Senate Blocks TRICARE Copay Increase
The Senate on Wednesday by voice vote approved an amendment to the defense authorization bill (S 2766) that would block a proposed increase in copayments for TRICARE members who purchase prescription drugs at retail pharmacies, CQ Today reports. The Bush administration had proposed increasing copays for prescription drugs purchased at retail pharmacies and making generic medications available by mail order at no cost to help reduce military health care costs.
The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), would not affect the proposal to make generic medications available by mail order at no cost.
By 2015, health care costs likely will account for $65 billion, or 12%, of the military budget, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supported the proposal to increase copays for prescriptions purchased at retail pharmacies (Donnelly, CQ Today, 6/14).