Tom Philpott

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  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Senators accept plan to squeeze commissary benefit

    Defenders of the benefit for military families and the military resale industry fear the committee’s action, if it becomes law, would be a significant first step toward devaluing, or even phasing out, discounted on-base shopping at stateside bases.

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Big Tricare plans rejected; other options considered

    Both the Senate and House armed services committees have rejected two Tricare reform plans, one from the Obama administration to raise fees and consolidate the triple-option health benefit, and a second from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to replace Tricare entirely...

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Panel votes for ‘blended’ military retirement plan

    Despite vigorous opposition from a few colleagues who are military retirees, the House Armed Services Committee voted overwhelming on Wednesday to give future generations of service members something different from the all-or-nothing 20-year retirement system the military has relied on for seven...

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Congress steps toward blended military retirement

    The replacement plan, as endorsed by the House armed services’ personnel subcommittee, is a blended system that would cut by 20 percent the value of future force annuities in return for an added tool to build nest eggs earlier — a 401(k)-like Thrift Savings Plan with government matching...

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Commissary exchange consolidation gaining steam

    Consolidation of the Defense Commissary Agency and three separate military exchange services into a single Defense Retail Activity is gaining support among policymakers inside the Department of Defense and perhaps a key congressional subcommittee, a source reports.

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Caution flag up on more easing of VA ‘Choice Card’ usage

    An actuarial firm under contract to the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that allowing veterans who live more than 40 miles from needed VA health care to use private sector care instead could balloon VA health care costs by as much as $46 billion a year.

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Military coalition divides over compensation reforms

    The Military Coalition can make Congress tremble from time to time, by presenting a united front of millions of members from more than 30 military associations and veterans’ service organizations in support of, or opposition to, legislation affecting military folks and veterans.

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Budget blueprints alarm joint chiefs but one has lifeline

    The House committee, says it has a fresh gimmick to spare the military BCA cuts in fiscal 2016: Let basic defense spending fall, as planned, but add billions of dollars back to an account BCA can’t touch: the Department of Defense’s Overseas Contingency Operations account.

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Wounded Warrior Project keeps growing

    Steven Nardizzi, chief executive officer of WWP, said the project is busier than ever filling gaps in education, counseling and other activities needed to “honor and empower” warriors of recent wars. The goal is to make Iraq and Afghanistan veterans “the most successful and ...

  • TOM PHILPOTT

    Isakson vows to ease 40-mile limit on VA ‘Choice’ card

    Representatives of veterans’ service organizations predicted last summer that many veterans would be angered and confused by the arbitrary way Congress shaped a 40-mile rule for use of new Choice Cards under the Veterans Choice, Access and Accountability Act of 2014.

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