Veterans benefits are fast becoming an issue for consideration in U.S. presidential election, 2004.
- 1 January 2004: "Drug fees for military retirees may be raised" by Dale Eisman, The Virginian-Pilot: "The Bush administration is considering dramatic increases in the fees military retirees pay for prescription drugs, a step that would roll back a benefit extended just 30 months ago and risks alienating an important Republican constituency at the dawn of the 2004 campaign season. ... Pentagon budget documents indicate that retirees may be asked to pay $10 - up from the current $3 - for each 90-day generic prescription filled by mail through Tricare, the military's health insurance program. Tricare's current $9 co-pay for a three-month supply of each brand-name drug would jump to $20. ... The proposal also would impose charges for drugs the retirees now receive free at military hospitals and clinics. There would be a $10 fee for each generic prescription and a $20 charge for brand name drugs dispensed at those facilities. ... A Pentagon spokesman declined Wednesday to comment on the drug plan, calling it 'pre-decisional.' But word of the proposal was being spread at the speed of light by veterans service organizations, who were e-mailing their thousands of members to solicit calls and letters of protest to the White House and members of Congress."