Sinema Working to Expand Vaccine Access for Veterans’ Families and Caregivers

Mar 16, 2021

Sinema introduced bipartisan legislation expanding vaccine access for Arizona veterans and their spouses, caregivers, and dependents

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the bipartisan SAVE LIVES Act, which allows the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide no-cost COVID-19 vaccination services to all veterans and veteran spouses, and eligible caregivers and dependents.
“Expanding access to coronavirus vaccines for Arizona veterans’ families and caregivers better protects the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country’s security,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Sinema’s legislation prioritizes veterans receiving care at the VA for vaccination, but as vaccine supply grows, allows the VA to provide vaccines to veterans normally not eligible for VA care and a broader population of caregivers, veteran spouses, and beneficiaries of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).
The SAVE LIVES Act expands VA’s authority to:

  • Veterans not eligible for enrollment in the VA health care system—including veterans without compensable service-connected disabilities and veterans who have incomes above a certain threshold
  • Veteran caregivers enrolled in various VA home-based and long-term programs
  • Veterans living abroad who rely on the Foreign Medical Program
  • Veteran Spouses
  • Recipients of CHAMPVA (spouses or children of permanently and totally disabled veterans or of veterans who have died from service-connected disabilities) 

Sinema’s office heard directly from Arizona veterans and caregivers about their desire for more access to COVID-19 vaccines at Arizona VA Medical Centers. Sinema’s legislation would give the VA more flexibility to assist these Arizonans as the vaccine supply increases.