September 23, 2023

DoD Urged to Reconsider Changes to Military Base Clinics

Clinics Hoyer Pushes for Health Enterprise Zones Act

Maryland delegation members urged House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders to include a provision within the final defense authorization bill to require the Department of Defense to closely examine recently proposed changes to military medical treatment facilities, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer‘s office announced.

The members — Mr. Hoyer and Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, and Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Dr. Andy Harris, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone — note in their letter that these changes could have serious impacts on the thousands of Marylanders who receive care at these facilities. As the coronavirus continues to impact communities across our state and put an increased strain on the health care system, it is crucial to ensure Marylanders’ access to care.

“The Department of Defense is pursuing an effort to realign military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). Many of these facilities will pivot to serving only active-duty personnel. These changes will impact 80,000 active-duty family members and 120,000 retirees and their families,” the letter states.

They note these changes would impact clinics at Naval Support Facility Indian Head, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Fort Detrick, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Fort Meade, and underscore that “these changes have been rushed through without sufficient public input and without the necessary effort to ensure that local health systems are informed of expected changes and prepared to absorb the surge of patients seeking care in the community.”

The members go on to press the committee leaders to preserve a provision already passed by the House of Representatives, requiring DoD to thoroughly review the proposed changes and their impacts to ensure local health care networks have the ability to step in and provide these services.

In closing they urge, “Our constituents have contacted us to share their concerns with the proposed realignment of MTFs in Maryland. We are confident that they are not alone. We believe the House’s proposal is an appropriate response to these concerns that will require the Department to ensure that our active-duty military families, retirees, and retiree families will not lose access to quality health care or see interruptions in their care as a result of this action.”

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For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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