News Releases

A longtime champion for veterans, servicemembers, and their families, Senator Murray successfully included her VA Newborn Emergency Treatment (VANET) Act in a package of veterans legislation that passed the Senate yesterday

Senator Murray’s VANET Act would ensure that VA fulfills its duty to pay for medically-necessary emergency transportation for newborns of veterans 

Senator Murray: “I’m glad we’ve taken these steps to help provide some relief and peace of mind to veterans who are having or have had children, and women veterans in particular”

ICYMI—from January 2020: Senator Murray’s Legislation to Help Provide Relief to Veterans with Newborns in Need of Emergency Treatment Passes Senate Committee – MORE HERE 

(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed an end-of-year veterans package, H.R. 7105, that included U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s (D-WA) VA Newborn Emergency Treatment (VANET) Act, as well as provisions Senator Murray fought to include that would provide assistance to veterans and their families on child care, fertility services, and more. The legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote before heading to the President’s desk.

“We make a promise as a nation to take care of our veterans and their families, and that means making sure they know that their country will have their backs every step of the way. When I heard from veterans in Washington state and across the country about VA leaving them to foot the bill for transporting their babies in an emergency, about how hard it is to find quality, affordable child care, I knew we had to take action,” Senator Murray said. “I’m glad we’ve taken these steps to help provide some relief and peace of mind to veterans who are having or have had children, and women veterans in particular. It’s the least we can do for their courageous service.”

A longtime advocate for veterans and their families, and a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Murray proposed the VANET Act after hearing stories from veterans that VA refused to pay the cost of transporting veterans’ infants in some emergency situations—despite the fact that VA is supposed to cover these costs—and leaving veterans to foot the expensive bill. To address this, Senator Murray’s provision in this package, along with language from her bill in the National Defense Authorization Act, would clarify existing law by requiring VA to both cover the upfront costs for medically-necessary emergency transportation for newborns of veterans and reimburse veterans who were inappropriately forced to pay those costs out-of-pocket.

Senator Murray also successfully fought to include language in the package to make permanent a pilot program to provide child care to veterans receiving VA health care and give VA five years to implement the provision of child care at every VA medical center, conduct a study of fertility services offered by VA, and require the women veterans call center to respond to requests for assistance in accessing health care and benefits. In addition to these provisions the bill includes the Deborah Sampson Act, which Senator Murray has cosponsored and would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face, as well as provisions from Senator Murray’s Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act to make permanent women veterans’ ability to receive reintegration and readjustment counseling services in group retreat settings.

Read the fact sheet on the VA Newborn Emergency Treatment Act HERE.