their spouses/families as that was one condition that was presented as to why they should have 100% health coverage.

I also have read several articles about total compensation of active military vs. civilian pay which states that with pay, housing etc. it is more than civilian pay. That is all. Here is one article that I found. This wasn't the article I read but I can't remember where it was. http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20120702/BIZ/707029965/1005/biz

My engineer "friend' who is my cousin is still currently there and he is not a contractor so he does not get to come home until his 6 months is up and it may be extended after that without his say. He has signed a contract with his employer say cannot leave said job without breaking it.

And for what I think is the 3rd or 4th time, I still think this stinks but I think it stinks for everyone that this happens to. No one has provided any solid reasons for me to think otherwise.
He

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Did you read the article you linked? Some Marine stated the reason pretty damn clearly.

All of our "benefits" are included in those studies and the government decides how much the value is. Our military base priviliges apparently save us each 12,000 a year, included in those numbers. Tricare is worth about 40,000 when you put both me and dh's benefit sheet together. They include the tax free allowances and the tax savings on those allowances despite the fact that many civilian jobs have the same thing and those numbers are hardly ever included. They include the education benefits we *may* use even if we don't take advantage of them and even if the benefit can't be used by us. I think mine was 7,500 this year.

It's just ridiculous to pretend like a civilian doing the exact same thing is making anywhere near the sacrifice a military member does. I enjoy it, I enjoy the life we live, but if I wasn't military, life would be easier and I would be much richer.

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I definitely read the article and I stated it was total compensation. Just like at my job it is my total compensation...my cash pay, my benefits (medical, dental, vision) etc. Most companies include that as total compensation so there is no surprise there. I don't or should I say haven't utilized my education reimbursement at my job but not all jobs offer that.

Again, I have never said what you do or what any military person does isn't a sacrifice...it sure as heck is. But the increase is a reality for all folks both current employees and retirees and I really don't get the hub bub about it. Sorry.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Ditto this. Also, I don't know about Afghanistan, but in Iraq, my BIL told me that the independent contractors were required to go home for at least a week every three months, with their round-trip airfare covered by their employer if they were a sub-contractor. They had to carefully rotate people to make sure they always had coverage. And Gloria's right, they were VERY well paid. A former employer of mine was an independent contractor in Kuwait and he made enough in two years to pay cash for an income-earning apartment building in San Francisco, which now supports him comfortably in his retirement.

My father retired from the military after serving around 25-30 years or something. He then became a contractor and lived and worked in Kuwait for about 10 years. He never was required to come home every three months. I'm sure he had plenty of vacation time, but it was never a requirement. As for the money, the only thing he and his wife paid for were groceries/toiletries. Everything else they just submitted their receipt and was reimbursed by their sponsor in the U.S. Now he is retired and living in his house in Florida that he paid off in 9 months :rolleyes:

I do agree that military should be paid more, per their education and skills.

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I got sidetracked when you did, but the point isn't about the compensation being equivalent/better/worse for military and civilians now. The point is they are going to ask retirees to pay and there is no doubt or room for disagreement that they were grossly underpaid while working with the promise they would have affordable healthcare if they served for 20 years. They did so and it's beyond the realm of crazy that we are going to expect them to pick up the slack because our government can't put together a budget.

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They were promised affordable healthcare which is fine. Did they specifically say that they would not pay increases in 16 years? Affordable and what that means varies from family to family. To me, what I contribute to my health plan for my family is affordable. For my co worker they may not. Retiring after any job after 20 years (especially considering the age that many of them probably joined...I'm thinking 18-24 on average) is pretty good and if many retired at 20 years and enlisted at a young age (say retirement 38-44) that still gave them many years in the private sector which increases current and retired pay as well. So I think after 16 years to say.."Hey, you need to contribute a bit more every year (that works out to just under 7.00/mo)" isn't really asking too much. That's much less of an increase than what I saw from last year to this year in my contribution to my insurance.

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See, they have been paying increases the entire time and the increases aren't 7.00.

But I'm done.

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If you can show me where that is I will read that. All articles I could find on this state they haven't had increases since 1996

AlyssaEimers's picture
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My BIL is in the military. I have seen first hand the sacrifices that he and my sister and their family has paid. I think their health care should be the least of their worries. I do think their health care should be free or at least greatly reduced.

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Higher?? No, I think military and their families should have completely free health care. I think we should take care of them MUCH better than what we are.

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"myyams" wrote:

Higher?? No, I think military and their families should have completely free health care. I think we should take care of them MUCH better than what we are.

My dad was in the Navy when I was born in 1973; my mom still has the $25 check for the co-pay.