This afternoon, the House passed two key measures for our veterans — HR 1016 to ensure sufficient, timely and predictable veterans funding and HR 1211 to expand VA health care services for the 1.8 million women who have served our country.
The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act (HR 1016) authorizes Congress to approve investments in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care one year in advance to provide time for the VA to plan how to deliver the best care to an increasing number of veterans with increasingly complex medical conditions. Chairman Filner explains:
For too many years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has had to make do with insufficient budgets resulting in restricted access for many veterans. Members of the Committee have worked closely with veteran service organizations to respond to years of chronic underfunding and tardy appropriations with this landmark bill to guarantee that our veterans have access to comprehensive, quality health care.
The Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act (HR 1211) will expand and improve VA health care services for the 1.8 million women who have served our country. It calls for:
a study of barriers to women veterans seeking health care
assessment of women's health care programs
medical care for newborn children of women veterans
enhancement of VA sexual trauma programs
enhancement of PTSD treatment for women
establishment of a pilot program for child care services
the addition of recently separated women veterans to serve on advisory committees
Speaker Pelosi on passage of the two bills:
Today, the day after the 65th anniversary of the enactment of the GI Bill, the House of Representatives is considering two critical pieces of legislation to improve the quality of health care for America's heroes.
The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency will provide advance appropriations funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs health care services. Advanced funding for the VA will ensure sufficient, timely and predictable funding for care and benefits for those who have bravely served our country,
The groundbreaking Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act will expand and improve VA health care services for the increasing number of women veterans. The legislation will study the barriers to women veterans seeking health care, assess the current state of women's health care programs and enhance PTSD and other trauma programs at the VA specifically designed for women. With more women serving their country now than ever before, it is critical that the VA adequately provide the necessary services to meet their diverse needs.
We are leading the way in creating a healthier America by strengthening health care for our veterans. I commend Chairman Bob Filner and Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for their tireless work steering these bills to the House floor today and I salute our Veterans' Service Organizations for advocating on behalf of our veterans and for these bills.