New poll shows support for Afghanistan and Syria withdrawal and Trump Administration efforts to expand veterans’ health care choice
A new poll commissioned by Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) and conducted by In Pursuit Of, LLC shows veterans and military family members favor increased choice in the delivery of veterans’ health care, a more restrained foreign policy, and a more responsible approach to federal spending and the national debt.
The poll, a nationwide survey of 1,600 veterans and military households, comes as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle vigorously debate the VA’s role in veterans’ health care.
“The results are clear: veterans and military families support giving those who use the VA health care system the choice to use their benefits in the community,” said Dan Caldwell, CVA executive director. “Elected officials looking to restrict policies that give veterans more health care choice, like the new VA MISSION Act access standards, stand in opposition to the will of the veteran community. We are hopeful the Trump Administration and Congress continue to pursue policies that give veterans more control over their health care.”
The poll also comes after President Trump stated his desire to bring American troops home from conflicts that we have been fighting for over 17 years.
“Veterans and military families have borne the brunt of America’s endless wars and after nearly two decades of fighting, there is clear support among both groups for a new approach to American foreign policy,” Caldwell continued. “Relatedly, the vast majority of veterans and military families do not support massive increases in defense spending and appear more concerned about the negative consequences of our growing national debt. President Trump would have strong support from these communities if he were to follow through on his promise to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Syria and get serious about our country’s financial future.”
Some key findings of the poll include:
Veterans’ Health Care
- Nine-in-ten (90%) Veterans and 86% of Military Households favor giving veterans the choice to use their VA health care benefits outside of the existing system.
- Support for choice remains high – 79% of Veterans favor and 78% of Military Households favor – even when respondents are informed that veterans who exercise choice could pay a little more out of pocket for their care.
- Support for choice is also high among Veterans who report using the VA (79%) as their primary source of health care today, as well as seniors (92%).
- Support is also high regardless of political identity, with strong majorities of Veterans who identify as Republican (93%), Democrat (88%), and Independent (86%) favoring choice.
- Very few Veterans (6%) and Military Households (13%) support the United States being more military engaged in conflicts around the world. In fact, a plurality (48%) of Veterans think the U.S. should be less engaged.
- A strong majority (60%) of both groups would support the President’s decision to remove all troops from Afghanistan; less than one-third of both groups (32% – Veterans, 30% – Military Households) would oppose his decision.
Military spending, the debt, and BRAC
- There isn’t a strong appetite for increasing spending on the military. Just about one-third of both Veterans (32%) and Military Households (31%) say defense spending should be increased.
- When it comes to the U.S. national debt, just over three-quarters (76%) of Veterans and 71% of Military Households say the debt represents a threat to national security.
- Strong majorities of both Veterans (71%) and Military Households (63%) approve of the Base Realignment and Closure process
View the complete survey results here.
Interviews were conducted online April 5-14, 2019 among 800 Veterans and 800 Military Households. Results based on each full sample of N=800 have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. The research was conducted by In Pursuit Of. After collection, weighting was applied to the Veteran sample using publicly-available figures on the Veteran population. Representation was approximated by using quotas for the Veteran sample on gender, age, ethnicity, and region of the country.
The sample of 800 veterans was comprised strictly of individuals who served in the military but no longer serve and self-identified as a veteran.
The sample of 800 military households was comprised of 1) active duty service members, including those serving in the reserves or in the National Guard; and 2a) individuals with a member of their household or immediate family currently serving on active duty, in the reserves, or in the National guard, or b) individuals with a member of their household or immediate family having served but no longer serving and self-identified as a veteran.