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Breaking News Alert This Week In Lawfare Land: 'Deadly Force'

Congress Is Too Busy Bankrolling Ukraine To Stop The VA From Processing Illegals’ Health Care Costs


Members of Congress love to profess their alleged support for America’s military veterans. But if that’s true, why are they ignoring the agency tasked with caring for veterans’ medical needs, steering its resources towards illegal aliens?

Throughout the past several months, controversy has engulfed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over its processing of health care claims for illegal aliens. At issue is a contract between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the VA’s Financial Service Center (VA-FSC), dating back to 2002, that authorizes the latter to “process reimbursement claims from providers for health care costs of illegal aliens in ICE custody.”

While illegals in ICE custody are “typically treated onsite by medical professionals,” agency officials are permitted to take them to an “independent private provider” if a “specialist or emergency care” is deemed necessary, according to Fox News. It’s these types of cases in which ICE “contracts” with the VA-FCS “to process reimbursements to those providers.”

“According to a report from July, ICE has hundreds of letters of understanding in which ICE’s Health Service Corps (IHSC) will reimburse providers at Medicare rates,” the report reads. “That uses the VA-FSC’s Healthcare Claims Processing System, which is a portal that allows providers to submit and view claims and access other resources.”

ICE ultimately reimburses the VA for its services.

The policy has generated backlash among Republican lawmakers such as Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who recently blasted the Biden administration for prioritizing illegal immigrants over the well-being of American veterans. Amid the onslaught of criticisms, VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes has denied allegations that the agency is “provid[ing] or fund[ing] any health care to ICE detainees.” He’s also downplayed how many resources the VA uses while fulfilling the policy.

Tuberville’s office has since accused the agency of “playing word games” and “using Community Care Network providers for illegals.” The term “community care” is in reference to non-VA health care practitioners who provide medical services to veterans. Access to these programs was expanded under the VA MISSION Act, which was signed into law by former President Trump in June 2018.

Writing for The Washington Times, Mark Mostert, a senior researcher at Able Americans, noted that it is “inaccurate” for the VA to claim it “does not devote significant resources and energy to processing of medical claims via ICE” and highlighted how the VA-FSC “processed 161,538 ICE claims totaling $94.3 million in 2022 [alone].” He also observed the backlog in veteran benefits claims, noting how cases more than doubled between 2022 (150,000) and 2023 (417,181).

“When all is said and done, this issue demonstrates that while the VA does not pay for medical care for illegals, considerable effort, resources and money are spent to process illegal alien medical claims within the VA,” Mostert wrote. “Any resource-siphoning from the true focus of the VA — military veterans who have served their country — should be urgently reconsidered.”

In December, Tuberville and GOP Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois introduced the “No VA Resources for Illegal Aliens Act” to prohibit the VA secretary from “providing health care to, or engaging in claims processing for health care for, any individual unlawfully present in the United States who is not eligible for health care under the laws administered by the Secretary.” Neither the House nor Senate has voted on the legislation since its introduction.

Congress Has Bigger Fish to Fry

While the Biden-manufactured border invasion has continued to wreak havoc on the VA and other public services, Congress has spent the past several weeks focusing on what few outside of Washington, D.C. care about — providing billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to Ukraine.

After their sham “border” bill fell apart, Senate Democrat and Republican leadership dropped their feigned concern about the U.S. border crisis and quickly rammed through a $95 billion foreign aid package, most of which is earmarked for Kyiv. The measure received the backing of 22 Senate Republicans, whose support pushed it over the finish line.

While House Speaker Mike Johnson has declined to bring the package to the floor for a vote, America Last-ers in both parties are orchestrating a pressure campaign to bully the Louisiana Republican into permitting such a vote. Establishment Republicans are even reportedly considering a “discharge petition” to force the House to vote on the measure.

The levels to which Congress will go to force through an almost $100 billion foreign aid package to fund Ukraine’s forever war is a spectacle to behold. If only its members bothered to fight as hard for the veterans who fought for America’s freedom.

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