Rising medical costs have caught the Veterans Affairs Department by surprise. They need an extra $1 billion this year to pay veterans' medical bills.
Rising health care costs are creeping up fast on the military. Back in April, the Pentagon said that health care costs for troops and their families had shot up from $18 billion to $36 billion in just the last four years.
At the time, Congressional leaders suggested the Pentagon start cutting benefits to service members and their familes. In May, Armed Services Comittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) killed a plan to allow Reservists and National Guardsmen to purchase health insurance through the military's TRICARE system. The Pentagon estimates that 1-in-5 citizen service members can't afford private health insurance. (