Some wounded vets put dreams of family on hold

Posted at 5:40 PM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 19:05:30-04

For wounded veterans, most medical care is covered by the V.A.  But a 23-year-old law is standing in the way of vets getting coverage for a process that would allow them to have children.

The government will not pick up the bill for in vitro fertilization.  We talked to one local couple whose hope to have a family is now in the hands of Congress.  

Cody Becker and his wife Jackie had plans to start a family.

"I always joke about a football team, but he's not going for that." 

But everything changed in 2008.  Cody was scheduled to deploy to Iraq, but was injured stateside in an army training accident. 

Cody told us "it's been hard, but we've been doing pretty good working through it."

Because of his spinal cord injury, Cody can't conceive naturally.  In vitro fertilization is an option, but at $10,000 per treatment, the Beckers and many other veterans just can't afford it. 

"I think the biggest surprise about it was not just that they don't cover it, it's just they don't even cover a portion of it," Jackie shared.

What some call an outdated law is preventing the V.A. from covering IVF for injured vets or their spouses.  Something U.S. Senator Patty Murray from Washington State calls it a "troubling barrier to care." 

She first pushed this legislation in 2012 and has been fighting to change the law ever since. 

"I believe that when someone fights for our country and has an injury, it is our country's obligation to make sure they are as whole as they can be afterwards."

This morning the senator met with vets and their families, hoping for good news from this week's expected vote in the Senate.  And for the Beckers, life goes on.  Cody continues to help raise his stepdaughter and hopes their family can grow one day. 

Some of the opposition comes down to funding and where the money will come from.  Anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 vets, mostly male, are eligible for IVF.   The next hurdle is for the bill with Senator Murray's IVF provision is to clear the full Senate. It will then eventually need to be merged with the House version.