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Collins reintroduces legislation to expand health care access for veterans’ newborns

May 9, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Susie Lee (D-N.V.), Jackie Walorski (R-I.N), and Chrissy Houlahan (D-P.A.) today reintroduced the Newborn Care Improvement Act to extend the amount of time female veterans’ newborns are eligible to receive medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

“Too often, new mothers receiving medical care from the VA face financial challenges and complex insurance decisions while seeking to obtain critical care for their newborns,” said Collins. “Ensuring the VA expands care for the women who selflessly serve in our armed forces continues to be a priority for me, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing the Newborn Care Improvement Act. This legislation will ease the burden on female veterans by doubling the length of time their newborns are eligible to receive medical care from the VA.”

“Our women veterans deserve the best health care and maternal care for them and their families,” said Lee. “Starting a family can be an overwhelming time for anyone, making it even more important to ensure our veterans have the resources and time they need to get the best maternal care. I’m proud to team up with Rep. Collins – who has been a leader on this issue for years, Rep. Houlahan, and Rep. Walorski to work across the aisle and introduce the Newborn Care Improvement Act and help improve the lives of our brave veterans and their families."

Female veterans often face unique medical challenges – including pregnancy complications – as a direct result of their service to our country. For example, women who give birth within one year of being affected by PTSD are 35% more likely to deliver prematurely, which results in greater health risks for their children. 

Currently, the VA is only authorized to provide up to 7 days of care for a newborn of a female veteran. The Newborn Care Improvement Act will ease the burden on female veterans by extending the length of time that their newborns are eligible to receive medical care from the VA to 14 days. 

The state of Georgia has the fifth highest number of female veterans, and the Atlanta VA serves more female veterans than any other VA nationwide. 

Rep. Collins first introduced the Newborn Care Improvement Act during the 114th Congress and reintroduced this legislation in the 115th Congress. 

Senators Tillis (R-N.C.) and Klobuchar (D-M.N.) have introduced the companion legislation in the Senate. 

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