(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adapts to meet the needs of the expanding female veteran population. Following introduction, the senators issued these statements:
“As our nation’s military continues to see changes in demographics, it’s particularly important the VA adopts and makes necessary changes. There are countless distinguished women veterans who made sacrifices beyond measure and deserve nothing but the best treatment,” said Senator Dean Heller. “I stand side by side with America’s heroes and am proud to introduce this bill with Senator Murray to give women veterans the respect they deserve by helping to ensure their health care needs are met.”
“As more and more women come home from serving our nation, we owe it to them to make sure they can access safe, comfortable, and high-quality care at their local VA clinics. Women veterans have specific health care needs that the VA must be able to meet, and this bill provides the Department with the tools and resources they need to continue making progress and providing our women veterans with the care and support they deserve,” said Senator Patty Murray.
Today, nearly 2.3 million women are veterans of military service, and that number is expected to continually grow as women comprise 15 percent of the U.S. military’s active duty personnel and 18 percent of the National Guard and Reserve forces.
The Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act:
- Requires VA to establish standards in VA health care facilities to meet the specific needs of women veterans and integrate these standards into prioritization for construction projects.
- Analyzes women’s health outcomes as a performance measure for VA medical center executives.
- Requires every VA medical center to have a full-time obstetrician and/or gynecologist.
- Improves outreach to veterans by requiring VA to provide state veterans agencies with contact information for veterans.
- Conducts GAO study of VA’s ability to meet the needs of women veterans and their privacy and security in VA facilities.