Health care costs for vets to soar

Tuesday - 10/12/2010, 12:35pm EDT

The cost of veterans health care will rise between 45 percent and 70 percent over the next decade, a massive jump that will only partly result from treating Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans, Army Times reports.

The Congressional Budget Office report is bound to have implications for the debates over federal budget spending.

The Budget Office reports that the Veterans Affairs Department health care costs are now running about $48 billion a year. About $2 billion of that is associated with treating Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Down the road, treating combat veterans is expected to cost between $5.4 billion and $8.3 billion by the year 2020. In the meantime, the overall VA health care budget could rise to between $69 and $85 billion a year.

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