House panel votes to block cost-shares

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A House panel has voted to block for at least two years any increases in TRICARE beneficiary cost-shares. It’s the first formal step by Congress to derail the Bush administration’s plan to raise fees, co-payments and deductibles for military retirees under age 65 and their families. The armed services subcommittee […]

Lack of funds dooms defense initiatives

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Senate has passed a 2006 defense authorization bill filled with new and improved military benefits — almost none of them funded. The lack of committed budget dollars likely dooms, at least for this year, some of the more popular initiatives endorsed by the Senate, even as their inclusion in […]

Variable pricing option earns criticism

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Despite congressional criticism, and charges by military associations of benefit tampering, the Department of Defense has hired consultants to do a quick study on use of “variable pricing” in base grocery stores. By law, commissary items are sold at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, which is used to renovate […]