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Military retirees fret about healthcare fees

Public HealthNov 02 11

When Wayne Johnson flew missions in Vietnam in the 1960s, one of the allures of a military career was the pledge that those who risked their lives for the United States would be repaid with healthcare in old age.

Now, as the 65-year-old retired Air Force major nears an age when he may need to bank on that promise, support is building in Washington for changes that could make it more costly for military retirees and their dependents to receive healthcare. It is a move Johnson finds worrying.

“It’s something that was an unwritten contract when we joined the military back in the ‘60s,” said Johnson, who flew an OV-10 Bronco light strike aircraft as a forward air controller in Vietnam. “And now to change the rules when it’s time to use it, certainly it’s a violation of trust.”

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