America's Neglected Veterans: 1.7 Million Who Served Have No Health Coverage
ABSTRACT Many U.S. military veterans lack health insurance and are ineligible for care in Veterans Administration health care facilities. Using two recently released national government surveys--the 2004 Current Population Survey and the 2002 National Health Interview Survey--the authors examined how many veterans are uninsured (lacking health insurance coverage and not receiving care from the VA) and whether uninsured veterans have problems in access to care. In 2003, 1.69 million military veterans neither had health insurance nor received ongoing care at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals or clinics; the number of uninsured veterans increased by 235,159 since 2000. The proportion of nonelderly veterans who were uninsured rose from 9.9 percent in 2000 to 11.9 percent in 2003. An additional 3.90 million members of veterans' households were also uninsured and ineligible for VHA care. Medicare covered virtually all Korean War and World War II veterans, but 681,808 Vietnam-era veterans were uninsured (8.7 percent of the 7.85 million Vietnam-era vets). Among the 8.27 million veterans who served during "other eras" (including the Persian Gulf War), 12.1 percent (999,548) lacked health coverage. A disturbingly high number of veterans reported problems in obtaining needed medical care. By almost any measure, uninsured veterans had as much trouble getting medical care as other uninsured persons. Thus millions of U.S. veterans and their family members are uninsured and face grave difficulties in gaining access to even the most basic medical care.
SourceAvailable from: Vincent C Marconi[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction The cascade of HIV care in the United States has become a focus for interventions aimed at improving the success of HIV treatment. The Atlanta VA Medical Center (AVAMC) Infectious Disease Clinic (IDC) is an urban clinic that provides care for over 1,400 people living with HIV (PLHIV) annually. Using data from the HIV Atlanta VA Cohort Study (HAVACS), we modeled the continuum of care in the AVAMC IDC and explored similarities and differences with national models. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 1,474 individuals receiving care in the AVAMC IDC. We estimated total PLHIV and defined several categories within the spectrum of HIV care. We then developed the continuum of care using two methodologies. The first required each stage to be a dependent subset of the immediate upstream stage. The second allowed each stage to be independent of upstream stages. Results Dependent stage categorization estimated that 95.3% of individuals were diagnosed with HIV, 89.8% of individuals were linked to care, 73.0% of individuals were retained in care, 65.9 % of individuals were eligible for ART, 62.8% were prescribed ART, and 52.4% had a suppressed VL. Independent stage categorization estimated that 83.9% of individuals were prescribed ART and 61.5% had a suppressed VL. Conclusions Our analyses showed that the AVAMC IDC estimates were significantly better than national estimates at every stage. This may reflect the benefits of a universal healthcare system. We propose the use of independent stages for the continuum as this more accurately represents healthcare utilization.AIDS research and human retroviruses 01/2014; DOI:10.1089/AID.2013.0232 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives. We examined the number and clinical needs of uninsured veterans, including those who will be eligible for the Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchanges in 2014. Methods. We analyzed weighted data for 8710 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans, classifying it by veterans' age, income, household size, and insurance status. Results. Of 22 million veterans, about 7%, or more than 1.5 million, were uninsured and will need to obtain coverage by enrolling in US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care or the Medicaid expansion or by participating in the health insurance exchanges. Of those uninsured, 55%, or more than 800 000, are likely eligible for the Medicaid expansion if states implement it. Compared with veterans with any health coverage, those who were uninsured were younger and more likely to be single, Black, and low income and to have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Conclusions. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is likely to have a considerable impact on uninsured veterans, which may have implications for the VA, the Medicaid expansion, and the health insurance exchanges. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 16, 2014: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301791).American Journal of Public Health 01/2014; 104(3). DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301791 · 4.23 Impact Factor