Military vets fight for in vitro coverage

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

KING5.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 9 at 7:20 PM

They fought for their country. Now, our wounded warriors are in a fight to start a family.
 
The Veterans' Administration has strict limits on covering invitro fertilization - something Senator Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen want to change.
 
Margeaux and Niall Kennedy live on a quiet tree-lined street in Tacoma that would inspire Norman Rockwell. But this is also where the Kennedy's pursuit of the American dream comes to a stop.

"I was thinkng oh my gosh we're not going to be able to have children," said Margeaux Kennedy.
 
A parachute accident on a training mission ended Capt. Niall Kennedy's military career with the Army's 82nd Airborne. Now it threatens to take away even more.

"If the current policy of inaction continues, the government will be executing a policy akin to a defacto enforced sterilization," argues Capt. Kennedy.
 
Right now the VA only covers invitro fertilization for active service members like Niall-- but not his wife. Cost is the main issue. But Murray and Larsen say veterans pay the biggest price.

"When we send our service members off to war and they cannot start a family because of an injury that has occurred to them, I believe it's our responsibility as a country to do everything we can," said Murray.
 
The VA is not yet taking a position on SB 3313 but in a statement provided a long list of other fertility services it does cover, including genetic counseling and intrauterine insemination. It currently does not have the authority to treat a service member's spouse for fertility issues.

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