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How Will Sequestration Affect Military Families?

There are a lot of rumors floating around about how sequestration would affect military families. Fortunately, the non-profit National Military Family Association is quashing a lot of those rumors, and hopefully putting some minds at ease.

First of all, what exactly is sequestration? Well, as explained by CNN:

It's a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts to government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split 50-50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending.

Unless Congress does something between now and Friday, sequestration will hit on March 1.

According to the National Military Family Association, here are a few of the top rumors about how sequestration will hurt military families:

Rumor: Military pay and allowances will be cut. False.

Fact: Military pay and allowances are protected. Paychecks will be paid on time and basic allowance for housing and other pays will continue. Retirees and survivors will also continue to receive their payments and annuities.

Rumor: Deployed troops are coming home due to cutbacks. False.

Fact: Department of Defense (DoD) is protecting funding for operations in Afghanistan. The bad news is that no one knows where the funding is coming from and cuts to training accounts could delay the preparation of replacements for service members currently deployed.

Rumor: Family health care will probably be affected with longer wait times and less access. True.

Fact: The military health system is NOT exempt and will be cut by $3 billion. DoD civilians, who will be subject to furlough, make up 40 percent of the total workforce in military hospitals and clinics. This could result in reductions in clinic hours and care. Referrals for “elective” care might be delayed or frozen. If sequestration drags on, DoD may delay payment to civilian doctors who see TRICARE patients.

Rumor: Many Child Development Centers will experience reduced hours and available slots. True.

Fact: The impact on Child Development Centers (CDC) and Child and Youth Services is unclear. Some centers are staffed by Non-appropriated fund (NAF) workers who will not be affected by furloughs. Others are staffed by civilian government employees and some by a mixture of both types. Centers staffed by DoD civilians will be affected by furloughs. Decisions on cutbacks on hours or services will be made locally.

To read the entire National Military Family Association article, click here.

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