The Los Angeles Times
: "The House voted 419 to 0 on Wednesday to approve new benefits and financial support for the primary live-in caregivers of seriously wounded veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure, which would cost about $1.7 billion over five years, is part of comprehensive legislation that would permit the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand its assistance to family members of veterans generally." The bill calls for rates on a par with "commercial rates for home caregivers" (Tan, 4/21). Imperial Valley News
: The bill now goes to the Senate. It also "expands and improves VA services for the 1.8 million women veterans currently receiving VA health care – AND goes one step further by anticipating the expected increase of women warriors over the next five years. This bill seeks to build a VA health care system respectful of the unique medical needs of women veterans. For the first time, VA will be authorized to provide health care for newborn infants of women veterans." It includes better access to mental health care, helps to prevent veteran homelessness and increases options for veterans seeking health care in rural areas (4/21).