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Tipton’s VA Ambulance Reimbursement Bill Receives Legislative Hearing and Praise from Veterans Groups

June 21, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Yesterday, the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs held a legislative hearing on a series of bills, including Representative Scott Tipton’s (CO-03) H.R. 485, the Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act (VREASA).

In testimony submitted to the committee Tipton said in part, “Costs associated with emergency ambulance services to non-VA facilities are a huge financial burden for our nation’s veterans, and one that those who have earned healthcare benefits through their service to this nation should not be required to pay out of pocket. VREASA is bipartisan legislation intended to address Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) regulations that in some cases have unfairly burdened veterans with the costs of emergency ambulance services.”

Following the hearing, VREAS received several endorsements from veterans groups including the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Historically, some veterans have been denied their reimbursement claims for emergency ambulance services to non-VA facilities primarily because of how the VA interprets its regulations.  The VA’s interpretation has left some veterans to pay for these ambulance bills out of pocket. VREASA would clarify that veterans’ expenses for emergency ambulance services to non-VA facilities are authorized to be reimbursed by the VA.  In addition, VREASA ensures that the prudent layperson standard will be applied to emergency ambulance services to non-VA facilities. The bill currently has 22 bipartisan cosponsors. Full bill text is available here.