Our nation’s veterans – why advocating with them helps us all
Posted by: Barbara Collura at May 4, 2015
Category: Federal and State legislation
|Watch Senator Murray's introduction of S 429|
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is once again honored to support S 469, a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on February 11, 2015 by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). This bill vastly improves access to infertility care for our veterans and for wounded warriors. Did you know that in 1992 the Veterans Administration banned the VA health system from providing IVF coverage to Veterans?
We are not really sure why this ban was put in place, but let’s face it, IVF was only 11 years old in the U.S. in 1992, and the advances that have improved the IVF process did not exist like they do today. Since 1992, the country has been involved in more than a decade of conflict. Medical advances in the field are helping our service men and women survive injuries, but often these injuries compromise their fertility. When these injured service members return home they find out that their dream of having a family is out of reach because the VA has banned coverage for IVF. S 469 would remove the IVF ban at the VA and fix other areas of infertility care for our service-members and veterans. We have a responsibility as the infertility community to support this bill and advocate loudly for its passage.
I know you may be thinking: “Helping our Veterans is so important, but I don’t have insurance for IVF either. Isn’t my desire to have a family just as important?” Yes, RESOLVE believes that everyone living with infertility deserves access to all family building options to help them build a family. However, this very important, much needed piece of legislation could also help the infertility community at-large open the door to more access.
If we can convince the VA to lift its ban on IVF, we not only help the people who were injured serving our nation, we also help to legitimize in the eyes of the federal government this important medical procedure and the disease of infertility.
Healthcare provided by the VA and Department of Defense (DOD) are looked upon as “gold standard” coverage in our country. Many private insurance plans model the health plans provided by our federal government. Just think, if IVF is covered by the VA that could serve as a model for the insurance plans that the rest of us are under. Let’s all come together and get this coverage for our Veterans. Then, let’s use it as a foundation to get coverage for the rest of the plans controlled by the federal government, and then use that victory to influence and advocate for private insurance adopting what will then be the gold standard of infertility coverage. We can do this!
Here is what you can do today:
- Sign up to attend Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on May 14. Meet with your federal legislators and tell them yourself why this bill is important for our veterans.
- Send a letter right now to your two U.S. Senators asking them to support S 469. This will only take a few minutes.
- Follow this bill through RESOLVE’s Action Alerts (sign up here to get these alerts) so that you can continue to advocate for its passage.
- S 469 Bill
- S 469 - Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2015
- Advocacy Day, May 14, 2015