The six Democrats and four Republicans in Minnesota's congressional delegation are unifying behind an effort to improve emergency care for veterans.
In a rare act of bipartisanship among the entire delegation, they sent a letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough last month asking him to make a regulation change that would cover all veterans' emergency ambulance transportation costs.
Emergency transportation and treatment at non-Veterans Health Administration facilities that are in-network became eligible for reimbursement in 2018. But the VA currently processes those emergency ambulance claims as beneficiary travel, and only veterans who meet certain disability criteria qualify for transportation reimbursement.
Minnesota's delegation is pushing for all veterans to qualify for the ambulance reimbursement.
"By processing emergency transportation services as beneficiary travel, the VA leaves a large group of veterans with unpaid emergency transportation bills," read the letter.
In a statement, Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the government must ensure veterans receive "the medical care and benefits they deserve."
GOP Rep. Michelle Fischbach added in a separate statement that the change would benefit veterans living in rural Minnesota areas with no nearby VA facilities.
"In order to do that, we have to make sure that emergency transportation to their nearest in-network provider is covered," Fischbach said.