Trump Administration Pushing Cuts to Military Health Care During a Pandemic

August 17, 2020

No comment from Loeffler or Collins on DoD proposal to cut over $2 billion from military health care even as “defense officials say troops and their families could be hurt”

ATLANTA — The Trump administration recently announced a devastating new attack on health care during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, proposing over $2 billion in cuts that “could effectively gut the Pentagon’s health care system during a nationwide pandemic.”

But have Senator Kelly Loeffler or Congressman Doug Collins stood up to the Trump administration over this latest attack on health care? Not a chance.

Even as “defense officials say troops and their families could be hurt,” Loeffler and Collins have kept standing behind the administration and their reckless attacks on health care at a time when “cases are rising the most on military bases [including] in…Georgia.” One Pentagon official also warned the proposed cuts are “weakening the ability to protect the health of active-duty troops in military theaters abroad.” But as their anti-health care records show, both Loeffler and Collins will always put politics ahead of Americans’ access to affordable, quality care.

“Senator Kelly Loeffler and Congressman Doug Collins would rather fight for the White House’s support than fight to protect military health care in a pandemic,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Once again, Loeffler and Collins are choosing to side with the Trump administration and its irresponsible attacks on health care over hardworking families — including our military families.”

Read more about the Trump Administration’s plan to slash military health care:

POLITICO: Esper eyes $2.2 billion cut to military health care

  • Pentagon officials working on Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s cost-cutting review of the department have proposed slashing military health care by $2.2 billion, a reduction that some defense officials say could effectively gut the Pentagon’s health care system during a nationwide pandemic.
  • Two senior defense officials say the effort has been rushed and driven by an arbitrary cost-savings goal, and argue that the cuts to the system will imperil the health care of millions of military personnel and their families as the nation grapples with Covid-19.
  • Roughly 9.5 million active-duty personnel, military retirees and their dependents rely on the military health system, which is the military’s sprawling government-run health care framework that operates hundreds of facilities around the world.
  • The first two senior defense officials said the cuts are not supported by program analysis nor by warfighter requirements.
  • “A lot of the decisions were made in dark, smoky rooms, and it was driven by arbitrary numbers of cuts,” said one senior defense official with knowledge of the process. “They wanted to book the savings to be able to report it.”
  • “It imperils the ability to support our combat forces overseas,” added a second senior official, who argued that Esper’s moves are weakening the ability to protect the health of active-duty troops in military theaters abroad. “They’re actively pushing very skilled medical people out the door.”
  • The proposed health cuts, in the second iteration of the defense-wide review, would degrade military hospitals to the point that they will no longer be able to sustain the current training pipeline for the military’s medical force, potentially necessitating something akin to a draft of civilian medical workers into the military, the two defense officials said.
  • As a result, the proposed reductions would hurt combat medical capability without actually saving money, the officials argued. The Pentagon is already significantly overspending on private sector care and TRICARE because patients are being pushed out of undermanned military health facilities to the private health care network, they said.


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