There is a bill that was introduced in the Senate in February and a sister bill introduced in the House in March, that hopes to improve the provision of health care for women veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
This bill is S. 471: Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act of 2015 and has been introduced in the Senate. Thus far, this bill has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on February 12, 2015.
There has also been a bill introduced on March 13, 2015 in the House that purports to do the the same thing as S. 471. This House bill is H.R.1356 – Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act of 2015. On March 19, 2015, this bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
Now, on April 21, at 2:30pm there will be hearings held by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs to examine fulfilling the promise to women veterans. Here’s the agenda for the meeting entitled, Fulfilling the Promise to Women Veterans. The House will have their Examing Access and Quality of Care and Services for Women Veterans meeting on April 30 at 10:30am.
I think it will be incredibly interesting to see what happens with the bills and the meetings. There are two Democrat women on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs (out of 12 members) and seven women on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (out of 24 members) – five Democrat women and two Republican women.
Honestly, I’m not real hopeful since the bill in the Senate was introduced in February and there’s been no movement. Maybe these scheduled April meetings will help move the bills forward.
Note: Amata Radewagen is a Republican woman from American Samoa – I’m not sure she even gets a vote even though her veteran population is huge per capita? Hopefully her input will matter for all veterans.