Pingree gets provisions to support veterans in spending bill

Requires VA to provide prosthetics for female veterans, increase attention to suicide prevention, homelessness

Washington, DC – December 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Chellie Pingree was able to insert provisions into a spending bill that is working its way through Congress that will improve healthcare for veterans and do more to focus on the problems of homelessness and suicide among vets.

Pingree added language that will require the Veterans Administration (VA) to provide gender-appropriate prosthetics. She says she has heard from veterans who say that prosthetics are often designed to fit men but don’t fit women correctly.

“We’ve heard stories of doctors sanding down prosthetics that were made for men to make them fit women veterans,” Pingree said. “These women who have served our country deserve better, and I want to make sure the VA starts providing prosthetics that are designed for them.”

Pingree, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, was also able to insert language into the spending bill passed by the House today that requires the VA to increase efforts to find and address the causes of homelessness among female veterans.

“Even though female veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, there are some big gaps in the way we address that issue,” Pingree said. “There is a disconnect between the scale of the problem and how much attention the VA pays to it. The VA needs to do a better job getting services and help to female vets before they end up on the street. And for those who are already homeless—in particular vets who are single moms with small children—we need to do a better job creating programs that provide them safe shelter and help them get back into a home.”

Pingree also added a provision to the bill that pushes the VA to increase partnerships with universities, like the University of Maine, to do more research into traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and suicide among veterans.

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