Political Issues

The Medical Consumer: Veterans' Benefits

Last year's exposé of substandard conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center had the unfortunate effect of tarnishing the reputation of the Department of Veterans Affairs health system even though Walter Reed is run by the Department of Defense, a separate government agency. In fact, during the last decade, the VA has earned a reputation for providing excellent care, especially for older veterans. Its services are largely free, except for small copayments from higher-income patients.