American Legion Supports Tester’s Bills to Reform Community Care, Support Women Veterans

National Commander Endorses Tester’s Caring for Our Veterans Act, Deborah Sampson Act

(U.S. Senate) – National Commander of the American Legion Denise Rohan today endorsed two of U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bills to reform VA community care and strengthen the care and services available to women veterans.

“I agree with the American Legion and their two million members that the VA is a system worth saving and defending,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “We must invest in the VA’s ability to care for veterans, especially the growing number of women veterans who are turning to the VA for care. The American Legion has been a strong advocate and partner in crafting good policy that will do right by our veterans, and now Congress must take up and pass our bipartisan reforms.”

“As I’ve traveled… I am very impressed with some of the VA facilities and the changes they’ve made, the improvements to the women’s clinics,” said Commander Rohan. “There are so many women’s health issues, some that we know about and so many that we don’t know about yet. As women go into more and more combat roles we don’t know what they’re going to be coming home with. The awareness of that is so important. It’s very helpful to track data [regarding women veterans’ experience at VA facilities]. The data is important.”

Tester recognized Montanan Diane Carlson Evans for receiving the American Legion’s Patriot Award for her efforts to build the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Before today’s hearing, Tester personally met with Montana Legionnaires Merv Gunderson, Roger Hagan, and Bill White.

The American Legion is one of 26 veterans and military service organizations to endorse Tester’s Caring for Our Veterans Act, bipartisan legislation crafted with Chairman Johnny Isakson to streamline the VA’s community care programs into one, easy-to-use system with one set of rules for veterans, providers and the VA. Tester’s bill bolsters the VA’s ability to care for veterans at VA facilities and puts the decision of where a veteran will receive care in the hands of the veteran and their VA doctor. More information about the Caring for Our Veterans Act can be found online HERE.

The American Legion has also been a strong advocate for women veterans, endorsing Tester’s bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act, which will help change the culture at the VA to better meet the needs of women veterans. It will also improve the VA’s ability to collect data on women veterans and their experience at the VA to help identify gaps in care and services. More information about the Deborah Sampson Act can be found online HERE.

Today’s hearing is the second in a series of joint Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings in which the nation’s leading Veterans Service Organizations will deliver their 2018 legislative priorities to Congress. DAV National Commander Delphine Metcalf-Foster presented her organization’s priorities yesterday.

More information about today’s hearing can be found online HERE. The next hearing will be held Tuesday, March 6, at 2:00 PM EST and will feature a number of organizations. More information about that hearing can be found online HERE.