HOUSE PASSES LAMB'S "WHOLE VETERAN ACT"
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the House unanimously passed the “Whole Veteran Act” (H.R. 2359), a bipartisan bill authored by Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17) in partnership with Representatives Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1). The bill would require the Veterans Administration (VA) to provide Congress with information regarding VA’s Whole Health Program, an integral component to VA’s suicide prevention efforts, ensuring all necessary tools are available to veterans for their individual mental health needs.
“Many doctors have looked at how our system is too expensive and reliant on dangerous drugs. This bipartisan bill will help reform VA healthcare and give veterans a real choice and greater power to manage their own healthcare,” said Lamb. “We know veterans are suffering, there is no time to lose.”
“Congress must do everything in its power to reduce the number of veteran suicides in this country and address this sustained national public health crisis,” said House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41). “It’s also clear that early interventions in mental healthcare can prevent veterans from falling into crisis. With Congressman Lamb’s legislation, we can begin to break this cycle and provide ample opportunities for these crucial early interventions.”
“Today is a huge first step in ensuring our veterans get the health care they deserve. Congress must do a better job in providing our veterans with the mental health resources and tools needed to get on the path to recovery,” said Ryan. “The Whole Veteran Act will advance our efforts to ensure critical Whole Health programs—including chiropractic services, whole health group services, meditation, and yoga—are available and accessible at every VA facility. I want to thank Congressman Conor Lamb and Chairman Mark Takano for their leadership on this important bill. I urge the Senate to take action on the Whole Veteran Act today. Our veterans cannot wait any longer.”
“It is imperative that our nation’s veterans receive access to the highest quality medical testing and treatment options, including mental health,” said Fitzpatrick. “We need to know if veterans in every community have the resources they need to live happy and healthy lives and are receiving the care they have earned.”
VA’s Whole Health Program is vital to VA’s suicide prevention efforts, yet these services are not available at every facility. The Whole Veteran Act will require VA to provide Congress with an analysis of the accessibility and health outcomes of each of the following services at VA medical facilities (including community-based outpatient clinics, vet centers, and community living centers): massage, chiropractic services, whole health clinician services and coaching, acupuncture, healing touch, whole health group services, guided imagery, equine services, mediation and yoga, among other holistic treatments.
Click here to watch Congressman Lamb speak to the House about the Whole Veteran Act.