“Health care services for military service-members, veterans, and their dependents are provided by the Department of Defense, through programs such as TRICARE, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2017, an estimated 9 million individuals (2.7% of the U.S. population) had TRICARE and 7 million (2.3% of the U.S. population) individuals had VA Care. Together, these departments accounted for $114 billion (3.4%) of total HCE.”
Source: Congressional Research Service. In Focus: U.S. Health Care Coverage and Spending. Updated March 21, 2019.
“VA is responsible for providing benefits to veterans, including health care, disability compensation, and various types of financial assistance. In fiscal year 2019, VA received a total budget of $201.1 billion, and the largest discretionary budget in its history—$86.6 billion, about $20 billion higher than in 2015. The department operates one of the largest health care delivery systems in the nation through its Veterans Health Administration (VHA), with 172 medical centers and more than 1,000 outpatient facilities organized into regional networks. VA has faced growing demand by veterans for its health care services, with the total number of veterans enrolled in VA’s health care system rising from 7.9 million to more than 9 million from fiscal year 2006 through fiscal year 2017. In fiscal year 2019, VHA received $73.1 billion of VA’s $86.6 billion discretionary budget. In addition to providing health care services, VA provides cash benefits to veterans for disabling conditions incurred in or aggravated by military service. To carry out its mission, VA spends tens of billions of dollars to procure a wide range of goods and services, including medical supplies; to construct hospitals, clinics, and other facilities; and to provide the information technology (IT) to support its operations.”
Source: Sustained Leadership Needed to Address High-Risk Issues. Statement of Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States. Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, House of Representatives, May 22, 2019. Government Accountability Office. GAO-19-571T.
“All enrolled veterans are offered a standard medical benefits package, which includes (but is not limited to) inpatient and outpatient medical services, pharmaceuticals, durable medical equipment, and prosthetic devices.
“For female veterans, the VA provides gender-specific care, such as gynecological care, breast and reproductive oncology, infertility treatment, maternity care, and care for conditions related to military sexual trauma. Under current regulations, the VA is not authorized to provide, or cover the costs of, in vitro fertilization, abortion counseling, abortions, or medication to induce abortions. However, as authorized by the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019 (P.L. 115-244), the VA may provide fertility counseling and treatment using assisted reproductive technology or adoption reimbursement to certain veterans.
“Generally, the VA provides audiology and eye care services (including preventive services and routine vision testing) for all enrolled veterans, but eyeglasses and hearing aids are provided only to veterans meeting certain criteria. Eligibility for VA dental care is limited and differs significantly from eligibility for medical care. For veterans with service-connected disabilities who meet certain criteria, the VA provides short- and long-term nursing care, respite, and end-of-life care.
“Under certain circumstances, the VA authorizes care to eligible veterans to receive care in the community. Under provisions of the VA MISSION Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-182, as amended), the VA launched the Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) on June 6, 2019. That same day, veterans became eligible to access urgent, nonemergency care in the community within VA’s contracted network of providers.”
Source: Sidath Viranga Panangala and Jared S. Sussman. Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Congressional Research Service. CRS R42747. March 4, 2020.
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Page last updated March 26, 2021 by Doug McVay, Editor.