During 2019, MOAA Government Relations will engage the 116th Congress early and often on issues which have been identified as having great importance to our members, the men and women in our uniformed services, their families, and their survivors,” says Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret), vice president of Government Relations. “As military experience among members of Congress has declined over the years, with just over 17 percent having experience in uniform at the onset of 2019, these goals are instrumental to our efforts to inform and influence members of Congress and their staffs”.
Ensure that any TRICARE reform actions will sustain access to top-quality care.
Prevent disproportional TRICARE fee increases.
Sustain military pay comparability with the private sector.
Stop efforts to erode compensation and non-pay quality of life benefits. (BAH, etc.)
End financial penalties for military survivors (Widows Tax, the SBP offset by DIC).
End concurrent receipt penalties for military retirees (Full concurrent receipt for all disabled military veterans).
Achieve equity of benefits for Guard and Reserve members with their Active Duty counterparts.
Strengthen DOD-VA collaboration and services to support wounded warriors and an expanding population of women veterans.
Ensure timely access to service-earned VA benefits.
Protect military and veteran family support programs and policies.
A full discussion of each of these goals can be found at http://www.moaa.org/2019Goals/. The MOAA National page on this subject includes several “Take Action” links which will allow you to send your opinion on the particular issue to your elected federal representatives.
It is important that we all begin to alert our legislators to the significance of these issues to members of the military community. This means maintaining contact at the local field office level as well as with their offices in Washington in order to ensure that the issues are seen as being important to their constituents and are not just hot button topics being promoted by a national organization; so I encourage you to make contact at both levels.
Please review these topics and then engage the local field offices of your federal representatives with them as early and as often as you can.