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Congresswoman Supports New Effort to Help Wounded Service Members

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 186

Bustos picA cap on payments from a federal insurance program to soldiers who have sustained traumatic injuries during battle — like the loss of limbs — could be removed if legislation backed by a local Democratic Congresswoman and one of her counterparts from Iowa is made law.

17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley have introduced an act in the House that would eliminate the $100,000 cap on payments to wounded servicemembers through the Traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Program. Bustos says service members who lose all their limbs deserve more than that, partly because of the expanded amount of care they need.

Bustos tells reporters on a conference call the issue is becoming more and more important.

“This issue has become more critical as we have more service members who are surviving severe injuries,” Bustos said.  “These are injuries that often result in significant financial burdens to the service member, and for their families.  Our nation’s wounded warriors deserve our full support.”

The act was named after Taylor Morris — a soldier from Cedar Falls, Iowa who lost all of his limbs in May of 2012 after an improvised explosive device went off in Afghanistan.

Bustos says the overall cost is hard to know, but capping compensation to all injured service members is a “disservice” to them.