Ernst’s Bipartisan Bill to Improve Veterans’ Health Care Advances in Senate

The Senator’s bill would help improve veteran health care services by allowing government agencies to work more efficiently and in better partnership with one another

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran, continues her work for veterans in Iowa and across the country. This week her bipartisan bill to help streamline data sharing between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and Department of Energy (DOE) and improve health outcomes for veterans moved out of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources by a voice vote, moving it one step closer to becoming law.

“We owe it to our veterans to provide them the best care possible,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “In order to tackle the wide array of health concerns our veterans face—such as traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress—we need an all-of-the-above approach. This bipartisan legislation will allow for greater collaboration between government agencies to help solve complex data challenges and to advance veterans’ health care.”

The U.S. Department of Energy recently said, “The health of our Nation’s veterans is of the utmost importance to the Trump Administration – including the DOE. Using the power of the world’s fastest supercomputers housed at our National Laboratories, DOE is uniquely positioned to help improve the diagnoses of – and treatments for – our most perplexing diseases our warfighters disproportionately suffer from. This bill is strongly aligned with the Administration’s stated research and development budget priorities that include: American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence, Maximizing Interagency Coordination, and a Workforce for the 21st Century Economy. It is our highest priority to apply DOE’s world-leading computational capabilities to the research and development of new ways to improve and positively impact their lives.”


The Department of Energy Veterans’ Health Initiative Act will build on the current interagency collaborative efforts—like the Million Veterans Program Computational Health Analytics of Medical Precision to Improve Outcomes initiative—by authorizing a program within the DOE to develop technologies to help solve complex data challenges.  Specifically, the program seeks to analyze data sets from federal agencies, higher education institutions, non-profits and the private industry.  In addition, this bill authorizes a DOE research program to spur development to accommodate for large data sets.