An amendment offered by U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to ensure that wounded veterans recovering in military hospitals don't have to pay for their own meals passed the Senate yesterday in the emergency supplemental appropriations bill and will soon be signed into law.
Under current law, service members receiving physical therapy or rehabilitation services in a medical hospital for more than 90 days are required to pay for their meals. Senator Obama's bill will provide free meals for service members in military hospitals undergoing recuperation or therapy as a result of wounds sustained in Iraq or Afghanistan.
"When our soldiers are recuperating from wounds received while defending us, the only thing that they should have to worry about is getting better, not about who's going to foot the bill for their meals," said Obama. "It is our moral obligation not only to praise our troops for their bravery, but also to care for them upon their return. I am extremely pleased that the Senate passed this important measure so that our wounded soldiers are treated with the respect they deserve."
The amendment is retroactive to January 1, 2005 in an effort to provide those injured service members who may have received bills for their meals with some relief from those costs.