Congresswoman Chellie Pingree today welcomed the passage of two important bills aimed at protecting and expanding services for America's veterans. The bills will provide timely and advance funding of health care for the Veterans Administration and expand health care services for the 1.8 million women who have served in the armed forces.
"Our veterans served with honor and they deserve the best services we can possibly offer - but far too often, critical VA funding gets held hostage by politics" Pingree said. "This legislation will make it easier to address the medical needs of our veterans, ensuring they have full access to health care services even when funding is delayed."
The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act (H.R. 1016) authorizes Congress to approve investments in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care one year in advance to provide time for the VA to plan how to deliver the best care to an increasing number of veterans with increasingly complex medical conditions. The Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1211) will expand and improve VA health care services for the 1.8 million women who have bravely served their country.
Pingree voted for both bills, which passed the House tonight and now go on to the Senate.
Pingree said the advanced funding measure is important to allow the VA to plan ahead.
"Hospitals like Togus need a predictable source of funding," she said. "Under the current law it's hard to know what their budget will be in the upcoming year. That makes planning very difficult."
Pingree also applauded the passage of the Womens Veteran Health Care Improvement Act.
"Today, women serve in combat conditions alongside their male counterparts. This raises a whole new set of issues for veterans when they return from service," Pingree explained. "The bill we passed today is a huge step towards providing better treatment and more accessible health services for our brave female veterans."