Bill would expand fertility coverage for veterans

By ERIC TUCKER | August 19, 2012 | 9:55 PM EDT

In this photo taken Aug. 6, 2012, Brenda and Chuck Isaacson play in their back yard with their 16-month old daughter, in Sun Prairie, Wis. A bill being considered in the Senate would expand the VA's medical benefits package so other veterans, and their spouses or surrogates, don't have to bear the same expense. The department currently covers a range of medical treatment for veterans, including some infertility care, but the legislation would authorize the VA to cover the cost of IVF and to pay for procedures now covered for some critically injured active-duty soldiers. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill being considered in the U.S. Senate is aimed at helping wounded veterans start families by expanding coverage for in vitro fertilization.

Soldiers with pelvic or spinal cord injuries can have reproductive problems. The Department of Veterans Affairs currently covers some procedures to help veterans conceive, but it does not cover in vitro fertilization for soldiers and their spouses.

The proposed legislation would change that. The procedure, which can be lengthy and costly, is already covered for some active-duty soldiers who are critically injured. But it's not covered for veterans who are no longer active duty.

Proponents say the bill addresses an important issue that has not received as much attention as problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder.