Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health held a legislative hearing to discuss a bill introduced by Subcommittee Ranking Member Julia Brownley (D-CA), the Women Veterans Equal Access to Quality Care Act (H.R. 93).
“As more and more women join our Armed Forces and return home, we need to make sure the VA is adequately prepared to meet their healthcare needs,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “As the number of women veterans continues to grow, this bill will ensure that the VA keeps pace by making gender-specific services available at each of its medical centers and community clinics. There was a very productive discussion on the bill at the hearing, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward.”
Brownley introduced the Women Veterans Equal Access to Quality Care Act (H.R. 93) at the start of the 115th Congress. The bill directs the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that gender-specific services, like mammograms, prenatal care, and pap smears, are continuously available at every VA medical center and community-based outpatient clinic. It also directs VA to hire an adequate number of healthcare providers and support staff to provide those services. In 2016, almost 10 percent of the total veteran population – over 2 million veterans – were women, and the VA projects that this percentage will continue to rise. Since 2001, more American women have served our country in uniform than ever before. In fact, nearly 280,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and through their service, have earned the full range of healthcare services provided by the VA.
Congresswoman Brownley’s legislation received support from the American Legion, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America, the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Fleet Reserve Association.