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VA Bill Addresses Women Veterans’ Health

On March 21, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved two bills aimed at improving health care for veterans. One bill (H.R. 811), sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), would authorize $250 million in FY2002 and $300 million in FY2003 for the improvement and renovation of VA medical centers. The bill delineates a number of projects that the Secretary should consider a priority, including improving privacy and accommodations for women veterans. Several General Accounting Office reports have cited the lack of privacy at VA hospitals as a major concern of women veterans.

The other bill (H.R. 801), also sponsored by Rep. Smith, would extend coverage under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance to spouses and children of a servicemember. Both bills were approved by voice vote.

On March 27, both bills will be considered under suspension of the rules, an expedited floor procedure that prohibits amendments.

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