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Troop Pay Bill Includes Herrera Beutler Initiative to Improve Medical Treatment for Military

Bipartisan defense authorization legislation includes Herrera Beutler’s bill to strengthen medical care for troops, 3.1% pay raise for military service members

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Washington, D.C., December 12, 2019 | comments
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler supported yesterday’s U.S. House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included her bill, the Reserve Medical Officer Parity Act, as well as a 3.1 percent pay raise for U.S. troops. Herrera Beutler introduced her bill earlier this year to better meet U.S. armed service members’ medical needs by allowing Reserve Medical Officers to continue serving past retirement age if the military has a need for more surgeons, medical specialists and doctors.
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Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler supported yesterday’s U.S. House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included her bill, the Reserve Medical Officer Parity Act, as well as a 3.1 percent pay raise for U.S. troops. Herrera Beutler introduced her bill earlier this year to better meet U.S. armed service members’ medical needs by allowing Reserve Medical Officers to continue serving past retirement age if the military has a need for more surgeons, medical specialists and doctors.

“It’s critical our military service members are given the medical treatment they need so they can defend our country. I’m pleased to support this bipartisan bill that includes my legislative solution to improve medical care in our military, a much-deserved pay raise for troops and increased access to mental health care,” Herrera Beutler said.

Herrera Beutler’s Reserve Medical Officer Parity Act would allow the Secretaries of each of the military departments to extend a Reserve Medical Officer’s service beyond age 68 with the officer’s consent and if the Secretary determines a need, bringing the Reserves in congruence with regular military laws. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis and the length of the deferment will be determined as appropriate by the Secretary. Reserve Medical officers in the U.S. Army contribute half of the Army’s total medical officers.

The NDAA further ensures military readiness, and care for our troops and their families by requiring a comprehensive review of child care capacity on military installations and authorizes direct hire authority for child development centers. It also requires the Department of Defense to develop policy to provide mental health care to service members and a strategy for recruiting and retaining mental health professionals.

The NDAA now heads to the Senate for a final vote before heading to the president’s desk to become law.

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