No Tricare Fee Hike

The Fiscal 2010 defense budget does not—repeat does not—contain a provision to increase the Tricare fees for retired military personnel, unlike the past three defense budgets in which the Bush Administration tried to raise fees as one means to offset higher healthcare costs. According to Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee, Defense Secretary Robert Gates intends “to fully fund military healthcare in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget and then engage Congress in a dialogue about what comes next.” (Davis opening statement) Congress shot down the three previous attempts to budget-in the Tricare fee hikes, but last year, Davis indicated that some increase may be inevitable, however she said it should not be the only means employed to cut military healthcare costs.