In one recent six-month period, according to a report from the VA's Office of Inspector General released last week, the VA left about 17,400 veterans to pay out-of-pocket for emergency medical treatment the government should have covered.
The report said that between April 1 and Sept. 30, 2017, veterans who got emergency care at non-VA facilities were forced to pay $53.3 million in medical bills they never should have had to pay, NBC News reports.
Members of Congress, including the chairs of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees sent a letter to the VA on Monday, demanding answers.
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"No veteran should be afraid to seek care in an emergency room," said Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., who signed the letter. "Clearly the bureaucracy is favoring speed over accuracy, it's favoring efficiency over the health of our veterans. We've got to make sure that we're putting veterans first."