Burn Pit Bill Passes Senate to Help Sick Veterans

While Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) urged passage of the PACT Act, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) led the Republican opposition. Their respective votes were no surprise then.
The Senate voted 86-11 to pass the bill.
The 11 NAYs were all Republicans:
Crapo (R-ID)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Lummis (R-WY)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Romney (R-UT)
Shelby (R-AL)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Tuberville (R-AL)

The measure is the biggest expansion of veterans’ benefits since the Agent Orange Act of 1991 which passed the House 412-0 and the Senate 99-0. The Act increased access to care for Vietnam War veterans who had been exposed to the toxic herbicide.

From the widow of SFC Heath Robinson, U.S. Army:

That horrible moment is forever engrained in my mind when my entire world came crashing down. I will never forget the mortifying feelings of helplessness, despair and disbelief to learn that my 35-year old husband and father of our 3-year-old daughter, Brielle, was dying. When the first words from his oncologist were, “WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN EXPOSED TO?” I immediately knew it was bad. Really bad.

When the first words from his oncologist were, “WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN EXPOSED TO?” I immediately knew it was bad. Really bad.

Danielle Robinson – Widow of War Hero SFC Heath Robinson – Full story

I had the heartbreaking ordeal of telling our daughter that her daddy was gone.

Danielle Robinson – Widow of War Hero SFC Heath Robinson – Full story
FROM THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:
The PACT Act and VA benefits

The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. This law helps us provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve. This page will help answer your questions about what the PACT Act means for you or your loved ones.

What’s the PACT Act and how will it affect VA benefits and care?

The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

The PACT Act will bring these changes:
  • Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
  • Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
  • Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation
  • Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care
  • Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures

If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits. Source

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