Forwarded by Col. Art Krause USAF (Ret) 2/23/05 via BGen Bob Clements USAF (Ret)

WHEREAS, The State of California has one of the largest retired military communities in the United States; and

WHEREAS, California includes among its population over 181,000 retired military personnel in addition to their dependent families; and

WHEREAS, These military retirees receive over $285,000,000 per month in retired military pay which equates to over $3,400,000,000 annually, much of which goes for the daily living expenses of the retired military community and thus helps support the economy of the State of California: and

WHEREAS, It is believed that the contributions of the retired military community to this state and nation are beyond most people's realization; and

WHEREAS, The healthcare of our retired military community was recognized by Congress in the fiscal 2001 National Defense Authorization Act Public Law 106-398 in a program titled “TRICARE for Life;” and

WHEREAS, TRICARE substantially improves health care access for most Medicare eligible military retirees; and

WHEREAS, TRICARE for Life is a “Medigap” type wraparound coverage, that is, it fills the gaps left by Medicare; and

WHEREAS, When a Medicare eligible retiree uses a civilian facility, TRICARE becomes the secondary payer to Medicare; and

WHEREAS, When the retiree uses the Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) Medicare pays nothing; and

WHEREAS, with the authorization of Medicare funds for patients in a Military Treatment Facility, and with the addition of trained medical personnel, could accommodate both retired military personnel and dependants and active duty personnel; and

WHEREAS, Providing Medicare funds to Military Treatment Facilities will provide jobs for qualified military and civilian medical personnel which will assist the economy of this state; and

WHEREAS, Only the United States Congress can make good on the promises recruiters made in good faith to those that served their country for at least twenty years with the understanding that when they retired, they and their dependants would receive full health care for life;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California jointly

That the Legislature of the State of California respectfully requests the President and Congress of the United States to enact legislation recognizing the medical needs of retired military personnel and families who are of Medicare age to provide Medicare funds directly to the Military Treatment Facility when an individual is in the hospital so that expansion with the hiring of qualified medical personnel will not only create additional jobs but will also reduce over the next decade Medicare payments for private care; and

Be it further resolved, that the Legislature of the State of California supports the enactment of legislation to address these matters; and

Be it further resolved, that the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, to the House Armed Services Committee, and to the chairman of each committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate for consideration of this legislation.

(Comment by BGen Clements: If this can be accomplished in all of the State's Legislatures it will be a big factor in saving the Military Healthcare System. It will also be a win-win for the American taxpayer as the military treatment facilities can provide care to Medicare eligible retirees at a discount. It would give our over 65 retirees the choice to use the military system or the civilian system based on who performs the best job. We are talking about competitive, top quality, healthcare delivery and patient satisfaction. The thing speaks for itself and It Is The Right Thing To Do!)