This week a bill sponsored by Senator Boozman was passed by Congress and is now being sent to President Trump to sign into law. The Deborah Sampson Act is aimed to improve medical services for women veterans.
“All of this really came from the ground up, talking to our women veterans...They said there was a discrepancy here, they didn't feel welcome, that they needed additional funding and resources,” says Boozman.
Barbara Aguirre, an Air Force Veteran, says many women are uncomfortable walking into the VA Clinic and says women are not treated the same as men. She says many services are geared towards men, and there is a need for more female doctors.
"I might not have done anything special during my service, but I served, just like millions of other women did. I check with other women veterans, and some won't even go into the VA. It's really hard to talk to someone when they are patting you on the head instead of trying to help you with your problem,” says Aguirre.
These concerns were brought to Boozeman, and after three years in the works, the act will become law before the end of the 116th Congress.
According to Senator Boozman's website, 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,
- Improves the collection and analysis of data regarding women veterans, expands outreach by centralizing all information for women veterans in one easily accessible place on the VA website and requires the VA to report on the availability of prosthetics made for women veterans.
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