Several new initiatives to spur military health care beneficiaries to seek out preventive health measures have surfaced in the House Armed Services Committees markup of the Fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill. Among them is a demonstration project for self-reported health risk assessments for Tricare Prime beneficiaries, many of whom are retirees that have been the target of the proposed Tricare fee hikes (see above). Another initiative would waive co-payment fees for all Tricare beneficiaries that seek preventive health services. A third would pay military members and their family members to seek preventive services. The intent, according to the committee’s May 15markup summary, is “to reduce the need for care required … rather than reducing the amount of care available or the size of the beneficiary population.”
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."