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From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: FRA NewsBytes –
5-24-13 Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 16:01:03 -0400
In this week's edition: House Subcommittee
Rejects Pay Cap, Higher Health Care Fees House and Senate Approve Stolen
Valor Act TRICARE Prime West Region Referral Waiver Extended Memorial Day
House Subcommittee Rejects Pay Cap, Higher Health Care
Fees The House Armed
Services' Subcommittee on Military Personnel marked up its portion of the House
version of the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, H.R.1960) this
week. The panel rejected the Administration's request to establish an enrollment
fee for TRICARE-for-Life (TFL) and TRICARE Standard beneficiaries and increase
TRICARE Prime enrollment fees and pharmacy co-pays. The subcommittee approved a
1.8-percent military pay raise for FY 2014 to keep pace with non-military salary
increases, despite only a one-percent increase requested in the Pentagon's
budget proposal. These are major legislative victories for FRA, however the
battle to halt drastic increases to TRICARE fees, provide an active duty pay
raise that's at least equal to the Employment Cost Index (ECI) and protect other
benefits is just beginning. It's clear that FRA shipmates' voices are being
heard on Capitol Hill.
The subcommittee's mark also includes provisions
that would prohibit command authorities from dismissing all but minor sexual
offenses from a court martial and/or reducing a guilty finding in a sexual
assault case to a lesser offense. Numerous amendments on sexual assault are
expected to be offered when the full House Armed Services Committee marks up the
bill in two weeks.
Other provisions include:
Reducing overall military
endstrength by more than 40,000, including a 7,100 reduction in Marine Corps
manpower. (The Navy's manpower would increase by 900);
Mandating minimum notification of 120
days for mobilization of Reserve units;
Protecting child-custody arrangements
while a military parent is on deployment;
Expanding Servicemember Civil Relief
Act (SCRA) mortgage protections for service members, surviving spouses, and
Providing $25 million in Impact Aid for
public schools impacted by military population; and
Prohibiting another round of base
closures and realignments (BRAC).
The Senate Armed Services' Personnel
Subcommittee begins markup of the Senate's version of the bill on June 11, 2013.
Once both chambers approve their respective versions of the NDAA, a conference
committee will be appointed to reconcile the differences between the House and
Senate bills. Members are urged to use the Action Center at www.fra.org to share their views
with lawmakers on these and other pending issues that impact their earned
and Senate Approve Stolen Valor Act The House and Senate approved the
FRA-supported "Stolen Valor Act" this week and the measure now awaits White
House approval. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck (Nev.), protects the
integrity of military awards by making it a crime to knowingly benefit from
fraudulent claims of military decorations. In June of 2012, the Supreme Court
(United States v. Alvarez) overturned a previous Stolen Valor law on the grounds
that it infringed on constitutionally-protected free speech.
makes a key change to the previous language that should withstand constitutional
scrutiny because the legislation narrowly focuses on those who seek to benefit
from their misrepresentations of military awards - not the lie itself. FRA thanks the nearly
1,600 shipmates who contacted their senators on short notice this week, urging
them to "fast-track" the bill for rapid approval by the full Senate. Your
efforts paid dividends!
TRICARE Prime West Region Referral Waiver
Extended TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) recently announced the
continuation of referral waivers for TRICARE Prime beneficiaries in the TRICARE
West Region. The waiver period, which was originally slated to end on May 18th,
has been extended through June 18, 2013. The waiver suspends the
requirement that all referrals be approved by United Healthcare before the
beneficiary could obtain specialty care. United is the new administrator for
TRICARE's West Region and has made progress in reducing the backlog of referral
requests since the initial waiver was announced. The extension will allow more
time to process existing referrals and ensure beneficiaries are seen by
specialists in a timely manner.
The waiver applies to referrals obtained
from April 1 through June 18, 2013, for care expected to be received through
August 18, 2013. While United Healthcare continues to clear its backlog of
referrals, Prime enrollees in the West Region who get a referral from their
Primary Care Manager (PCM) will still be able to seek TRICARE-covered services
from a network specialist. This authorization waiver is only for TRICARE Prime
beneficiaries in the West Region. Additional information is available at www.uhcmilitarywest.com
Observances Shipmates across the country will participate in Memorial Day
ceremonies to pay tribute to America's fallen heroes.
FRA's East Coast
Regional President Donald Hoover will represent National President Mark Kilgore
at Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, May 27. He
will join other national leaders in honoring the men and women who have died in
service to our nation by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Branches from the East Coast Region's Central Liaison Committee are
sponsoring a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., at 10:00 AM
on Monday, May 27.
On Saturday and Sunday (May 25 and 26),
shipmates from around the D.C. area and members of the FRA National Headquarters
(NHQ) team will staff an information booth at Rolling Thunder, an annual
motorcycle tribute in the nation's capital to ensure that Vietnam POWs and MIAs
are not forgotten.
FRA NHQ will be closed on Monday, May 27, in
observance of Memorial
Day. ________________________________________ NewsBytes is FRA's weekly
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FRA is celebrating its 88th anniversary
and is the oldest and largest association representing the interests of current
and former Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel. If you are not a member
and are eligible, please join FRA at www.fra.org. The larger the membership base, the louder your
voice is heard on Capitol Hill!