H.R. 5515

On Monday August 13th, President Donald Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The VFW thanks the conferees and the more than 7,000 veterans and supporters who responded to the VFW Action Alert opposing a provision that would have dramatically increased TRICARE fees for current retirees. The final bill does not include the misguided proposal, but does include several provisions to improve the financial viability of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, such as authorizing the home to accept financial gifts, and expanding eligibility to disabled veterans and spouses who are not currently eligible. The bill will postpone the fee increase that was scheduled to be implemented in October 2018, but applies only to those who were residents as of April 9, 2018, and authorizes gradual fee increases over the next three years. The bill will also authorize a 2.6 percent pay increase for America’s service members, the highest pay raise in nearly a decade; grant disabled veterans access to commissaries and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation facilities; require DOD to design, produce and award a certificate for veterans exposed to radiation (Atomic Veterans); improve reporting, investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases; expand eligibility for Military OneSource to one year after discharge; and require DOD to conduct an assessment on ways to enhance and reform Taiwan's military forces.

(Aug. 17, 2018). Historic Defense Bill Signed Into Law
VFW.org Action Corps Weekly. Retrieved from https://www.vfw.org/actioncorpsweekly

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