Veterans

December 17, 2012

Senate moves bill covering fertility care for vets

Wounded veterans and their spouses who want to have children could get the government to pay for treatments such as in vitro fertilization under legislation beginning to move through Congress in the waning days of the session.

By voice vote, the Senate passed a bill Dec. 13 to update the Veterans Affairs Department’s medical coverage for one of the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: trauma to a soldier’s reproductive organs.

Nearly 2,000 service members suffered such wounds between 2003 and 2011. But when wounded veterans went to the VA for medical help in starting a family, they were told the VA doesn’t provide that kind of care.

A similar bill is pending in the House. Supporters said the Senate’s action increases its chances of becoming law before Congress adjourns.

The chief sponsor, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she has heard from veterans whose marriages have dissolved because of the stress of infertility, in combination with the stresses of readjusting to civilian life after severe injury.

“Any service member who sustains this type of serious injury deserves so much more,” she said.

With both chambers deadlocked on budget issues, even Murray was surprised the bill didn’t raise a single objection in the Senate. Any objection would have quashed it for the year.

As Murray spoke, Tracy Keil of Parker, Colo., watched from the gallery. Her husband, SSgt. Matt Keil, was paralyzed from the chest down after he was shot in the neck in Iraq. The Keils were able to afford the nearly $32,000 it cost for in vitro fertilization and now have 2-year-old twins, Matthew and Faith. But knowing that many families cannot afford that on their own, the Keils have been lobbying Congress to expand the VA’s coverage.

“It made us feel like we were back on track, that our marriage was where we wanted it to be and that our family was where we wanted it to be,” she said of having children. “Even though we had the injury disrupt the timeline of our expectations, it’s everything we’ve always dreamed of and it makes Matt feel whole again.”

“We wake up to the joys of our kids every day and I can’t picture my life without them now,” Matt Keil added in a telephone interview.

The legislation is estimated to cost $568 million over five years, to be covered through savings from scaling down military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rep. Jeff Miller, the Republican chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said he’s anxious to pass the bill this Congress, but he has concerns that the legislation would take money away from troops still fighting in Afghanistan to pay for the new benefit, .

Matt McAlvanah, a spokesman for Murray, said any notion that the funding for fertility treatments would impact troops in the field is false.

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., is spearheading efforts in the House to get the legislation passed.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Two C-17 squadrons to be inactivated over next two years

Air Mobility Command will inactivate two C-17 Globemaster III squadrons during the next two years – one at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and one at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – based on the President’s Defense Budget for fiscal year 2015. “In this fiscally constrained environment, we have to balance readiness, capability and capacity,” said Maj. Gen....
 
 

Raytheon to provide Qatar with Patriot air, missile defense system

Raytheon has received a $2.4 billion Foreign Military Sales contract for new-production fire units of the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for the State of Qatar. Qatar, a new Patriot customer, now brings the total number of global Patriot customers to 13. The acquisition is part of an Armed Services modernization and recapitalization...
 
 

Hagel authorizes up to 1,300 additional troops to deploy to Iraq

Up to 1,300 more U.S. troops, including approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, will begin to deploy to Iraq in late January, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said Dec. 19. “Their mission will be to train, advise and assist Iraqi security forces,” Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon briefing....
 

 
ng-people--japan

Northrop Grumman appoints chief executive for Japan

Northrop Grumman has announced the appointment of Jack Dorsett as chief executive for Japan, effective immediately. In this new position, he will be responsible for coordinating the corporation’s relationship with Japan, ...
 
 
NG-people-korea

Northrop Grumman appoints chief executive for South Korea

Northrop Grumman has announced the appointment of Brian Kim as chief executive for South Korea, effective Feb. 2, 2015. In this new position, he will be responsible for coordinating the corporation’s relationship with Sou...
 
 
XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee

XCOR announces further progress on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft

XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee The XCOR Lynx suborbital rocketplane under construction as of December 2014. Fuselage, cockpit and Carry-through-spar are bonded, propulsion system test-mounted, sans propellant pumps.   MOJAVE, ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>