Potential Costs of Veterans' Health Care
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (U S CONGRESS) WASHINGTON DC
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The Department of Veterans Affairs VA provides health care at little or no charge to more than 5 million veterans annually. Medical services are provided through the inpatient and outpatient facilities run by the Veterans Health Administration. Those services include routine health assessments, readjustment counseling, surgery, hospitalization, and nursing home care. The Congressional Budget Office CBO projects that the future costs for VA to treat enrolled veterans will be substantially higher in inflation-adjusted dollars than recent appropriations for that purpose, partly because more veterans are likely to seek care in the VA system but mostly because health care costs per enrolled veteran are projected to increase faster than the overall price level. Under two scenarios that CBO examined, the total real resources in 2010 dollars necessary to provide health care services to all veterans who seek treatment at VA would range from 69 billion to 85 billion in 2020, representing cumulative increases of roughly 45 percent to 75 percent since 2010.
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