2012 Republican Presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul issued the following statement regarding the Obama administration's latest proposal to seek cuts in Tricare benefits for veterans and active military. See comments below.
"As a Doctor, an Air Force Veteran, and Congressman, who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and has always fought for the best interest of our troops, I am appalled at President Obama's disregard for the health and well-being of America's military families and his continued fealty to union boss special interests.
"The Obama administration's proposed defense budget would require military families and retirees to pay exceedingly more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers' benefits untouched. This is unacceptable.
"Our military men and women have fought bravely, and in exchange, our country made a promise to them that we must honor. There are trillions of dollars in unwise and unconstitutional spending we must cut. And there are few other leaders in Washington willing to cut spending as deeply as I am and truly balance our budget. But we must make sure we take care of our veterans and military personnel who fight to take care of us.
"We have put our troops in harm's way, and we must honor our promises. Our troops have paid a heavy price these past 10 years. Over 5,000 have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, 40,000 have seen crushing injuries, and hundreds of thousands more suffer from brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Failing to meet the promises we have made to our troops would be unjust and immoral.
"Instead of cutting our veterans' benefits, President Obama should truly support our troops by bringing them home to protect our borders and defend our country. Re-unite them with their families and make sure they no longer play policeman in dangerous foreign civil wars. Cutting the benefits of our veterans while we subsidize the security of other wealthy nations like Germany and Japan and play "world policeman' makes no sense.
"As a Congressman, I have taken very seriously my duty to ensure that our fighting men and women are well taken care of and given the respect, dignity, and appreciation they have earned. That is why I introduced H.R. 1092, the Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act, which prohibits the Department of Defense from increasing Tricare fees without congressional approval. I urge my fellow members of Congress, and the other GOP presidential candidates to support this action and support our troops.
"As President, I intend to keep the promises and commitments we have made as a nation to our troops, because they are the ones that sacrifice everything to keep us free."