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Veterans Affairs

By Dave Estrovitz

Tiering of Health Care Fees:  The President’s FY2013 budget proposes “tiering” military health care fees based on retired pay levels, so retired E-6s and below would pay one rate, E-7s to O-4s would pay higher rates, and O-5s and above would pay more still. The Pentagon offers this proposal as if basing health care fees on retired-pay level is doing retirees a favor.  This welfare-style thinking turns the whole concept of service-earned benefits on its head and would hurt members of all grades.  It is recommended that you contact your congressional representatives if you think it is unfair.

Medicare/Tricare Cut Deferred: One morsel of good news this week is that Congress appears to have reached an agreement to stave off a 27% cut in Medicare/TRICARE doctor payments scheduled to take effect March 1.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) announced a bipartisan deal to delay the cut for another 10 months, until January 1, 2013.  The legislation also would extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits through the end of the year.  The deal would be paid for in part by requiring future federal employee hires to contribute more toward their retirement system. A previous initiative to impose the higher contribution requirement on current federal employees was dropped.

VA for Vets Helps Vets Find Work:  The Department of Veterans Affairs’ VA for Vets program provides an online “high-tech” and “high touch” approach to recruiting, hiring, and reintegrating veterans into civilian careers. VA for Vets offers an integrated military skills translator, career assessment tool, a resume builder, search engine and other career search tools. VA for Vets facilitates the reintegration, retention and hiring of veterans as employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For more information, visit the VA for Vets website.   For job listings across the nation and civilian job guides and tips, visit the Veteran Jobs Center.

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