Association Testifies About Health Care Needs of Military Families

GR Staff at Dec 3 Testimony

Joyce Raezer, Executive Director of the National Military Family Association, testified before the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) to discuss stakeholder views on military health care and military health care reform. In our testimony we highlighted the following:

  • Affordable and timely access to health care is important to military families.
  • The Military Health System (MHS) is unique in that it has dual readiness and benefit provision missions.
  • Service members and their families consistently rate health care as one of the most valued aspects of the military compensation and benefits package.
  • TRICARE status quo is not sustainable.
  • The MHS should be on par with highest quality commercial health care plans, and tailored to address military families’ unique needs.
  • TRICARE reform must consider all parts of the MHS including overseas and remote assignments.
  • Health care is NOT “free” for military families, but a benefit based on the extraordinary demands, risks, and sacrifices associated with military service.
  • Health care for Guard and Reserve families should be tailored to their unique circumstances.

Chairman Joe Heck (R-3rd/NV) asked the panelists to list three “ups and downs” of the current military health system. Raezer stated the downs are “access, inconsistency, and access.” The three ups are combat care, cultural competency of providers, and low costs for beneficiaries. Raezer shared an example of “silly” access rules that vary from MTF to MTF, such as asking a 28-week pregnant woman to take another pregnancy test to confirm a pregnancy before establishing care with a new doctor after a military-ordered move. 

In our statement for the record, we conclude: “Military families deserve a health care system that facilitates, rather than impedes, their access to care. Second, the cumulative impact of these obstacles, delays, and inconveniences magnifies the effect of each one and, in some cases, creates an insurmountable barrier to accessing necessary care."

Join in the discussion. What would you like to see in TRICARE reform?

Posted December 4, 2015

Comments

From: Jessica Edgell on: January 8, 2016
I would like to see better treatment and referrals for PRP soldiers. My husband is PRP and now has chronic back pain. It has been hard on him and myself and daughter. He doesn't want to be around us because he is in so much pain. His military PRP provider, a PA, told him it is just how it is in the military. It took us almost a year to get referred to a provider at the hospital in town. The in town provider did the same treatment regimen all over again though because they did not have records from base. Also, the base sent him to the Physical therapist at the base hospital, that was a joke. The PT was so rude to my husband and so was the girl at the front desk. My husband didn't want to say anything though because he thought he wouldn't get treated then. The PRP clinical up here is a joke too. He waits 2 hours to tell them they changed the dose of his pain medicine. Last year he had a long surgical healing time and had to see the surgeon downtown every week for 2 months at first. Every time he saw the surgeon he had to go to the PRP clinic. He wasn't even working then due to his surgery. How stupid. I have gotten the run around when trying to help fill his scripts after a surgery before too. absolutely hate the time wasting and inefficiencies of the PRP clinic, pointless clinic. On the civilian side I hate that my provider here at MAFB changes all the time, or I cannot get in to see my provider. I just don't go. I have to be really sick or need a birth control refill in order to go. This would be nice to get fixed.
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