(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joined Physicians for Social Responsibility as they unveiled a report that compiles findings on health care for Iraq War veterans and shows that the long-term cost of caring for veterans will exceed combat spending. The report, which is being released today in advance of Veterans Day, details more than $650 billion in long term costs including mental disabilities and disruption to families of returning veterans.
Murray and Menendez joined Physicians for Social Responsibility at a press conference today in the U.S. Capitol to unveil the report.
"For five long years there has been a cost of this war that the Administration not only has ignored, but has simply refused to talk about - that's the cost of caring for our veterans when they come home," Senator Murray said. "Today, we are learning exactly what it will cost America to keep our promise to those who have served. Thanks to the diligent efforts of Physicians for Social Responsibility we now have a price tag of up to $660 billion to provide the medical care and disability benefits that our veterans both need and deserve.”
“This report estimates that the overall cost of veterans’ health care is going to exceed the total cost of these four years of combat in Iraq,” said Senator Menendez. “This is the war that keeps on taking. It is taking a toll in the lives of these veterans, who volunteered to serve their country, no questions asked. And it will keep taking money from American taxpayers, for as far as the eye can see. We owe it to the returning soldiers who have put their lives on the line, to help them begin the rest of their lives on the right track.”
"This report should serve as a wake up for Americans and this administration. While we endlessly debate what we are gaining in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families are falling victim to death, post-war trauma and lifelong struggles with the mental and physical wounds as a legacy of this war. The U.S> needs to bring its troops home now," said Dr. Evan Kanter, author of the report." Said Dr. Evan Kanter of the University of Washington, author of the report.