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Drunken Frat Boys Running The Show
Oh, it's the gift that keeps on giving, from All The President's Boys. Yes, it's our Iraq invasion, and it'll be ka-chinging us for decades and decades, and possibly to the tune of $650 billion-plus, just for healthcare for Iraq vets. Bryan Bender writes in The Boston Globe:

The estimate was derived by analyzing the current costs of treating debilitating health problems of troops in Iraq, including blast injuries to arms and legs from improvised explosive devices; the historically high instances of traumatic brain injuries; and post-traumatic stress disorder, which the VA believes affects at least one-third of soldiers serving there.

Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, at least 60,000 US service members have been wounded or become mentally ill from their battlefield experiences.

Due to advances in body armor and battlefield medicine, the ratio of wounded to killed is 8 to 1, compared with 3 to 1 during the Vietnam War and 2 to 1 for World War II. The percentage of amputees is the highest since the Civil War.

The analysis assumed that, at the current pace, as many as 2 million men and women will be deployed to Iraq through the end of the conflict.

It also relied on available figures for veterans' disability payments.

For example, a veteran without a spouse or dependents who is 100 percent disabled receives about $2,400 per month from the government. Over 50 years, that could total more than $1.4 million.

The report said that healthcare costs could go even higher.

It did not account for thousands of civilian contractors serving in Iraq, including more than 1,000 who have filed disability claims with the Department of Labor seeking government compensation.

Posted by aalkon at November 16, 2007 8:58 AM

Comments

Unfortunatly this estimate doesnt cobver the true cost. It doesnt take into account the money familly and freinds will spend on top of what the government will.

It doesnt count the cost that will be spent by state, federal, and charitable programs to help those veterans who become homeless.

Ans most importantly it ignores the fact that many returning veterans are held in medical barracks for the sole purpouse of keeping them in the army long enough to make them want out bad enough to give up their medical benifts. Or, even worse, keep them so isolated and longing for a normal life that they mess up in a manner that justifies a bad conduct or mental instaility discharge and deny them outright the care they deserve.

How many of them do you suppose will wind up gravitating to drugs self medicate and crime to pay for it???

Posted by: lujlp at November 16, 2007 6:00 AM

Whether you agree with the war or not and while the cost of caring for these guys once they come home is staggering, making sure they get that care seems like the only moral thing to do.

I believe one of the few valid purposes of government is to maintain and manage the armed forces (aka national security) and so taking care of soldiers injured performing that duty is one place I can't whine about my tax dollars going.

I can complain and lobby that I think the dollars are wasted being in the war to begin with but once the boys are there and come home injured, I'm willing to pay up.

Stories like Ty Ziegel's suggest that our attention needs to be directed on how the VA handles things once they return home...not on what a burden these boys are going to be to us after making such sacrafices.

And of course....getting them home ASAP would solve the problem!

Posted by: moreta at November 16, 2007 12:30 PM

Umm, no. "Getting them home" won't "solve" anything. It will just lower the load on a system obviously defective. Nothing gets "fixed" just because it isn't being used.

Posted by: Radwaste at November 18, 2007 2:32 PM

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