18 GOP House Women Introduce Wilson Bill Addressing Needs of 2 Million Women Veterans
Rep. Heather Wilson, the only woman veteran in the House, today was joined by Rep. Kay Granger, GOP Conference Vice Chairwoman, and 16 other Republican women members of the House, in introducing legislation to address the needs of two million women veterans.
The legislation, creating the Bipartisan Commission on Wounded Women Warriors, would bring together a group with input from women veterans to make recommendations to Congress about the needs of women veterans, particularly in health care.
One in seven Americans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan is a woman. The face of the American military is changing and we need to make sure healthcare for women veterans is keeping up with the times.
The proposal would gather a bipartisan group of people, including the input of women veterans, to study the issue and make proposals for systemic changes to better serve returning veterans. The lawmakers said there are specific needs and issues relating to women in the Armed Forces who, in growing numbers, are making a transition from the DOD Health Care System to the VA Health Care System.
"The increasing number of women serving in the military, including in combat zones, will change and challenge the VA and DOD health care systems in ways we don't yet fully understand," Wilson said. "Women face different obstacles than men when trying to receive care from the VA and DOD."
"Our women veterans are growing in increasing numbers and have different needs than the men do," said Rep. Kay Granger. "We need to make sure we have the services in place to sufficiently address their needs, and right now we don't."
Details of the legislation:
· Would establish a 12-member bipartisan commission on Wounded Women Warriors to study the needs of women in the Armed Forces transitioning from the DOD Health Care System to the VA Health Care System and report back to Congress their findings and recommendations.
· The Commission on Wounded Women Warriors would consist of the following members:
o Two members appointed jointly by the Secretary of Defense and the VA Secretary
o Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives
o Two members appointed by the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives
o Two members appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate
o Two Members appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives
o Two Members appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate
o Of the members selected to the commission by the leaders, one must be a woman veteran or a woman participating in the Department of Defense health care system.
The following members are original cosponsors:
Rep. Heather Wilson - Sponsor
Rep. Michelle Bachmann
Rep. Judy Biggert
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Rep. Mary Bono
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite
Rep. Shelly Moore-Capito
Rep. Thelma Drake
Rep. Kay Granger
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson
Rep. Mary Fallin
Rep. Virginia Fox,
Rep. Candice Miller
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave
Rep. Sue Myrick
Rep. Deborah Pryce
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Rep. Jean Schmidt