Military Officers Association: White House Budget Proposals ‘Cross the Line’
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) condemned President Obama’s proposed cuts in military retirement pay and benefits fee hikes, saying the President’s proposals “cross the line.”
The MOAA further announced that intends to use its influence and that of its 380,000-plus members to fight both proposals. The following is verbatim from the MOAA statement of April 11th, 2013:
“MOAA opposes the suggested pay cap for currently serving members of the uniformed services of 1% (versus a 1.8% raise by law) and the Pentagon’s plan to shift$25+ billion in costs to military beneficiaries over 10 years by:
- Raising annual fees by $1,000 or more for retired families of all ages.
- Imposing means-testing of military retiree health benefits – which no other federal retirees endure.
- Dramatically increasing pharmacy copays to approach or surpass the median of civilian plans.
“Military pay along with strong health care and retirement benefits are the foundational elements necessary to not just recruit, but also sustain an all-volunteer force,” MOAA President and CEO, Vice Adm. Norb Ryan Jr. said. “The last time the government cut back on military pay and benefits, the results were disastrous by the late ‘90s. It simply didn’t work then and it’s taken the past 12 years to rebuild what was lost,” he concluded.
DoD cites the need to impose these benefit cuts in order to curb “exploding” personnel cost since 2000 reiterating that health care and personnel costs now consume “one-third of the defense budget.”
“DoD’s own documents prove military health costs are not ‘exploding’ – the combined personnel and health costs are less than one-third of DoD budget the same as they’ve been for 30 years,” Ryan stated.
The Pentagon proposed similar fee increases last year and in the past; however, Congress dampened those proposals enacting selected current and future increases in 2011 and 2012, but explicitly limited discretionary increases by DoD.
Congress rejected larger increases on the basis that:
- Pentagon leaders need to do more to more effectively manage costs instead of penalizing beneficiaries.
- Achieving savings by driving beneficiaries away from using service-earned benefits is inappropriate.
“Significant cuts to the crucial incentive packages that sustain a top-quality career force will undermine long-term retention and readiness,” Ryan stated. “These proposals cross the line. Not only do they affect the equities of military personnel and their families, they also affect the ability to support long-term national security,” he concluded.”
The Military Officers Association of America is the nation’s largest association specifically made up of current and former military officers. It is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.