VA agrees to pay wounded vet's bill

March 26, 2009 at 11:53 PM

WARREN, Ohio, March 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. government, under prodding from Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has agreed to pay $3,000 to settle a medical bill for a soldier seriously wounded in Iraq.

Sgt. Erik Roberts of Warren, Ohio, told CNN he went out of the Veterans Affairs system to get surgery at Vanderbilt Orthpaedics in Nashville because the operation was needed to avoid losing his leg. He was billed $3,000 that his private insurance did not cover.

"I thought my leg was more important than the usual bureaucratic mess," Roberts said.

Roberts was wounded when his Humvee was blown up in 2006. He went through 12 operations while he was still in the Army and then developed a serious infection after leaving in 2007.

The $3,000 bill was for part of the cost of antibiotics Roberts needed after his most recent operation. CNN got in touch with Brown, who sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee. The VA then agreed to cover the $3,000 bill.

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