Erik Roberts, a former US Army sergeant, was wounded in battle in Iraq. He was evacuated to the US where he underwent 13 surgeries to save his legs. Later, he was medically retired from the US Army because he could no longer physically serve the country he sacrificed so much for.
A few months ago Roberts was dangerously close to losing his wounded leg to an infection and needed immediate surgery to prevent amputation. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the prior approval from the VA system, which had recently examined his leg, but wasn’t able to get him into surgery. Roberts went ahead with the surgery through a private doctor and the VA refused to pay for treatment that was required to save his leg from amputation.
Wow. I understand the need for policy, but there are times when policy should be thrown out the window. And this is one of those times that it shouldn’t have even been up for debate. The VA later decided to pay for the cost of the surgery, but it took the direct intervention of Senator before they were willing to pay.
CNN on Wednesday contacted the office of Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Roberts’ home state of Ohio who serves on the Senate’s VA committee. Brown’s office had not heard of Roberts’ case, but immediately reached out to the soldier and alerted the VA about his situation.
In less than 24 hours, the VA got back to CNN. “The VA will be paying the bill,” said VA spokesman Sean Nelson.
Yeah, no kidding. Of course the VA is going to pay after a Congressman intervenes. But it never should have gotten that far.
Source: Wayne Dash @ CNN.