July 13, 2014
OUR STARSHIP TROOPERS:
With U.S. encouragement, VA disability claims rise sharply (Alan Zarembo, 7/13/14, )
With the government encouraging veterans to apply, enrollment in the system climbed from 2.3 million to 3.7 million over the last 12 years.The growth comes even as the deaths of older former service members have sharply reduced the veteran population. Annual disability payments have more than doubled to $49 billion -- nearly as much as the VA spends on medical care.More than 875,000 Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans have joined the disability rolls so far. That's 43% of those who served -- a far higher percentage than for any previous U.S. conflict, including World War II and Vietnam, which had significantly higher rates of combat wounds.Disabled veterans of the recent wars have an average of 6.3 medical conditions each, also higher than other conflicts.Incentives to seek disability ratings have increased due to changes in VA policy, including expanded eligibility for post-traumatic stress disorder and a number of afflictions that affect tens of millions of civilians.Nearly any ailment that originated during service or was aggravated by it -- from sports injuries to shrapnel wounds -- is covered under the rationale that the military is a 24/7 job.
The armed services are a good place to start with mandatory universal HSAs. End the VA system and make themn decide if they really want to spend out of their own pockets for such stuff.Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2014 10:49 AM