Talking to Congress by ProQuest

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									  Talking to Congress                                                  Alerts Stoke Tricare Panic

                                                                       I
                                                                           t began with a Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
  ROA provides testimony and                                               report issued in December offering the House and
                                                                           Senate 115 options for reducing federal spending
  information to legislators.                                          on health care, altering federal health care programs,
                                                                       and making substantive changes to the nation’s health
  Veterans Affairs                                                     insurance system. This is not new: the last such report
     Members of ROA and 35 other veteran and military service          was published in February 2007 when CBO provided
  organizations met Jan. 27 with 29 members of the House Vet-          250 options to Congress.
  erans Affairs Committee to discuss legislative priorities for the        The CBO report is not an administrative mandate,
  111th Congress. The roundtable discussion, held in the Cannon        nor even recommendation for legislation. Yet, an early
  Caucus Room, lasted more than two hours.                             alarm was raised over just one proposal: option 96,
                                                                       which suggested introducing a minimum annual out-of-
     Each organization was asked to submit its top five issues for
                                                                       pocket payment before accessing Tricare for Life. Soon,
  2009. Knowing that many of the organizations would duplicate
                                                                       viral e-mails were broadcast throughout the Internet to
  items such as budgeting of the Department of Veterans Affairs
                                                                       the distress of retirees over 65.
  and care of aging veterans, ROA focused instead on concerns af-
                                                                           Overlooked were two other proposals linked to mili-
  fecting the mobilized Guard and Reserve members, concentrating       tary health care. Option 95 suggested increasing health
  on needed updates to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and         care cost-sharing for family members of military per-
  the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act.              sonnel on Active Duty. Option 97 proposed increasing
     A video of these proceedings can be found on the Veterans         health care cost-sharing for military retirees under age
  Affairs Committee multimedia link at http://veterans.house.          65. Three more options suggested changes to medical
  gov/hearings/hearing.aspx?NewsID=325. ROA’s statements               health care provided by Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.
  can be found at 22.5 minutes, and at 2 hours and 15 minutes          Option 98 would require co-payments for medical care
  into the video.                                                      provided by the VA hospitals for enrollees without a ser-
                                                                       vice-connected disability. Option 28 proposed ending 
								
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