Protecting health care options for those who've served
For the past few months, I’ve told you about reports that the Pentagon has planned to do away with TRICARE Prime, a popular health insurance option for many military retirees, including several thousand in Oregon. I teamed up with fellow Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici to pass legislation to force the Pentagon to detail and address these changed publically.
This month, the Pentagon officially announced that the TRICARE Prime option would be eliminated for 171,000 military retirees nationwide beginning on October 1. While it is good news they have delayed the changes for six months, I remain concerned about the effect this change could have on military retirees and their families in Oregon.Thousands could lose access to their health care provider, which could mean higher out of pocket costs and longer drives for many in Oregon.
Don’t just take my word for it. The Mail-Tribune in Medford reported that one retired Marine Corps colonel, Dave Dotterrer, is concerned about the lack of options for him and his family with the elimination of the program. Click here to read the Mail-Tribune’s article.
The Pentagon has to provide more information about these proposed changed, and ensure health care access for military retirees in Oregon. These heroes have put their lives on the line for our freedom. They deserve the very best care our nation has to offer.
I can also help our veterans and active duty military on an individual basis. I recently heard from a former Army staff sergeant in southern Oregon who was honorably discharged from the Army and awarded a service connected disability by the Veterans Administration (VA) in early 2012.
Due to several moves around the country, several of his benefit checks were returned as undeliverable. He was having trouble recovering the benefits he was promised, and contacted my office. Within a few days, the veteran received word that the VA had reactivated the disability benefits he has earned. If you or a loved one are having a problem with the VA or another federal agency, call my office in Oregon toll free at 800-533-3303. I’ll do everything I can to get results for you.