Texarkana Gazette - - METRO/STATE -

Vot­ing 400 for and nine against, the House on Feb. 8 passed a bill (HR 840) that would es­tab­lish a na­tion­wide sys­tem of day care cen­ters at vet­er­ans hos­pi­tals, clinics and psy­cho­log­i­cal and so­cial coun­sel­ing fa­cil­i­ties. This would ex­pand and make per­ma­nent a pi­lot pro­gram un­der which full-time care­tak­ers can place their chil­dren for su­per­vi­sion while they re­ceive treat­ment else­where on the premises. The bill is tai­lored to vet­er­ans who need in­ten­sive phys­i­cal or men­tal care and would miss ap­point­ments with­out the avail­abil­ity of on-site care for their chil­dren. Be­cause the bill lacks a pay-for to off­set its pro­jected $120 mil­lion an­nual cost, it likely would shift funds from other vet­er­ans pro­grams to day care.

Ju­lia Brown­ley, D-Calif., said, “For many vet­er­ans, the lack of ac­cess to child care is a bar­rier to re­ceiv­ing VA health care, es­pe­cially men­tal health care and in­ten­sive-care ser­vices. Re­search has shown that women vet­er­ans more com­monly face this bar­rier.”

An­other sup­porter, Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said, “We know that in this coun­try, 20 vet­er­ans com­mit sui­cide each day, and 14 of them have never got­ten into VA care.”

No mem­ber spoke against the bill.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Se­nate.


Vot­ing yes: Bruce Wester­man, R-4


Vot­ing yes: Louie Gohmert, R-1, John Rat­cliffe, R-4

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