Military and Retiree Healthcare at Risk
After delaying almost all of its essential work until the last two weeks of the year, Congress has scrambled to pass a defense bill, pass annual appropriations, and extend unemployment benefits.
But fixing the biggest threat to military and retiree family’s healthcare access – stopping the January 1, 27% cut in Medicare and TRICARE payments to doctors – seems to have slipped down on legislators’ priority list.
This is a huge deal.
Everyone in Congress wants to stop the cuts, but they’re still bickering over how to pay for it, and how long they can afford to delay the cut.
The Republican House-passed payroll tax extension bill included a two year fix, but Democrats opposed to offsets to pay for the bill, which included an even lengthier freeze of federal workers’ pay, among other things.
With time running short, it’s time to send your legislators a message asking them to work across party lines and reach a quick agreement to avoid a 27 percent cut that would devastate military and Medicare beneficiaries’ access to health services.
Two questions for you:
If you haven’t been paying attention, you may have noticed that health care for the Military and Retirees is under attack.
Do you belong to one of the major Veteran’s Groups?
If not, why not?
Use Your Voice, Raise the Alarm, and Get Involved
The slow and steady drumbeat of change has continued along the Potomac River. Leon Panetta has already begin softening the path for radical change in the retirement system.
Andrew J. Bacevich, a retired Army officer and military analyst, wrote in The Washington Post on Aug. 22 that the effect of the board’s proposed solution “would be to transform profession into trade, reducing long-serving officers and noncommissioned officers to the status of employees, valued as long as they are needed, expendable when they are not, forgotten the day they leave.”
The emphasis continues to be placed on two key arguments: fairness to the people who serve less than twenty years and costs
The first argument is disingenuous since any person has the opportunity to make a career of the military. This argument is purposely made to divide and conquer military personnel and their families away from the fact that a successful program is about to be fundamentally destroyed.
The second argument about costs conveniently forgets that we need a long serving core of officers and skilled technicians to train the reserve forces in time of war and rapidly stem the threats of any enemies that try to surprise us (such as at Pearl Harbor).
Stay educated, communicate with your service organizations (American Legion, VFW, MOAA, FRA and so on). Finally, continue to educate the congress about why this is a very bad idea and very short-sighted in view of the very real dangers in the world.
Click on the link below to let your representative know that you will be watching very closely how they support and defend this country and its heroes.
I don’t care how old I get, there are a few sounds I can distinctly remember. The original Claxton diving alarm. The annoying replacement for that Claxton (was somebody mad at their dog the day they created that thing?) The sound of the vents opening on the first dive after an overhaul. And of course, the General Alarm for Battle Stations.
Normally the sound would only come after being awake working rebuilding a HPAC all night long. Or, if you were an electrician, cleaning the brushes on an MG set. You are tired, probably just cleaned the surface dirt off enough to be somewhat comfortable and you know you are going on watch in about an hour.
But you get up with the rest of the crew and race to the your assigned Battle Station . Depending on where you are in the world and how expected the alarm may or not have been, your adrenaline gets pumping pretty hard. Your body, no matter how tired, reacts in the way you have trained on under the circumstances. Suddenly all that training about how to rig a submersible pump in the dark doesn’t seem so pointless.
There are steps that are required every time the crew goes to Battle Stations:
1. It is critical that each time the alarm is sounded, a sense of urgency is clearly communicated. This helps all hands see that immediate action is required and strategies for overcoming the chaos of a battle situation are being addressed.
2. A powerful guiding team is assembled and put in the right places. The best of the best get assigned to the key roles. The COB often takes the dive, all officer’s assume a role in the targeting party (except the DCA). You put your best and most accurate planesmen/helmsman on the sticks and top it off with a Chief of the Watch that’s unflappable. The hallmarks of this group are that they have a bias for immediate action, they have a honed communications ability, they are trustworthy by all members of the crew, they have the authority to act, and they are able to employ their analytical skills in rapid response to the emerging threat.
3. The guiding team quickly establishes the response to the threat. This is a combination of the longer term vision (we need to survive) and a pathway to overcome any threats that will cause the long-term vision to fail
4. Then that clear vision is communicated from the Commanding Officer on down. Soundpowered phones and face to face communications compliment the 1MC and engineering/weapons circuits. In order for the ship to operate as one fighting force, communication is absolutely critical
5. Once the controlling party is in place, the teams throughout the boat are empowered for action. Local leaders take up key roles and operate to contain any casualties or battle readiness issues under their immediate control. This means training and dedication of resources at all levels. These local teams address as many local issues as they are able and continue to feed information back to the control room party. Every person plays a key role. There are no riders on a sub crew (maybe some visitors from other commands, but other than that everybody plays).
6. Execution of the key actions and rapid adjustments in response to the results of those actions. The team is ready to answer all bells, answer any command, and bring victory to the long line of US Naval historical victories.