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More Than Three Dozen Military Hospitals To Stop Treating Retirees.

According to an article on Military.com, the US government is looking at transitioning military retirees and their families away from military hospitals to civilian hospitals.

Military families and retirees receiving care through 38 military hospitals nationwide will soon be forced to go off-base instead, and some pharmacies at those hospitals will stop providing drugs to those not on active duty, Military.com has learned.

A 12-page memo, reviewed by Military.com, was sent to the commanders of 50 military treatment facilities, or MTFs, targeted for changes. It details for commanders the impacts of a planned MTF restructuring, the subject of an upcoming report to Congress. It also includes a letter to commanders explaining upcoming changes, signed by Lt. Gen. Ronald Pace, who directs the Defense Health Agency, and provides communications guidance to public affairs personnel.

The changes are a part of a review of military hospital operations and a system consolidation under the Defense Health Agency ordered by Congress in 2016. Aimed at increasing a focus on military readiness, the consolidation includes a plan to cut about 18,000 uniformed medical personnel and increase focus on active-duty support.

But to do so, the hospitals must cull the number of family members and retirees to whom they currently offer care. The report to Congress detailed in the memo lays out the Pentagon’s path for those changes.

The stated reason for this is a shift in focus from health care and treatment for those in the military and those retired from the military to just those in the military. It is a shift from the care of vets to “operational personnel.”

It is a money saving move and while we understand the money aspect, this plan stinks.

The reason it stinks to us is simple – it is another broken governmental promise.

When men and women signed up to fight for and defend this country, they were made promises as to certain things, including health care in a certain manner, by the government. When these same men and women retired, they signed papers which codified that agreement.

Now the government wants to say “sorry….we really didn’t mean it. Here’s the changes we are making…..”

The move will cost retirees and their families more:

Defense health officials say their goal with the transformation is to maintain a healthy force, a military medical staff focused on operational medicine and an improved health care system for non-military beneficiaries.

But for those forced off-base to receive medical care, the transition will come with an additional financial burden. Currently, beneficiaries who receive care at military hospitals or clinics have no co-payments for services or prescriptions.

But in the community, retirees and their family members enrolled in Tricare Prime can expect co-pays ranging from $20 for an outpatient primary care appointment to $62 for an emergency room visit, while those who choose Tricare Select will pay between $30 for a network primary care appointment up to $118 for a network emergency room visit.

Prescription co-payments outside military pharmacies range from $10 for home delivery of generic medications to $60 for a medication not listed on Tricare’s formulary at a network retail pharmacy.

Warms the cockles of your heart, doesn’t it?

There are many things we hate about the way men and women who serve or have served are treated.

First, we hate the idea that they are props in political campaigns.

Secondly, and most importantly, we hate that they are cast aside and promises made to them are not kept.

Liar liar government pants on fire?

(Before anyone says or even thinks that this is a Republican or Democrat Party thing, it is not. Both parties are signing off on this mess.)

If military men and women cannot trust the very civilian authorities who say “go forth and protect us until death” who can they trust.

Even worse, who can non-military people trust?

After all, it is the same group of liars.



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