Tester, Boozman Mark One Year Anniversary of Deborah Sampson Act
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) released the following statements on the one-year anniversary of the signing of their landmark Deborah Sampson Act:
“Today, we mark the first anniversary of the signing of the Deborah Sampson Act-a historic moment for nearly two million women veterans who will receive expanded access to quality health care and benefits under this law,” said Tester. “The provisions we secured last year honor our continued commitment to supporting those who’ve worn the uniform, and I’ll keep pushing VA to ensure this law is implemented in a way that best serves women veterans now and into the future.”
“The Deborah Sampson Act is delivering resources and benefits to better serve women veterans. I’m proud we enacted these necessary improvements to ensure our country fulfills its commitment to all who wore and continue to serve in our nation’s uniform. Congress must remain vigilant in overseeing its implementation to make certain women veterans receive the equitable care they deserve,” Boozman said.
Senators Tester and Boozman introduced and championed the Deborah Sampson Act last Congress to provide women veterans with better access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and benefits. The Senators successfully included provisions under their bill as part of an end-of-year veterans’ package signed into law by the President on January 5, 2021.
In its first year since implementing the Deborah Sampson Act, VA established an Office of Women’s Health within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), obligated $20 million in congressionally appropriated funds to retrofit existing VHA medical facilities to better support delivery of care to women veterans, expanded VHA’s women veterans healthcare “mini-residency” program, and provided all 170 VA medical centers across the country with a full-time Women Veterans Program Manager tasked with advocating for the health care needs of women veterans. The Department also announced a new, zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and sexual assault last month as required under this law.