Brooks and Murphy Introduce Bill that Prioritizes Better Access to Care for Female Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) introduced H.R. 3558, the Improve Access to Care for Our Female Veterans Act. This bill, a product of efforts by the Bipartisan Working Group, ensures that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is better equipped and prepared to provide female veterans with the care and services they have earned and deserve.
“Since first elected to serve the Fifth District in Congress, I have heard from men and women in different branches of the military and from different veterans service organizations (VSOs) that when it comes to access to care, our female heroes face far greater challenges than their male counterparts,” said Brooks. “More women are joining the military, and therefore, we need to ensure the services and standards at the VA are capable of properly supporting the increasing number of female veterans. Access to mammograms, maternity care and routine gynecology visits are crucial for ensuring the overall health and wellbeing of our female vets.”
According to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, women are the fastest growing population among the entire veteran community. The VA currently has policies in place to help ensure the privacy, safety, and dignity of women veterans when they receive care at its medical facilities, yet there have been many instances where the VA has not respected such policies. This bill provides accountability standards, instructing the VA to improve their services to better reflect the needs of not only men, but women. Members of the Bipartisan Working Group met with officials from GAO to discuss hundreds of reports on how the VA can improve.
“As a member of the Bipartisan Working group, I have met with the GAO and discussed the findings in their reports. One report that caught my attention specifically focuses on what we can do to provide our female veterans with appropriate care and better access to services that could save their lives,” continued Brooks. “We need to act on these recommendations from the GAO to ensure the VA works more efficiently. I am encouraged by Secretary Shulkin’s efforts to improve the VA, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House on a bill that prioritizes the best care for our female veterans.”