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.