Capps Applauds President Obama’s Comments on the Importance of Removing Barriers to Veterans Joining Civilian Health Care Workforce

Oct 23, 2012 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Veterans

Santa Barbara, CA – Today, Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) applauded comments made by President Obama at last night’s Presidential debate about the need to remove the artificial barriers that keep our military medics from joining the civilian health care workforce. Capps co-authored the bipartisan Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act (H.R. 4124) with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger (Il-11), which was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives in August. The Capps bill would help states reduce the barriers for military medics to get civilian EMT certification and serve our communities.

I was pleased President Obama spoke about the importance of making it easier for our medics to join the civilian health care workforce. As a nurse, I know that we are always in need of qualified, trained medical personnel at all levels of the health care system. Our military medics have some of the best training available and have proved their skills on the battlefield. But far too often certification protocols keep them from translating those skills into civilian life, keeping them out of the workforce and keeping needed care out of our communities. Legislation I introduced with my Republican colleague Congressman Adam Kinzinger that was passed by the House in August would go a long way toward eliminating this roadblock. We will be working to get it signed into law before the end of the year,” said Capps.

Video of President Obama’s comments is available here, and the text is included below.

President Obama said, “I was at a lunch with a veteran in Minnesota who had been a medic, dealing with the most extreme circumstances.  When he came home and he wanted to become a nurse, he had to start from scratch. And what we’ve said is, let’s change those certifications.”