The Department of Defense (DoD) provides health care through its Military Health System (MHS), an organization that oversees the delivery of health care at home and abroad through a program known as TRICARE. The two primary purposes of that system are to ensure that service members are healthy enough to deploy (sometimes called medical readiness) and that military clinicians and other providers are adequately trained to care for personnel during both peacetime and wartime (sometimes called operational readiness.) A third function of the MHS is to provide health benefits as an additional form of compensation for military personnel and eligible retirees. DoD spends about $50 billion annually on the MHS. Policymakers and analysts have raised concerns about DoD's rising health care costs, the quality of care provided at its facilities, and how well the department's medical establishment prepares for wartime missions. Efforts to change the system are complicated, however, partly because the resources used to accomplish the various goals are often intermingled or unclear. For this report, the Congressional Budget Office examined several broad, illustrative approaches that might address policymakers' concerns. In addition, the agency estimated the costs of two options that have been proposed specifically to make changes to TRICARE.
The National Library of Medicine believes this item to be in the public domain. (More information)