Panetta requests reprogramming $700M from TRICARE

Monday - 7/30/2012, 8:59am EDT

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has asked Congress to reprogram $700 million out of TRICARE for other priorities.

His request is falling on highly skeptical ears. A bipartisan group of two dozen representatives sent Panetta a tough letter.

They want to know why the Pentagon is asking for a hike in TRICARE fees for retired service members when costs fell nearly 3 percent last year. They cite the transfer request as proof that a rate hike isn't needed.

The Pentagon spends $53 billion a year on health care for active and retired military members and their families.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.