Study: vets' health costs could top $900 billion
By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press Writer – Wed Sep 29, 5:40 pm ET
WASHINGTON – A new study estimates that health costs for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars could top $900 billion, leading one congressman to call for setting up a veterans' trust fund.
The study by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda Bilmes of Harvard University shows the number of veterans, their injury rates and the cost of treating them have increased rapidly in recent years.
The study said some 600,000 of the more than 2.1 million men and women who've been deployed already have received treatment by the Veterans Affairs Department.
Democratic Rep. Bob Filner of California told reporters Wednesday that treatment for veterans should be budgeted as part of the cost of war, comparing the program to Medicare and Social Security.
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