H.R. 234 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide health care to any U.S. citizen who served in Vietnam as a member of the armed forces of the Republic of Korea during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending May 7, 1975. Using information from the department, CBO estimates that about 3,000 people would become eligible to enroll in the VA health care system.
CBO estimates that 1,300 people would gradually enroll in VA’s health care system over the next few years. We expect that those new enrollees would be similar in age and health to other Vietnam War veterans and would use VA health care at similar rates. The department expects to spend an average of $13,500 to treat veterans of that era in 2021. After accounting for inflation, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $87 million over the 2021-2026 period. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.