Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC) introduced bipartisan legislation today that would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reimburse certain veterans for ambulance transportation required during their medical treatment. Currently, the law allows the VA to reimburse ambulance rides to non-VA hospitals, as well as emergency treatment at such hospitals, for a veteran until he or she is medically stable. However, if the veteran is stabilized and then requires continued care at a VA facility, the VA is not allowed to reimburse his or her transportation to that facility – which often must be accomplished using ambulance resources that can be too expensive for patients to cover out-of-pocket.

“In 1999, Congress created a safety net to ensure that the most vulnerable veterans weren’t left holding the bill for emergency care that could leave them in financial ruin,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. “This bill repairs a hole in that safety net that has too often resulted in veterans and community health providers being liable for costly transfer to a VA hospital, a necessity for veterans unless they want to pay out-of-pocket for their medical costs. I’m proud to introduce this common-sense reform that will enhance the protection we provide to veterans who need it most.”

~ Read the rest in today’s Journal ~