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Soldiers no longer to pay for hospital food

By Times Staff Writer
Published September 18, 2003

WASHINGTON - House and Senate negotiators have agreed to temporarily reverse a law that required thousands of soldiers to reimburse the government $8.10 per day for food they ate while hospitalized.

The change, made at the request of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Largo, will mean that soldiers who are hurt or become sick in the line of duty and get the allowance for meals will not have to reimburse the government after they are hospitalized. Young, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, sought the change after his wife, Beverly, discovered wounded soldiers were being billed for the food.

The change will be included in the bill that pays for defense programs. It is expected to pass the House and Senate next week.

The change will be in effect for one year beginning Oct. 1. Young plans to seek a permanent repeal of the law.

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