The Congressional Guide to Veterans’ Health Care

To improve veterans’ health care, Congress needs to understand veterans’ health care.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are entrusted with the sacred duty of providing health care for those who served in the United States Armed Forces. To ensure veterans get the care they need and deserve, lawmakers must have a good understanding of veterans’ unique needs and most common health conditions. The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute has created The Congressional Guide to Veterans’ Health Care to give lawmakers and their busy staff an overview of veterans' care needs and how their dedicated health care system really works.

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What’s Inside:

  • The Veteran Patient: A profile on common conditions, illnesses, and needs

  • Analysis of the Choice Program and the VA MISSION Act

  • Dozens of links to helpful research, data, and programs

  • A primer on who is eligible for VA health care

  • PTSD and its treatment, explained

  • A tour of available care for women veterans

  • A breakdown of programs that address veterans' homelessness, legal issues, addiction, and joblessness

  • Information on end-of-life care, Military Sexual Trauma, and other veterans-specific care areas

  • Descriptions of how the VA and Veterans Health Administration function

Who Can Use the Guide:

Although The Congressional Guide to Veterans’ Health Care was written as a digital reference book for congressional staffers, it can be used by anyone who wants a clearer understanding of veterans’ health care issues. Veterans and veterans’ advocates may find this guide particularly helpful to gain better understanding of the complexities of veterans as patients and the care they require.


About the Authors

Suzanne Gordon has spent three decades reporting on health care systems, workers, policy, quality and patient safety. She has authored or edited 21 books on health care delivery and teamwork, is a patient advocate, and a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, British Medical Journal (BMJ), JAMA, and many other publications. Gordon has interviewed hundreds of veterans and their caregivers, lawmakers, and health care professionals about the Veterans Health Administration. She is the author of Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope to the Nation’s Veterans. Follow Suzanne on Twitter.

Jasper Craven worked for two years in the Boston Globe’s Metro and Investigative units where he collaborated on Shadow Campus, a three-part investigative series that was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. Jasper has written about veterans’ health care issues for The New York Times Magazine, Politico Magazine, The Nation, The Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Follow Jasper on Twitter.

Additionally, VHPI is grateful to the many veterans, caregivers, health care workers, congressional staffers, and veterans’ advocates who volunteered to help Suzanne and Jasper piece together the complex world of veterans’ health care.