I gleaned the following from a communication with MOAA today.Good news about proposed fee increases.
TRICARE Fees: Goal in Progress. The House version of the annual defense bill contains language barring any increases in TRICARE fees through the end of September 2009. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) will offer an amendment to the Senate defense bill that would establish permanent principles in law that military health care is provided to offset arduous service conditions, that military people pay large up-front premiums of service and sacrifice in addition to their cash fees, and that the percentage fee increase in any year shouldn't exceed the percentage increase in military pay.
What worries me about TRICARE Standard (and also about MEDICARE as I get within spittin' distance of it) is this: It seems like every year there's a drill to reduce the fees paid to providers. At the eleventh hour they always seem to restore (or slightly increase) the fees and kick the decision into the next FY when even deeper reductions are proposed. The potential - and in some cases actual - problem: fewer and fewer civilian providers wanting to accept new patients under TRICARE/MEDICARE.