This Tuesday, 4 December the Congress will return to “work” after a 14-day Thanksgiving vacation. Further, they intend final adjournment on 21 December. That leaves 17 calendar days for them to enact major money legislation to keep the government funded. Some of this important legislation includes –br /a. Legislation to again defer the mandatory 10% cuts in Medicare reimbursements that will otherwise take effect this 1 January 2008. Tricare reimbursement ratios are directly keyed to Medicare reimbursement ratios, so military retirees will take a hit whether or not they have Medicare. Many physicians have already stated that they will be unable to accept new Medicare patients and others will seek other lines of work.br /b. The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act to authorize funding to the Department of Defense. At least one military department has already initiated planning to go to minimum manning by furloughing both civil service and contract employees.br /Certain factions in Congress seek to sabotage the 2008 NDAA by including controversial “hate crimes” legislation that has nothing to with National Defense. The reasons none of this important legislation has been passed boils down to petty politics where the anti-war “cut and run” faction has tied passage of just about all legislation to that issue whether or not that legislation has anything to do with the on going hostilities.br /So, beginning this Monday, 3 December, let’s begin a telephone campaign to support passage of this important legislation. Make the phones ring all day, everyday.