U.S. Dept. Of Veterans Affairs Denying To Cover Bills For Emergency Care | NBC Nightly News


OUR NATION’S VEDTERANS ARE BEING HIT WITH MILLION OS OF DOLLARS ARE BEING HIT WITH MILLION OS OF DOLLARS IN MEDICAL BILLS. MILLION OS OF DOLLARS IN MEDICAL BILLS.>>Reporter: WHEN IN MEDICAL BILLS.>>Reporter: WHEN AMANDA WOLF DECIDED TO>>Reporter: WHEN AMANDA WOLF DECIDED TO JOIN THE MILITARY, THE AMANDA WOLF DECIDED TO JOIN THE MILITARY, THE U.S. COAST GUARD WAS JOIN THE MILITARY, THE U.S. COAST GUARD WAS THE PERFECT FIT. U.S. COAST GUARD WAS THE PERFECT FIT.>>TRAINING TO SAVE THE PERFECT FIT.>>TRAINING TO SAVE LIVES IS WHAT APPEALED>>TRAINING TO SAVE LIVES IS WHAT APPEALED TO ME. LIVES IS WHAT APPEALED TO ME.>>Reporter: SHE LEFT TO ME.>>Reporter: SHE LEFT AFTER SERVING SIX>>Reporter: SHE LEFT AFTER SERVING SIX YEARS, AND LIKE MANY AFTER SERVING SIX YEARS, AND LIKE MANY VETERANS KEPT HER VA YEARS, AND LIKE MANY VETERANS KEPT HER VA MEDICAL COVERAGE. VETERANS KEPT HER VA MEDICAL COVERAGE. THREE YEARS AGO, SHE MEDICAL COVERAGE. THREE YEARS AGO, SHE ENDED UP IN THE THREE YEARS AGO, SHE ENDED UP IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM. ENDED UP IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM. SHE NEEDED IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY ROOM. SHE NEEDED IMMEDIATE SURGERY TO REMOVE HER SHE NEEDED IMMEDIATE SURGERY TO REMOVE HER APPENDIX BUT WAS SURGERY TO REMOVE HER APPENDIX BUT WAS STUNNED SIX MONTHS APPENDIX BUT WAS STUNNED SIX MONTHS LATER WHEN SHE WAS HIT STUNNED SIX MONTHS LATER WHEN SHE WAS HIT WITH A $2,500 HOSPITAL LATER WHEN SHE WAS HIT WITH A $2,500 HOSPITAL BILL AFTER THE VA WITH A $2,500 HOSPITAL BILL AFTER THE VA DENIED HER CLAIM. BILL AFTER THE VA DENIED HER CLAIM.>>IT’S ONE OF THOSE DENIED HER CLAIM.>>IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE YOU>>IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE YOU THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE THINGS WHERE YOU THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE THERE AND THEY’RE NOT. THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE THERE AND THEY’RE NOT.>>Reporter: A NEW THERE AND THEY’RE NOT.>>Reporter: A NEW REPORT BY THE VA>>Reporter: A NEW REPORT BY THE VA INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT BY THE VA INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND DURING JUST ONE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND DURING JUST ONE SIX-MONTH PERIOD, MORE FOUND DURING JUST ONE SIX-MONTH PERIOD, MORE THAN 17,000 VETERANS SIX-MONTH PERIOD, MORE THAN 17,000 VETERANS WERE SLAPPED WITH THAN 17,000 VETERANS WERE SLAPPED WITH OVER-$50 MILLION IN WERE SLAPPED WITH OVER-$50 MILLION IN MEDICAL BILLS THE OVER-$50 MILLION IN MEDICAL BILLS THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE MEDICAL BILLS THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE COVERED. GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE COVERED. THE INVESTIGATION COVERED. THE INVESTIGATION SPURRED IN PART BY THE INVESTIGATION SPURRED IN PART BY REPORTS FROM OUR SPURRED IN PART BY REPORTS FROM OUR MINNEAPOLIS AFFILIATE. REPORTS FROM OUR MINNEAPOLIS AFFILIATE. THE IG FINDING INSIDE MINNEAPOLIS AFFILIATE. THE IG FINDING INSIDE THE VA THERE WAS, THE IG FINDING INSIDE THE VA THERE WAS, QUOTE, SYSTEMIC THE VA THERE WAS, QUOTE, SYSTEMIC PRESSURE TO FAVOR QUOTE, SYSTEMIC PRESSURE TO FAVOR SPEED OVER ACCURACY IN PRESSURE TO FAVOR SPEED OVER ACCURACY IN REVIEWING MEDICAL SPEED OVER ACCURACY IN REVIEWING MEDICAL CLAIMS. REVIEWING MEDICAL CLAIMS.>>THEY GO FOR CLAIMS.>>THEY GO FOR EMERGENCY CARE BECAUSE>>THEY GO FOR EMERGENCY CARE BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE TO GET EMERGENCY CARE BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE TO GET TO A VA FACILITY. THEY DON’T HAVE TO GET TO A VA FACILITY.>>THAT’S THE TO A VA FACILITY.>>THAT’S THE SITUATION.>>THAT’S THE SITUATION.>>AND THE VA IS SITUATION.>>AND THE VA IS SUPPOSED TO COVER>>AND THE VA IS SUPPOSED TO COVER THAT, CORRECT? SUPPOSED TO COVER THAT, CORRECT?>>EXACTLY. THAT, CORRECT?>>EXACTLY. THE VETERAN MAY GO>>EXACTLY. THE VETERAN MAY GO INTO BANKRUPTCY OR THE VETERAN MAY GO INTO BANKRUPTCY OR HAVE THEIR CREDIT INTO BANKRUPTCY OR HAVE THEIR CREDIT RATING HURT AND EFFECT HAVE THEIR CREDIT RATING HURT AND EFFECT THEM FOR THE REST OF RATING HURT AND EFFECT THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.>>Reporter: AMANDA THEIR LIVES.>>Reporter: AMANDA WOLF IS SUING THE VA>>Reporter: AMANDA WOLF IS SUING THE VA TO BE REIMBURSED WOLF IS SUING THE VA TO BE REIMBURSED HOPING IT DOESN’T TO BE REIMBURSED HOPING IT DOESN’T HAPPEN TO ANY OTHER HOPING IT DOESN’T HAPPEN TO ANY OTHER AMERICAN WHO SERVED HAPPEN TO ANY OTHER AMERICAN WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY. AMERICAN WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY.>>DO I HOPE THAT IT THEIR COUNTRY.>>DO I HOPE THAT IT WILL MAKE A>>DO I HOPE THAT IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE? WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE? I DO. DIFFERENCE? I DO. AM I CONFIDENT THAT IT I DO. AM I CONFIDENT THAT IT WILL, NOT — NOT VERY AM I CONFIDENT THAT IT WILL, NOT — NOT VERY CONFIDENT? WILL, NOT — NOT VERY CONFIDENT? I’M HOPEFUL THOUGH. CONFIDENT? I’M HOPEFUL THOUGH.>>Reporter: TONIGHT I’M HOPEFUL THOUGH.>>Reporter: TONIGHT THE VA TELLS NBC NEWS

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