Policy & Politics
Sen. Coleman Introduces Bill to Compensate Families of HIV-Positive Veterans Infected Through Service-Related Blood Transfusions
March 11, 2004
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) on Tuesday introduced a bill (S 1509) to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that would provide compensation to the families of military veterans who became HIV-positive through military service-related blood transfusions, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Under the bill, every family member infected with HIV as a result of a veteran's service-related blood transfusion would receive a $100,000 benefit (Hotakainen, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 3/10). The Veterans Affairs Administration estimates that approximately 2,800 veterans have contracted HIV through service-related blood transfusions, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Webb, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 3/10). "The VA treats AIDS like other service-connected health conditions," Coleman said, adding, "However, in an important way, AIDS is not like other service-connected illnesses. AIDS can be directly transmitted to spouses and unborn children of the service members" (AP/Kansas City Star, 3/9). Coleman's aides said that the bill has a "good chance" of passing, according to the Star Tribune. Committee Chair Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said that he would "be inclined" to support the measure, but he is withholding final support for the measure until its costs are determined, the Star Tribune reports (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 3/10).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.