On May 15, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health approved H.R. 1575, a bill to provide counseling services for women veterans recently separated from the Armed Forces, H.R. 2257, a bill to improve reproductive treatments for certain disabled veterans, and H.R. 627, a bill to expand the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) definition of homeless veterans to include those homeless as a result of domestic violence. The subcommittee held a hearing on these bills on April 23 (see The Source, 4/24/15).
Sponsored by Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), the bill would require the Readjustment Counseling Service of the Veterans Health Administration to carry out a program to provide reintegration and readjustment services to women veterans in group settings.
The committee approved H.R. 1575 by voice vote.
According to a statement by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), the measure would authorize assisted reproductive treatments – in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other technologies deemed appropriate by the Department of Veterans Affairs – for veterans whose service-connected disability includes an injury to their reproductive organs or spinal cord that directly results in the inability to have a child without the use of such technology. The measure also would authorize such treatments for veterans’ spouses. Surrogates or third-party donors would not be eligible for such benefits.
The bill would limit the benefit to three IVF cycles resulting in no more than six implantation attempts.
Sponsored by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA), the legislation would add veterans who are homeless as a result of domestic violence to VA’s definition of homeless veterans, thus making them eligible for benefits. Specifically, the bill would amend the definition to include veterans or veteran families who are “fleeing domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions in [their] current housing situation, and [have] no other residence and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.”
The committee approved H.R. 627 by voice vote.