McCain Wants Panel to Consider Changing Military Retirement Benefits:
The top lawmakers on the Senate's defense panel on Friday recommended that a special committee searching for ways to slash the deficit consider some of President Barack Obama's proposed changes to health and retirement benefits for the military.
In separate letters to the bipartisan panel, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., signaled they were open to cost-saving steps in military benefits, recommendations that have already attracted fierce opposition from powerful groups of retired officers and veterans resistant to change.
The Pentagon's health care costs have skyrocketed from $19 billion in 2001 to $53 billion, but lawmakers and various groups argue that members of the military and their families sacrifice far more than the average American, with a career that includes long and dangerous deployments overseas that overshadow civilian work. Health and retirement benefits help attract service members to the all-volunteer force. Levin and McCain said they would support establishing an annual enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life, the health care program that has no fee for participation. Obama had proposed an initial annual fee of $200.........
(Excerpt) Read more at theledger.com ...
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