posted on April 20, 2005 10:37
1. TRICARE Reserve Select
2. Commission on Guard and Reserve
3. Some Current Congressional Bills/Activities for FY 2006
4. Support for National Guard and Reserve Equipment Accounts
5. Contact your Congressional Representatives; Senate and House, and Professional Staff Members
1. TRICARE Reserve Select is now available for enrollment.This is the new premium-based TRICARE health plan offered for purchase by certain members of the Reserve Component (RC) and their families, if specific eligibility requirements are met.Please go to the following site to review eligibility and the program: This new authority—along with permanent pre- and post- activation TRICARE coverage—will help address the needs of Guard and Reserve families in the call-up pipeline.However, these authorities do not provide the coverage necessary to address the long-term readiness issues that will continue with the current and future utilization of our Guard and Reserve components. Additionally, with the increasing rate of utilization of all areas our Reserve Components increasing, Congress must act to provide increased health care benefits for all our country’s Guardsman, Reservists, and their families, to guarantee the nation can continue to call on them.A permanent TRICARE program on a cost-share basis for our members of the Guard and Reserve components who are being mobilized and deployed at increasing rates is needed now.Further, coverage should include the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) for members with disabled children, who are currently excluded by DoD policy.Along with several associations we strongly support permanent authorization of cost-share access to TRICARE for all members of the Selected Reserve and IRR members subject to activation under Presidential call-up authority, to support readiness, family morale, and deployment health preparedness.
2. Commission on Guard and Reserve.As you know by now, this has stalled due to political end games. However, we are moving towards getting it appointed and working.It is authorized by the FY 05 NDAA, and of course DoD has slowed the process.We ask that you all write to Congress, and SECDEF to seek the appointment of the members, giving the Commission a full 12 months to complete it’s work, and that work begin to address the issues that are important to our Guard and Reserve.The QDR and BRAC process has slowed the appointment of the members, however with your sending e-mails, and letters – Congress will get the message and get it going –ACT Now on this issue.
3. Current Congressional Bills of importance.The following bills are just a few introduced in the 109th Congress.These are some of the bills that address Guard and Reserve issues, and some address legislative goals of interest to you.We encourage you to write your Congressional representatives. The following address just some of our established goals:
- HR 1565.Enhance the benefits TRICARE, USERRA, Reduction in Retirement Age are addressed, along with a long list of benefits.
- HR 1534. A bill that addresses several Guard and Reserve issues including Reduced Retirement
- HR 558 and S 337. The Guard and Reserve Retention and Recruiting Act for 2005. Congressman Latham, Congressman Wilson introduced HR 558, and Senator Graham, Senator Landrieu, Senator Clinton, Senator Leheay, and Senator Allen introduced the companion bill S 337 in the Senate. These bills have provisions that address the following:
4. Support for National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account.As we reported last month, at this time, Navy has established an unfunded list that does include equipment issues that are important to Reserve forces.Congress is very receptive to the needs and requirements of Guard and Reserve Components at this time.We strongly encourage you at this time to act, and let your opinions be known. The Appropriations process is moving along fast, and the decisions will be made soon. The Naval Reserve needs your support for this equipment. These items appear on the Navy’s unfunded list and need your support;
- Equipment for Naval Coastal Warfare/Small Arms – Emerging GWOT requirement
- EOD/NCW equipment for Naval Coastal Warfare units
- C-40 Procurement – procures 1 additional C-40 for FY 06
- Reserve Requirements – for activation – Funds associated for Reservist mobilize for GWOT
- The above are a part of the Navy’s unfunded list; however, there are other items that must be addressed in the NGREA account.Guard and Reserve Components still need the funding Congress provides through this means.If you write Congress about this, they will listen to your comments – make sure they know you are concerned about proper equipment for Naval Reserve Components.
5. E-mail or write your support for these bills and issues to your Senators and Congressman. If they do not hear from you they assume you have no issue with what they decide!
- For your Senators: then find your state.Each Senator has a link to send them an e-mail, this is the most effective way to contact them at this time.
- For your House of Representative members: then put in your zip code, and the link will take you to correct site.
For the different Professional Staff Members that work the issues important to you, and do not forget to contact the Appropriations committees
For Senate committees contact:
Senate Armed Services: Senate Appropriations - Defense
Judith Ansley Ms. Sid Ashworth
SR 228 Russell SD-119 Dirksen SOB
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Fax: 202-228-0037 ph: 202-224-7255//fax
For House committees contact:
House Armed Services Committee House Armed Service – Total Force Subcommittee
Chair: Duncan Hunter (CA) Chair: John McHugh (NY)
Ranking Member: Ike Skelton (MO) Ranking Member: Vic Synder (AR)
Staff Director: Rob Rangel Staff Director: John Chapla
2120 Rayburn House Office Building 2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee: House Appropriations Full Committee Chair: Jerry Lewis (CA)
Ranking Member: John Murtha (PA) Ranking Member: David Obey (WI)
PSM – Leslie Albright PSM – James Dyer - Staff Director
Room H-149 The Capitol Room H-218 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Feel free to forward this e-mail. For those of you who receive this update, and you are not already a member, please consider joining the Naval Reserve Association. Check us out at: www.ausn.org or call on our toll free number 866-672-4968.