Rising Drug Costs Emerge As Major Hurdle For Defense Authorization Bill
In other news, a study finds that the costs the Pentagon would absorb by allowing transgender people to serve in the military and providing them specialized medical care would be relatively minimal.
Rising Drug Costs The Real Stumbling Block For Defense Measure
Congressional debate over the annual defense policy measure often centers on hot-button issues such as the future of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, the fate of huge weapons systems and whether to lift budget caps. This year, a dispute over a bread-and-butter matter -- how to pay for the rising cost of prescription drugs -- may be most vexing of all for lawmakers who are trying to close a deal on the bill, H.R. 1735, that would authorize more than $620 billion in defense-related spending. At issue are benefits for the estimated 9.6 million users of the Pentagon's Tricare health system and resulting profits for retail drugstores including those run by CVS Health Corp., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp. (Wasson, 8/13)
The Wall Street Journal:
Study: Pentagon Health Care Costs For Transgender Troops Would Be Minimal
A new study says that if the Pentagon allows transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, the cost of providing specialized medical care to them would be relatively minimal. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced last month that the Pentagon would study how to dismantle a ban on transgender people from serving in the military, essentially paving the way for the ban to be lifted formally as early as December. One of the factors the Pentagon is considering is the cost of administering health care to service members who require specialized medical treatment or surgery as they undergo a sex change. (Lubold, 8/13)