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Paying for war: The cost of caring for America’s wounded vets

When Congress debated this year’s budget in April, one expense overshadowed almost all others: the cost of waging war.

More than 6,000 Americans have been killed in the current two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands more have come home with serious injuries. Providing services to veterans is already the U.S. government’s fifth largest expense, after items like defense and social security. With an increasing number of wounded vets, there’s a growing concern that there is no long-term plan in place to pay for their care.

Even as the wars wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial cost of taking care of veterans continues to mount — and could eventually reach $1 trillion or more. Is America prepared to pay the cost for decades to come? Need to Know contributor Maria Hinojosa reports.

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