Study: Thousands of Vets Die Because They Lack Health Insurance
More than 2,266 veterans died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance, according to a new study, New America Media reports.
For the study, Steffie Woolhandler of Harvard Medical School and colleagues examined data from the Census Bureau's March 2009 Current Population Survey.
The researchers found that in 2008, 1,461,615 veterans ages 18 to 64 were uninsured. The Department of Veterans Affairs extends health care services only to veterans who become disabled as a result of military service.
In prior research, the study authors found that people without health insurance have a 40% greater risk of death compared with those who have coverage. The researchers used this formula to determine that 2,266 veterans died in 2008 because they lacked insurance coverage.
Woolhandler said most uninsured veterans are working people who cannot afford private coverage but who also do not qualify for Medicaid or VA care.David Himmelstein, co-author of the study, noted that current health care reform proposals do not adequately expand health care coverage for veterans (Sundaram, New America Media, 11/10). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.