Obamacare’s Military Benefit Means Testing Trial Balloon

ObamaCareBy John Vinci — The Obama Administration, for the first time, is proposing that veteran retirees pay different rates for the same health benefits based on how much they receive in military retirement pay.  This so-called “means-testing” of military retirement health benefits, would mean that the more our veterans receive in retirement pay, the more their health insurance would cost them.

Bill Gertz, who originally broke this story, said that it is, “as if [these benefits] were a social program, and not something earned with 20 or more years of military service.”

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson echoes Gertz’s concern stating, “Obama is so disconnected from our culture that instead of respecting our veterans he treats them like another welfare constituency.”

This new policy, plus newly proposed significant rate hikes, would mean that some veterans may have to pay up to 394 percent more for their health benefits through Tricare, the military’s health benefit program.

So, whereas this year military retirees pay $520 dollars for health insurance for their families, in the year 2017, retirees who receive less than $22,589 would pay $893 — less than half of the $2,048 that retirees receiving $45,179 or more would have to pay for the same benefits.

The administration’s proposed new policy of charging different prices for the same benefits based on financial class sets a bad precedent.

Imagine if the purchase of gas, food, and homes were “means-tested.”  Then imagine that your employer wants to give you a raise, but if you take that raise it will move you up into a new payment bracket.  And, as a result of being in the new bracket, the extra pay you would receive would be reduced or eliminated by the extra money you’d have to pay for gas, food, and that new house you wanted.

Unequal costs for the same services based upon income discrimination is the exact sort of government meddling that ends up harming lower incomes in the end by making it more difficult to escape the poverty prison created by the cost of losing welfare benefits.

The government already uses means-testing for all sorts of welfare programs.  Obamacare’s new health insurance subsidies through its state Health Insurance Exchanges are also means tested for those who make up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (that means that up to $89,400 for a family of four).

And it is reported by the House of Representatives Republican Study Committee that under Obamacare new subsidies in excess of $100 billion a year have been created to buy insurance under the law’s insurance exchanges.  Families between 134 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line are eligible for these subsidies.

Daniel Kessler, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, points out in a recent Wall Street Journal article that Obamacare creates some startling disincentives to work.  A family of four earning $96,699 a year would be eligible for a subsidy of $14,799.  A family earning $96,700 would receive subsidies of $0.  By earning one extra dollar, the family could be made worse off by $14,798, in addition to the increased tax burdens under Obamacare.

But not even Obamacare forces beneficiaries to pay more for the same service because they make more money.  In this respect, Obama’s new proposal is more akin to the one passed by fellow-Chicago Dan Rostenkowski in 1989.

Rostenkowski, who at the time was the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, was instrumental in the passage of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act (MCCA).  Similar to Obama’s means-testing proposal for veterans, MCCA charged an extra income tax on eligible beneficiaries based on their level of income.

The resulting furor brought seniors to the streets and left Rostenkowski literally scurrying for physical cover when he left his Chicago office.

The precedent of Obama’s plan to means test military health care benefits will inevitably be used to justify means testing the health benefits of all Americans under Obamacare.  It is just a matter of time.

John Vinci is a staff attorney with Americans for Limited Government and is the editor in chief for the www.obamacarewatcher.org website.

  • Retired Chief

    Duck veterans and retirees.  Here comes the camel’s nose under the tent again.  They will start with let’s reduce tricare for the admirals and generals because the make so much money.  Within five years it will be let’s just drop tricare for anyone who cannot prove they are indigent.  Who do they think they are kidding? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/lou.brown Lou Ellen Brown

    What happened to the promise of Free Health Care for Life that was made to those enlisting freely in the Korean Police Action time period and continuing into the VietNam War time period? Those men were paid PEANUTS for at least 20 years of their lives, and current pay is not much better.

  • Pwr11

    This is pathetic!!  Shame on Obama and Shame on the Dem.’s and the liberal media along with the “Independants” that still support this so called President!! we’er going to do this after the soldiers were promised one thing? We are going to do this to the most patriotic folks in our country? we’er going to do this while we build a $750,000. soccer field for the detainees at Gitmo?? This President has his priorities all mixed up, either that or he is doing exactly what he planed all along!! Either way he must go…NO-BAMA 2012

  • Sailmaker_1

    They started in the Clinton era by making us pay for something we were promised for free for life by the career counselors.  Now they want us to pay more.  We have ALREADY PAID for this with at least 20 years of our lives.  We put up with long separations from our families in dangerous areas at very low pay to protect and defend the country and now the administration wants to back out of their half of the contract that they entered into with us.  At times of spiraling inflation, while I was in the military, we were given only 2 to 3 percent raises because the administration needed to keep the cost of the military down.  Now that the administration is once again having trouble with costs because of their social programs they want to put the burden of cutting costs on our backs.  We have to stand up and tell them that we will not take it any more.  We are the broken down and elderly men and women that kept the country safe when it was not popular to do so.  YOU OWE US FOR THAT AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU PROMISED US WHILE WE SERVED.

  • Doris

    Whats new? He treats social security receivers the same way. We have all paid in along with our employers for many many years.Veterans have paid twice. Once with paycheck and second with their lives.

  • specialops01

    This further proves his contempt for the military and retirees. This also proves those in Congress and Senate  go along with him while they and their family have FREE COMPLETE HEALTHCARE for the rest of their lives at taxpayers expense.

  • Chuck I

    As usual the administration has not done its home work.  TRICARE for Life is not a congressional authorized program.  It is based upon a consent decree signed by the Government and requires them to provide free medical care to over 65 retirees as they advertised when they recruited us.  He can attempt to add cost but it will be thrown out by the court and we should go ask for money damages from the government for violating the agreement.  Will he next try and add cost to treating VA connected disabilities.  

  • Sandys3

    This is so wrong, this president does not even deserve the honor of being called a President, these men fight or have fought for their country, and deserve the honor of a warrior, what the heck has Obama done, other than put our country more in debt and apologized for what our military fights for, and is destroying our liberaty. I will be surprised if after this if he gets any military votes, I would hope he would not get anyones vote but I am sure that those on welfare and living off the government will vote for him. What Ashame, I have never been so ashame to raise my head and be proud of America due to this white house administration.

  • Racebannon24

    Yes and how many people in the military voted for Obama or better yet how many will re elect him!! I recently heard a military family member say that they won’t vote at all and my response was that if you don’t vote it is the same as voting for Obama!! If he does get re elected wait and see how much more damage he does to the military and to America!!!

  • Debbieciolli

    OH SO TRUE and SO MUCH MORE!! Obama’s PEOPLE are JUST LIKE THE ONES WHO “HIT” THE LOTTERY like that 20 something year old who is TOO STUPID and DUMBED DOWN, as the REST WHO VOTED FOR THIS MONSTER, who THINK.. that THEY are “ENTITLED” to welfare and food stamps and whatever ELSE is “FREE” from the GOV and these “IDIOTS” don’t have enough Brain Power or Common Sense to realize that Once this Country goes down and IT WILL Under “THE ONE WHO “THINKS” he’s Great….NOT! then WHO do these “brain dead” THINK WILL Give them ANYTHING then?? He has BEEN “BUYING VOTES” and Scamming the DUMBEST of the DUMb or the GREEDIEST of the GREEDY AND the LAZY Losers!!!… Once he has THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD where HE WANTS US and where HIS FATHER wanted US, Then YOU ALL WILL SEE….but by THEN>>>>It WILL be TOO Late!!

  • Hueypilot55

    Spent 30 years in the military serving my country, when I retired they siad no free health care.  Wait, you told me do 20 years and free health care for life, yeah well that’s the breaks.  Now he wants us to pay based on what we get in retired pay.  That’s something from someone who never served a day in his life.  Come November we need to get this guy out of the White House or we’ll be in really sad shape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joanne-Mortensen/100002256947456 Joanne Mortensen

    Another reason to boot this Guy out of office .. Our Veterans deserve what pitance they get and much more .. these brave Men and women have saved his and our hides many times over .. These are not some welfare deadbeat .. OR SOME UNION HACK WHO IS SPONGING OFF THE PUBLIC TROUGH .. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE PROTECTED OUR FREEDOMS .. What we owe these people is priceless!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DonnietheC Donald Crauswell

    He doesnt care whos wealth he spreads around, this is a real low blow

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646197938 Richard Minear

    They probably would if he finally enlisted in Obama care.  He can drop his coverage.  He has never fought anything except America.

  • Pingback: Military Welfare Leeches « 54°40′ Or Fight!

  • dean29685

    The VA has been doing this for years not just on military retirement but on all gross income.

  • dean29685

    The problem is the current republican front runners being “progressive republicans”
    Will DO NOTHING TO CHANGE ANY OF OBAMA’S “WINS. His agenda and theirs is the
    same a Socialist state. Do not believe what they say believe what the have done.l  

  • Michael

    Chuck;
        You may be correct, but how long do you think it will take for this to be put to rest by the courts?  Holder and his band of idiots will fight that tooth and nail and every federal judge will hold off long enough to put many of us in our graves.  The bastard (recall his parents were not married when he was hatched) will pull every low trick in the progressives’ arsenal to pull wealth from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not and his union thug buddies.

  • Pap1947

    We need to stop healthcare for Congress and the Senate, we need to stop their retirement.  In short, if you want  to serve in the Congress and Senate you are welcome to, but you will pay for your own healthcare & retirement just like the rest of us.  One last thing, any law passed our lawmakers must live by just like the rest of us.  Our military deserve the benefits that they receive and much more.  I am sick and tired of the anti-American in chief disrespecting all of us and our country.

  • Pap1947

    I’m still proud of America, I’m just ashamed of the man who calls himself president and those who are helping him to destroy the greatest nation in the world.

  • Rich

     Chief: You are absolutely right on!~ BOHICA Plus!!!
    Thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Evans/1141094735 Mike Evans

    I don’t see how this country gets anyone to volunteer to be in the military. They are under paid and not allowed to fight a battle the way it should be fought. The politicians need to stay the hell out of the way and let the military leaders do their job and win these wars that we have been in since Viet Nam. We didn’t worry about collateral damage during WWII so why it is a worry now? 

  • Leejo114

    The executive branch of our nation wants to put the issue of budget spending upon the backs of our service members that provide the freedom that we have. Our illegal president has little use for these citizens and would rather send our tax money to foreign countries who mostly hate us. He would want to keep funding the UN and NATO than pay our veterans, our retired people,provide less expensive energy, food, and housing. In the last month food in our area has inflated 7% and some will be higher. His programs make the haves and have nots in a better situation with the highest load on the middle class. How American is that? He is against job growth by stopping items like Canada pipe line, coal used in out electrical generation,EPA regulations,etc. He would rather fund failing solar manufacturing plants, and other pie in the sky ventures.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SV35DH3NPTSGGNREYTATTKMBHY del

    gotta get this yahoo out of our government, out of our white house and out of our life….what a piece of chit!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SV35DH3NPTSGGNREYTATTKMBHY del

    oh poppycock

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SV35DH3NPTSGGNREYTATTKMBHY del

    also no retirement and salaries cut in 4ths…its a part time job and these yokels are getting rich cheating and screwing We the People….term limits of course  

  • dean29685

    Really is that the best you can do?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HV4GZWFNZ6T6YIXWNAP32FQQ7Y reginald

    These Demorats and this Obamanaydshon sends our youth to fight their conflicts and then they want us to pay for our health care. It is time that WE VETERANS send these elected idiots that they should go fight their next conflict themselves with their sons and daughters as well as the CEO’s and their sons and daughters of companies  that manufacture war materials. Thats right they should bare the scars of their greed and debasement of the military by serving on the front lines.

  • W. BOURRILLION

    THIS PRESIDENT, WHO HAS NEVER SERVED ANY CAUSE BUT HIS OWN ADVANCEMENT IS DETERMINED TO PENALIZE MANY WHO HAVE PLACED THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR OUR COUNTRY.  THIS DISPICIBLE ASSESMENT IS COUNTER TO THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTYRY (KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH IS BENEATH THE OCCUPANT OF THE WHITEHOSE) AND DISRESPECTFUL TO ANYONE WHO HAS SERVED.  PERHAPS THE PRESIDENTIAL SPOUSE HAS A BETTER OPINION OF MY COUNTRY THAN THAT SHE EXPRESSED ENTERINB THE WHITEJHOUSE.  SHE WOULD BENIFIT FROM A PERIOD OF NONCOMPENSATED ENDEAVER TO HELP THOSE TRUELY IN NEED OF HELP.  PERHAPS SHE WOULD NOT LIKE HER HANDS DIRTIED FROM REAL WORK.  PERHAPS THE OCCUPANT OF THE WHITE HOUSE WOULD COMPLAIN?

  • Doctor1

    Obama and his cronies keep tearing up the Constitution, piece by piece, as they continue to destroy our freedom that so many veterans fought for.  If they keep it up, they might get another war and that one won’t be pretty.

  • Longknife27

    Our coverage is based on our service not our rank, we all bore the same trials, and we were all volunteers. This is another obamanation and misuse of government power – we are slipping from a government of and for the people to a tyranny of mandates a president cannot dictate in accordance with our Constitution. God help the USA – wake up Americans before the government is sitting at your breakfast table.

  • Tejanojack

    What goes on in the man’s head? There are so many fundamental things wrong with Obama and Panetta’s approach Vets and the military, it boggles the mind.

    With HR 1540, Vets and retirees will have to pay increased fees for their health care. Obama thinks it is fine, because we volunteered. Furthermore, he thinks senior soldiers should pay more for health benefits than junior soldiers. Only a neo-Marxist with no military background would think that way. 

    Our enlisted and commissioned soldier’s bacon bleeds the same color in the mud and the blood. No man’s health is worth more than another’s and all deserve equal health care regardless of pay grade.

    It is repugnant and contrary to all ethics or military honor to discriminate between soldiers in need of health care. Moreover it is divisive and potentially undermines morale. It smacks of European or Warsaw Pact Armies.

    My question is, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO FREE HEALTH CARE ???????????

    In 1965, when I raised my had, the military told me that all service related injuries and healthcare were FREE! The military also said that retirees & families received FREE healthcare.

    Then, during the Reagan Administration, about 18 years into my career and after two tours in Vietnam, Congress decided to pull the old “BAIT and SWITCH”.

    They came up with Tri-Care, with deductibles and fees. Perennially, Congress has tried to increase the cost to soldiers ever since.  What a repugnant breach of faith?  How low and despicable is that?  How can any member of Congress abide such a betrayal to its men and women in arms or look one of us in the eye?

    I hear Panetta and Congressmen say they only have $48 Billion with which to fund defense and personnel expenses. Well I got a hot flash for y’all. This is a false choice. Congress didn’t and doesn’t have to accept Obama’s piddling $48 Billion in the first place.

    If Americans want an all voluntary force which consists of America’s finest and brightest, it has to pay for it.  Furthermore, Congress and the tax payers are morally and duty bound to fund the best health care possible for our active, retired and disabled Vets.

    Only a man devoid of American morality and ethics would conceive such a notion. T.J.

  • KARL_PEGGY

    OBUMMER WANTS TO DESTROY THE RETIRED MILITARY’S FREE MEDICAL CARE BY INHUMAN WAYS SUCH AS RAISING THE COSTS OF SEEKING A DOCTOR AT THE LOCAL VA HOSPITAL, RAISING THE COSTS OF OUR MEDICATIONS ……MAKING US PAY TO SEE A DOCTOR, DOING AWAY WITH TRI CARE ETC….THE LIST GOES ON AND ON …..THIS MISERABLE EXCUSE FOR A COMMANDER IN CHIEF SHOULD BE  IMPEACHED AND BROUGHT TO TRIAL FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ….HE IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN MORE THEN 100 YEARS….WHAT HE HAS DONE IN A LITTLE OVER 3 YEARS THAT HE HAS BEEN IN POWER IS JUST A SAMPLE OF WHATS TO COME IF HE GETS RE ELECTED AGAIN….GOD HELP US…AND THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE  OR WHAT EVER …..HE SIMPLY HAS GOT TO BE THROWN OUT OF OFFICE  IN NOVEMBER IF THIS COUNTRY IS TO SURVIVE…..I LOVE MY COUNTRY AND WANT TO SEE US BACK ON TOP AGAIN  WITH A NEW COMMANDER IN CHIEF WHO GIVES A DAM ABOUT AMERICA AND AMERICANS ….GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOR BLESS OUR TROOPS AND THOSE OF US WHO SERVED IN THE PAST AND MADE THIS COUNTRY GREAT…..30…..

  • Gordy1957

     the bennies we get now isn’t worth all the killing and suffering we had to go through  just to earn them

  • Gordy1957

     speaking of low blows, i wonder how biz. is for obama.

  • Gordy1957

     so what are you going to do about it? other than come on here and b.s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SandyFRS Sandy Studdard

    What should be done is send our president, all congress plus family that votes to take away our benefits in the military, and anyone one else that is on welfare to the next war they go for.  They will then learn what it is like to be a soldier in todays wars, especially if they get a arm, leg, or whatever blown off. Just maybe they will see the hardship our military soldiers and family has to go through.  Oh yeah, change their pay to military enlisted soldiers. That should do it.

  • Jon Weiss

    This “means testing” is positive proof that Obama is the master of the used car salesman tactic of “bait and switch”.  Offer people grand benefits to get them in service, then after the service is complete, pull the rug out and leave the troops holding the bag. 

  • Navy spouse

    Many of those who receive more served more – up to 30 years… so they will be penalized for serving longer?

  • mrt

    Doesn’t Social Security do the same thing with the Medicare
    payment?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/SandyFRS Sandy Studdard

    Not sure haven’t got that age yet, not even sure if SS will be there when I do. Not that long to go.

  • mrt

    I believe it will be there but if Obama gets re-elected, we
    may have to join a union to collect SS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SandyFRS Sandy Studdard

    That is not a good thing, I believe in no unions, that is just for another person to get rich off of poor people like myself.

  • hollygreen9

    Obama can kiss my ass!!!

  • hollygreen9

    I am on tricare for life, and was really hacked off when they told me that I HAD TO buy part B or I would lose my military coverage. Now they want to charge me for tricare? What a crock of doodoo.

  • Tcrean7828

    Again Veterans get to bend over and eat and excrement sandwich from this administrations – BS.  

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