Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) voted to ensure that veterans and their families get the care and support they need and deserve after they put their lives on the line defending our country. The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, legislation that reforms and improves veterans' health services by supporting wounded veterans and their families and caregivers, expanding care for female veterans, improving mental health services, and increasing access to health care for veterans in rural areas, was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives.
"Our brave service men and women serve America with honor and when they come home, they deserve the best care and benefits we can offer," said Rep. Rep. Baca. "By enhancing health services for the 1.8 million female veterans who have served, expanding health for military families and caregivers, and prohibiting all copayments for veterans who are catastrophically disabled, this bipartisan bill ensures America's veterans and their families receive the proper care and protections they deserve."
To address the unique needs of the growing number of returning women soldiers, this bill will improve health services for almost 2 million female veterans. With this legislation, the VA will be able to provide care for female veterans' newborns for the first time in history. It will also improve access to care for veterans in rural areas, ensure that the VA can better treat veterans suffering from mental health issues, and provide the VA with resources to learn more about the tragically high suicide rate among veterans. This legislation will also support family members and caregivers who look after our injured veterans to bring them the relief they deserve.
The bill passed today builds on a record of accomplishments for veterans and troops over the last three years under the Democratic-led Congress -- including the new G.I. Bill to provide returning troops with the promise of a college education; historic investments in veterans' health care and providing that funding one year in advance to prevent political or legislative delays; expanding economic opportunities for returning soldiers and improving care for those with PTSD.
"As an Army veteran myself, I am all too aware of the hardships our military men and women and their families endure to protect our country," said Rep. Baca. "I am proud this Congress has moved our nation forward with historic investments to improve veterans' health care, and raise our troops' salaries. This important legislation ensures that we can better address the changing medical needs of our veterans. All American veterans deserve full access to quality health care."
The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act is supported by a broad coalition of veterans groups including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Wounded Warriors Project and the National Military Family Association.