War at home: Lack of health insurance killed 2,266 veterans last year


Last year, some 307 American soldiers died in Iraq -- nearly twice the number killed in Afghanistan. But the home front was far deadlier for veterans: an estimated 2,266 U.S. military veterans died last year -- not from combat but from lack of health insurance, Harvard Medical School researchers report. That's more than seven times the number of U.S. casualties in Iraq last year, or six preventable deaths a day.

Despite a common misconception that all veterans qualify for lifetime care through the Veterans Health Administration, researchers found that 1.46 million vets under 65 were uninsured last year. Some earn too much to qualify for Veterans Affairs assistance but too little to afford private insurance.