Support the Troops, sort of
I was asked to supply more information regarding my assertion that the military is worried about medical costs causing undue pressure on its budget and the need to cut back on what it offers to the troops:
Shanker, Thom and Christopher Drew. 2011. “Gates Sees Crisis in Current Spending.” New York Times (14 February).
All six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also weighed in to the coming budget debate on Monday, signing a letter expressing support for what they described as “modest and manageable” increases in fees for working-age military retirees who have chosen to remain on the Defense Department’s Tricare medical insurance program.
Total health care costs for the Pentagon, which is the nation’s single largest employer, top $50 billion a year, one-tenth of its budget. A decade ago, health care cost the Pentagon $19 billion; five years from now, without changes, it is projected to cost $65 billion. Tricare fees have not increased since 1995.
“We will continue to provide the finest health care benefits in the country for our active and retired military service members and their families while continuing to serve as responsible financial stewards of the taxpayers’ investment in our military,” the letter said.