February 15, 2019

Senators Hassan, Shaheen Join in Reintroducing Landmark Bipartisan Legislation to Support Women Veterans

Deborah Sampson Act Would Improve VA Care, Services for Women

WASHINGTON – Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today joined Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Boozman (R-AK) in reintroducing the bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act to support women veterans. Women are the fastest-growing group of veterans, but many VA facilities don’t have the ability to provide equitable care or services to women veterans. The Deborah Sampson Act would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure that the VA can address the needs of women veterans. Senator Hassan previously wrote an op-ed with the Executive Director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) in support of the legislation.

“All who bravely served our country must receive the quality health care and support they earned – regardless of their gender,” Senator Hassan said. “Unfortunately, far too many women veterans still face barriers to receiving care at the VA. This bipartisan legislation would address gender disparities at the VA and help ensure that women can thrive in civilian life. I’ll keep working across party lines to stand up for all of our selfless service members, veterans, and their families.”

“Our women veterans are patriots who deserve the highest quality care when they return home, and it isn’t right that so many face roadblocks when seeking VA assistance because of their gender,” said Senator Shaheen. “This legislation would expand veteran services to allow the VA to better serve these brave women so they have the resources to adapt to life back home. These women put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, and we need to prioritize this bipartisan legislation to ensure equal access to quality care.”

The Deborah Sampson Act includes the following provisions:

  • Empowers women veterans by expanding group counseling for veterans and their family members and call centers for women veterans,
  • Improves the quality of care for infant children of women veterans by increasing the number of days of maternity care VA facilities can provide,
  • Eliminates barriers to care by increasing the number of gender-specific providers in VA facilities, training clinicians, and retrofitting VA facilities to enhance privacy and improve the environment of care for women veterans,
  • Authorizes additional grants for organizations supporting low-income women veterans and increases resources for homeless women and their families, and
  • Improves the collection and analysis of data regarding women veterans, expands outreach by centralizing all information for women veterans in one easily accessible place on the VA website, and requires the VA to report on the availability of prosthetics made for women veterans.

The Deborah Sampson Act is endorsed by veterans across the country, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

 

###