National Security Program | Digest

Rising DOD Health Care Costs Threaten National Security

by Mieke Eoyang and Julie Zelnick

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“Eating the Defense Department alive.” That’s how one former Secretary of Defense described rising military health care costs.

Left unchecked, increasing TRICARE costs will harm our national security— forcing choices between operational readiness and health care for our troops, their families, and military retirees. Minor cost-controls on TRICARE now can help prevent a budget disaster in the future.

In this digest, we tackle the subject of TRICARE and:

  1. Explain what rising TRICARE costs mean for DOD’s budget;
  2. Demonstrate that minor cost adjustments still allow for generous health benefits to military personnel, retirees, and their dependents; and
  3. Recommend that Congress let DOD make minor adjustments now to preserve the benefit for future generations.

This publication was updated in February 2013. It is free for re-use with attribution. Check out our Issuu library to find embed code for your website or blog.