February 19, 2019

Duckworth Helps Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve VA Care for Women Veterans


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Boozman (R-AR) and 24 of their Senate colleagues today in reintroducing the Deborah Sampson Act to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services and access for women Veterans. Women are the fastest growing group of Veterans, but many VA facilities don’t have the ability to provide equitable care or services to women Veterans. This bipartisan legislation would eliminate the barriers to care and services faced by many female Veterans, who are more likely than male Veterans to face homelessness, unemployment and go without needed health care.

“The number of women volunteering to serve our nation continues to rise, and it’s critical we modernize our health care systems to meet their unique needs,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to be working with Senators Tester and Boozman to pass this important bipartisan legislation that will help ensure our women Veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned.”

The Deborah Sampson Act includes the following provisions:

  • Empowers women Veterans by expanding group counseling for Veterans and their family members and call centers for women Veterans,
  • Improves the quality of care for infant children of women Veterans by increasing the number of days of maternity care VA facilities can provide,
  • Eliminates barriers to care by increasing the number of gender-specific providers in VA facilities, training clinicians, and retrofitting VA facilities to enhance privacy and improve the environment of care for women Veterans,
  • Authorizes additional grants for organizations supporting low-income women Veterans and increases resources for homeless women and their families,
  • Improves the collection and analysis of data regarding women Veterans, expands outreach by centralizing all information for them in one easily accessible place on the VA website, and requires the VA to report on the availability of prosthetics made for them.

The Deborah Sampson Act is endorsed by Veterans across the country, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

In addition to Senators Duckworth, Tester and Boozman, The Deborah Sampson Act is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).