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The health systems serving veterans and military members are separate, but both are under scrutiny. Read more»

The colors are retired at the end of mission ceremony in Baghdad, Dec. 15, 2011.

The Pentagon’s personnel budget is composed of three major items: pay, retirement, and health care. These costs have nearly doubled in the past 10 years and now consume one-third of the baseline defense budget. If they continue growing, these costs will begin to divert funds from other critical national security initiatives such as training and modernization. Read more»

Express Scripts CEO George Paz said the company’s Tempe operations are vital to the company. Paz testified Thursday before a Senate subcomittee that is looking into Express Scripts’ proposed $29.1 billion acquisition of rival Medco.

Express Scripts' CEO said Tuesday that the company's 1,700-worker Tempe site is "critical" to the pharmaceutical benefits manager, which is in the midst of a $29.1 billion bid to purchase its biggest rival. Read more»

We found several exaggerations and misstatements in the latest Republican presidential candidates’ debate. Romney issued a hollow threat to take China’s currency manipulation to a world body that doesn’t actually deal with overvalued money, and he claimed federal spending consumes more of the nation’s economic output than it really does. Read more»

TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. — a contractor to TRICARE Management Activity, which provides the medical benefit plan for military members and dependents — agreed to pay $10 million to the federal government to resolve false claims allegations, the Justice Department announced Friday. Read more»

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., meets with a constituent at the Safeway located in Green Valley on May 22, 2010. Three months after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head, Rep. Giffords' office has called for the same brain injury treatment given to Giffords be made accessible to all Americans.

In the months since Giffords sustained a gunshot wound to the head, her path to recovery has been helped by a comprehensive brain injury treatment paid for by the government under federal worker's compensation. Such treatment may be available to Giffords, but it is out of reach for thousands of U.S. troops whose health coverage doesn't include it. Read more»

The cost of health insurance for active duty and retired military personnel has increased from $19 billion in 2001 to $49 billion in 2010. The health care program, called TRICARE, accounts for almost 9 percent of the Pentagon's total budget. Read more»

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords may receive cognitive rehabilitation therapy that Tricare, the military's health plan, doesn't cover for troops with traumatic brain injuries. Read more»

A key congressional oversight committee announced Friday that it was opening an investigation into the basis of a decision by the Pentagon's health plan to deny a type of medical treatment to troops with brain injuries. Read more»

Despite pressure from Congress and the recommendations of military and civilian experts, the Pentagon refuses to cover cognitive rehabilitation — a decision that could affect the tens of thousands of service members who have suffered brain damage while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more»

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

For too many years, Congress has kicked the Medicare physician reimbursement can down the road, refusing to make the tough and fiscally responsible decisions needed to keep this crucial program afloat. Read more»