Department of Defense Could Save Billions With This Hidden Program

The secretary of defense and the joint chiefs of staff continue to cry wolf. The easy and most terrifying spending cuts — personnel, training, and maintenance — will have to be reduced to levels that put the ability to defend the nation at risk unless Congress acts to reverse sequestration.

What about the savings generated by the Defense Health Agency (DHA)?

Buried on page 184 of the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act is Section 731, directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to consolidate military health care under one agency.

Never heard of this directive? I’m not surprised. I hadn’t either until I received an update from the Military Officers Association of America.

No later than the end of fiscal year 2015, the DHA will have full control of ten elements of military health care: medical logistics; facility planning; health information technology; TRICARE; pharmacy; acquisition; public health research; development; education and training; and budget and resource management.

So far, DoD has developed plans and projections for the first four. Without addressing the other six, savings over six years are projected to be between $1.46 billion and $2.9 billion. This is approximately 5% of the 2012 defense health program operation and maintenance estimate of $41.6 billion.

Using available documents, it’s difficult to estimate the total fiscal impact of the DHA. The final report showing the projected savings for all ten elements is scheduled to be released in September.

Our military leaders, both in uniform and not, need to stop relying on politics of fear and start looking for areas where long-term savings can be achieved. The DHA is a strong example of this.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Douglas Goodman

Retired military and Quality Assurance / Warehouse Operations and Distribution Manager. Have enjoyed politics since the Kennedy/Nixon debates. Besides good political discussions, I've been involved in campaigns at all levels as well as having served on school, city, and county committees and boards. Been called weird because I enjoy reading government legislation and other government rules and regulations.

MORE FROM

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.