Sinema & Phoenix VA Medical Center Director Meet to Discuss Veterans’ Health Care Access

Feb 21, 2023

Senator was instrumental in passing the PACT Act – bipartisan legislation strengthening veterans’ access to critical health care and enhanced benefits

PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, met with Phoenix Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center Director Bryan Matthews – a retired Luke Air Force Base veteran with 22 years of service – to discuss Arizona veterans’ access to health care, including the provisions Sinema delivered in the PACT Act law. 
Last Congress, Sinema was instrumental in passing the PACT Act into law – legislation expanding health care eligibility for veterans exposed to toxic substances and benefits for eligible survivors – by working across the aisle to earn broad, bipartisan support for the commonsense bill.
“Coming from a military family, I take personally my responsibility ensuring our veterans have the care and benefits they’ve earned. Now that our PACT Act is law, veterans exposed to toxic substances as a result of their service have better access to life-saving services. It was great meeting with the Phoenix VA Medical Center to discuss how we can build on our bipartisan success to continue delivering for Arizona veterans,” said Sinema, a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The meeting represented Sinema’s first with Bryan Matthews in his new role as Director of the Phoenix VA Medical Center, which he took over in December 2022. The two discussed ways Sinema can continue delivering real, lasting results for Arizona’s veteran community following her success with the PACT Act law.
At least 1 million of the 3.5 million post-9/11 combat veterans exposed to toxic substances were unable to access VA care. Sinema’s legislation corrected this harm by increasing the period of eligibility for VA health care for post-9/11 combat veterans from five to 10 years after being discharged. The PACT Act law additionally created a one-year open enrollment period for post-9/11 combat veterans who did not enroll during their initial five years after being discharged.