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Letter to Your Congressman

Erosion of TriCare Benefits

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The following Example was submitted by a user.  The author of this letter is Air Force Sergeants Association, and you can find it under Legislative Bulletins, Headquarters Publications/Sample Letters, then the first bullet, Take Action Now! Protect the Military Health Care Benefit (January 2006).  The submitter was nice and retyped it from the PDF file.  Due this being intelligent information from AFSA all ads for this page have been removed.  In addition, if you feel strongly for this topic or other topics facing legislation, become a member of a professional organization!  Not only will this help you in retirement, but it might even check a block for promotion.  Finally, in order to get your point across use the message below as a gauge and add information personal to you. this will get the persons attention because they may have already received a couple of 100 copies of the same message.




The Honorable (Full Name)
House of Representatives (or United States Senate)
Washington, DC 20515 (or 20510 for Senate)

Dear Representative (or Senator) (Last Name),

I need your action on a voting issue. I have learned from the Air Force Sergeants Association that the Administration, through the Department of Defense, is about to virtually destroy a major career incentive-the military health care system. This change would affect not only those who have served and their families and survivors, but it also would significantly impact those currently wearing the uniform. It would certainly impact their willingness to remain in the military. I have heard repeated, orchestrated comments from DoD officials that service members, retirees, and survivors cost too much, but this latest DoD step represents a final straw. Those in the House and Senate who do not immediately act to stop these DoD plans will NOT get my vote in any upcoming elections. Many of my colleagues and civilians who honor those who serve have told me they feel the same way.

The military retiree health care benefit has evolved (due to progressively broken promises by DoD and congressional acquiescence) from free lifetime health care, to having an enrollment fee and co-payments, to the latest, impending DoD scheme to transfer a far greater cost to the military retiree. DoD plans are to triple TRICARE Prime enrollment fees by 2008 for officers and double them for enlisted members; TRICARE Standard deductibles would double for officers and rise by a third for enlisted members; an enrollment fee would be established for the first time for TRICARE Standard; and pharmacy co-payments for all would be significantly raised. DoD’s stated goal is to reduce spending on military health care and to drive hundreds of thousands of retirees out of the military system and toward civilian-employer-funded health care. Decency alone would defer any such changes to future service entrants-not those retirees and survivors whose current economic status depends on trust in current government programs.

Military retirees and their survivors are not normal citizens. They should be given special regard, and the funding of their benefits should be a national priority. They have already paid an extraordinary price for this nation. Government officials were happy to have these members put their lives on the line, suffer hardships, and make sacrifices. Now that same government wants to renege once again on its promises as it works to get out of the health care business. Frankly, anyone who supports these proposed DoD changes are ungrateful, and they should be ashamed. Benefits for people who fight and die for you should not be determined by the “bottom line.” As I said, funding for them should be accepted as a national obligation. DoD statements that projected future costs necessitate these changes are ludicrous when you consider many other spending priorities this nation honors.

As a voter, I urge you to immediately and unequivocally speak out against these impending DoD changes. I ask for a response to this letter since it will determine my future vote and, I am quite certain, that of other military member, retirees, and survivors—and the many citizens who honor and value those who serve and have served this nation.

                                                                                                     Very Sincerely,


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Page Added on: 2 May 2006

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Revised: 01/19/06.