The Department of Veterans Affairs must cover $48,000 in emergency medical bills at a non-VA hospital accrued by a veteran who qualifies for Medicare, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ruled. Richard Staab served in the Air Force as a radio operator from 1952 to 1956. He suffered a heart attack and one or more strokes in 2010 and was hospitalized at a non-VA hospital, where he subsequently underwent open heart surgery. He was discharged six months later. The VA refused to pay his medical bills, saying he was ineligible because he was covered by Medicare — though Staab sought reimbursement for medical expenses not covered by Medicare: $48,000 in laboratory and other hospital services.