House bill would allow VA to bill Medicare

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 18, 2011

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A proposal in the House would allow military veterans to use Medicare benefits to receive health services from the Veterans Health Administration at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Rep. Bob Filner (D, Calif.) reintroduced the Medicare VA Reimbursement Act on April 6. Current law prohibits the VA from billing Medicare for services provided at department health care facilities. Filner's proposal would allow the VA to bill Medicare when a veteran is enrolled in Medicare Part A or B.

"Because VA cannot bill Medicare, elderly veterans are unable to use their Medicare benefits, even if they may prefer to receive care at a VA facility among their fellow veterans," Filner said. "So for those veterans, they basically forgo the hard-earned dollars that they contributed towards Medicare benefits during their working years."

The bill has three co-sponsors: Rep. Joe Baca (D, Calif.), Rep. Shelley Berkley (D, Nev.) and Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D, Guam).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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