Jack Kemp: Out-of-control medical charges

March 9, 2019

Editor: I am an 82-year-old veteran and the only medical I have is the Department of Veterans Affairs. In January of last year I passed out and was taken to the emergency room. I was there about six hours. They did a stress test, EKG and X-rays. The stress test showed I had a possible heart attack. Then asked me to stay over the weekend for observation but the VA does not pay for that. They then asked me to come back Monday for an angiogram. On Monday, I was checked into the hospital for several hours. After the angiogram was done, I was released.

A few days later I returned to the doctor’s office and found that I had not had a heart attack. The hospital stay on Monday was paid for by Medicare. The bill was paid for several months and I became concerned. I found that the emergency room visit was not sent until the following December and the bill was $42,080. The cash price for an angiogram is $500-$900. The VA was billed $32,642 and paid 10 percent of that. For the 10 minutes I spent in the doctor’s office finding out the results, the VA paid $431.

Is it any wonder that the VA does not have enough money to take care of veterans? These people make the mafia look like Little League. I am told by the VA that these are everyday prices that the VA is billed for. Veterans, call or write your congressman and tell them something needs to be done about these outrageous charges.

Jack Kemp

Lake Havasu City