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Rep. Gabbard supports bill seeking equal health care for female vets

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks in front of the Capitol in Washinton, D.C., on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Gabbard and several other congresswomen joined forces to promote the Deborah Sampson Act, which aims to improve benefits and services provided by Veterans Affairs to female veterans.

CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES

By THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER (TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE) Published: November 9, 2017

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke strongly in support of H.R.2452, or the Deborah Sampson Act, on the House floor earlier this week in an effort to improve access and quality of care for female veterans. The bipartisan legislation would also address gender disparities at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Female veterans represent the military’s fastest growing population with an estimated 2.2 million women, including 14,000 in my home state of Hawaii, who have served our country,” said Gabbard, who is co-chair of the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus. “Yet, when these women come home or transition to civilian life, they’re still facing a VA that was created by and for men, and is ill-equipped to understand and serve their unique needs. Women veterans have lower rates of access to the VA than men but face higher rates of post-traumatic stress, military sexual assault, unemployment, and homelessness.”

In addition to offering women veterans more counseling services, the Deborah Sampson Act, introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, would also expand maternity care at VA facilities and improve the collection of data regarding women and minority veterans.

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