Tribal veterans participated in the 7th Annual Cancer Awareness Day hosted by the Gila River Health Care Corporation on March 19, 2016. Photo: GRHC

Gila River Indian Community sues over health care for veterans

The Gila River Indian Community of Arizona is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs over health care promised to tribal veterans.

A provision in the Affordable Care Act requires the department to reimburse tribes for care provided to veterans who are eligible for services at a VA facility. But the complaint says the department has been refusing to fully pay for the costs of services provided by the Gila River Health Care Corporation.

"Despite this plain and mandatory language directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to reimburse Indian tribes and tribal organizations for health care services provided to veterans, the VA refuses to do so unless Indian tribes and tribal organizations agree to conditions well beyond the plain language of the law and which reduce the reimbursements that Indian tribes are entitled to under the law," the March 22 complaint states.

The tribe did not say how much it is owed but asked the court to order the VA to provide reimbursements dating to March 2010, when the Affordable Care Act became law.

Get the Story:
Tribe Says VA Holding Up Payments for Care (Courthouse News Service 3/23)

Related Stories
Aaron Payment: Affordable Care Act boosts Indian Country health (3/21)
Wounded Warriors Family Support reaches out to tribal veterans (02/03)
Tribes awarded $5.9M to combat homelessness among veterans (01/08)

Join the Conversation