There had been some concern over whether there would be a new enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life beneficiaries, but older veterans need not worry. On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to prohibit the Department of Defense from assessing a $200 annual fee, reports Military Times.
While the move was not entirely necessary – the 2013 defense appropriations bill was unlikely to include a TRICARE fee – some congressmen felt it was important to affirm their commitment to the country's retired servicemembers. Among them was Rep. Cliff Stearn, who was adamant that there were other cuts to be made to the defense budget without charging veterans more.
The vote came along with the defense appropriations bill easily passing through the House as it makes its way to the Senate, which has yet to write its own version of the bill. Although the the $606 billion budget made it through one chamber of Congress, it still faces some obstacles in the coming weeks and months, The Hill reports.
The most significant challenge for the budget comes in the form of a veto from President Obama. Though his administration has not said he will, he expressed disappointment that it came in $8 billion above the spending cap reached last year.