Southwest FL – Our September luncheon speaker, MOAA Director LTG Randall Rigby, provided the attendees from eight MOAA chapters throughout the Southwest Florida Area with an in-depth update of the current legislative climate as related to the active and retired military community. After highlighting MOAA’s ten-year record of “wins” related to military compensation and health care for active duty and retired personnel, LTG Rigby addressed the issues surrounding the President’s FY2013 Budget as it affects the DoD; a programmed $100B reduction, cutting 124,000 active duty personnel, increasing TRICARE rates, reducing Medicare/TRICARE funds by 32%, and looming over it all – the threat
of sequestration which would reduce the DoD Budget by an additional $100B. Additionally, the proposed budget calls for retirement reform, capping active duty pay after 2015, and shifting $51B in health care fees to beneficiaries over the next ten years.
MOAA’s positions on the above issues are consistent and right on target: ensure personnel & funding reductions are matched mission requirements reductions; military pay comparability with the civilian sector is critical with an all-volunteer force; retirement reform should undergo a full & open debate; means testing military retiree health care benefits is discriminatory; and annual beneficiary health care percentage increases should not exceed COLA increases.
LTG Rigby then emphasized the importance of MOAA members staying informed, joining local chapters, and actively communicating with local legislators about issues of importance. He stressed that local chapters are ambassadors in the community – supporting JROTC units, high school programs, deployed
troops and veterans. Chapters and their members who are active in the local community are critical to the grass roots activity required to win big issues.
We thank LTG Rigby for providing an outstanding presentation on the current state of MOAA’s legislative agenda, and encouraging all of us to interact with our elected representatives on these areas of major interest.