Armed Forces News

Reacting to an outcry against a plan by the Office of Management and Budget to more than triple copays for most Tricare drugs and to impose the same fees at military treatment facilities, OMB backed down for the fiscal 2005 budget year. Nevertheless Defense officials have insisted that the idea will be back on the table for fiscal ’06 budget planning – which will occur after the November general election. James D. Staton, Air Force Sergeants Association’s executive director, wrote President Bush in a Dec. 29 letter that the plan would break faith with “those who sacrificed a good portion of their lives for this nation” and sends “an awful signal” to “those currently serving and considering a military career.” He added that “military veterans and retirees are beginning to waver in their support of this administration in light of repeated gestures of indifference and disrespect.”