Obama Administration Expects Veterans to Flee to Exchanges After Department of Defense Raises Tricare Rates
If Obama Administration defense officials get their way, expect to see military veterans leaving their Tricare insurance coverage for Obamacare’s Health Insurance Exchanges.
In its latest Defense Budget Request, the Administration, in order to meet the cost saving requirements of the Budget Control Act, is raising enrollment fee rates for Tricare, the military’s health insurance program for military retirees. Some veterans can expect their enrollment fee to nearly quadruple by 2017.
And, for the first time, the Administration proposes means-testing Tricare fees so that by 2017 those in the highest tier will pay more than twice what those in the lowest tier pay for the same level of benefits. Because current law restricts Tricare cost increases to cost of living increases in retirement pay, the new system cannot take effect without new legislation.
But most disturbing is news that the Administration expects by raising Tricare rates to encourage Veterans to drop Tricare for the health insurance subsidies of Obamacare’s Health Insurance Exchanges. According to veteran defense reporter, Bill Gertz,
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.
“When they talked to us, they did mention the option of healthcare exchanges under Obamacare. So it’s in their mind,” said a congressional aide involved in the issue.
The Department of Health and Human Services just asked Congress for $111 billion dollars more for insurance subsidies within what the Administration is now calling the “Affordable Insurance Exchanges.” That means that, combined with the $366 billion already approved in Obamacare, the Administration expects the Affordable Insurance Exchanges to cost nearly half a trillion dollars! (Try to write that without an explanation point!)
And that doesn’t include further cost hikes when employers begin dropping health insurance coverage for employees and instead dumping them into the Exchanges. Many experts are anticipating that employers will do this very thing due to perverse incentives within Obamacare.
Now that the Defense Department reportedly hopes to dump veterans onto the exchanges too, we can’t help but ask, “Will half a trillion dollars really be enough?”