A preliminary review of 2006 data shows little change in the number of uninsured veterans since 2004, Woolhandler noted. Woolhandler's team found that 645,628 uninsured veterans were old enough to have served in Vietnam. More than 1 million (1,105,891) served at other times, including in Iraq and the first Gulf War -- 56.5 percent were older than 44. Among uninsured veterans, 26.5 percent said they couldn't get medical care because of costs, 31.2 percent delayed care due to costs, and 49.1 percent hadn't seen a doctor within the past year. In addition, two-thirds didn't receive preventive care. Yet, almost two-thirds were employed, the researchers found.
More than 600,000 veterans will go without health insurance next year unless 19 states stop holding out against expanding Medicaid, researchers said Wednesday.
Not all U.S. veterans receive health care through the VA's Veterans Health Administration, but the massive system does serve about two-thirds of the 9 million veterans who currently qualify. (To be eligible for VA care, a veteran must have a service-related physical or mental health condition.) Trump has proposed solving the VA's problems of long waits and poor care by allowing veterans to see private doctors, with Uncle Sam picking up the tab. But that program -- which would cost as much as $500 billion over 10 years, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget -- is controversial, with some veterans groups seeing it as partial privatization that could ultimately weaken the VA.
The truth is, about 80% of the veterans in this country do not use the VA for all of their healthcare. Most do not go for a lot of reasons. Some won't go because they believe the VA is for veterans worse off than they are. If a veteran has a job and is insured under the Affordable Care Act, this will harm them and frankly, they want to know why? They really want to know why because the politicians talking about ending it are also talking about privatizing the VA and sending them into the same mess that is about to get a lot worse.