VETERANS: Medical Care already at $1 trillion spent since 9/11; estimate is that $2 trillion more needed just for troops having already served.

Some estimates by the Pentagon and other agencies is that as many as 1
in 4 military members suffer from brain trauma and/or PTSD. (A)

The insurance industry is concerned that the U.S. is incapable of
meeting the longterm medical needs of its servicemen after they leave
the service, which could reach $2 trillion just in medical costs (A).

As of this month, 5700 US servicemen and women have died and over
90,000 have been wounded in action or injured seriously enough to
require medical evacuation. A much larger number – nearly 600,000 –
have already been treated in veterans’ medical facilities for issues
ranging from brain injuries to hearing loss.

The number returning home with serious mental problems has increased
as troops were obliged to do repeated tours of duty, with shorter
spans to recuperate. The medical community reports an “epidemic” of
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The website for Insurance News Net (10/1) posts the testimony of
Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes, authors of “The Three Trillion
Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict,” to the House Veterans
Affairs Committee revising their costs estimates and recommending the
creation of a trust fund and other measures. The testimony states that
the VA “does not have the capacity to fully estimate its long-term
obligations, and even with the best will in the world, this may result
in insufficient funding.” It recommends that, to better forecast
regional impact and infrastructure needs, the agency be “directed to
work with the Institute of Medicine to develop a better system of
forecasting the amounts and types of resources needed to meet
veterans’ needs in 30 years or more, when their needs are likely to




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