Demand for healthcare spikes as veterans' ranks fall
Despite all the recent complaints about difficulty in getting medical appointments at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the facts show a soaring number of vets are taking advantage of its health care: While the total number of U.S. veterans has shrunk by 17% between 2001 and 2014, the number of vets enrolled in the VA health care system has jumped an amazing 78% over the same period. The percentage of veterans enrolled in the system has more than doubled, from 20% to 42%, over the 13-year span. That plays a major part in the tripling of the VA's annual budget, to $150 billion, since 2001.
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