Originally posted at American Thinker blog
Barack Obama is showing his hand by using the military as guinea pigs in what is soon to be one of many social experiments initiated by Obamacare. If the President’s proposed plan to place an increased burden for healthcare costs on military families and retirees is any indication of how the Obama family interprets “Joining Forces,” then we civilians are in dire straits.
How is the Barack Obama choosing to say “thank you…mobilize, take action and make a real commitment to supporting military families?” Why, it’s to ask American heroes who preserve our freedoms to “pay sharply more for their healthcare.”
Remember back in 2009 when the President said “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan?” Word to the wise: Don’t bet on it.
It appears as if the move to raise health care costs on the military is a stealthy attempt to shuttle the first busload onto the Obamacare state-run insurance exchange rolls. In this case, the initial group just happens to be outfitted in military fatigues. A congressional aide involved in the issue said, “When [Obama administration officials] talked to us, they did mention the option of healthcare exchanges under Obamacare. So it’s in their mind.”
According to Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon, “Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.” Bingo!
So if hippie-dippy liberal baby-boomer types believe that right about the time they need that pacemaker, trusty old Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be there to help make it happen, they’re in for one big surprise.
Many in the military are pointing out that “The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.”
What the proposed increases should also do is issue a clarion call to every American that just like Obamacare military health coverage is government-run, the government is obviously in a budgetary crunch, and so health care benefits provided by the government are now being negatively affected by the government that originally instituted them.
The “proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending.” According to the Pentagon, the cuts “seek to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget and $12.9 billion by 2017.”
There’s nothing like asking the America’s armed services to pay the bills for spending that Obama refuses to curtail. Does patriotic service to our nation now require promoting “fairness” by coughing up the extra dough needed to dole out free cell phones, food stamps, and government-funded abortions?
Under the proposed plan, the Pentagon would gain most of its savings from “under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees by forcing them to endure a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on annual retirement pay.” It’s kind of a “useful eater” trial, where retired servicemen and women are crushed under an economic strain, so that taxpayer money can fund remedial college courses for illiterate 18-year-olds.
If the bill passes, the legislation will ultimately deliver “increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year.” Those increases are scheduled to begin after the 2012 election to shield Barack Obama from losing military votes in the upcoming presidential election.
After the President is firmly ensconsed in the White House for another four years, in addition to first-time enrollment fees, the plan will then impose a “five-year increase ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent – more than 3 times current levels.” That means a “retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.” And that’s Barack Obama’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to our men and women in uniform?
Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, maintains that it’s wrong to place the burden for irresponsible spending on our military, saying, “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.” Especially since, according to Mr. McKeon, “we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population.” Maybe Buck doesn’t realize that the only Americans who are really exempt are the unionized workers courted by Obama; meanwhile, everyone else is fair game.
Logic tells us that this is just the beginning in a series of “Yes we can…changes.” America should heed the message being sent directly from Mr. Obama: “First I’ll castrate the military, and after I’m finished with those guys, I’m coming for you!”
One might ask, how is this possible? How does a patriotic nation that takes pride in its military target them for increases in health care premiums as they age? Lest we forget, this administration’s value system utilizes government dollars to ensure women can kill the unborn, so why are we surprised that our armed forces are being targeted? Question is, who comes next – the aged, infirm, mentally challenged, and chronically ill?
For the sake of entitlement programs, Obama’s slash-and-burn military mentality is putting American troops in harm’s way abroad by asking them to bear the brunt of budgetary shortfalls and fight wars without the “equipment and force levels needed for global missions.” Then, if they happen to make it home alive without being shot dead by the Muslim extremists to whom the President keeps apologizing, they’re asked to pay more for health insurance while the civilian workforce at the Department of Defense and the federal government are left unscathed.
One peeved Congressional aide discussing the proposal expressed the opinion that “It doesn’t matter what the benefit is, whether it’s commissary, PX, or healthcare, or whatever … under the rationale that if you raise your hand and sign up to serve, you earn a base set of benefits, and it should have nothing to do with your rank when you served, and how much you’re making when you retire.” Yeah, that was true until Barack Obama was elected to “fundamentally transform” America. Since that day, all bets are off. Congressional hearings on the matter are set to begin next month.