Pa. Senate approves task force to study health care for female veterans

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Feb 17, 2016 4:34 AM

(Harrisburg) -- About 72,000 of Pennsylvania's veterans are women, and a proposed task force would focus on their unique health care needs.

The group would look at how female veterans get health care, especially for post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or sexual assault or abuse.

Cabinet-level secretaries, health care experts and four female military veterans would sit on the task force.

Democratic state Senator Lisa Boscola of Lehigh County says the state and federal governments need to think of all veterans.

"They seem to be forgotten at times. Everybody thinks, men are in the miliary, but there's women that are in the military as well. And it was brought to my attention through hearing people that serve in the miliary saying we need to pay attention to women's health issues."

The Senate recently approved a resolution to create the panel, but it still needs the okay from the House.

Boscola's resolution calls for a report to be issued by the end of this year, with at least five meetings before the deadline.

"I was hoping to get this off the ground running really quickly. And then within about a year, to have the task force study this and come up with recommendations and then we can pass certain recommendations into law. But the task force helps to identify those issues that are more critical and need the most attention."

The number of women serving in the military is expected to grow in coming years, as the U.S. has opened up combat positions to women.

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