Larsen-Brownley Provision to Extend Fertility Coverage for Veterans Passes Appropriations Committee

Jun 15, 2017 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC–Veterans suffering from service-connected infertility received good news today as the House Appropriations Committee approved a provision offered by Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Julia Brownley (CA-26) aimed at preserving veterans’ access to advanced fertility treatments.  

Thousands of veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries that leave them unable to conceive without assistance, and until recently the VA was unable to provide most fertility treatments because of a 1992 ban enacted by Congress.

In September 2016, Larsen helped pass a provision – originally included in the 2017 Veterans Affairs spending bill by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) – to allow the VA to provide assisted reproductive technology, of which IVF is the most common. But without further Congressional action, the 1992 ban will go back into effect at the end of fiscal year 2018. Larsen and Brownley’s provision would extend the VA’s authority to provide assisted reproductive technology though the end of 2019.

“This is a small, but important step toward permanently guaranteeing veterans access to fertility coverage,” said Larsen, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “I commend Chairman Dent, Ranking Member Wasserman Schultz, Chairman Frelinghuysen, and Ranking Member Lowey for including this provision and urge my colleagues to support veterans’ access to the treatment they need to start families. As this process moves forward I remain committed to building on this language, including through dedicated resources for this care.”

“Being a mother is one of the great joys of my life, we owe our veterans who have suffered reproductive injuries the ability to fulfill their dream of raising a family of their own,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “I am pleased this bill maintains VA coverage for assisted reproductive technology and adoption services, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that these services are permanently available to our nation’s veterans and their families.”

A single IVF treatment can cost $12,000 or more.

In November, Larsen, Brownley and Ranking Member Wasserman Schultz led a bipartisan letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald urging swift adoption of the new benefits made available by the spending bill which passed in September.

 

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