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IVF for Injured Veterans

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really know much about how the military works.  I do know that there are people not only putting their lives in danger to fulfill the decisions of the Americans in charge (from the President down to their troop leaders) but some are coming back from work injured while on the job.  I assumed that the government took care of those injured from a military job, and it sounds like from this Atlantic article that they mostly do.  But not when it comes to IVF.

If you’re on active duty, your medical care is covered by the Pentagon.  And those people do have (some?) fertility treatment coverage if they discover that they need help building their family.  But if you are injured in the line of duty and therefore need to retire from the military, your care is now part of the Department of Veteran Affairs.  And lawmakers have ruled to not cover IVF.  And lest you think that is the only hoop they’ve forced injured military personnel to jump through in order to treat their body and mind, think again.  For instance, I don’t know how any woman could easily receive counseling from a rape that occurred during active duty with this law.  Do we really make our veterans go through this many layers of permission before receiving something as basic as counseling stemming from a rape while on the job?

Infertility, by the way, is discussed under section 106.

The story of the couple in the Atlantic article made me so sad even though they ultimately had their community gather around them and help them raise the money so they could conceive their twins.  It is wonderful that they had other organizations reach out.  But what about all the veterans who now cannot build their family because they were injured on the job and who don’t have their community members holding lemonade stands to take care of them?  Why are we not taking care of the people who do these difficult jobs?  Again, I know so little about the military, but I find it unfathomable that we are creating laws that harm the people who are putting their lives at risk.

At the very least, shouldn’t there be a distinction made between veterans who need fertility coverage because they happen to be infertile and veterans who need fertility coverage because their fertility was removed due to injury on the job?  I think everyone should have access to fertility treatments, but if we need to limit it for financial reasons, can we at least take care of the people who lost the ability to form their family because they were taking care of us?

There is an election coming up.  Please think twice when you are voting and put lawmakers in office that will give a voice to people who clearly need a voice and act in the best interest of their constituents and NOT lead with their own personal opinions while in office.  Thom Tillis of North Carolina, I don’t really care how you feel about abortion.  I care about military families who already lose out on so much due to the job and sometimes make enormous sacrifices such as their ability to form a family all because of their line of work.

4 comments

1 Charlotte { 03.01.16 at 8:51 am }

I know very little about the inner workings of the military, too. But it seems to me that anything that is a direct result of an on-the-job/in-the-line-of-duty injury should be covered/paid for/taken care of, no question. It shouldn’t matter that it is IVF or a billion dollar robotic prosthetic, or some experimental treatment. If a member of our military is wounded while protecting our freedom, they should be allowed to seek ANY treatment that could allow them to better their lives or fix the problem, and the US should absolutely cover it. I don’t see these judgey politicians putting their families on hold and their lives on the line for our country, who are they to block any sort of coverage?!?!
Also, why was that blurb in that article that that guy opposes abortion, so vets shouldn’t get IVF coverage? That just makes him sound like even more of a moron, since IVF and abortion are two totally different, unrelated things. Grrr. This whole thing makes me so angry. Especially the ignorance.

2 torthuil { 03.01.16 at 9:33 am }

I honestly an not sure how I feel about publicly funded fertility treatments. I can think of arguments both ways. But in a case like this, it absolutely should be covered. I don’t know whether to cry or be in complete awe at this family’s resilience. Bit of both I guess.

3 illustr8d { 03.01.16 at 2:11 pm }

It’s amazing how easy it is to slip through the cracks in all sorts of ways.

I think anything that was functioning before being on the job and now isn’t due to an injury that happened on that job, should be made better in whatever way we can. I can’t help but feel that this is sexism and lots of inexperience at having women in places where they get seriously hurt. We need to catch up quickly.

4 illustr8d { 03.13.16 at 11:42 pm }

I wrote this comment more quickly than I should have. Or I only wrote half of it.

I think of this as being a medical necessity. I think we should get out of the business of deciding other people’s fertility. It’s a medical issue, it should be covered.

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