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Poll: Returning Wounded Iraq Soldiers Getting Substandard Care From VA

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A considerable majority of Americans believes that Veteran's Administration hospitals and other military health facilities are not giving wounded Iraq war veterans the quality of care they deserve.

The latest poll from the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Harris Interactive® polling organization finds that 62 percent of Americans believe medical care for returning wounded U.S. soldiers from Iraq isn't adequate. In the same poll, 65 percent said that mental health care for returning vets was substandard, according to a HSPH news release.

The poll found that this opinion ran across the spectrum of American society. Those who had a family member serving in Iraq were just as likely as respondents with no family ties to the Iraq war to believe VA hospital care was substandard.

Yet, the poll also found that 60 percent of the respondents believed that medical treatment for wounded Iraq war veterans in military and VA hospitals is better (10 percent) or the same (50 percent) as the type of care they would receive in what the pollsters called "other major U.S. hospitals."

The poll is part of a continuing series by Harris Interactive and the Harvard School of Public Health: Debating Health: Election 2008.