This election cycle, members of Congress are running on the promise of VA fixes without addressing commonly known loopholes like VA’s failure to cover non-VA emergency room care for many veterans.

According to WSAW Pittsville (Wisco):

More than two years after 7 Investigates witnessed a disabled north central Wisconsin veteran tell his congressional representatives about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loopholes leaving veterans liable for their own emergency medical bills, some of those same lawmakers are now seeking reelection as the loopholes remain.

In the summer of 2016, disabled Pittsville Gulf War veteran Jerry Zehrung told staff for Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Ron. Johnson, and Rep. Sean Duffy about VA leaders not guaranteeing emergency bill payments if veterans are treated at their closet non-VA emergency room. And veterans not being able to purchase extra health insurance at a discount, like every other eligible American, in case VA insurance does not cover their emergency bill.

“Everyday this legislation is delayed is another day another veteran has to ask themselves ‘should I go the ER or should I wait?” Zehrung said in February.

Zehrung said the loopholes kept him from going to the ER twice over the last couple years, after he dislocated his hip that was injured during his war service, and back in 2016, when he woke up with blood on his pillow… [read more]

Some of you may remember this issue from a few years ago that we exposed through Kare 11 News here in Minneapolis in 2017. Reporter AJ Lagoe investigated the problem, which started with my own claim, and uncovered a national problem leading to an agency investigation.

Unfortunately, VA has yet to fully address this loophole to help veterans not get dinged with massive emergency room bills usually resulting in financial hardship.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. “Democratic Governor Candidate Blacklisted By Veterans Affairs After Evidence He Sold His Disabled-Vet Status”
    By Luke Rosiak | Investigative Reporter Daily Caller News Foundation | 8:26 PM 10/21/2018

    * South Carolina gubernatorial candidate James Smith owned and ran a business that was blacklisted after a surprise inspection by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    * The Democrat’s business, the Congaree Group, was banned from receiving VA contracts reserved for disabled veterans after facing allegations that it served as a middleman to pass contracts to non-veteran companies.

    * The VA previously banned the Congaree Group, but it was reinstated after Smith appealed.

    “A company owned and run by South Carolina’s Democratic candidate for governor was blacklisted as a contractor for the Department of Veterans Affairs following allegations that he was selling his veteran status to corporations so they could tap into federal contracting dollars intended to help disabled vets.

    James Smith works as a state legislator and lawyer, and also runs the Congaree Group, which has received millions of dollars in federal government contracts. The company operates out of Smith’s law firm suite, and he once told the VA he was its only employee.

    On paper, the company has done everything from manufacturing pharmaceuticals to mopping floors and from parking cars to conducting advanced mathematical analysis.

    On May 17, VA officials arrived for a surprise inspection, VA deputy assistant Secretary James Hutton told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The purpose was to find out if Smith was running a middleman company used to win lucrative federal contracts earmarked for disabled veterans, then passing all the work off to non-veteran companies in exchange for a cut for himself. Such so-called rent-a-vet scams are forbidden.

    Smith’s company declined to cooperate with the VA and failed to provide evidence that the business was legitimate, Hutton said. On May 31, the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation issued a “Notice of Proposed Cancellation,” which would lead to the Congaree Group being stripped of its preferred, disabled-veteran contractor status if not resolved, according to Hutton. The Congaree Group still “did not provide the requested documents” explaining itself, he said.

    On July 11, one month after Smith won the primary election, the VA banned the company from its preferential status, according to Hutton. The Congaree Group no longer appears on the VA’s list of approved veteran-owned businesses.”

    Full Article with more details at: “https://dailycaller.com/2018/10/21/governor-candidate-va-blacklisted/”

    • An audit done by the VA in 2013, of the State Representatives business, the Congaree Group.

      “https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4452911-Congaree-audit3.html”

      A total slime ball that has been doing it for all the years he has been a politician.

      • The “Congaree Group” does VA Group Therapy and Hungry, Hungry Hippos in a coordinated mating ritual<—SOON, on Animal Planet!!!

  2. These assholes clearly don’t care so I hope all their performance bonus checks bounce across the universe and then some…I hate assholes.

  3. The Roseburg VA ER routes incoming ambulances to Mercy’s ER so the veterans possible bad medical outcome wont effect the VA star rating and so the veteran is stuck with the bill. My husband was told to go elsewhere when he was needing an emergency blood transfusion. Even with an employee from eligibility with us the VA ER refused to help us. After Mercy saved his life we were stuck with the bill, it took Peter Defasio about 2 years of the VA lying to him in writing saying the bill was being taken care of and us getting turned into collections to finally get the bill taken care of.

  4. Why is someone Adding he is a Democratic ?. What does that have to do with anything ?

    Alternative motive ! Politics !

    Using the name veterans to become politics. I don’t care what afflilliation they are.

    Who at the VA, was held accountable !

    • You’re a bit too sensitive. BOTH parties blow. The CITED source article named his political affiliation in its title. That means, by law, it has to be quoted the same way. AND… democrats do suck just a little bit more than republicans. That’s just a fact and facts are silly to complain about.
      Truth is; ALL career politicians are corrupt, greedy, self-serving creatures. That’s what happens when you give too much power to someone and refuse to hold them accountable for anything they do. I can pretend to care about people while millions of dollars pile into a bunch of accounts for me somewhere.
      In reality, it’s the American citizens who are the problem with our country. We’re the ones who are too lazy to pay attention to anything beyond our noses and refuse to stand together on any issue. Instead we cry about party affiliation… like a big D or R means anything. Not one of them waste a moment thinking about your plight unless there’s money involved for them.

      • Dems suck a little more? Talk about contradicting huh? When Russia has Elected A Life Long Criminal in the White House Donald Dumpf with his Secret Group with Secret Meetings on WHAT? in Mar Largo that no one seems to even talk about anymore. This Admin is Normalizing Corruption at Every Level at Every Dept. Repubs seem to Burry their Heads in the Sand at a Record Level, now that this Capt Corruption is Leading the Way, with his Good Feelings he makes you Repubs melt in your MAGA Panties, and just don’t blame him for anything but say well he’s, not a career Politician Bullshit, just to Blow this Dummy Incompetence off til the Next Tweet…

    • Hey James,

      Guess you must be talking about my post given no one on this site has said a word about Democrats. I did post info about an article concerning a corrupt politician who happens to be a Democrat. In my post I included the title of the article which contained the statement that the corrupt politician is a Democrat.

      My post also included a quote of a segment of the article that explains what James smith was doing illegally. It also contained the statement that James Smith is a Democrat running for the position of Governor of the state of South Carolina.

      In an effort to tell both sides of the story let me than list the same information from a Democratic leaning news paper to help balance things out. It at least does not contain party affiliation in the title and it allows James Smith the opportunity to put a democratic twist to the information being published about his corruption.

      ___

      ___

      “VA suspends SC governor candidate James Smith’s firm after not cooperating with inspection
      By Joseph Cranney, Oct 22, 2018 Updated 10 min ago

      “COLUMBIA — South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate James Smith is no longer eligible to win lucrative U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs contracts after declining to cooperate with an inspection of his disabled veteran-owned business this year.

      Smith, whose company has received millions in government work over the past seven years, said Monday he didn’t have time to produce business documents requested by inspectors while running his campaign for governor. And if he wins the election next month, Smith said he plans to close his company, The Congaree Group.

      Despite the Veterans Affairs ban, Smith said he remains eligible for contracts from other federal agencies. His company had contracted with the Department of Defense.”

      Full Article At: “https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/va-suspends-sc-governor-candidate-james-smith-s-firm-after/article_be313e0e-d09a-11e8-8225-37e5c363203a.html”

      • It is worth mentioning that the 2013 audit did not state that the corrupt legilator running for Governor was a Democrat.

        An audit done by the VA in 2013, of the State Representatives business, the Congaree Group.

        “https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4452911-Congaree-audit3.html”

        A total slime ball that has been doing it for all the years he has been a politician.
        ___

        Hope this help balance out the censorship needs you are requesting!

  5. VA hasn’t been Accountable in decades. And at least during the last 5-6 yrs that I’ve been receive’n care from VA.

    VA is strictly supposed to be about Veteran healthcare, Benefits, and Voc Rehab. Politics should be excluded, and it has nothing to do with the physical, emotional, rehab, or qualfied benefits of a Veteran.

    The VA is the one that needs to have a THOROUGH AUDIT. No? Well then go figure if only 1% of the yearly allocated budget was misused in some manner, how much that would come too. And we get all fired up if soneone swindles $100K. We’re talk’n $Billions here at 1%.

    The VA and ther promo cronies, and the anal lap’n Politicians aren’t fool’n anyone. Not anymore.

    New name, Veteran “Loopholed” Administration (VLA).

  6. Twenty years from now we’ll be having the same conversation. If they fix anything, what will they have to run on? SMH.

  7. Bi-partisan politics at its best when it comes to placating, then fucking veterans. Gets me all flag wavy n’shit.

  8. Ben, need to check your URL. When list’n the site correctly, Google saved the last prefux as .orh not org. Better fix asap. Traffic losing mistake.

  9. Yep still getting medical bills for an emergency room visit the va suggested and said they would pay for but didnt. 😑

Comments are closed.