Congressman John Kline's provision, which would stop the Pentagon from breaking its promise of health care benefits to our veterans for their dedicated service to our nation, passed the House of Representatives today as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA is bipartisan legislation that serves as the budgetary blueprint for the Pentagon.
"One of my priorities in Congress is championing legislation to support our men and women in uniform, veterans, and their families. I am pleased the national defense bill, which addresses the Pentagon's misguided TRICARE policy change, received bipartisan support from my colleagues in the House," said Kline, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps whose son has served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. "My provision in this important bill keeps faith with nearly 4,000 veterans in Minnesota and more than 170,000 nationwide. This legislation provides critical support for our troops and veterans past and present and programs vital to the defense of our nation."
Kline's provision ensures our veterans are given the choice they were promised between TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Standard health care insurance. In the absence of Kline's provision, many veterans would be automatically enrolled in TRICARE Standard, leaving many retirees unable to cover the increased costs. The bill also maintains Kline's Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, which provides for a stronger and more resilient ready reserve component.
In addition to Kline's proposals, the legislation contains an annual pay increase for our troops above the president's request and rejects the administration's proposals to dramatically increase TRICARE fees.
Congressman John Kline serves on the House Armed Services Committee. He also serves as the Chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee. He and his wife, Vicky, live in Burnsville.