Veterans Administration Health Care Policies as a Protective Mechanism Supporting an Expected Life Trajectory after Military Service

a School of Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington , Arlington , Texas , USA.
Social Work in Public Health (Impact Factor: 0.31). 03/2013; 28(2):81-96. DOI: 10.1080/19371918.2011.552038
Source: PubMed


Changes in the American military since the end of military conscription, as well as the increasing number of service-connected disabilities, suggest the need for increased consideration of the effects of health policies when assessing the impact of military service on young Americans' life course. This study analyzes data from the most recent National Survey of Veterans to investigate the health status, health benefits, and health care utilization of 2,773 Gulf War veterans, in association with resumption of their civilian life trajectory. Findings suggest that this sample of veterans may have poorer health status than previous veteran cohorts and did not fully utilize veterans' health care benefits to which they were entitled. This article examines whether veterans may usefully be considered a group at risk for health disparities, in that they have greater health risks and potentially poorer health status and access than mainstream Americans.

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