A study released last week by Harvard researchers found that veterans who died due to a lack of healthcare coverage in 2008 outnumbered the number of servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan.
The study, released in time for Veterans Day, was conducted to determine how many veterans lack private health coverage and VA care. Currently, the VA determines eligibility for medical care by dividing veterans into 8 “priority groups.” Many veterans who do not have service-connected disabilities, and exceed extremely low income thresholds, are not eligible for care.
Approximately 1.5 million veterans do not have any viable healthcare options and from that number, the researchers estimated that 2,266 veterans died from a lack of health insurance.
According to David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and a Harvard Medical School professor, there are no current congressional initiatives that would address the healthcare needs of this class of veterans.
Read more about Himmelstein’s study on healthcare and veterans.