Delgado Introduces Legislation to Assess Gaps in Care for Underserved Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) announced the introduction of legislation to better understand gaps in access to care for underserved veterans, including women and minority servicemembers, the Improving Benefits for Underserved Veterans Act. Congressman Delgado's legislation would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to publish a report on veterans' benefits being received disaggregated by sex and minority group member status. This report would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Congress to better fill gaps in coverage and strengthen benefits for women and minority group veterans.
"Earlier this July, I traveled to a number of facilities that provide essential care for veterans, including a women's veterans clinic in Albany where women veterans in the region must travel hours to receive health care services specifically for women. This is unacceptable and a danger to the health and wellbeing of those who have risked their lives serving our nation." Rep. Delgado continued, "To address these shortcomings in easily accessible care, I'm introducing the Improving Benefits for Underserved Veterans Act which aims to fill the gaps in care for women and minority veterans. Understanding veterans' health care needs, among other benefits, is the first step to leveling the playing field for women veterans."
Malia Du Mont, Chair of Rep. Delgado's NY-19 Advisory Committee on Veterans said, "Female veterans are the fastest growing subgroup of veterans and the fastest growing group of homeless veterans, but our government is not ready to meet our needs - such as convenient access to women's healthcare or homeless shelters for women and children. Congressman Delgado's legislation will help the VA develop a better understanding of the unique needs of female veterans, so it can make informed investments to better serve all veteran communities."
"Recognizing how veterans of all walks of life use VA benefits is critical to better understanding the gaps in care for our nation's veterans," said Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Chairwoman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee's Women Veterans Task Force. "Identifying and addressing these gaps in care are a top priority for the Women Veterans Task Force, and I look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Delgado to move this bill forward. I also applaud Rep. Delgado's efforts to ensure meaningful representation of women and minorities on his in-district veterans advisory committee."
Congressman Delgado's legislation would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to publish a report regarding veterans who receive benefits under laws administered by the Secretary, disaggregated by sex and minority group member status. The purpose of this legislation is to help Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs better understand who is receiving what kind of benefits from the VA to better serve those populations. In June, Rep. Delgado announced the membership of his Veterans Advisory Committee and appointed Malia DuMont as Chair.