Washington, D.C.— Today, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) released the statement below regarding his intent to introduce legislation to explicitly state in law that TRICARE and the DOD nonappropriated fund (NAF) health plans meet all of the health care requirements currently under consideration by Congress for individual health insurance. These programs provide health coverage to members of the military and their families, military retirees and their families, and employees of U.S. military post/base exchanges and other nonappropriated fund activities.
“Our nation’s military provides us with first-class protection, and it is our obligation to provide them—and their families—with first-class health care in return. While some of this Committee’s members may disagree on overall health care reform, we are united in our commitment to ensuring that any measure signed into law will not have any unintended consequences that adversely impact the military health care programs for our men and women in uniform and their families.
“Although the health care legislation passed by the House explicitly exempted TRICARE from being affected, the Senate bill did not. Unfortunately, the parliamentary rules of the reconciliation process did not allow for the inclusion of language that specifically protects these programs. To reassure our nation’s service members and their families that their health coverage will remain unaffected by this, I will introduce legislation this week to explicitly state that TRICARE and the NAF health plans meet all requirements for individual health insurance; this language will also be included in this year’s national defense authorization bill.”