Oct 25, 2004
Two Harvard Medical School professors announced a study showing that at least 1.7 million U.S. veterans have no health insurance whatsoever: no VA benefits, no Medicare, no employer plans, nothing.
These veterans are mostly from the Vietnam and Gulf War eras. One out of three under age 25 has no coverage; one out of 10, aged 45 to 65. And 85% of the uninsured are working.
The number of uninsured veterans has always been very large, running about 10% of all veterans under age 65. But in 2003, that number suddenly spiked up by over a quarter million, to 11.9%, largely due to a government decision that denied VA coverage to "Category 8" vets. "Category 8" means those with incomes over $25,000 a year, that is, just barely above the family-of-four poverty level.
The government makes big talk about how it values soldiers and veterans. But any GIs who survive the meat grinder of war and return to civilian life will find that the government has another kind of meat grinder waiting for them.