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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government PowerPoint Presentation
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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government

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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government

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  1. ROLE OF NAUS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FORUNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government -- Non-profit – non-partisan -- All seven uniformed services -- All ranks and grades -- All conditions of service

  2. NAUS MISSION • Promote a strong national defense and protect the benefits earned through service and sacrifice in the uniformed services

  3. The Service Member’s Voice in Government • Protecting Your Benefits PART I

  4. WHAT IS GOING ON IN WASHINGTON?

  5. MAJOR ISSUE IN WASHINGTON -- Debt and Deficit - Budget Cuts -$487 billion -$200 billion - Sequestration

  6. DEFENSE BUDGET as a Share of Federal Allocations by Year 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1962 1972 1982 1992 2002 2012 2022

  7. DEFENSE SPENDING AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP Vietnam War Reagan Build up Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan

  8. MILITARY PERSONNEL COSTSAREN’T EXPLODING • About one-third of the defense budget goes to military personnel and health care costs – the same share it has been for more than 30 years. That’s no more unaffordable now than in the past. 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 33% Health Care Personnel 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010

  9. RUNAWAY SPENDING, NOT LOW TAX REVENUE, RESPONSIBLE FOR FUTURE DEFICITS… PERCENTAGE OF GDP The main driver behind long-term deficits is government spending—not low revenues. While revenue will surpass its historical average of 18.0 percent of GDP by 2021, spending will shoot past its historical average of 20.3 percent, reaching 26.4 percent in the same year. Current Recession also plays significant role in current deficit.

  10. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • Assault on Military Benefits

  11. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • “Well, the war is over. We don’t need them anymore. We don’t need to honor the promises we made when we recruited them, so to heck with the troops.”

  12. ROCKS IN THE RUCKSACK • FY 2015 NDAA shifts $9B in cost on to military personnel, families and retirees • -- Caps AD pay raise at 1% • -- Cuts Basic Allowance for Housing • -- Reduces commissary savings • -- Proposes TRICARE consolidation

  13. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • PAY RAISE • -- Cap Active Duty Pay Raise at 1.0% • - Caps currently serving pay raise at 1%; below ECI for second year with caps through FY 2019 (six years) • - Cites “rising personnel cost” over past 12 years • - Ignores reality of closing 13% pay gap seen in 1999 and fixing retention problems • - Pay growth has already slowed; should not repeat bad lessons of the 90s and 70s

  14. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • MILITARY PAY RAISES SINCE 2000

  15. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • BAHCUT • -- Cut Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) • - Increase out-of-pocket expenses of the currently serving by some 5% • - Reverses action taken in last 143 years to eliminate out-of-pocket costs • - In 1999, out-of-pocket costs averaged 19% • - DoD/Congress took action to address glaring inequities and stem retention problems

  16. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • COMMISSARY CUT • -- Cut Commissary Subsidy • - Reduce Defense Commissary Agency • (DeCA) budget from $1.4B to $400M • - Represents a loss of savings of approximately 66% • -- Checkout savings would drop from roughly 30% to 10% • -- Biggest hit on lower grade personnel and retirees

  17. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • FOOD STAMP USE AMONGMILITARY RISES AGAIN $103.6M Military dollars spent on food stamps $98.8M $87.8M $72.8M $52.9M $31.1M $26.2M $24.8M

  18. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • TRICARE CONSOLIDATION • -- TRICARE – 3 into 1 plan • - Eliminates existing TRICARE options for those under age 65; replaced by single plan • - Re-labels Prime “enrollment” as “participation” fee but drops guaranteed access • - Increases deductibles and co-pays & Rx co-pays* • - Requires maintenance meds to be filled by MTF or mail order • - Establishes fees for working age retirees to use MTFs • - Establishes enrollment fees (means-testing) for retirees age 65 and older in TRICARE-for-Life program (grandfathers those currently over 65) * *Congress rejected last year

  19. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • CRITICS IGNORE RECENT BENEFIT/FEE CHANGES • -- 13% TRICARE Prime Fee Hike (2011) • -- Annual Prime Fee Hikes (2012+) • -- $8-$23 Rx Copay Hikes (2012-13) • -- Annual Rx Copay Hikes (2014+) • -- Mandatory Mail-order Rx Refills

  20. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • POSITIVE WAYS TO CONTROL HEALTH COSTS • -- Consolidate fragmented DoD system • -- Better manage chronic conditions • -- Maximize use of military medical facilities • -- Improve promotion of mail-order Rx • -- Improve contracting/procurement

  21. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • QUADRUPLE WHAMMY IMPACT

  22. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • EDUCATION BENEFITS • -- Tuition Assistance – one of the most prized and important of benefits. • -- Discontinued with Sequestration • -- Reinstated a significantly altered program when NAUS and others complained • “We train for certainty. We educate for uncertainty.”

  23. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • HAZARDOUS DUTY PAY • -- Eliminated in 8 countries and 5 waterways

  24. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • MILITARY RETIREMENT • -- Assertion • - System unaffordable • - System unfair to those who serve less than 20 years • -- Jo Ann Rooney, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness: • “While the Department acknowledges the military retirement system appears expensive, it is neither unaffordable nor spiraling out of control, as some would contend.” • -- Thrift savings plan

  25. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • MILITARY RETIREE COLA • Bipartisan Budget Agreement • - Reduce Retire COLA by 1% until age 62 • - $6.3 Billion over 10 years • - DEFEATED!!!-

  26. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • VETERANS EMPLOYMENT • -- Vow to Hire Heroes Act – 2011 • -- $5,600 tax credit for hiring veterans • -- $9,600 tax credit for hiring disabled veterans • -- Congress allowed them to expire 31 December 2013

  27. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • ELIGIBILITY FOR CIVILIAN PENSIONS • -- Eliminate employee pension for military retirees who go back to work for the government. • -- 134,000 people • -- Double-dippers

  28. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • MILITARY FUNERALS • -- Colorado Journalist • -- Provide only to service members and veterans who are legitimate “Heroes” • -- “Heroes” undefined • -- Absurd but not new (mid-90s)

  29. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • SEQUESTRATION • -- Sequestration was thought to be so egregious it wouldn’t happen • -- Debt reduction is a national priority, but should not be on backs of troops and families • -- Additional cuts will continue to threaten pay, benefits, and end strength – further lowering end strength places national security at risk

  30. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • ELIMINATE SEQUESTRATION • -- The Budget Control Act of 2011 levied a $500B bill on Pentagon on top of already agreed $487B reduction (over 10 years) • -- Under Bipartisan Budget Act, DoD received some sequestration relief for FY14 and FY15 • -- But, sequestration returns for FY16 - FY22 approximately $50 billion per year • -- If remains in place, will require further, dramatic cuts

  31. SUCCESSES • -- Reversed retiree COLA cuts • -- Stopped major TRICARE fee • -- Won passage of new 21st Century GI Bill • -- Lowered retirement age and expanded education benefits for National Guard & Reserve Personnel • -- Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission • -- Restored tuition assistance funding after 2013 sequestration cuts • -- Doc Fix

  32. SUCCESSES • -- DIC offset • -- Voting rights • -- Stolen Valor Legislation • -- Distinguished Warfare Medal (now Device) • -- Cemetery • -- Ensured that qualified disabled retirees receive both full military retirement pay and VA disability compensation • -- TRICARE For Life/TRICARE Senior Pharmacy • -- Concurrent Receipt – combat related spec. comp. • -- Repealed age-62 “Military Widow’s Tax”

  33. SUCCESSES • -- Defeated Major TRICARE Fee Hikes • -- 50.6% Cum. Pay Raise (vs. 37.6% Private Sector) • -- Post-9/11 GI Bill + Transferability • -- End Strength Increases • -- TRICARE Reserve Select • -- TRICARE Retired Reserve (Gray Area TRICARE) • -- G/R Early Ret. Credit for Call-ups post-28 Jan 2008 • -- Disability Evaluation System Improvements • -- Death Benefit Upgrades (SBP, SGLI, et al)

  34. EARNED BENEFITS • -- Not social entitlements • -- Promised – moral contract – court case • -- Before all-volunteer force – deferred compensation • -- All volunteer force – price of doing business

  35. NDAA 2015 • -- HASC Personnel Subcommittee – Win • -- HASC Clear Mark – Win • -- HASC – Win • -- House of Representatives – Win • -- SASC – Partial Win (BAH & Active Duty Pay) • -- Senate • -- Conference Committee • -- Congress • -- President

  36. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • THEY’RE BACK! • Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said on • October 14, 2014 that the Pentagon will continue • pressing to trim military pay, pension and housing • allowances despite rejection by Congress

  37. ASSAULT ON MILITARY,VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS • THE FUTURE • -- If political & military officials want to change the promised package of benefits for future enlistees, let’s have the discussion. • -- Let’s talk about the probable impact on recruiting, retention and quality of the force. • -- Let’s not penalize and break faith with those who have and are serving.

  38. Senator James Webb (D-VA) • “You can’t renegotiate the front end once the back end is done. This is an obligation that has been made to people whose military careers are now done.” • “I’ve said many times that I believe that whether there is a specific contracted obligation or not, when someone has served a full career, we have a moral obligation to provide them with lifetime medical care.” • U.S. Senator James Webb (D-VA)

  39. JOHN F. KENNEDY • “As we express our gratitude, we mustnever forget the highest appreciation is notto utter words, but to live by them.”

  40. GEORGE WASHINGTON • “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

  41. UNCLE SAM REPAIRS VA HEALTH CARE

  42. VETERANS HEALTHCARE • DEPARTMENT OF • VETERANS AFFAIRS SCANDAL • Appointment delays – gaming the system • Avoidable deaths • Resignations • Dr. Robert Petzel – VA’s top health official • VA General Counsel Will Gunn • Acting Under Secretary for Health, Robert Jesse • New Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald • New authority • More money

  43. The Service Member’s Voice in Government • Promote A StrongNational Defense PART II