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Proposed Healthcare Legislation Would Help Veterans Handle High Ambulance Bills

Proposed Healthcare Legislation Would Help Veterans Handle High Ambulance Bills

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Healthcare policy in the United States is particularly complicated. It is not only impacted and influenced by numerous insurance company policies and billing policies, but also numerous ethical and political issues.

In the last few decades, many healthcare problems have arisen for American citizens on a regular basis. These issues show cracks in the system, demonstrating that healthcare is often too costly and burdens American citizens.

Recently, it became quite clear that American veterans faced high ambulance bills due to a bureaucratic problem in the healthcare system. However, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, the representative for the 6th district of Colorado, is working to change this situation for the better.

Coffman’s New Healthcare Bill: the Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Services Act

H.R. 1445, the Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act (VREASA), is a legislative bill that Coffman introduced to Congress. Currently, veterans have a high emergency medical services bill if their insurance coverage is declined. Under some of the Department of Veterans Affairs rules, an ambulance bill isn’t necessarily covered.

According to Coffman, “It is absolutely unconscionable that our veterans [are] left with an unexpected ambulance bill after seeking emergency medical attention because of bureaucratic regulations at the VA. VREASA seeks to correct this and to make sure that paperwork doesn’t get in the way of proper medical care of our veterans.”

Policies are not perfect. However, Coffman’s new bill would close the healthcare insurance gap, making it possible for a veteran’s ambulance bill to be covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It is a small step to ensure that veterans receive more in the way of healthcare benefits than the system currently allows. For some veterans with medical emergencies needing immediate treatment, it could eliminate the difficult choice between delaying treatment of a life-threatening emergency and facing the cost of a high ambulance bill.

Allison G. S. Knox An emergency medical technician and a political scientist, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, Allison worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four Master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, History, a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is trained in water safety instruction and large animal emergency rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society and also serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.

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