CBO examined possible changes to the Department of Defense’s Military Health System, analyzing the effects of those changes on the federal budget, the quality of military health care, and preparedness for wartime missions.
Military and Veterans' Health Care
CBO estimates that existing plans for U.S. nuclear forces would cost $400 billion over the 2017–2026 period—$52 billion more than CBO’s 2015 estimate for the 2015–2024 period, largely because modernization programs will be ramping up.
Recent legislation calls for the Veterans Health Administration to expand the availability of health care to veterans. Research suggests that VHA-provided care has been cheaper than private-sector care, but future costs are uncertain.
Between 2000 and 2012, the cost of providing health care to service members, retirees, and their families increased by 130 percent (after adjusting for inflation). What approaches might curtail the growth in those costs?
For fiscal year 2013, the Department of Defense (DoD) requested about $150 billion to fund the pay and benefits of current and retired members of the military. That amount is more than one-quarter of DoD’s total base budget request.
- ReportThe Veterans Health Administration's Treatment of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Among Recent Combat Veterans
Through September 2011, about 740,000 veterans from overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan had been treated by the VHA. That number is slightly more than half of all recent veterans eligible for care by VHA.