WASHINGTON (AP) — The loud, insistent calls in Washington to rein in the rising costs of Social Security and Medicare ignore a major and expensive entitlement program — the military's health care system.

Despite dire warnings from three defense secretaries about the uncontrollable cost, Congress has repeatedly rebuffed Pentagon efforts to establish higher out-of-pocket fees and enrollment costs for military family and retiree health care as an initial step in addressing a harsh fiscal reality. The cost of military health care has almost tripled since 2001, from $19 billion to $53 billion in 2012, and stands at 10 percent of the entire defense budget.

Even more daunting, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that military health care costs could reach $65 billion by 2017 and $95 billion by 2030.

On Wednesday, when President Barack Obama submits his fiscal 2014 budget, the Pentagon blueprint is expected to include several congressionally unpopular proposals — requests for two rounds of domestic base closings in 2015 and 2017, a pay raise of only 1 percent for military personnel and a revival of last year's plan to increase health care fees and implement new ones, according to several defense analysts.

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