Legislative Update 20 November 2015: COLA: Worse Than Zero

We have No Action Items today.



Summary of Issues

At Issue 1. we see COLA: WORSE THAN ZEROFalling gasoline prices cause FY16 COLA to start in the hole, Follow trends on MOAA’s COLA Watch.  (See Issue 1 below for the details. GF)

At Issue 2. we see CALLING ALL TRICARE BENEFICIARIES. Congress wants to reform military health coverage, If you are a TRICARE beneficiary, MOAA needs your help in filling out a 5-10 minute survey. (Click on CALLING ALL TRICARE BENEFICIARIES here or above to participate in the survey.  GF)


At Issue 3. we see PENTAGON SHAKING UP PERSONNEL PROGRAMSDefense officials outline Force of the Future, DoD’s top personnel chief is under a tight timeline to implement changes before the next administration. (See Issue 3 below for the details. GF) 

At Issue 4. we see HEALTH CARE AND MILITARY KIDSImproving family health care remains a top priority, MOAA focuses on the unique health care needs of military children. (See Issue 4 below for the details. GF)

Collectively We Can and Are Making a Difference


FOR ALL, Please feel free to pass these Weekly Legislative Updates on to your group of Veteran Friends –

don’t be concerned with possible duplications – if your friends are as concerned as we are with Veteran issues, they probably won’t mind getting this from two or more friendly sources





The October Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 232.373, starting the year .8 percent below the FY 2016 COLA baseline.

The CPI for November 2015 is scheduled to be released on December 15, 2015.

Note: Military retiree COLA is calculated based on the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), not the overall CPI. Monthly changes in the index may differ from national figures reported elsewhere.

Issue 2 at


Issue 2. See Issue 2 at Summary of Issues above if you want to participate in a TRICARE Beneficiary survey.


November 20, 2015

On Nov. 18, Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson briefed military and veteran service organizations on the first group of initiatives that are part of the new Force of the Future plan.

The Force of the Future is one of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s top priorities, and looks at changing the way that DoD operates in the area of human resource management.

Some of Carter’s plans include:

  • creating a one year fellowship program in industry specific fields;
  • expanding the DoD sabbatical program; and
  • increasing opportunities for servicemembers to pursue advanced degrees.

In a memo outlining the initiative, Carter said, “In this ever changing environment, one of my top priorities is to ensure that the Force of the Future remains as great as the Force of Today, especially in terms of our most important competitive edge—our people.”

Carson’s goal is to improve the talent management within the department. He wants to recruit and retain more young people into government service by providing them with opportunities and incentives to move between DoD and the private sector, fostering professional growth and development.

Most of the initial programs will not require legislative approval since they are “simply changing the way we do business,” and therefore only require executive action.

The services are under a short timeline for implementation. Carter and Carson would both like to see the program fully implemented by January 2017, before the next administration begins.

Any initiatives requiring legislative authorization will be included in the Pentagon’s FY17 budget request.


November 20, 2015

This week, MOAA joined the Military Kids Matter Coalition, a group of children’s hospitals caring for military families, to establish a framework in the advancement of access and quality of care improvements for pediatric beneficiaries in TRICARE. This year’s event was hosted by the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, which cares for a large population of military children from the Colorado Springs area.

Children’s hospitals across the country work to address policy issues that affect their ability to fulfill their missions to serve children and their families.  The Military Kids Matter Coalition is the only provider advocacy group committed to protecting, preserving, and optimizing provider and children’s hospital relationships within the TRICARE program.

As a key leader and advocate for the health care of military children, MOAA has been influential in collaborating with DoD and hospitals on the effort to serve our military families.

Working together, we are addressing issues that uniquely affect the health care needs of military children.  Most importantly, children of military families experience both opportunities and challenges unique to their parents’ service.  The objective of advocacy efforts is to improve DoD’s understanding of military children’s unique health needs and enhance the experiences of military families seeking care in children’s hospitals.

“Children’s hospitals are in position to identify issues that impact military family health and readiness,” said MOAA Government Relations deputy director, Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret.). “Our advocacy efforts have made a difference on many issues which are unique to our military children, but we still have a long way to go.”




That’s it for today- Thanks for your help!