Short Takes On News & Events

Veterans Would Benefit Under Health Law, Study Says

By Phil Galewitz

May 25th, 2012, 6:00 AM

If the 2010 health law is upheld by the Supreme Court, it would extend health coverage to thousands of the nation’s veterans, a new study says.

The study, released Thursday, said about 630,000 uninsured veterans would likely qualify for Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, which would be expanded under the law. In addition, 520,000 uninsured vets could qualify for subsidized health coverage in new marketplaces, or insurance exchanges.

“It is striking how many of the uninsured veterans would qualify for Medicaid under the ACA,” said co-author Genevieve Kenney, senior fellow for the non-partisan Urban Institute.

One in 10 of the nation’s 12.5 million non-elderly veterans report not having health insurance coverage and not using the Veterans Affairs health system, the study reported.

There are about 1.3 million uninsured veterans nationwide. Another 900,000 veterans use VA care, but have no other health insurance coverage. An additional 900,000 adults and children in veterans’ families are uninsured.

Uninsured rates among veterans vary around the country. Four states have uninsured rates below 6 percent—Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, and North Dakota. Meanwhile, four states—Louisiana, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana—have uninsured rates above 14 percent.

The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the uninsurance rate of veterans is lower than among the nonelderly population as a whole (10.5 percent compared with 17.9 percent).  Nonetheless, 41 percent of uninsured veterans report having unmet medical needs, while nearly 34 percent say they have delayed care due to cost.

9 Responses to “Veterans Would Benefit Under Health Law, Study Says”

  1. Alarming. I hope we can tackle the homeless issue as well when it comes to veterans. Your reporting has shown that social issues affect health. Common sense says we don’t need a study to discern that. But then again, a study helps get funding.

    Thank you.

  2. Ray says:

    You note the good thing for homeless veterans. The VA has been working on that problem. With the health care that you advocate has too much in taxes built into. No one talks about that. Ray

  3. Meghan says:

    I’m really looking forward to qualifying for health insurance again. Due to both our service-connected disabilities obtained from military service (mainly mental health issues), my husband and I have been declined insurance the private marketplace. Our care at the VA is great, but we would like to be able to have private insurance as well for urgent and emergency care.

  4. Ralph says:

    If you believe this crape I have some beach front property in Arizona I can sell you cheap!
    For every Veteran that gets any help out of this there are ten active military and Veterans that will get screwed!

    Wake up this is an election year, empty promises are plentiful!

  5. Sidney says:

    The GOP war hawks in Congress are real quick to pour huge sums of money into the defense budget. They are all too willing to make the weapons companies as wealthy as possible. They are always ready to start wars or jump into the middle of tribal squabbles like those in Iraq and Afghanistan but when our injured troops come home from fighting those insane wars, Republicans are the very last to propose spending for the top notch health care that our vets deserve. They are the same way with the abortion issue. They will pontificate to high heave about the sins of abortion and they will spend all kinds of money on an unborn fetus and the pregnant mother but once that baby is out of the womb, you wont find a Republican within a thousand miles. That mother and that baby are “on their own”. Hypocrites!

  6. paul says:

    Today’s health care system makes the Chicago style Mafia of the 1930s look like child’s play. When it comes to organized crime and corruption, no other industry in America holds a candle to the collusion, fraud, crime and corruption that exists in today’s so-called health care industry. From doctors to hospitals to insurance companies to drug companies, health care in America is rife with opportunistic shysters and carpetbaggers. The most unscrupulous industry that may rival Wall Street firms in fraud and corruption. Just like the Wall Street fraudsters that recently took down our economy, the purveyors of “do no harm” have ruined a once nobel profession and deserve prison time for their fraud and deception.

  7. kevin says:

    Does anyone really believe Republicans will help our returning injured veterans? Does anyone actually believe that the GOP really cares about our injured troops? Obamacare or not, Republicans intend to cut as much VA funding as possible and if there’s anything in the new health care reform law for veterans, you can count on Congressman Paul Ryan to cut that out of the budget too. Face it folks, Republicans talk a great story about our brave veterans but the truth is, once they come home from the war zone, our injured troops are completely forgotten by the GOP. Like Paul Ryan always says, “We gotta stop the spending!”

  8. EFPaisley says:

    As an uninsured veteran, a former business owner, forensic accountant and economist, I know that this story takes a hint of truth, stirs it with lots of emotion and glosses over the key issues.

    One issue glossed over is “and not using the Veterans Affairs health system” There is health care available and if an emergency situation occurs it will be used. Isn’t that what insurance is for, Emergencies?

    The reason I am uninsured and no longer a business owner is the gov’t intervention into too many things already. Their intervention screwed up the economy. Study the CRA Barney Frank, his boyfriend Herb Moses at Fannie Mae and the Gov’t guarantees to make it work. The actions of Carter, Clinton, Kucinich, Frank, and others screwed banks and mortgage companies raising all our borrowing rates and reducing our interest earned. This led to more people getting mortgages who couldn’t pay them back that started the whole landslide. Gov’t intervention into Capitalism creates socialism. Gov’t subsidies and guarantees pretty much mess everything up. Having studied socialist medicine in other countries it has resulted in lower quality with higher costs.

    Are our veterans treated poorly? In many cases, yes. Will this fix the problem? For some maybe, but it will cause more problems for other veterans and citizens. The gov’t needs to get out of the way let the economy improve instead of trying to control it and help those veterans that need help to get into the Veterans Affairs health system do so by making the people there less “gov’t employees” and more caregivers….

  9. Larry says:

    Ah, just what we need. Another arm-chair economist.