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Saturday, October 14, 2006

NGAUS Legislative Update: TRICARE!

House - check, Senate - check, President Bush - still waiting……We are on the edge of our seats ready to celebrate this enormous legislative accomplishment in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2007. Members of the National Guard will no longer be categorized into different levels of healthcare benefits. Every National Guard member and their family will soon be eligible for TRICARE health coverage at a 28 percent cost-share. Pending signature of the President, this coverage will be available no later than October 1, 2007. Our thanks to everyone who joined the fight to achieve this long sought after health care benefit by sending letters or emails to their elected representatives on this important issue. Topping the charts for the highest number of emails sent using our NGAUS “Write to Congress” feature on our web site were Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia. Congratulations for making a difference!

NGAUS also owes a great deal to the Senate and House champions who did so much to bring about this stunning accomplishment on behalf of the members of the Guard and Reserve. We would like to salute, from the House, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Tom Davis, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Turner, Mr. Latham and Mr. Tim Ryan along with all of their colleagues. In the Senate, we acknowledge the leadership of Mr. Graham, Mr. Leahy, Mr. DeWine, Mrs. Clinton and a host of senators past and present who worked to bring about this legislation. NGAUS and the Adjutants General Association thank you for seven years of unrelenting effort. And, if any of these individuals are your elected officials, please take time to express your thanks for their support.

For more information on TRICARE, visit the NGAUS web site: www.ngaus.org.

What’s Happening In Congress?
Congress is currently in recess until the midterm elections. Here is a quick glance at some important dates for Congress:

Congressional Calendar
Nov. 7 – Election Day
Nov. 9 - Reconvenes for introduction of bills only
Nov. 13 - Congress returns to work
Nov. 17 - Thanksgiving recess target
Dec. 4 - Congress returns this week if necessary to complete work

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
This week we said “farewell” to our Air Programs Lobbyist, Andy Vanlandingham. Andy represented the Air National Guard for NGAUS on Capitol Hill for two and a half years. The NGAUS legislative department was honored to have Andy as a member of our team. We wish him well with his new responsibilities at the Pentagon.

128th Resolutions Online
The Fiscal Year 2008 Resolutions can now be viewed on the Legislative Program’s portion of the NGAUS website www.ngaus.org. Our thanks to all the state associations that submitted new resolutions or co-sponsored existing resolutions, and to the delegates who participated in the resolutions meetings at the 128th General Conference in Albuquerque. And, a special thanks to our Resolutions Committee Chairs; Joint - Brig. Gen. Hugh Broomall, Air - Colonel Michael Morgan, and Army - Lt. Colonel James Lewis. They did a great job of ensuring the resolutions process was conducted properly and in a very thorough manner. Be sure to take a look at these resolutions and familiarize yourself with the future issues the NGAUS staff will be pursuing during the 2008 budget process.

What Can You Do?
Election Day is just around the corner. All 435 members of the House of Representative, 33 of our 100 Senators, and 36 state governors, along with many other locally elected positions will be decided during the upcoming mid-term elections. Political freedom and our democratic form of government is something that members of the military have been fighting for since the founding of our country. Be sure to educate yourself on the issues and the candidates in your area…and get out to vote on November 7th.

Providing NGAUS members with effective and knowledgeable representation on Capitol Hill.

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