Injured Workers and Pentagon Waste

Civilian workers injured while supporting U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home a different kind of battle. They have had to fight with insurance companies that are supposed to be responsible for their treatment. Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to hold a hearing later this month on what he called "the very costly and damaging problems that have resulted from the inadequate oversight of billions of dollars" paid to American Insurance Group and other companies for the taxpaye

Civilian workers injured while supporting U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home a different kind of battle. They have had to fight with insurance companies that are supposed to be responsible for their treatment. Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to hold a hearing later this month on what he called "the very costly and damaging problems that have resulted from the inadequate oversight of billions of dollars" paid to American Insurance Group and other companies for the taxpayer-funded policies. The senator also asked the Pentagon inspector general to examine "potential irregularities and possible overcharges" in the system.

In a new development, Pentagon auditors discovered that the Department of Defense didn't bother to bill AIG and other insurers for millions of dollars in medical care provided to private contractors injured in war zones. Medical care for the civilian workers is supposed to be paid for by the private insurance companies. The investigation discovered that the military often failed to seek reimbursement when contractors were treated at front-line hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ABC News, the Los Angeles Times and the investigative journalism project ProPublic have shined a light on the Pentagon practices that have denied care to deserving workers and wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on bloated, unchecked contracts with insurance companies.

To read Sanders' letter to Chairman Edward Kennedy requesting a hearing, click here.

To read the senator's letter to the Pentagon requesting an inspector general investigation, click here.

To read the inspector general report on healthcare expenses "in the millions" of dollars that were not charged to private insurance companies, click here.

To read about the latest developments and for background in the ProPublica, Los Angeles Times, ABC News investigation, click here.