Yesterday I had to take Jenna Beth to get her 15 month shots - 4 of them! While we were hanging out in the waiting room for the nurse to get ready and get an empty room to do them in, I overheard a statement that has greatly bothered me.
A lady with 4 kids finished her appointment and walked through the waiting room. As she did, a man seated across from me said "That's why we're going to have to start paying for Tricare - All these people having a bunch of kids." He then rationalized their 2 kids because both he and his wife are soldiers and they only have one child per servicemember.
Those of you not familiar with military families may not realize that many military families have multiple kids - like 3 to 5 and there are others with more than that. I would venture to say that many of us with large families incur less healthcare costs than some families who only have 1 child. To make such a broad statement is just a sign of his ignorance.
The entire time we were at Fort Bliss, Maverick had one doctor's appointment and that was to get shots! Bailey went to the emergency room once and that was with a broken arm. The only time I ever went to the doctor at Fort Bliss was when I was pregnant. As a matter of fact, since 1997, the only time I have ever been to the doctor was pregnancy related or for an annual exam. My mom taught us at a young age to just suck it up and I've been doing that all my life!
I don't doubt that there'll be a day when we have to pay out of pocket for some of our Tricare benefits, but it's not because people have too many children who require coverage. I can think of many reasons why the cost of military healthcare has increased.
One being that we're a nation at war and have soldiers who are incurring life changing physical and emotional injuries. Many of these will require lifelong medication, therapy and many other services due them based on their military service and healthcare benefits. These are the men and women who are defending our freedom and aiding in providing freedom for families around the world. I'd be glad to pay a portion of my Tricare premium to make sure they receive proper medical care.
Another reason our healthcare costs are rising is because people live longer. Years and years ago when the government decided that people can serve full time in the military for 20 years and then retire with pay and healthcare benefits until they die, they had no idea that we'd be paying these benefits to these retirees for 40 or 50 years! People live longer now than the government ever imagined. As it is now, retirees do pay a portion of their Tricare premiums out of pocket. These are men and women who fought wars that have secured our freedom. I'd pay part of my premium for their benefit, too.
To Mr. E6 in the waiting room of the pediatric clinic at Reynolds Army Community Hospital, get your facts straight before you start saying stereotypical and slandering statements toward families who choose to have multiple children. Trust me, you're not paying for our contraceptives, so we're already saving you money!