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Carter leads letter slamming “impossible choice” for TRICARE beneficiaries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) led a letter today alongside Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Mike Rogers (R-AL) to Defense Health Agency (DHA) Director Lieutenant General Ronald J. Place calling on the DHA to ensure the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, military retirees, and their families, who have lost access to their local pharmacist due to a pocket-lining move by Cigna/Express Scripts, receive quality health care. 

letter comes after Express Scripts made the empty gesture of allowing pharmacists to re-join the network, despite maintaining the predatory terms of the first contract. Since the move was enacted on October 24th, thousands of service members, military retirees, and their families have been struggling to access basic medications, particularly in rural areas.

In the letter, the Members write: “This decision will severely impact those who serve or have served our country honorably by reducing TRICARE patients’ access to quality health care at a time when many receive annual vaccinations. We continue to hear from pharmacists and patients expressing concerns about these changes. It is our responsibility to ensure that their access to affordable, quality health care is not hindered.”

The Members continue: “To ensure DHA has greater visibility on the impact of this change, we write to request your attendance in a listening session with impacted stakeholders, Members, and staff on December 7, 2022. Due to the patient access and safety concerns, we look forward to your attendance and working with you to ensure TRICARE beneficiaries continue to receive the utmost quality care.”

Reps. Carter and Rogers were joined by 47 of their congressional colleagues in signing this bipartisan, bicameral letter.

Read the full letter here.