The Military Health System (MHS) consists of the health care organizations of the Army, Navy1 and Air Force, the TRICARE Management Activity, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) (ASD(HA)).
MHS activities are funded from a variety of sources based on the purpose for which the funds are to be used. Some of these funds are budgeted by the ASD(HA) (Defense Health Program Operation & Maintenance, Procurement, and Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, plus Medical Military Construction), some of these funds are budgeted by the Military Departments (Military Personnel, “Line” Operation & Maintenance and Procurement, and non-DHP Research, Development, Test & Evaluation), and some are not budgeted at all (Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund).
The Defense Health Program (DHP) appropriation funds the military health care benefit, called TRICARE, the majority of DoD non-deployable health care activities, and some deployable health care activities.
1 The Navy provides health care services and support to the Marine Corps
- Congressional and Departmental concerns:
- Recurring funding crisis
- Inconsistent health benefit by Service affiliation and location
- DEPSECDEF-directed study considered three options:
- Strengthen the role of the ASD (Health Affairs)
- Create a Unified Medical Command
- Create a Defense Health Agency
- DEPSECDEF Decision October 1, 1991:
- ASD(HA) responsible for unified programming and budgeting
- ASD(HA) given authority, direction and control over medical personnel and facilities