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VIDEO: Rep. Frankel Speaks on House Floor in Support of Legislation to Expand COVID Vaccine Access for Veterans and Caregivers

On Monday, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21), member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, spoke on the House floor in support of the VA VACCINE Act (H.R. 1276), which passed the House last night by Unanimous Consent. This legislation is a critical fix to expand the VA’s ability to provide COVID-19 vaccines to veterans and their caregivers.

For video of Rep. Frankel’s full remarks, click here. Below is an excerpt of Rep. Frankel’s remarks as delivered:

“Today I rise in support of the VA VACCINE Act, a bipartisan bill that will expand the VA's ability to provide COVID19 vaccines to all veterans and their caregivers regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in the VA health care system. 

Mr. Speaker, the VA should not turn away any veteran who wants this life-saving vaccine. Where I live in Florida, and I'm sure it is like this in most places, it’s still like playing the lottery to get a vaccine.

And this vaccine is free to all Americans and is paid for by tax dollars. So, in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, our veterans who have selflessly served our country, we should honor their service with easy access lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. In my view, there are no people more deserving.”

The VA VACCINE Act (H.R. 1276) will expand VA’s authority so they can provide vaccines to:

  • Veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA’s healthcare system, including veterans without compensable service-connected disabilities and veterans who have incomes above a certain threshold;
  • Caregivers of veterans who are enrolled in various VA home-based and long-term care programs, including caregivers assigned through the VA Caregiver Support Program or family members approved by the VA under the Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program to help veterans with daily tasks and personal care services; and
  • Veterans living abroad who rely on the Foreign Medical Program (including those who reside in the Philippines).