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Capitol Health Call
July 13, 2005

Reservist Health Care

JAMA. 2005;294(2):171. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.171-c

Congressional Democrats accused Republicans of not providing adequate health care to National Guard and Reserve troops. The accusation came after removal of an amendment to the $441.6 billion national defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2006 that would have opened the military’s Tricare health plan to all Guard or Reserve members and their families. Currently, only active-duty Guard and Reserve members and families are eligible.

The amendment, which had passed in the House Armed Services Committee by a 32-30 vote, was removed on May 20 by committee chairman Duncan Hunter (R, Calif), who said that the additional cost associated with expanding Tricare exceeded allowed spending limits and threatened the entire defense appropriations bill.