May 22 2019
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, urged committee members to approve the Deborah Sampson Act, legislation that would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face.
There are more than two million women veterans in the United States. More than 20,000 women veterans call Arkansas home. The number of women veterans accessing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care services has steadily increased, but the VA’s policies are in need of reform to better serve this population.
“This is something that we can solve. It’s going to take some work. It’s going to take a little bit of change in attitude in some cases,” Boozman said during the Wednesday hearing. “We can do a better job of providing the resources that women veterans need.”
Boozman and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Ranking Member of the Senate VA Committee, reintroduced the Deborah Sampson Act in February. The legislation has widespread support of Veterans Service Organizations.
The pair have aggressively pursed reforms to policies that impact women veterans. Most recently, they sent a letter in December 2018 to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie urging him to implement provisions in the Deborah Sampson Act that are within his authority.
The VA Committee considered additional legislation cosponsored by Boozman including:
- S. 123- Ensuring Quality Care for our Veterans Act– Introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), this would ensure that every VA health care provider with a revoked license undergoes a third party clinical review of their patient care. If the review determines that a standard of care was not met, the veteran will be notified.
- S. 805– Veteran Debt Fairness Act of 2019– Introduced by Tester, this would prevent the VA from charging veterans for its own accounting mistakes.
- S. 857– Legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that would increase the amount of special pension for Medal of Honor recipients.