The Pentagon currently spends more than $50 billion — about 10% of its base budget — on healthcare, an almost 300% increase over the last decade. These costs are projected to jump to $65 billion by fiscal year 2015. To put this in perspective, the department will spend more on healthcare this fiscal year than on the war in Iraq and will probably spend more on healthcare in 2015 than on the conflict in Afghanistan.
It is not surprising that Pentagon leaders have complained that healthcare costs are "eating the Defense Department alive." Leaders from both parties agree. But Congress has been loath to take action for fear of appearing to break faith with the nation’s troops.This article was originally published in Los Angeles Times.