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3 charts that show the VA is badly overloaded

John Moore / Getty Images News

One major cause of the ongoing Veterans Affairs scandal: The amount of veterans using the VA's health-care system has massively increased over the years.

Even as the total veteran population dropped nationwide, the number of veterans and non-veterans seeking VA care shot up between 2001 and 2014, a report from the Congressional Research Service shows.

Many more veterans use VA health care today

Since 2001, the number of veterans using the VA's health-care system each year has increased by more than 2 million — a more than 34-percent increase.

Veterans_va_health_care

Interestingly, two of the drivers behind this increase are wars foreign policy experts and the greater public widely considered unnecessary: the Vietnam and Iraq wars. The VA obviously wouldn't be as strained if the US didn't engage in as many military ventures.

Non-veterans using VA health care increased as well

Non-veterans in the VA system now make up 11 percent of those receiving VA care. This group includes active-duty military personnel, veterans' spouses, and VA employees, among others.

Non-veterans_va_health_care

At the same time, the number of living veterans is dropping

Since 2001, the number of living veterans has dropped by more than 17 percent.

Living_veterans

A lot of this drop can be attributed to veterans from World War I and World War II passing away. Those were both massive operations, which involved way more physical injuries than modern wars.

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