To help U.S., veteran benefits should be cut, vet says
Still getting emails on Sunday's column, "Fixing America Needs Contributions From Everybody." Here's one from Paul Belz, an Army reservist and insurance agent who is surprised that his military Tricare health plan requires no premium contribution from him.
He wrote to the magazine of the Military Officers Association of America, he says, and suggested that retired officers ought to contribute a little more in the way of premiums, co-pays etc. The response was very negative, he said. Here is his entire email:
I found that recent article very interesting...!
I have a good example of your point...
I am a 62 year old, retired Army Reserve Officer (part timer)..still working..I sell Property and casualty insurance...I receive a small pension for my service, and get Tricare health insurance.
I pay NO PREMIUM for Tricare..I have NO CO-PAYS, then a 25% coinsurance , to a max expense (like a deductible) to $3,000 out of pocket..It is very generous...!!
Recently, I wrote a letter (to the editor) of an organization that I belong to..the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), suggesting that we, as retirred officers, ought to be willing to contribute a little to the whole "address the debt'"situation...perhaps pay some premium, accept co-pays, etc..
In Feb, 2011, my letter was included in the magazine..
In subsequent months' letters to the editor... membership OVERWHELMINGLY responded that they vehemently opposed ANY contribution/resolution assistance
..i.e.reduction in benefits..They state that they HAVE EARNED the bennies, and don't want to give up anything..!!
These are retired OFFICERS..often higher ranking officers from all branches...Many were active duty soldiers, who retired after 20 years of active service. They receive 50% of their pay at retirement (75% after 30 years..!!!!!!!!)...Many...most have gone on to second careers ..often in government..where they secure another pension..etc etc..
I was, quite frankly, quite shocked...a bit unnerved, actually....at the LOUD opposition to any suggestion that they "contribute" in a positive way to the country's dire underfunded pension/benefite/entitlement crisis..
It really concerns me..!! .....If EVERYONE does not wake up, prepare to be affected..and legislators craft a comprehensive resolution that affects everyone....be sure all participate in some way,....we are in deep trouble....!