Archive for category VETERAN ISSUES

ONCE AGAIN SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL (D) WA. STATE SENDS BACK A REPLY THAT IS OFF THE MARK

CANTWELL MUST GO!  SHE IS BAD FOR WASHINGTON AND SHE IS BAD FOR AMERICA AND SHE IS BAD FOR DEMOCRACY!

CANTWELL MUST GO! SHE IS BAD FOR WASHINGTON AND SHE IS BAD FOR AMERICA AND SHE IS BAD FOR DEMOCRACY!

I wrote her a letter explaining my concerns about cutting military spending:

FURTHER CUTS TO MILITARY PAY AND BENEFITS

I am disheartened to learn that the Obama Administration is looking to make deeper cuts into the pay and benefits of current military and retired military personnel. I am always appalled at the fact that the military people are always the first people congress goes after when cutting budgets. It is as if Congress has little or no empathy for the very people who put their lives on the line every day to make this the greatest country on the planet. It is as if they are looked upon as nothing but “cannon-fodder” to use and abuse at will, at the whim of Congress when it is “convenient” to do so, apparently not caring about these people and families who sacrificed so much. It is as though now that there is a consorted, intentional effort to completely dismantle not only the structure of the military, but the notion of honor that goes along with it. With the constant misuse and abuse of the military people by the Federal Government, the notion of serving in the military to serve our nation is being severely negatively impacted. You have to ask yourself, if you were a young person thinking about serving, “What is the benefit to me if I join the military”? In the past, in my era, there was a sense of honor, knowing that America stood for justice and peace, and also knowing that if you stuck with it, there would be a reward at the end, a brass ring, if you like, in the form of the benefits that military retirement brings. Take away all that, and what do you have left..? Answer, very little. Take away the pride and nobility, the barely equitable pay for volunteering to serve, and the retirement benefits, especially the medical, and you have little or no incentive left. If the people see that the Federal Government is NOT going to treat you well in the military, why join? So, with that being said, how is the military going to be able to recruit enough volunteers for service? The short answer is; they’re not. So, unless that is the plan so conscription can be reinstituted, it’s not a good idea to keep punishing the military every time there is a budget shortfall, especially when there are thousands other areas in the government that can and should be trimmed.
With all this being said, I must remind you that your election cycles will be very difficult and contentious should you decide to slight the military any further. While your cycle is not due for several years, you can bet that your party as a whole will suffer a huge loss at the polls should the Democrat Party continue to punish the military people. We are watching your votes in the House and Senate and we are watching the committee actions. Do not fool yourself, WE ARE WATCHING AND WE WILL VOTE ACCORDINGLY. You have to ask yourself; “How many military, active duty, retired and vets do I have in my State or district?” I’ll be there is a bunch..

Here is her reply I got today:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about military spending. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter, and sincerely regret the delayed response.

On March 4, 2014, President Barack Obama submitted his fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress. This proposed budget would provide $494.6 billion to the U.S. Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015, which is about $31 billion less than last year’s requested amount. The request seeks to reduce the number of active-duty soldiers serving in the U.S. Army from 510,000 to about 450,000 by fiscal year 2019, and the number of National Guard and Reserve service members from 831,000 to 798,000. This budget would also increase TRICARE deductibles and copays in an effort to restructure and reduce the cost of military benefits.

I have concerns about the proposed cuts and increases in health care costs. I look forward to learning more about the Department of Defense’s budget proposal and its potential impact on Washington state’s military community. After a decade of war, I know that long and frequent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have greatly strained our state’s military families. Please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind as the budget process continues this year.

I am profoundly grateful for the service of America’s service members and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation. I will continue to work to ensure that the brave men and women of our armed forces have the essential tools and resources they need to accomplish their mission on behalf of the people of the United States. I know this is particularly important in our state, which is home to the tenth largest military population in the country. As such, we have an important responsibility to ensure that our service members and their families are provided the benefits and assistance that they so greatly deserve.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

 

This reply is a non reply and she goes on to further explain that they are going to raise my out of pocket health insurance costs.  Is this the kind of Senator we should re-elect or should the State of Washington recall her?  ALL her replies to me are like this and I am sick and tired of it.

 

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RUSSIA SIGNS AGREEMEMNT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY/JANET NAPOLITANO TO PROVIDE 15000+ TROOPS FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE IN AMERICA

CODE 3 EMERGENCY

CODE 3 EMERGENCY

Yea, you read that right..  I am at a loss on explaining how this could be a good thing for the American People.  Are they (The Feds) afraid that in the event of an emergency (martial law) that US troops will not fire on US citizens if ordered to?  This is beyond the pale and unacceptable on so many levels it is beyond explanation.  THERE NEEDS TO BE A FULL AND COMPLETE EXPOSE’ AND INVESTIGATION DONE ON THIS NOW!!!  Here are the reports:

http://www.infowars.com/foreign-troops-are-already-operating-inside-america/

http://www.inquisitr.com/828674/russian-troops-on-american-soil-confirmed/

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/15899-fema-signs-exchange-deal-with-russian-government

//

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PATTY MURRAY (D) WA and MARIA CANTWELL (D) WA STAB THE MILITARY RETIREES IN THE BACK – MILITARY RETIREES WITH TRICARE PRIME WILL LOSE THEIR HEALTH PLAN 1 APRIL 2013

LIARS ALL, HARRY REID IS A HUGE DISGRACE TOO

Funny how this information didn’t hit the news until AFTER the election, and the idiots in Washington State re-elected Maria Cantwell to the Senate.  Every time we military turn around, our elected officials stab us in the back and eliminate or reduce the benefits we worked 20+ years to get.  In this case, us military retirees who have TriCare Prime as our health coverage will lose our Prime plan as of 1 April and will be forced onto TriCare Standard with much higher rates.  This is because they are reducing the “Prime” coverage areas so if you live 40+ miles away from a military medical facility you are no longer eligible for this plan.  This effects over 171,000 retirees like myself who are outside the 40 mile limit.  Come to find out, this plan was hatched by Congress a long time ago.  This is especially egregious because of the committees Patty Murray serves on, as listed here.  She does not advocate for the Vets at all and is a disgrace to her office and her constituents.  Click the links below and get the data.  Once again the military gets shafted.  How disgraceful is it when a government says to the vets face how much they are appreciated and whose benefits should be protected, then turns around behind their back and disrespects them in private and steals their hard-earned benefits, one by one by one?  IN the past I was always an advocate for some young man or woman joining the military and serve this great country, but at this point, I no longer believe that at all.  The United States does not deserve the caliber of young Americans we have today, given that they will be used as cannon-fodder in some bullshit meaningless war someplace then, if they live through it, have their benefits stolen by the corrupt politicians in DC in the name of balancing the budget.  Balancing the budget on the backs of the GI’s is not going to help the deficit at all.  All they are doing is destroying a once mighty military, and country along with it.  To all who voted for this idiot in the WH, YOU GET THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESERVE, I HOPE YOU ALL LOSE YOUR JOBS AND GO BANKRUPT, LOSE YOUR HOMES AND EVERYTHING YOU OWN!  I for one knew better, unfortunately because of your idiocy, you will take all of us down with you……..  The “Great Experiment” is over, thanks to you.  Click here to see some of the money Cantwell has taken from tribal gaming casino’s.  WOW

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/nov/09/tom-philpott-some-retirees-to-lose-tricare-prime/
http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/barack-obama-takes-more-flak-tricare-rate-scheme
http://www.triwest.com/en/About-TriWest/corporate-contact-us/Beneficiary_IVR.pdf
http://www.triwest.com/en/beneficiary/tricare-benefits/Knowledgebase-Archive/tricare-prime-enrollment-fees/
http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/11/dod-plan-will-force-171000-off-tricare-prime/
http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,251962,00.html

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OBAMA PRESSING TO SHOVE MILITARY INTO THE STATE RUN EXCHANGE PROGRAMS

He is after everybody……Even those who stand the line…..

The only thing I can say to this is “I told you so”!  This guy is hell bent on destroying this nation in every way he can.  The military folks had better wake up and smell the coffee.  He is after them and all the retirees who use Tri-Care.  And that’s just about everybody.  Click here for the article.  The House had better not cave on this otherwise every “R” who allows this will get replaced this year also………

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IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THE RUMOR OF FEMA CAMPS IN THE US? ……. MAYBE SO..

WHICH REGION ARE YOU IN?

“The American Thinker” is a very reputable web site that does not delve into “Conspiracy Theory” stuff, so in the process of doing some research on another story, I stumbled on this information.  It caused me to sit up and take notice and coupled with what I was researching, it is concerning.   Click here for the story I was researching and click here for the American Thinker article.  Check it out, download the pdf here and make up your own mind……..

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REPLY FROM CONGRESSWOMAN (R-WA) JAIME HERERRA-BEUTLER REGARDING MY CONCERNS ABOUT TRI-CARE CHANGES

HERRERA-BEUTLER

JAIME HERRERA-BEUTLER

Thank you for contacting me about proposals to change TRICARE for Life (TFL).  It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with me

America’s military and military veterans are integral to our country’s freedom and independence.  I am grateful for their service and sacrifices, and I am committed to preserving the benefits our servicemen and servicewomen deserve.  I understand your concerns about proposed changes to TRICARE.  I am looking for ways to preserve the program for current and future military veterans.

In 2001 Congress created TFL for military veterans age 65 and older, prior to its enactment military retirees, their families and survivors relied solely on Medicare after regular TRICARE benefits expired.  TFL is designed to pay patient liability after Medicare payments for benefits that are usually covered under TRICARE, but not Medicare.  TFL is available to all Medicare-eligible uniformed service retirees and Medicare-eligible family members or beneficiaries under age 65 who are also entitled to Medicare Part A because of disabilities.  Currently, there are no enrollment fees for TFL, but beneficiaries are required to cover their share of Medicare Part B premiums.

Multiple reports issued by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office have listed TRICARE as one program within our federal budget that needs to be reviewed to ensure current and future military veterans will continue to have access the health care they earned.  Under President Obama’s proposal the first-ever enrollment fee for TFL would be enacted to raise an estimated $6.7 billion in revenue over 10 years.  The enrollment fee would be $200 in 2012 and continue to rise.  The president’s proposal would also increase pharmacy co-pays for military beneficiaries.  The Department of Defense and members of Congress are both reviewing the President’s proposal.  My goal is to find solutions to our debt problems that will allow us to preserve programs like TRICARE and TFL to continue providing important services to our military and veterans.

I appreciate your thoughts on this issue, and I will keep them in mind as I continue working with my colleagues to ensure our military and military veterans receive the support they deserve.   Rest assured, I will not support a plan that

Thank you for contacting me on these important issues. I invite you to visit my website at www.HerreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

MY NOTE:  This is the first reply that I have gotten from her that directly addresses and responds to something in my letter.  The phrase “balances our budget on the backs of our military and veterans” was taken from my letter.

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SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL RESPONSE TO MY CONCERNS ABOUT TRI-CARE FEES

MARIA CANTWELL MUST BE DEFEATED IN 2012!!

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding TRICARE.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

I share your concerns about keeping TRICARE affordable.  The health and welfare of those men and women who have bravely served our country both in times of peace and war deserve our full support.  To that end, I have consistently worked to ensure that any TRICARE fee increases proposed by the Department of Defense do not put an undue burden on our soldiers, military families, and veterans.

On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 into law.  This legislation included a provision which gave the Department of Defense the authority to increase TRICARE enrollment fees in order to help reduce the growing cost of healthcare within the Department of Defense budget.  These healthcare costs have grown from $1.5 trillion in 2001 to an estimated $2.7 trillion in fiscal year 2013, an increase of 84 percent.  The National Defense Authorization Act would tie TRICARE yearly enrollment fee increases to the annual cost-of-living increase provided to military retirees, which averages around 3.1 percent.

I am profoundly grateful for the service ofAmerica’s veterans and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation.  As such, I believe we have an important responsibility to ensure that our veterans are provided the benefits and assistance that they so greatly deserve.  Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues on behalf of the many veterans in the state of Washington.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for WashingtonStateresidents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov

.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

 MY NOTE:

Notice how she dodges the questions and does not address my concerns.  She just explains how its going to be…….

 

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OBAMA PLANS TO PUSH MILITARY RETIREES INTO HIS “OBAMACARE” HEALTH CO-OPS

I WANT YOU!! And we WILL get you...

I hate to say “I told you so”, but….”I told you so”…  Way back when the Pelosi/Reid ran congress was working on “Obamacare”, I was telling everyone, to include all the liberals I work with that this was what was going to happen to the military, and damned if I’m not right.  This was his/they’re plan all along.  They plan to screw the very people that stand up and VOLUNTEER to protect this great country, and yet they expect people in the military to continue to happily continue to serve.  I think these idiot Dems/Libs are sorely mistaken.  We vets will not sit still for this.  I will be writing my Reps ASAP on this issue and I hope all my fellow Vets do the same.  I do think though there is an ulterior motive/goal at work here.  I think it is within the realm of possibility that ultimately these idiots do want the military retention rates to plummet.  This would provide the impetus for the DOD to do way with the all volunteer military.  This in-turn would allow the DOD to severely slash the military pay and benefits because at that point conscription, or the draft will have been reimplemented in order to maintain adequate troop levels.   So, there will be no need for the higher wages.    Done deal……  Our military will have been reduced to just another 2nd or 3rd rate force……  Think I am wrong?   I don’t……..  Click the pic for the story…

MY LETTER TO MY REPS:

I have just learned that President Obama plans to shift all the military retiree medical into the Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges by making Tri-Care costs so high and prohibited that most if not all retirees will be forced into exchanges.  This draconian plan is beyond the pale in design and intent and we retirees and veterans will not stand for this atrocious plan.  We vets will find it impossible to support ANY member of Congress that supports this plan.  We will make our voices be heard during your next election cycle should you vote in favor of this extraordinarily repugnant plan. We will be watching your actions and votes on this issue.

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COL. ALLEN WEST FOR PRESIDENT?

Should he run for President?  Maybe so………  Check out the video below and judge for yourself;

ALLEN WEST

 

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OBAMA TRYING TO WOO THE MILITARY VOTERS

Now he wants your votes?!?!?

It is as plain as the nose on your face, the bringing back or withdrawal of troops from all around the world has as much to do with budget as it does with Obama wanting to get the votes of the military personnel.  Any military person worth his/her salt should be able to see through this scheme.  The troops should never lose sight of the fact that Obama has always held the military in contempt and has really no respect towards them.  This is demonstrated in no uncertain terms by the plans of the Administration AND the DemocRATs in Congress, Wa-Patty Murray being one, who is doing everything they can to cut the hard-earned benefits of those serving and the retired.  NOW he wants their votes?!?!  Have you forgotten that his operatives did everything they could to minimize the votes of the military these last elections?  This is so pathetic.  I urge all military people to remain loyal Conservatives and stay the course and vote for your Conservative candidate.  NEVER LOOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT IF HE WINS, HE WILL FURTHER GUT THE MILITARY AND TURN THE UNITED STATES INTO AN INSIGNIFICANT WORLD POWER.  You know, just leveling the playing field, like he likes to do…..He is already going to give our adversaries the secrets to our missile defense shield, or didn’t you know that…?

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(UPDATED 120111/120811) S.1867 WILL KILL DEMOCRACY AND AMERICA AS WE KNEW IT……..

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Franklin's Contributions to the Conference on February 17 (III) Fri, Feb 17, 1775

I am asking all voting Americans to contact your Senators and demand that they not vote in favor of this legislation, “S.1867 – Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012”.  As much as I despise  the ACLU, they are right on this issue and we must not stand for this latest assault on the American Public.  You take the DHS publication on Extremism, and couple it with this legislation and  you will see that the forces inside the Federal Government that want to put us all in jail are still at work and is alive and well.  This could be the final shot across our bow that seals our fate.  If this language is left in this legislation and passes both the House and Senate and is signed into law, (which I have no doubt the current occupier of the WH will do) the great experiment called Democracy, that our Founding Fathers established, will be dead.  This is not an exaggeration or doom and gloom stuff.  If you don’t think so, you’re simply ignorant or not paying attention.  In either case, we’re all in trouble.    Click here and here for the details.

There is another issue with this legislation because it also covers the Tri-Care medical program that military retirees use.  It states;

SEC. 701. ANNUAL COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT IN ENROLLMENT FEES IN TRICARE PRIME.

(a) In General- Section 1097a of title 10, United States Code, is amended–

(1) by redesignating subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f) as subsections (d), (e), (f), and (g), respectively; and

(2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection (c):

`(c) Cost-of-living Adjustment in Enrollment Fee- (1) Whenever after September 30, 2012, the Secretary of Defense increases the retired pay of members and former members of the armed forces pursuant to section 1401a of this title, the Secretary shall increase the amount of the fee payable for enrollment in TRICARE Prime by an amount equal to the percentage of such fee payable on the day before the date of the increase of such fee that is equal to the percentage increase in such retired pay. In determining the amount of the increase in such retired pay for purposes of this subsection, the Secretary shall use the amount computed pursuant to section 1401a(b)(2) of this title. The increase in such fee shall be effective as of January 1 following the date of the increase in such retired pay.

`(2) The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register the amount of the fee payable for enrollment in TRICARE Prime whenever increased pursuant to this subsection.’.

So what it saying is, if retirees get a COLA increase in their retirement checks,they will use Tri-Care to get it back…… This is the kind of back door, back stabbing legislation we Vets and Americans are sick of.  Those in congress who push this type of legislation must be voted out of office as we reform our REPRESENTATIVE form of government.

MY LETTER TO MY REPS ON THIS:

I am writing as your constituent in the 3rd Congressional district of Washington. I oppose S.1867 – Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, and am tracking it using OpenCongress.org, the free public resource website for government transparency and accountability. This legislation is a direct assault on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and if you vote in favor of this Bill in its present form, you will be in violation of your oath of office and that will not go unnoticed. As Benjamin Franklin said on Feb 17th, 1775, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This struggle we find ourselves in now is not to be used as justification to tear our democracy asunder. We citizens are relying on you to protect our inviolate foundational tenets and GOD GIVEN RIGHTS. We demand you do so or you will most definitely find yourself voted out of office come your next election cycle. As this letter is being sent to all three of my Representatives in Congress, this legislation will not go before the House unless the Senate gives it an up vote. If it is passed in the Senate and goes to the House, my Representative in the House will be held to the same standard as my Senators. Our Democracy is in danger, do the right thing and vote no on this democracy killing legislation.

REPLY FROM CANTWELL:  (sort of..)

Thank you for contacting me regarding the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. I appreciate hearing from you on this matter.

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 on May 5, 2011.  This legislation was passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee by a vote of 26-0 on November 15, 2011.  The National Defense Authorization Act is enacted each fiscal year to specify the budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense.  The National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 includes numerous provisions that relate to the treatment of terrorism detainees.  One such provision requires that any detainee caught on U.S. soil must be remanded to the U.S. military for custody.  This provision is strongly opposed by the White House and the Department of Defense; both entities have stated that it will limit current options available to our counter-terrorism officials. However, the legislation also allows the Administration to waive the mandatory custody requirement.  The bill also provides for an exemption for any mandatory custody transfer that would interfere with ongoing civilian law enforcement surveillance or interrogation efforts.  Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts should I have the opportunity to vote on these or similar provisions. I am profoundly grateful for the service of our brave men and women in the armed services and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation.  As such, we have an important responsibility to ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to successfully complete their mission and return home safe.  Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues on behalf of the many soldiers in the state of Washington.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

My Comment;

NOTICE HOW SHE DOES NOT TOUCH ON MY CONCERNS?  IS SHE RESPONSIVE TO OUR CONCERNS?  I SAY NO!

SENATE SAYS NO TO UDALL AMENDMENT that would have taken the worst out of this Bill.

UPDATED 120111

Vote on 1 Dec 11

 


 

UPDATED 120811

SENATOR CANTWELL RESPONSE

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LEON PANETTA SAYS BENEFITS FOR MILITARY RETIREES MAY BE CUT AND IS “ON THE TABLE”

IS LEON PANETTA A TRAITOR TO THE VERY MILITARY MEMBERS HE COMMANDS INCLUDING THE RETIREES?

My letter to Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler on this subject:

In a recent article I read on “The New York Times” website, it recounted recent statements being made by Leon Panetta that a reduction of retired military benefits will be on the table and out of pocket increases will be incurred by us retired military people.   I have written you on several occasions expressing my concerns regarding Tri-Care and the possibility that the budget will be balanced on the backs of the Vets and Military Retirees.  You have replied to my concerns stating that you will resist all efforts to further erode the retirement benefits that I worked over 20 years to get, that, by the way, was promised to me all those years ago.  In the years since my initial enlistment, which was in 1975, I have bared witness to the steady reneging on the Governments part, of the retirement benefits of those serving this nation.  You as a Representative of Congress, and as a body, must never lose sight of the fact that each and every man and woman who served and are currently serving in the military are volunteers.  They/we have volunteered to defend this great land, with our lives if need be, in order to preserve the American way of life.  That act alone, is worthy of honor AND backing and support of the very government we defend.  It is my sincere prediction that if Congress once again, turns its back on the military members and further erodes the promised benefits of those who serve, you will see a steady, unrelenting decline in the numbers of people who will be willing to “volunteer” and stand up for this once great nation.  I dare say, Congress is not contemplating a reduction in their retirement benefits, are they?  Are you?  You have to serve a much shorter time to get your benefits that I had to, yet you are fully vested after 5 years and will retirement with full benefits.  I am unable to find any information regarding the medical benefits that are afforded you and others in Congress. I am troubled by that fact.  The lack of information on this subject is troubling at best.  Could you enlighten me and explain/outline the medical benefits afforded both serving and retired members of Congress?  My readers have the right to know what we tax payers are paying for, especially when it involves the pay and benefits of those we choose to send to Washington DC.  Bluntly stated, I will accept a reduction in benefits when Congress does the same.

In closing, I continue to urge both you and the rest of the Conservatives in Congress to strongly resist any further changes in the military benefits that would either lessen services or cause an increase in “out-of-pocket” expenses of the retirees or any other class of military vets.  It is immoral for a nation to punish the very people whom you rely on to protect this great country.  When I signed my contract with The United States of America, way back in 1975, the government promised me certain things if I kept up my end of the bargain.  Well, I did, will the USA do the same and keep its end of the bargain?  So far, it hasn’t.  It is up to you to restore what is rightfully ours.  The next election cycle is just around the corner for you and your re-election is not guaranteed.  I sent you to DC for a reason and that was to stand up for me and be my voice along with the other thousands of Vets who rely on your support.  I am expecting you and your like-minded Conservatives to do just that.  Do not “cave” into those who wish to further erode the militaries pay and benefits just to make a “deal” and make political points by trying to look like you’re being ‘bi-partisan”.  You are our shoulder to the dike, holding back the tide.  Stay the fight, make those who wish to do us vets harm, blink first.

Letter to Senator Patty Murray:

In a recent article I read on “The New York Times” website, it recounted recent statements being made by Leon Panetta that a reduction of retired military benefits will be on the table and out of pocket increases will be incurred by us retired military people.   I have written you on several occasions expressing my concerns regarding Tri-Care and the possibility that the budget will be balanced on the backs of the Vets and Military Retirees.  You have replied to my concerns using very broad terms and not committing to resisting all efforts to further erode the retirement benefits that I worked over 20 years to get, that, by the way, was promised to me all those years ago.  In the years since my initial enlistment, which was in 1975, I have bared witness to the steady reneging on the Governments part, of the retirement benefits of those serving this nation.  You as a member of Congress, and as a body, must never lose sight of the fact that each and every man and woman who served and are currently serving in the military are volunteers.  They/we have volunteered to defend this great land, with our lives if need be, in order to preserve the American way of life.  That act alone, is worthy of honor AND backing and support of the very government we defend.  It is my sincere prediction that if Congress once again, turns its back on the military members and further erodes the promised benefits of those who serve, you will see a steady, unrelenting decline in the numbers of people who will be willing to “volunteer” and stand up for this once great nation.  I dare say, Congress is not contemplating a reduction in their retirement benefits, are they?  Are you?  You have to serve a much shorter time to get your benefits that I had to, yet you are fully vested after 5 years and will retirement with full benefits.  Bluntly stated, I will accept a reduction in benefits when Congress does the same.  You being on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, the Defense Subcommittee and the “Super Committee, you are in a prime position to preserve the benefits we veterans sacrificed so long for.

In closing, I continue to urge you to strongly resist any further changes in the military benefits that would either lessen services or cause an increase in “out-of-pocket” expenses of the retirees or any other class of military vets.  It is immoral for a nation to punish the very people whom you rely on to protect this great country.  When I signed my contract with The United States of America, way back in 1975, the government promised me certain things if I kept up my end of the bargain.  Well, I did, will the USA do the same and keep its end of the bargain?  So far, it hasn’t.  It is up to you to restore what is rightfully ours.  The next election cycle is coming up in ’16  and your re-election is not guaranteed, especially if you fail the vets.  You were sent to DC for a reason and that was to stand up for me and be my voice along with the other thousands of Vets who rely on your support.  I am expecting you to do just that.  Do not “cave” into those who wish to further erode the militaries pay and benefits just to make a “deal” and make political points by trying to look like you’re being ‘bi-partisan”.  You are our shoulder to the dike, holding back the tide.  Stay the fight, make those who wish to do us vets harm, blink first.  We are watching and we vote.

note: With a few changes, this letter was also sent to Senator Maria Cantwell

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LETTER TO MY REPRESENTATIVES SENATORS PATTY MURRAY/MARIA CANTWELL REGARDING REDUCING THE BENEFITS OF MILITARY RETIREES

SHE DOES NOT DESERVE RE-ELECTION...

MY LETTER:

” I am appalled by the fact that Congress is looking to balance the federal budget on the backs of the very people who make and keep this country strong.  I initially VOLUNTEERED for military service back in 1975.  At that time the Federal Government had a contract with me stating that if I hung in for at least 20 years, I would have free medical and a retirement check to count on.  Since then the Federal Government has “re-written” this contract many times, always at the expense of the GI’s.  This habit of always sticking it to the military people who are career oriented and working for at least 20 years to be eligible for benefits when Congress has to only serve 5 years in order to become vested is outrageous.  You sit in your office every day while me and tens of thousands like me, strapped a weapon on every day, willingly putting themselves in harm’s way every working day of our career and stood the line between the USA and the people who wish to do it harm. I did this as a Police Officer in the Air Force for 20+ years and now Congress is looking to cut my benefits and/or increase my premiums.  Couple this and the unbelievably high taxes I pay and this will just about put me at the poverty level.  I vehemently oppose any change in military retiree or future retiree’s benefits.  It is my prediction that if Congress guts the military retirement benefits, you will be placing the United States Military and the DOD as a whole on the path to ruin.  If cuts to retirement benefits are going to happen, then by reason, all monetary enlistment enticements must be cut also. These acts alone will cause the retention rates and enlistment rates to plummet.  After all, who would volunteer to do a job that you could easily get killed doing, for little or no benefits or security for your family?  I sure wouldn’t, and neither will anyone else.  There are plenty of areas within the DOD that can be trimmed that are incredibly wasteful.  I suggest starting there and other bloated federal offices that are in need of going on a diet, such as the IRS, the Post office, TSA and other incredibly wasteful departments before you bring the axe down on the very people who make your job possible.  In conclusion, you need to be aware of the fact that there will be electoral repercussions if you pursue this course. I for one will work tirelessly for your opponent during your next election cycle.  I will tirelessly inform your constituents of your actions against the veterans and retired military community.  Your actions will not go un-noticed. I will post each and every vote you cast on this subject and I will endeavor to teach your constituents how to follow your votes via the several watch dog web sites at our disposal.  It doesn’t matter if you are a Liberal Democrat of a Conservative Republican, if you turn your back on the vets, we will reciprocate in-kind.  You will not have our support or votes. ”

SENATOR MURRAY RESPONSE:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the recently created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, of which I am a co-chair.  I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for this process. As you may know, on August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law after its bipartisan passage through Congress. Following an initial down payment of almost $1 trillion in deficit reduction through cuts to discretionary spending, this legislation created a Joint Select Committee tasked with identifying further deficit reduction of approximately $1.5 trillion.  In the event the Committee is unable to produce a plan to meet that amount, immediate across-the-board cuts will be enacted that will come from both defense and non-defense spending. In accordance with the legislation, Committee members were to be appointed by Majority and Minority Leaders in each chamber of Congress. On August 10, 2011, I was asked by Senate Majority Leader Reid to co-chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. I agreed to accept this role because I take the goals of this Committee seriously and because I believe that it is time for members of both parties to work together to improve our nation’s financial future.  Currently, I am working with my House and Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to address our national debt and deficit in a balanced and bipartisan manner.  I know we need to make the tough choices that put our country on a more sustainable fiscal track but I also know that we must protect the middle class, seniors, and the most vulnerable who are struggling mightily in today’s economy. I do not want to pass an unsustainable debt along to my own grandchildren and will be working tirelessly toward a bipartisan plan that reduces our deficit without neglecting the need for investment in areas that help to spur economic growth, create jobs, and promote our country’s long-term competitiveness. I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for the Joint Select Committee and I will certainly keep the suggestions of Washingtonians in mind as I work with my colleagues to address our fiscal situation. Please continue to pass on your thoughts, as they will help me and my fellow Committee members as we take on this challenge.  You can also visit http://deficitreduction.gov for further information about the work of the Joint Select Committee, and if you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates.
Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

MY COMMENT ON THIS RESPONSE:  I am sick and tired of this drivel from this poor excuse of a Senator.  It is evident in this letter she cares not about the GI’s and will do whatever she wants irregardless of what her Conservative Constituents/Retired GI’s think.  She is every bit as bad as ex-Congressman Brian Baird was.  She had got to go.  She must be fired…….

REPLY ON LETTER ABOUT S. 724:

Dear Mr. Usaf Retired:

Thank you for contacting me regarding S.724, the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011 , which is currently pending in the United States Senate. I appreciate knowing your views on this matter. In the Senate, this legislation falls under the jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee. As a member of this Committee, I want to assure you that I will be following the progress of this bill and will keep your views in mind if this or related legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration. 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/public/index.cfm?p=GetEmailUpdates. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

MY COMMENT ON THIS REPLY:  Who is Mr. Usaf Retired?  That is what I put after my last name….  This is direct evidence that she does not even really reply to letters from her Constituents.  I realize that these people most likely get hundreds if not thousands of letters, but it is truly evident that our message is not getting through as demonstrated by this pitiful reply………

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TRICARE HEALTH RECORD SECURITY BREACH

WERE YOUR FILES HACKED? CLICK FOR THE PDF

Gee, didn’t see this one coming did we?  (Sorry, it’s a rhetorical question..)  This is just a small sample of what will happen to everyone, eventually.  As much as I would like to single out the government and blame them for this breach, in reality I can’t.  As long as medical service providers, insurance companies and any other entity dealing with confidential patient information is hooked into the web, this is going to be an ongoing threat for everyone.  I do find it interesting that in this case it is Tricare because it really doesn’t surprise me that it would get hit.  After all, how much confidence do you have in an insurance provider that has a congressional liaison office?  It is because of the inherent problems with Tricare and its lack of quality service that some people get.  I know many people who have nightmare stories about their experiences with it.  Here is the information;

STATEMENT

On September 14, 2011, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) reported a data breach involving personally identifiable and protected health information (PII/PHI) impacting an estimated 4.9 million military clinic and hospital patients. The information was contained on backup tapes from an electronic health care record used in the military health system (MHS) to capture patient data from 1992 through September 7, 2011, and may include Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers, and some personal health data such as clinical notes, laboratory tests and prescriptions. There is no financial data, such as credit card or bank account information, on the backup tapes.

The risk of harm to patients is judged to be low despite the data elements involved since retrieving the data on the tapes would require knowledge of and access to specific hardware and software and knowledge of the system and data structure. Considering the totality of the circumstances, we determined that potentially impacted persons or households will be notified of this incident via letter. We regret that the information required to initiate notification is not available at this time, but we will ensure that it is done in an accurate and timely manner and in compliance with all applicable DoD guidelines. Due to the large volume of individuals potentially impacted by this incident, we anticipate that individual notification will take at least 4-6 weeks; therefore, this notice is being posted in the interim. The incident continues to be investigated and additional information will be published as soon as it is available. Meanwhile, both SAIC and TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) are reviewing current data protection security policies and procedures to prevent similar breaches in the future.

Anyone who suspects that they were impacted by this incident is urged to take steps to protect their personal information and should be guided by the Federal Trade Commission at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend.html.

Concerned patients may contact the SAIC Incident Response Call Center, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time at the following numbers:

United States, call toll free: (855) 366-0140

 

International, call collect: (952) 556-8312

 

Questions & Answers

Q. Whose personal information was at risk of compromise?

A. Approximately 4.9 million patients who received care from 1992 through September 7, 2011 in the San Antonio area military treatment facilities (MTFs) (including the filling of pharmacy prescriptions) and others whose laboratory workups were processed in these same MTFs even though the patients were receiving treatment elsewhere.

Q. What type of information was lost?

A. The PII/PHI data elements involved include, but are not limited to names, Social Security numbers, addresses, diagnoses, treatment information, provider names, provider locations and other patient data, but do not include any financial data, such as credit card or bank account information.

Q. Can just anyone access this data?

A. No. Retrieving the data on the tapes requires knowledge of and access to specific hardware and software and knowledge of the system and data structure.

Q. Why have more than two weeks passed before this notification was posted?

A. The exact circumstance surrounding this data loss remains the subject of an ongoing investigation. We did not want to raise undue alarm in our beneficiaries and so wanted to determine the degree of risk this data loss represented before making notifications.

Q. Will you be notifying beneficiaries?

A. After careful deliberation, we have decided that we will notify all affected beneficiaries. We did not come to this decision lightly. We used a standard matrix to determine the level of risk that is associated with the loss of these tapes. Reading the tapes takes special machinery. Moreover, it takes a highly skilled individual to interpret the data on the tapes. Since we do not believe the tapes were taken with malicious intent, we believe the risk to beneficiaries is low. Nevertheless, the tapes are missing and given the totality of the circumstances, we determined that individual notification was required in accordance with DoD guidance.

TRICARE and SAIC are working together to identify as quickly as possible all beneficiaries whose information may have been involved in the breach. Because of the databases involved, we expect to be able to send individual notifications within the next 6 weeks. In the interim, we are posting this general announcement so that our beneficiaries were aware of the situation.

Q. What should affected beneficiaries do to protect themselves?

A. Beneficiaries can monitor their credit and place a free fraud alert on their credit for a period of 90 days using the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) web site. The FTC site also provides other valuable information regarding actions that can be taken now or in the future, should any problems develop. This information is available at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend.html

Q. Will credit monitoring and restoration services be provided to protect affected individuals against possible identity theft? If no, why not?

A. No. The risk of harm to patients is judged to be low despite the data elements involved. Retrieving the data on the tapes would require knowledge of and access to specific hardware and software and knowledge of the system and data structure. To date, we have no conclusive evidence that indicates beneficiaries are at risk of identity theft, but all are encouraged to monitor their credit and place a free fraud alert on their credit for a period of 90 days using the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) web site.

Q. How can affected beneficiaries get more information?

A. Beneficiaries can call the SAIC Incident Response Call Center, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time at the following numbers:

United States, call toll free: (855) 366-0140

 

International, call collect: (952) 556-8312

 

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(UPDATED 102011) RESPONSE FROM SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL AND CONGRESSWOMAN HERRERA REGARDING CUTTING MILITARY BENEFITS

SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL (D-WA) She needs to be unemployed........badly....

I am posting this verbatim including the salutation because it makes a good point.  If these letters were really read, the reply wouldn’t read like this.  Also it doesn’t even address my concerns……

“Dear Mr. Usaf Retired,

Thank you for contacting me regarding military pay. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response.  During the budget negotiations for fiscal year 2011 there were concerns that if the government shut down due to lack of a federal budget our soldiers would lose their paychecks.  I was very concerned with this possibility; no matter what happens regarding the federal budget the brave men and women in our Armed Forces should never need to worry about if they will receive a paycheck to support their families.  To address this, I joined with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) in cosponsoring the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011 (S. 721).  This legislation would have required the Secretary of the Treasury to pay any service-member who performs active duty service during a government shutdown.  Thankfully, Congress was able to pass a budget which ensured our men and women in uniform continue to receive their paychecks.  A principal responsibility of the U.S. Congress under the Constitution is to provide for the national defense.  I take this responsibility very seriously, and I am committed to and continue to support legislative efforts to maintain the effectiveness and readiness of the U.S.’s Armed Forces by raising our soldiers’ quality of life, improving housing conditions for military personnel and their families, and modernizing our force capabilities to effectively meet future threats.   I have long fought to ensure that military service members have resources and tools necessary to safely and successfully accomplish the missions they are given.  I believe that it is essential to guarantee that the brave men and women of our Armed Forces know that the benefits promised to them, including their basic pay will always be there.   Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html   ”

HERRERA-BEUTLER

HERRERA-BEUTLER

October 17, 2011

Dear Mr. Usaf Retired,

Thank you for contacting me about military benefits. It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I am committed to ensuring our military will continue to have the tools they need to do their job both now and in the future.  I am also committed to making sure our servicemen and servicewomen and veterans will continue to have access to the services they need and benefits they have been promised. America’s military and military veterans are integral to our country’s independence, and I recognize the many sacrifices our military makes to uphold our country’s freedoms and safety.  I am grateful for our military’s sacrifices, and it concerns me when people do not show military members and veterans the respect and thanks they deserve.  America’s military has been strong in battle, unwavering in loyalty, and unmatched in honor and I commend them for their unparalleled bravery and service to this country. Since coming to Washington D.C. I have focused on getting our country’s fiscal house in order.  Our nation is facing a $14 trillion deficit, and we have many difficult decisions in front of us.  I believe there are places to cut wasteful spending throughout our federal budget, including the Department of Defense, but I will not support cuts to services and benefits for our active military and veterans. Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 to raise our nation’s debt limit, in order to meet our nation’s obligations.  The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is a bipartisan, 12 member committee that was created as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011.  The committee is tasked with making recommendations to cut wasteful spending by $1.2 trillion and finding solutions to our nation’s debt problems.  The committee’s recommendation to Congress is due on November 23, 2011. I appreciate your thoughts on this challenging issue, and I will keep them in mind as I learn more about the committee’s recommendations.  I am optimistic that Congress will continue to find bipartisan solutions to our debt crisis. Rest assured, I will not support a plan that balances our budget on the backs of our military and veterans. Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue.

I invite you to visit my website at www.HerrreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance

Member of Congress

Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler

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(UPDATED 091911-092311-092611) IS SENATOR PATTY MURRAY and SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL LOOKING TO BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS HER AND CUT BENEFITS FOR MILITARY RETIREES?

CLICK HER PIC TO WRITE HER

CLICK THE PIC TO WRITE HER

I think this is a very appropriate question for her, after all she is on the Committee for Veteran Affairs….  I do not trust her one inch.  She needs to understand in no uncertain terms that meddling with veteran benefits will lead to their ousting in the Senate.  If the retirement benefits are gutted, like the Libs want, the military will sink to a level of mediocrity not seen since before WWII.   No one will stay in because of the meager retirement benefits and there will be little or no brain trust.  This would be catastrophic for the USA and no one in their right mind should even think about balancing the budget on the backs of the very people who VOLUNTARILY put themselves in harm’s way to protect this great land.  When America turns in back on the Veterans, Then Vets will turn their backs on America.  Click here for the story….

MY LETTER TO MY REPRESENTATIVE AND SENATORS and yes I sent it to Speaker John Boehner also;

I am appalled by the fact that Congress is looking to balance the federal budget on the backs of the very people who make and keep this country strong.  I initially VOLUNTEERED for military service back in 1975.  At that time the Federal Government had a contract with me stating that if I hung in for at least 20 years, I would have free medical and a retirement check to count on.  Since then the Federal Government has “re-written” this contract many times, always at the expense of the GI’s.  This habit of always sticking it to the military people who are career oriented and working for at least 20 years to be eligible for benefits when Congress has to only serve 5 years in order to become vested is outrageous.  You sit in your office every day while me and tens of thousands like me, strapped a weapon on every day, willingly putting themselves in harm’s way every working day of our career and stood the line between the USA and the people who wish to do it harm. I did this as a Police Officer in the Air Force for 20+ years and now Congress is looking to cut my benefits and/or increase my premiums.  Couple this and the unbelievably high taxes I pay and this will just about put me at the poverty level.  I vehemently oppose any change in military retiree or future retiree’s benefits.  It is my prediction that if Congress guts the military retirement benefits, you will be placing the United States Military and the DOD as a whole on the path to ruin.  If cuts to retirement benefits are going to happen, then by reason, all monetary enlistment enticements must be cut also. These acts alone will cause the retention rates and enlistment rates to plummet.  After all, who would volunteer to do a job that you could easily get killed doing, for little or no benefits or security for your family?  I sure wouldn’t, and neither will anyone else.  There are plenty of areas within the DOD that can be trimmed that are incredibly wasteful.  I suggest starting there and other bloated federal offices that are in need of going on a diet, such as the IRS, the Post office, TSA and other incredibly wasteful departments before you bring the axe down on the very people who make your job possible.  In conclusion, you need to be aware of the fact that there will be electoral repercussions if you pursue this course. I for one will work tirelessly for your opponent during your next election cycle.  I will tirelessly inform your constituents of your actions against the veterans and retired military community.  Your actions will not go un-noticed. I will post each and every vote you cast on this subject and I will endeavor to teach your constituents how to follow your votes via the several watch dog web sites at our disposal.  It doesn’t matter if you are a Liberal Democrat of a Conservative Republican, if you turn your back on the vets, we will reciprocate in-kind.  You will not have our support or votes.

UPDATED 091911

NOT ONLY THE RICH WILL PAY MORE UNDER OBAMA’S PLAN….

REPLY FROM CONGRESSWOMAN Jaime Herrera Beutler: 092011

September 20, 2011

Thank you for contacting me regarding civilianizing veteran’s pensions and the military benefits package.   It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. America’s soldiers and veterans have made great sacrifices to protect our country’s freedoms and safety.  I am grateful for their sacrifices, and I am committed to finding solutions to the problems facing our veterans and their families today. Given the current economic conditions, I fully recognize that many veterans are having a difficult time making ends meet.  Many veterans relying on these programs live on fixed incomes and very tight budgets.  For them, every dollar of hard-earned benefits counts in meeting basic expenses, attaining quality of life, and building a better future for themselves and those who depend on them. While no government program is immune from cuts in this fiscally trying time, I am not willing to ask veterans to take a disproportionate share of the burden.  As Congress, the administration, and the Pentagon work to make good on the debt ceiling deal, they should focus on responsibly reducing wasteful military spending in a way that bolsters our economy without endangering our national security or cutting benefits to to active duty military and veterans.  I place a high priority upon protecting the interests of our service members and it is essential that we keep our promises to those men and women in uniform, as well as the loved ones they leave behind.  I appreciate your comments and will work hard to make sure a fair and equitable solution that protects our nation’s veterans is found as we tackle our national debt and move the United States forward.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.HerrreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.
Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL RESPONSE:  No doubt a form letter…

UPDATED 092611

SENATOR PATTY MURRAY  RESPONSE:  No doubt a form letter and she dodges the question and issue;

Thank you for contacting me about funding for military benefits.   I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response.Government has a responsibility to spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely, but it also has a responsibility to provide certain services and guarantees to the American people. I take both of these very seriously. To ensure that we have the ability to defend our borders, maintain our infrastructure, educate our children, and more, it is imperative that we keep our financial house in order. A principal responsibility of the U.S. Congress under the Constitution is to provide for the national defense.  I take this responsibility very seriously, and I am committed to and continue to support legislative efforts to maintain the effectiveness and readiness of the U.S.’s armed forces by raising our soldiers’ quality of life, improving housing conditions for military personnel and their families, and modernizing our force capabilities to effectively meet future threats.I am  profoundly grateful for the service of America’s veterans and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation. Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues on behalf of the many veterans in the State of Washington.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

My comments;  As you can read here, as usual she does not address my concerns and only offers a weak response and weak support.  She must be defeated in 2012.  I will vote for a soup can, over her……..

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding the recently created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, of which I am a co-chair.  I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for this process.  As you may know, on August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law after its bipartisan passage through Congress. Following an initial down payment of almost $1 trillion in deficit reduction through cuts to discretionary spending, this legislation created a Joint Select Committee tasked with identifying further deficit reduction of approximately $1.5 trillion.  In the event the Committee is unable to produce a plan to meet that amount, immediate across-the-board cuts will be enacted that will come from both defense and non-defense spending. In accordance with the legislation, Committee members were to be appointed by Majority and Minority Leaders in each chamber of Congress.  On August 10, 2011, I was asked by Senate Majority Leader Reid to co-chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. I agreed to accept this role because I take the goals of this Committee seriously and because I believe that it is time for members of both parties to work together to improve our nation’s financial future.  Currently, I am working with my House and Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to address our national debt and deficit in a balanced and bipartisan manner.  I know we need to make the tough choices that put our country on a more sustainable fiscal track but I also know that we must protect the middle class, seniors, and the most vulnerable who are struggling mightily in today’s economy. I do not want to pass an unsustainable debt along to my own grandchildren and will be working tirelessly toward a bipartisan plan that reduces our deficit without neglecting the need for investment in areas that help to spur economic growth, create jobs, and promote our country’s long-term competitiveness. I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for the Joint Select Committee and I will certainly keep the suggestions of Washingtonians in mind as I work with my colleagues to address our fiscal situation. Please continue to pass on your thoughts, as they will help me and my fellow Committee members as we take on this challenge.  You can also visit http://deficitreduction.gov for further information about the work of the Joint Select Committee, and if you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates.
Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

 

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(UPDATED 102011) RETIRED MILITARY MEDICATIONS CO-PAYS TO INCREASE 1 OCT –

I just found out that my co-pays will be going up with Tri-Care for all my meds, that is, unless I sign up for Tri-Care Home Delivery.  Here are my letters to my elected officials;

300018 Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]

“I am retired Air Force and I have Tri-Care as my and my wife’s health insurance. We have just received news that my co-pays for my medications are going up across the board, unless I sign up for Tri-Care home delivery system.  I am not at all happy about this on many levels.  1.  You were supposed to NOT allow the government to balance the books on the back of the retired GI’s.  2. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the government cannot and does not perform at the same level as the private sector.  There is no doubt in my mind that my medications will get “toyed with” by some bureaucrat with a mandate to save as much money as possible.  And that they will do so at the expense of us retired military.  The drugs will come from the lowest bidder and I have zero confidence in proper handling and storage of these sensitive compounds.  I can guarantee that you will not have my vote if this course of action by Tri-care is not stopped and reversed.  Your own website states “Maria has been a tireless advocate of ensuring our nation’s veterans have access to quality affordable health care. In 2005, when news broke that veterans were going to be charged higher annual fees and copays, Maria took to the floor of the U.S. Senate and fought for $2.7 billion in veterans’ health care funding. Maria believes military retirees should be allowed to take a tax deduction for their TRICARE supplemental premiums. In 2003, Maria worked hard to block premature closures of VA health facilities across the nation with Senator Patty Murray. She pushed for a measure requiring a full study on the impact of closing any facility before any action was taken, and also supported a measure requiring a Congressional review before a facility could be scaled-back or closed. Maria has sought to make veterans health care a mandatory program, with funds set aside based on inflation and the size of the veterans population, as part of the Veterans Health Care Funding Guarantee Act.”  What happened to your support here?  We GI’s made it possible for you to have your job, you need to stand up for us now that we have served our country honorably. I want a reply to this message as I post all my correspondence to my ELECTED Officials.  I am sure my readers will want to read your reply verbatim.”

MARIA CANTWELL’S REPLY: 092011

Thank you for contacting me about funding for military benefits.   I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response. Government has a responsibility to spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely, but it also has a responsibility to provide certain services and guarantees to the American people. I take both of these very seriously. To ensure that we have the ability to defend our borders, maintain our infrastructure, educate our children, and more, it is imperative that we keep our financial house in order.  A principal responsibility of the U.S. Congress under the Constitution is to provide for the national defense.  I take this responsibility very seriously, and I am committed to and continue to support legislative efforts to maintain the effectiveness and readiness of the U.S.’s armed forces by raising our soldiers’ quality of life, improving housing conditions for military personnel and their families, and modernizing our force capabilities to effectively meet future threats. I am profoundly grateful for the service of America’s veterans and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation. Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues on behalf of the many veterans in the State of Washington.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

MY NOTE: OBVIOUSLY A FORM LETTER.  NICE PERSONAL REPLY…..SHE IS GETTING MORE LIKE EX-CONGRESSMAN BRAIN BAIRD ALL THE TIME..

300076 Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]

Thank you for contacting me regarding the recently created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, of which I am a co-chair.  I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for this process. As you may know, on August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law after its bipartisan passage through Congress. Following an initial down payment of almost $1 trillion in deficit reduction through cuts to discretionary spending, this legislation created a Joint Select Committee tasked with identifying further deficit reduction of approximately $1.5 trillion.  In the event the Committee is unable to produce a plan to meet that amount, immediate across-the-board cuts will be enacted that will come from both defense and non-defense spending. In accordance with the legislation, Committee members were to be appointed by Majority and Minority Leaders in each chamber of Congress. On August 10, 2011, I was asked by Senate Majority Leader Reid to co-chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. I agreed to accept this role because I take the goals of this Committee seriously and because I believe that it is time for members of both parties to work together to improve our nation’s financial future.  Currently, I am working with my House and Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to address our national debt and deficit in a balanced and bipartisan manner.  I know we need to make the tough choices that put our country on a more sustainable fiscal track but I also know that we must protect the middle class, seniors, and the most vulnerable who are struggling mightily in today’s economy. I do not want to pass an unsustainable debt along to my own grandchildren and will be working tirelessly toward a bipartisan plan that reduces our deficit without neglecting the need for investment in areas that help to spur economic growth, create jobs, and promote our country’s long-term competitiveness. I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for the Joint Select Committee and I will certainly keep the suggestions of Washingtonians in mind as I work with my colleagues to address our fiscal situation. Please continue to pass on your thoughts, as they will help me and my fellow Committee members as we take on this challenge.  You can also visit http://deficitreduction.gov for further information about the work of the Joint Select Committee, and if you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates.
Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

412486 Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler [R, WA-3]

Thank you for contacting me about military benefits. It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I am committed to ensuring our military will continue to have the tools they need to do their job both now and in the future.  I am also committed to making sure our servicemen and servicewomen and veterans will continue to have access to the services they need and benefits they have been promised. America’s military and military veterans are integral to our country’s independence, and I recognize the many sacrifices our military makes to uphold our country’s freedoms and safety.  I am grateful for our military’s sacrifices, and it concerns me when people do not show military members and veterans the respect and thanks they deserve.  America’s military has been strong in battle, unwavering in loyalty, and unmatched in honor and I commend them for their unparalleled bravery and service to this country. Since coming to Washington D.C. I have focused on getting our country’s fiscal house in order.  Our nation is facing a $14 trillion deficit, and we have many difficult decisions in front of us.  I believe there are places to cut wasteful spending throughout our federal budget, including the Department of Defense, but I will not support cuts to services and benefits for our active military and veterans. Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 to raise our nation’s debt limit, in order to meet our nation’s obligations.  The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is a bipartisan, 12 member committee that was created as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011.  The committee is tasked with making recommendations to cut wasteful spending by $1.2 trillion and finding solutions to our nation’s debt problems.  The committee’s recommendation to Congress is due on November 23, 2011. I appreciate your thoughts on this challenging issue, and I will keep them in mind as I learn more about the committee’s recommendations.  I am optimistic that Congress will continue to find bipartisan solutions to our debt crisis. Rest assured, I will not support a plan that balances our budget on the backs of our military and veterans. Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.HerrreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.
Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

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(updated 081711) DOD PANEL CALLS FOR RADICAL RETIREMENT OVERHAUL

CLICK THE PIC TO GO TO THE ARTICLE AND SEE THE COMMENTS

By Andrew Tilghman– Staff writer, AIR FORCE TIMES

A sweeping new plan to overhaul the Pentagon’s retirement system would give some benefits to all troops and phase out the 20-year cliff vesting system that has defined military careers for generations.

In a massive change that could affect today’s troops, the plan calls for a corporate-style benefits program that would contribute money to troops’ retirement savings account rather than the promise of a future monthly pension, according to a new proposal from an influential Pentagon advisory board.

All troops would receive the yearly retirement contributions, regardless of whether they stay for 20 years. Those contributions might amount to about 16.5 percent of a member’s annual pay and would be deposited into a mandatory version of the Thrift Savings Plan, the military’s existing 401(k)-style account that now does not include government matching contributions.  A critical new feature would adjust those contributions to give more money to troops who deploy frequently, accept hardship assignments or serve in high-demand jobs. It would also give the services a new lever to incentivize some troops to leave or stay on active duty longer.

The new proposal was unveiled July 21 by the Defense Business Board, the wellspring for many cost-saving initiatives adopted by the Defense Department in recent years. The new retirement plan would mark the biggest change in military retirement in more than 60 years and require approval from Congress.

“The current system is unfair, unaffordable and inflexible,” said Richard Spencer, a former finance executive and Marine Corps pilot who led the board’s eight-month retirement study.

This alternative plan would “enhance the ability of the service member to build a meaningful retirement asset [with] complete flexibility for their lifestyle or desires,” Spencer said.

Retirement overhaul

It’s unclear whether troops would have immediate access to all the retirement money or whether it would be partially or completely withheld until a traditional retirement age, such as 65. Under the current TSP, troops cannot withdraw money until age 59½ without incurring a significant penalty, except in certain specified circumstances.

Fairness is a key factor, Spencer said. Along with saving the Pentagon money, the new plan offer significant retirement benefits to the roughly 83 percent of troops who leave service before reaching 20 years.

Unlike other proposals to overhaul military retirement that would grandfather current troops, the board suggests that DoD could make an “immediate” transition to the new system, which would affect current troops quite differently depending on their years of service:

• Recruits. The newest troops out of boot camp after the proposed change would have no direct incentive to stay for 20 years and would not get a fixed-benefit pension. Instead, they would receive annual contributions to a Thrift Savings Plan account and could leave service with that money at any time — although under current rules, they can’t withdraw the money until age 59½ without paying a penalty, except in certain specified circumstances.

• Five years of service. Troops would immediately begin accruing new benefits in a TSP account. If they remained in service until the “old vesting date” — the 20-year mark — they also would get one-fourth of the “old plan benefit,” or about 12 percent of their pay at retirement, as an annuity. If they separated, for example, after 10 years, they would walk away with no fixed-pension benefit but would have a TSP account with five years of contributions.

• 10 years of service. Troops would immediately begin accruing new benefits in a TSP account. If they remained in service for 10 more years, they would receive half of the “old plan benefit,” about 25 percent of their pay at retirement, as an annuity. If they separated after 15 years, they would walk away with no fixed-pension benefit but would have a TSP account with five years of contributions.

• 15 years of service. Troops would immediately begin accruing new benefits in a TSP account. If they remained in service for five more years, they would receive three-fourths of the “old plan benefit,” about 37.5 percent of their pay at retirement, as an annuity.

• 20 years and beyond. Troops who stayed in past 20 years would continue to receive annual TSP contributions.

The far-reaching proposal comes at a time of immense pressure on the military to cut spending and help reduce the national debt. President Obama has talked about cutting $400 billion over the next 12 years, while some proposals gaining support on Capitol Hill would call for cutting more than $800 billion over the same period.

Military retirement costs have soared in recent years because of rising life expectancy. If not contained, they will eventually “undermine future war-fighting capabilities,” Spencer said.

A new system may allow the military to make rapid changes in the size and structure of the force. For example, troops with 15 years of experience are likely targets for downsizing, and this plan would provide them with a significant retirement benefit, Spencer said.

The proposed change would have no affect on current retirees or disabled veterans.

Most private-sector companies contribute 4 percent to 12 percent of base pay into an employee’s retirement savings account. By comparison, the current military retirement benefit, for those who ultimately get it, amounts to a 75 percent contribution each year, the board said.

The board considered keeping the current system with some major changes, but concluded that those changes would not save enough money or fix the fairness and flexibility issues.

Those changes included withholding pension payments until a traditional retirement age; reducing pensions to 40 percent of regular pay rather than the current 50 percent; or calculating retirement pay based on the average pay over a member’s last five years in uniform, rather than the three years under the current system. Those changes would save about $254 billion over 20 years, the board said.

MY COMMENT:  If this goes into effect, there will be no incentive for anyone to stay in the military.  That in-turn will gut the military of its “brain-trust” and the US Military will sink to mediocrity at best……  Just like any other mediocre country….  Not good….

UPDATED 081711

MILITARY.COM

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SENATOR PATTY MURRAY (D-WA) EXPOSES HER ANTI-AMERICAN, ANTI-NATION FIRST AGENDA.

QUEEN MURRAY

The illustrious Queen Murray has the audacity to send me this information.  This should CLEARLY illustrate how out of touch she really is with reality.  She is nothing more than a puppet of the Democrat Party.  I am sure glad I didn’t send her back to the Senate.  She is a disgrace.   Check out this latest installment in her “evil Conservatives” diatribe…. she has no concept of what it takes to make and keep this nation strong, independent and secure.  She is completely blinded by her party’s agenda, first and foremost.  Did I say she is a disgrace?  Oh yea, I did, well, it’s worth repeating over and over and over and over and over…………

Time for Slogans to End, Work to Begin on Safeguarding Our Economic Future

As we continue to work to forge compromise and avoid a default on our nation’s debts, I was deeply upset that Republicans continued to waste the little time we have left by introducing a plan that balances the budget on the backs of the people who can least afford it.  The clock is ticking for families across America.  It is time for Republicans to step up and join us in the job of governing.   Too much is on the line for average families to allow partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. to once again endanger the livelihoods of millions.

That is why I gave a speech on the Senate Floor this week urging Republicans to stop playing political games with this country’s economic future.  With less than two weeks to go before the August 2 nd deadline, Democrats and Republicans need to come to the table for serious negotiations that involve shared sacrifices.

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Preserving Benefits for Veterans Suffering from Agent Orange Exposure

On Thursday, I helped defeat an amendment introduced by Senator Tom Coburn that would have created a nearly impossible standard for Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for certain types of exposure to Agent Orange. Before the vote on Coburn’s amendment, I went to the Senate Floor and called out the amendment for what it was: another hurdle Vietnam veterans would have to overcome in their 40 plus year struggle for compensation and care.  The amendment ultimately failed to be included in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill after I successfully asked that the amendment be tabled – which it was – by a vote of 69-30. Soon after the tabling of the amendment, the Senate passed the Military Constructions and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill which will ensure that veterans across the country get the support they deserve.

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“Military Construction-VA Spending Bill Easily Passes Senate” – CQ

“Military funding bill clears Senate” – The Hill


Supporting Women’s Health

On Wednesday, the Institute of Medicine released their recommendation that critical preventive health care services for women and girls, including a full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, be fully covered by insurance companies at no additional cost.   I believe that implementing these recommendations is the right thing to do and will end unnecessary and burdensome costs for millions of American women who currently struggle to afford the contraceptive coverage and other preventive health care services they need and deserve.

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LATEST LETTER TO CONGRESSWOMAN JAIMIE HERRERA-BEUTLER ON VETERAN/MILITARY RETIREE HEALTH CARE

CLICK THE PIC TO CONTACT REP. HERRERA

In a recent article I read on “The Hill” website, it outlined the current state of the closed door “negotiations” being conducted by Vice President Biden with respect to raising the dept ceiling and deficit reduction.  I must tell you that I am exceptionally leery and skeptical of any non-security related meetings that are “closed-door”, especially since this is how “ObamaCare” came to fruition.   I have written you on several occasions expressing my concerns regarding Tri-Care and the possibility that the budget will be balanced on the backs of the Vets and Military Retirees.  You have replied to my concerns stating that you will resist all efforts to further erode the retirement benefits that I worked over 20 years to get, that, by the way, was promised to me all those years ago.  In the years since my initial enlistment, which was in 1975, I have bared witness to the steady reneging on the Governments part, of the retirement benefits of those serving this nation.  You as a Representative of Congress, and as a body, must never lose sight of the fact that each and every man and woman who served and are currently serving in the military are volunteers.  They/we have volunteered to defend this great land, with our lives if need be, in order to preserve the American way of life.  That act alone, is worthy of honor AND backing and support of the very government we defend.  It is my sincere prediction that if Congress once again, turns its back on the military members and further erodes the promised benefits of those who serve, you will see a steady, unrelenting decline in the numbers of people who will be willing to “volunteer” and stand up for this once great nation.  I dare say, Congress is not contemplating a reduction in their retirement benefits, are they?  Are you?  You have to serve a much shorter time to get your benefits that I had to, yet you are fully vested after 5 years and will retirement with full benefits.  I am unable to find any information regarding the medical benefits that are afforded you and others in Congress. I am troubled by that fact.  The lack of information on this subject is troubling at best.  Could you enlighten me and explain/outline the medical benefits afforded both serving and retired members of Congress?  My readers have the right to know what we tax payers are paying for, especially when it involves the pay and benefits of those we choose to send to Washington DC.  Bluntly stated, I will accept a reduction in benefits when Congress does the same.

In closing, I continue to urge both you and the rest of the Conservatives in Congress to strongly resist any further changes in the military benefits that would either lessen services or cause an increase in “out-of-pocket” expenses of the retirees or any other class of military vets.  It is immoral for a nation to punish the very people whom you rely on to protect this great country.  When I signed my contract with The United States of America, way back in 1975, the government promised me certain things if I kept up my end of the bargain.  Well, I did, will the USA do the same and keep its end of the bargain?  So far, it hasn’t.  It is up to you to restore what is rightfully ours.  The next election cycle is just around the corner for you and your re-election is not guaranteed.  I sent you to DC for a reason and that was to stand up for me and be my voice along with the other thousands of Vets who rely on your support.  I am expecting you and your like-minded Conservatives to do just that.  Do not “cave” into those who wish to further erode the militaries pay and benefits just to make a “deal” and make political points by trying to look like you’re being ‘bi-partisan”.  You are our shoulder to the dike, holding back the tide.  Stay the fight, make those who wish to do us vets harm, blink first.

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