What could be the most significant legislation for women veterans so far this Congress now heads to the Senate floor for a vote after passing a key committee on Wednesday and a House vote late last year.
The Deborah Sampson Act is an omnibus bill intended to remove barriers and improve women veterans’ care and is in major part the effort of the House Women Veterans Task Force.
The Deborah Sampson Act includes measures to:
- Provide gender-specific healthcare equipment such as mammography machines at each VA;
- Mandate a VA-wide sexual harassment and assault policy, including training for employees;
- Ensure women veterans' primary care is available during regular VA business hours;
- Establish an Office of Women's Health;
- Improve communications of women veterans' services;
- Establish and improve care standards;
- Provide more funding for women veteran programs;
- Permanently authorize PTSD counseling for women veterans in retreat settings;
- Expand eligibility for military sexual trauma counseling;
- Provide extended care for newborns;
- Require reporting on women veterans' services and benefits.