In recent days, a particularly disturbing myth about health insurance reform has resurfaced. Opponents of reform have dredged up the baseless charge that reform somehow will affect or increase the cost of the TRICARE benefits on which America’s troops and veterans depend.
The President believes our nation's greatest strategic asset is our men and women in uniform. Our servicemen and women and their families have always sacrificed selflessly in defense of our ideals. That is why one of the President's top priorities since coming into office has been to give our veterans "the care they were promised and the benefits that they have earned." That began with the largest single-year increase in VA funding in three decades, and with initiating the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record that will follow a member of the Armed Forces through their transition into VA care and stay with them for life.
And it's why there is absolutely nothing in health reform that will affect TRICARE benefits.
The most recent TRICARE fear-mongering comes by way of viral email and relies on a document prepared by the government analysts before President Obama took office which outlined potential options for containing health care costs. But here's the thing: none of these options have been proposed by President Obama or adopted in health reform legislation.
In addition, there are reports out there that new taxes will be imposed on TRICARE. That is not true either. There are no new taxes. No cuts in benefits. If you hear a politician telling voters that health reform will hurt TRICARE, don’t believe him.
If you rely on TRICARE, you have nothing to worry about.
Matt Flavin is Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy