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Iraq War Chaplain Fights for Kids’ Health Care

HOUSTON (CN) - A decorated active-duty Iraq War chaplain says the Department of Defense's health-care system wrongfully refused to cover the therapeutic treatment of his two children, who have Asperger's disorder.

While stationed in Hawaii, Major Jonathan E.'s children attended a therapeutic day treatment program called Loveland Academy, which was covered by the defense department's TRICARE Management Activity.

Major E. then moved with his family to Texas to accept an assignment in San Antonio. He claims he put his children into the Monarch School, a facility similar to the Loveland Academy in Hawaii.

However, the government refused to cover the children's treatment in Texas, Major E. claims.

"From defendants' haphazard approach to the denial determinations - including their inconsistent rationales, their self-serving failure to recognize the Monarch School as an authorized provider, their failure to follow their own appeal procedures properly, and their complete disregard of numerous medical professionals' statements that these are medically necessary services - it is abundantly clear that defendants intended to deny (the children) access to covered benefits at all costs, for any reason," the lawsuit states.

Major E. and his wife seek reimbursement for the costs of their children's therapeutic services. Their attorney is Martin Cirkiel of Round Rock, Texas.

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