Raise, ‘Wellness’ plan get OK

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist

Military members will get a 3.9 percent pay raise in January. But the fiscal 2009 defense authorization approved by Congress on Saturday does not include a House-passed plan to set military pay raises through 2013 a half percentage point higher than private sector wage growth.

The new defense bill will protect working-age military retirees from a final try by the Bush administration to raise TRICARE fees, deductibles and drug co-payments.