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1.7 MILLION VETERANS UNINSURED

Nearly 1.7 million military veterans have no health insurance or access to government hospitals and clinics for veterans, according to a report Tuesday from a doctors' group that favors federally financed health care.

The number of uninsured veterans jumped by 235,000 since 2000, meaning they are losing health insurance at a faster rate than the general population, said Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates a universal national health insurance program. About 45 million Americans have no health insurance, including 5 million who lost coverage during the past four years, according to the Census Bureau.

"We're sending men and women off to war and yet the people who fought previous wars can't get the basic things they need to go on with their lives afterward," said Dr. David Himmelstein, a Harvard Medical School professor and an author of the study.

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