Bill would vaccinate Tricare against reform complications

Proposed bill would address the concerns of military families

A proposed Senate bill, the Tricare Affirmation Act, would change the IRS tax code to state that those covered under Tricare and other Defense Department health plans meet the minimum essential individual health insurance coverage requirement that is part of the health care reform bill that President Obama signed into law March 23. The bill was introduced March 22 by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va)

Webb said the bill was necessary to clear up any potential confusion over whether enrollees in Tricare and related plans meet the new act’s minimum coverage requirements. Beneficiaries of Tricare for Life and military veterans’ health care programs also satisfy requirements under the Webb measure. A companion bill in the House, H.R.4887, introduced by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo), was approved by the House on March 20 by a vote of 403 to 0.

“This bill sets the record straight,” Webb said. “Supporting this bill will reassure our servicemembers that the coverage provided by Tricare will exceed the minimal essential coverage required under the health care reform bill.”

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