Largest Leg:

Veterans Affairs has the largest integrated health system in the US, said VA Secretary James Nicholson yesterday at AFA’s Air and Space Conference in Washington. Speaking about the three legs of the VA, which also includes benefits and burial, Nicholson said the health leg is the largest, receiving a little less than half of the $70 billion VA budget for Fiscal 2006. jVA expects to receive $80 billion for 2007. The health leg treats one million plus patients a week in 200 nationwide veterans’ centers and 900 clinics. Last year, 230 million prescriptions were filled for the 7.7 million vets enrolled in the healthcare system. In addition, VA spends $1.7 billion to research diseases and vaccinations.