April 27, 2012
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- After more than a decade of continuous
warfare, the cost of disability compensation for wounded veterans is
surging to mammoth proportions.
The U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs expects to spend $57 billion on disability benefits next year.
That's up 25% from $46 billion this year, and nearly quadruple the $15
billion spent in 2000, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.
"This is the cost of going to war," said Larry Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as assistant
secretary of defense during the Ronald Reagan administration. "We've
made so much progress in medicine [that] you're going to have a lot of
people survive their injuries who didn't in the past."
U.S. troops were killed in Iraq and about 1,800 have been killed in
Afghanistan. Some 633,000 veterans -- one out of every four of the 2.3
million who served in Iraq and Afghanistan -- have a service-connected disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Apr 27 2012, 02:33 PM