WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee says a special bipartisan committee looking for ways to cut the deficit should consider changes in military health benefits.
Arizona Sen. John McCain signaled he was open to the changes in a letter to the so-called supercommittee. He said the panel should consider President Barack Obama's proposal to establish an annual enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life, the military health program that has no fee for participation. McCain says the panel should consider limiting TRICARE programs for working-age military retirees.
Health care costs for the military have skyrocketed from $19 billion in 2001 to $53 billion.
McCain rejects any defense cuts in excess of the $450 billion reductions now in the works.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.
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