President Obama’s veto of the $612 billion defense spending bill last week could affect more than traditional military contractors and pay raises for service members. The bill would have allowed more than a million military personnel and their families to seek care at urgent care centers directly; currently, they have to get a referral from their primary care physician.
Both houses of Congress passed the bill, which has other healthcare implications besides the urgent care stipulation.
The bill would have raised retail pharmacy copays for retirees (from $8 to $10 for generics and $20 to $24 for brand-name drugs) and called for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to merge drug formularies. The latter move would have allowed retirees to continue to receive the same coverage of drugs they were taking as active duty personnel.