This week the full House Armed Services Committee approved its version of the FY2008 Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 1585) retaining all the provisions above and adding many more.
The committee's action kicks off a flurry of defense bill activity. Next week, the full House is expected to vote on the Defense bill, and the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to approve its own version of the bill.
Here's a summary of selected initiatives the House Armed Services Committee included in its bill this week:
TRICARE Fees - Bar any increase in fees for TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Standard and pharmacy copays before Oct. 1, 2008.
Medication Limitations - Authorize DoD to remove medications from the formulary if retail drug companies don't give DoD low cost, federal pricing.
Survivor Benefit Plan - Authorize surviving spouses that are also in receipt of the VA's dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) a monthly payment of $40 beginning on October 1, 2007.
Military Pay Raise - Authorize a 3.5% military pay raise for 2008 - vs. the 3% proposed by the Defense Department.
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