Archive for January 17th, 2009
Hi Sam, thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding House Bill 3359 from the 2008 legislative session. This was a bill from the last legislative session that didn’t even receive a committee hearing, the first step in many for a bill to become a law. My office has contacted the prime sponsor of this bill from last year and has been assured that it will not be re-introduced. Thank you again for writing, I appreciate hearing from you. Deb
Thank you for contacting me about proposals in a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report which, if implemented, would increase health care costs for service members, their families, and military retirees. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.
As you know, the CBO report Budget Options, Volume I: Health Care was released in December 2008, and reviews possible changes to federal health programs and the country’s health insurance and health care systems. Three of the 115 different options described in the report examine potential changes to TRICARE plans, and if adopted by Congress would increase out-of-pocket expenses for many beneficiaries. The CBO commonly issues advisory reports of this nature, which are designed to provide Congress with information on a wide array of budgetary options. They are intended to assist Congress, and have no legal implication.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I will continue to oppose unreasonable increases in health care costs for those who have served and sacrificed for our country, as well as fight to expand access to the health care and benefits they deserve. When the Bush administration proposed increased fees for TRICARE as a way to control costs at the expense of our service members and their families, I joined with my colleagues in the Senate to prohibit these unfair increases. Please be assured that I will continue to be a strong voice for service members, their families, veterans and military retirees.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Please keep in touch.
I hope all is well in Vancouver.
Thank you for your message on HB 3359 – the ammunition microstamping bill from the previous legislative cycle. I looked up the bill and it appears that it had never made it to a vote within the Juciciary committee, which is the first step in the long process of becoming a law. I have neither seen nor heard anything to suggest that it will be re-introduced during this session.
If it is re-introduced, however, know that I will follow the issue closely and take note of your concerns. It appears that there would be considerable costs associated with setting up the infrastructure in the Department of Licensing, as well as for merchants and consumers. I would need to see an updated look at the costs and effects if the bill were re-introduced this year.
Thank you again for contacting me, and always feel free to send me your questions and comments!