America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.


Blog Contributors

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President 

Dan Barrett
Research and Outreach Manager 

Melodie Bowler
Government Affairs Intern 

Demian Brady
Director of Research 

Christina DiSomma
Communications Intern 

Jihun Han
Communications Intern 

Timothy Howland
Creative Content Manager 

Samantha Jordan
Communications Intern 

Curtis Kalin
Communications Intern 

Ross Kaminsky
Blog Contributor 

David Keating
Blog Contributor 

Douglas Kellogg
Communications Manager 

Sharon Koss
Government Affairs Intern 

Michael Liguori
Government Affairs Intern 

Richard Lipman
Director of Development 

Joe Michalowski
Government Affairs Intern 

Diana Oprinescu
Communications Intern 

Austin Peters
Communications Intern 

Kristina Rasmussen
Blog Contributor 

Veterans Administration and Healthcare

Dan Barrett
March 23, 2010

The Independent Institute released a report on the status, progress, and direction of veteran-centered healthcare. Research Fellow Ronald Hamowy made a detailed narrative on the evolution of veterans’ medical care, essentially beginning just after World War 1 as pensions were only awarded prior, to the large, facility-independent system it is today.

The US veteran healthcare system has been taking on more elderly veterans, dramatically more, than younger veterans returning from today’s battlefields. In 2007, 40% of all veterans were over 65 while a scant 8% were under 35. The age discrepancy is forcing the VA to “shift from inpatient to ambulatory care, an increase in chronic care needs in an aging population…” However, with triage medical procedures improved from Vietnam and Korea (2 injured for every 1 killed), more soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters are much more likely to survive combat injuries (16 injured for every 1 killed) and qualify for VA coverage. Also in 2007, there were about 7.8 million enrollees with about 5.5 million enrollees receiving care.

The broader focus of veteran healthcare is moving towards “older” illnesses as opposed to the traumatic, “younger” injuries. The change in focus shows in VA medical expenditures with $40 billion spent in 2007 and increasing another $2 billion in 2009. That $2 billion increase is merely a placeholder with veterans still waiting long periods to receive treatment and consultations.


Comment on this blog

Enter this word:

User Comments