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Obama targets military retirees with higher health insurance costs, spares union civilians | The Conservative Soldier

The Conservative Soldier

“If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” (Ronald Reagan)

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Obama devises assault on military

February 29th, 2012 · No Comments

Just wait, political observers warn us. If you have been floored by Barack Obama’s circumvention of law, indifference to American exceptionalism and disregard for Constitutional governance since 2009, imagine Obama’s defiance, even recklessness, if he achieves a second term, no longer facing the tedium of re-election.

In fact, there is no need to imagine. A closer inspection of the Obama administration’s proposed defense budget cuts by a Washington journalist this week uncovered a fresh reminder of this President’s disregard, if not disdain, for members of the U.S. armed forces.

Active and retired military, and their families, are targeted to face huge increases in what they pay for healthcare under the plan, but not until 2013, after the fall election. As if saddling military families with higher healthcare costs is not egregious enough, Obama would require no such increases for the civilian defense workforce, which is unionized.

The audacious plan, as well as widespread internal backlash it already is fueling, is reported this week by senior editor Bill Gertz of The Washington Free Beacon, a recently debuted nonprofit online newspaper. As Gertz reports:

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Under-65 military retirees would see dramatic spikes in their annual premiums, while active duty personnel would lose savings incentives on generic drugs and make higher co-payments on prescriptions.

The plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent - more than 3 times current levels.

Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Sr., during a Wednesday morning on-air discussion of the proposed gouging, explained that imposing these increases would essentially betray and dishonor those who’ve served.

“What we’re doing,” Johnson said, “is we’re saying to our retirees, ‘We made a moral compact with you, we made a bargain with you, your life and our faithfulness to your service for your entire life. So now we’re saying ok, your health benefits may go up 345 percent over the next five years. Active military, you’re going to pay more on co-pays, you’re going to pay more for brand drugs, you’re going to pay more at retail outlets, you’re going to pay more.’

“And so … we’re trying to balance a deficit on the backs of the people who we call to protect us.”

The chances that such demoralizing changes survive Congressional scrutiny are slim indeed, but the brazenness this proposal reveals where Barack Obama is concerned is beyond dispute. What conclusion can be drawn? Only one. That Obama sees health care reform, not as a tool for cutting costs and improving delivery of services and drugs, but as another means of choosing sides, pre-determining outcomes and punishing those members of society for whom he has little regard, if not contempt.

But the threat to military retirees does not disappear entirely in 2013 and beyond even if Congress rejects saddling them with higher costs.

Obama has become increasingly defiant even as his ratings in approval polls remain generally below 50 percent. He has said publicly time after time that he “won’t wait” for lawmakers, and “where Congress won’t act, I will.”

Freed from having to worry about annoying voters and public will, a re-elected Obama would be expected to roll out an even more aggressive playbook in 2013 aimed at engaging tactics that bypass the rule of law and stretch the outer limits of the executive branch. This was a central point last week when Obama met with Democrat governors gathered in Washington for a conference.

As reported by TheHill.com:

Gov. Jack Markell, the Democratic governor of Delaware and the vice chairman of the National Governors Association, (said) the meeting was “very good” and said many of the governors were responsive to ideas about bypassing Congress.

“There was a sense that none of us should wait, we can’t wait for things to happen in Congress,” Markell said of the meeting.

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