William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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OUTRAGE – AT 8:53 A.M. ET:   President Obama is trying to cut the health care for American troops and military retirees.  This is completely outrageous, and Congress must stop it.  From the great defense reporter, Bill Gertz, in the new Washington Free Beacon:

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

That's an understatement

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

COMMENT:   This is occurring while Michele Obama goes around the country meeting with military families.  She is to be commended for her attention to the families of service members.  Now it's time for her to have a little talk with her husband about the callousness he's showing to those same people.

Last week four American soldiers were murdered by Afghan Islamic fanatics.  The White House showed a remarkable indifference, with the president far more interested in falling on his knees and apologizing to the Afghan president because American soldiers had inadvertently burned some Korans.

Obama has a coldness about him.  During his campaign for president he made a disparaging comment, not realizing it would go public, about Americans who "cling to their guns and their religion."  I think he has the same attitude toward those who risk everything for us.

February 28, 2012