H.R. 1092 (112th): Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Mar 15, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1092

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 15, 2011

(for himself and Mr. Boren) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services

A BILL

To amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit certain increases in fees for military health care.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act.

2.

Findings and sense of congress

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Career uniformed service members and their families endure unique and extraordinary demands and sacrifices during the course of a decades-long career protecting freedoms for all Americans.

(2)

The extent of these demands and sacrifices is never so evident as in wartime, not only in today’s Global War on Terrorism, but also during the last 6 decades of hot and cold wars when today’s retired service members were on continuous call to enter into harm’s way when and as needed.

(3)

The demands and sacrifices are such that few Americans are willing to accept them for a multi-decade career.

(4)

The primary offset for enduring the extraordinary sacrifices inherent in a military career is a system of extraordinary retirement benefits, including health care coverage considerably better than that afforded civilian workers, that a grateful Nation provides for those who choose to subordinate much of their personal life to the national interest for so many years.

(5)

Many private sector firms are curtailing health benefits and shifting significantly higher costs to their employees.

(6)

One effect of such curtailment is that retired service members who work for such employers increasingly depend on the TRICARE coverage they earned by their military service.

(7)

While the Department of Defense has made some efforts to constrain TRICARE program costs, a large part of the Department’s effort has been aimed at shifting a larger share of cost burdens to retired service members.

(8)

The beneficiary cost increases proposed by the Department of Defense fail to recognize adequately that career service members paid enormous in-kind premiums through their extended service and sacrifice.

(9)

A significant share of the Nation’s health care providers refuse to accept new TRICARE patients because TRICARE pays them significantly less than commercial insurance programs and imposes unique administrative requirements.

(10)

The Department of Defense has chosen to count the accrual deposit to the Department of Defense Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund against the budget of the Department of Defense, contrary to the amendments made by section 725 of Public Law 108–375.

(11)

Leaders of the Department of Defense have reported to Congress that counting such deposits against the budget of the Department of Defense is impinging on other readiness needs, including weapons programs, an inappropriate situation which section 725 of Public Law 108–375 was intended expressly to prevent.

(b)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

the Department of Defense and the Nation have a committed health benefits obligation to retired uniformed service members that exceeds the obligation of corporate employers to civilian employees; and

(2)

the Department of Defense has many additional options to constrain the growth of health care spending in ways that do not disadvantage beneficiaries and should pursue any and all such options rather than seeking large fee increases for beneficiaries.

3.

Prohibition on increases of certain health costs and restrictions on health benefit adjustments for members and retirees of the uniformed services and their dependents

(a)

Prohibition on increase in charges under contracts for medical care

Section 1097(e) of title 10, United States Code, is amended in the last sentence—

(1)

by striking during the period beginning on and inserting after; and

(2)

by striking , and ending on September 30, 2011.

(b)

Prohibition on increase in amount of cost sharing requirement under pharmacy benefits program

Section 1074g(a)(6)(A) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: After September 30, 2011, the dollar amount of a cost sharing requirement (whether established as a percentage or a fixed dollar amount) may not be increased..

(c)

Prohibition on increase in charges for inpatient care

Section 1086(b)(3) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by striking during the period beginning on April 1, 2006, and ending on September 30, 2011.

(d)

Prohibition on increase in premiums under TRICARE coverage for certain members in the Selected Reserve

Section 1076d(d)(3) of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

(3)

Beginning on October 1, 2011, the monthly amount of the premium for TRICARE Standard coverage under this section may not be increased to be more than the amount in effect for the month of September 2011.

.

(e)

Prohibition on increase in premiums under TRICARE coverage for certain members of the Retired Reserve

Section 1076e(d) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(6)

Beginning on October 1, 2011, the monthly amount of the premium for TRICARE Standard coverage under this section may not be increased to be more than the amount in effect for the month of September 2011.

.