Collins Advocates for Improved Neonatal VA Benefits
WASHINGTON—Today Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 907, the Newborn Care Improvement Act, which would lengthen the amount of time newborns of female veterans can receive medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Currently, female veterans can receive up to 42 days of post-delivery care from the VA, while their infants are limited to seven days of medical care. Veterans may face medical challenges linked to their service, including high-risk pregnancies. For example, females who give birth within a year of being affected by PTSD are 35% more likely to deliver prematurely, and that means greater health risks for their children.
“The women who serve our nation in the armed forces deserve our profound gratitude and respect, and we can demonstrate this by guaranteeing that these service members and their children receive meaningful care through the VA. Because female service members are expected to make up 11% of our total veteran population by 2020, we must ensure—now more than ever—that the VA is expanding care to meet their needs. One of the most critical needs of female veterans is appropriate pre- and post-natal coverage.
“New mothers receiving medical care from the VA should feel confident that they won’t have to wade through tough financial choices and confusing insurance options in order to obtain crucial care for their newborns. I’ve introduced the Newborn Care Improvement Act to make this level of care a reality by extending the length of time newborns can receive VA care to 42 days,” said Collins.
The bill has received widespread support from veterans advocacy groups, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, and the Blinded Veterans Association.
Original co-sponsors of the bipartisan bill include Reps. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), and Rob Woodall (R-Ga.).