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Thursday, May 16, 2013

TRICARE, the Pentagon, and Bureaucratic Inertia

At Time, Air Force spouse Jeremy Hilton writes:
In 2010, military families filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defense (DoD) and TRICARE (the military’s healthcare insurance program) for their failure to provide medically-appropriate behavioral health treatment for military children impacted by autism.
In July, a federal judge found in favor of those military families. But the DoD, who is represented by the Department of Justice, is expected to continue appealing the case, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court.
In January, Obama signed the 2013 defense authorization bill, which contained an amendment creating a one-year pilot program for the treatment of military children with autism, to be implemented in 90 days.
We are at 133 days and counting as of May 16 with no expectation for a program anytime soon.
In a recent conversation with a retired four-star general (speaking about processes in the Pentagon), he stated that “the bureaucrats in the Pentagon have a Ph.D. in log rolling…when they don’t want to do something, it doesn’t get done.”
I doubt that politicians realizes how hypocritical their comments sound to middle-class military families who have “children with autism or Down’s syndrome, and other serious disabilities,” who are fighting the Pentagon to give their kids a chance.
Given what Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have done through their Joining Forces campaign, military families like mine are really trying hard to give the President the benefit of the doubt, and trying to remain hopeful.
In the end, this is President Obama’s Administration.