“Under President Joe Biden’s term, the VA has processed 161,000 medical and dental care claims for unauthorized migrants in 2022 while postponing medical care for U.S. veterans.”
Sarah Arnold | December 03, 2023 10:30 AM
The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking heat for putting the care of illegal migrants first over the needs of those who fought for the United States.
Russ Duerstine, executive director of Concerned Veterans for America and a veteran of the United States Air Force, told Fox News Digital he is concerned much-needed care for veterans will be forfeited and instead given to migrants. The Department of Veterans Affairs and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly have an agreement to process claims for illegal migrant medical care.
Duerstine explained that the VA has had an internal agreement with the Health Service Corps (IHSC) since 2002 to provide processing. The organization noted that it is not the VA’s responsibility to offer or pay for healthcare.
- Related reading: A second look at veteran priorities and how we treat illegal aliens
He said that Congress needs to launch an investigation to get more information on the agreement.
More on the process from Trending Politics:
When an illegal immigrant detained by ICE requires medical attention, they are usually treated on-site by medical specialists. If they require expert or emergency treatment, they may be moved to an independent private provider. In these circumstances, ICE enters into a contract with the VA’s Financial Service Center (VA-FSC) to execute payments to those providers. According to a July report, ICE has hundreds of letters of understanding in which the Health Service Corps (IHSC) of ICE will compensate clinicians at Medicare rates. The VA-FSC’s Healthcare Claims Processing System is used for this, which is a portal that allows clinicians to file and evaluate claims as well as access other services.
ICE has insisted that the VA does not pay for healthcare services for illegal aliens but instead sends funds to the VA-FSC for reimbursements. It noted that the IHSC spent roughly $352 million in FY23 on a “spectrum of healthcare services” to those in ICE custody.
However, the agreement sounded alarms for veterans’ supporters as well as ICE and Border Patrol personnel who are veterans, claiming they were not aware of it.
Darin Selnick, who worked as veterans’ affairs adviser on the Domestic Policy Council and as a senior adviser to the VA secretary during the Trump administration, said, “In my position, we would have stopped this because… read the entire article here.