Highlights Legislative Wins for Women Veterans on Senate Floor
Apr 05 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, highlighted passage of a pair of legislative initiatives he championed to modernize Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) breast cancer screening policies and the delivery of lifesaving care for women veterans. The Senate unanimously advanced the Boozman-led measures in March.
“The VA is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Taking full advantage of the department’s unique capabilities, resources and outreach will help deliver the lifesaving care veterans deserve,” said Boozman on the Senate floor.
Under Boozman’s leadership, the Senate unanimously passed the Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas Supporting Expanded Review for Veterans in Combat Environments (SERVICE) Act. This legislation would require the VA to conduct mammograms for all women who served in areas associated with burn pits and other toxic exposures regardless of age, symptoms or family history.
The bill is named in honor of Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who was unaware of her increased risk for breast cancer as a result of her 2005 deployment to Fallujah, Iraq. She was subsequently diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at the age of 38.
“We know early detection is crucial to preventing and treating breast cancer, so making sure those who are more vulnerable receive screenings at a younger age is not only reasonable, but critical,” Boozman said.
The Senate also advanced the Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options (MAMMO) for Veterans Act. Boozman is the lead Republican on this bill that would expand access to high-quality breast cancer screenings, improving imaging services in rural areas and clinical trials through partnerships with the National Cancer Institute.
Senate passage of these bills builds on Boozman’s commitment to expanding lifesaving care for women veterans. Last Congress the senator led the bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act to eliminate barriers to care and service many women veterans face when accessing VA benefits. The legislation was signed into law in 2021.