House Chairman Rules Out Military Healthcare Reform This Year

The House Armed Services Committee likely will not include reforms of the military’s healthcare system in the 2016 defense policy bill being crafted this week, according to Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas).

“I’ve always said healthcare’s the most complicated issue that any of us deal with, and so you really want to understand the consequences of what you do with healthcare,” he recently told The Hill.

A congressionally appointed commission proposed 15 recommendations earlier this year to reform the military pay and benefits system, which Pentagon leaders say is too expensive and unsustainable.

The commission recommended allowing troops to continue receiving care at military treatment facilities, but moving family members, reservists and some retirees onto commercial insurance plans, with allowances to offset the costs.