WASHINGTON (March 22, 2010) -- The Tricare military health plan meets the standards set by the health care reform bill the House of Representatives passed last night, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a statement issued yesterday.

Calling their health and well-being his highest priority, Gates reassured servicemembers and their families that the legislation won't have a negative effect on Tricare, which "already meets the bill's quality and minimum benefit standards."

"This was clarified by a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives [March 20], and is expected to be re-affirmed by the Senate," Gates said in the statement.

"The president and I are committed to seeing that our troops, retirees and their families will continue to receive the best quality health care," the secretary said.