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Veterans And Health Care

Feb 12, 2008
One of the fundamental principals our founding fathers based this great country on was "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". This principal has been described even as an inalienable right. Well, this may not be true if you're a veteran.

With 47 million Americans currently without health insurance, it's clear that our health care system is in crisis. And, the World Health Organization has ranked the United States 37th in the world. We rank just below Costa Rica and slightly above Slovenia. But, this is America, right? You wouldn't think that a country with the best doctors, the most cutting edge research and facilities and the $2 trillion to spend on health care would rank so poorly.

Even with all the benefits of great doctors, state of the art facilities and lots of money, we still haven't figure out how to provide health care for 47 million of our citizens. A recent study Harvard Medical detailed the struggle of veterans related to health insurance. The study revealed that of the 47 million people without health coverage, 12.2%, or one out of every 8 is a veteran or is a member of a veteran household. The study goes on to say that 1.8 million veterans are uninsured. This has increased steadily every year.

The veterans and veterans' families are means-testing out of care. The criteria for not qualifying can be as low as $24,000. In other words, if your household income exceeds $24,000 per year, you are not eligible for Veterans Administration benefits.

Besides being at the very least unethical, to not give medical treatment to the people who have risked their very lives to maintain our way of life just doesn't make sense. Many have experience severe physical and psychological trauma. The result of this lack of care is evidenced by the growing number of veterans in our prison system. And, it's been shown that 25% of our homeless citizens are veterans.

Dr. Stephanie Woolner, who conducted the study for Harvard Medical and appeared before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs stating that "It breaks my heart. The VA should be an important safety net for my patients, and it's not."

One of the hallmarks of a great nation is its ability to have its citizen thrive and flourish. How can we consider ourselves a great country when we blatantly dismiss the very people who have risked their lives for us? It's time we do something to try and help those who have already given so much.
About the Author
We are in dire need of health care reform. This includes everyone and not only veterans. To learn more about health care coverage, go to http://www.nethealthhealth careweb.com/
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