In Helena, Tester Highlights his Bill to Deliver Health Care and Benefits to Toxic Exposure Veterans Ahead of Veterans Day

(Helena, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today held a press conference ahead of Veterans Day to highlight his historic effort to provide all generations of toxic exposure veterans their due benefits and health care through his Comprehensive and Overdue Support for Troops (COST) of War Act of 2021.

He was joined by Montana Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Adjutant Timothy Peters and Vietnam-era veteran Dave Powell.

“Decade after decade, our servicemembers have returned home from war only to be met with a piecemeal process as they work to cobble together the health care and disability benefits they earned,” said Tester. “And they deserve better. They earned better. That’s why earlier this year, I unveiled my COST of War Act to provide all generations of toxic exposure veterans—no matter their age or which war they served in—their earned benefits and care.”

The Senator continued, “It’s time for our nation to settle its debts for the men and women who stood in harm’s way to serve this country. This is our best shot at ensuring future generations can get health care and disability benefits when they need it most.”

A longtime fighter for the expansion of care and benefits for toxic exposed veterans, Chairman Tester unveiled his COST of War Act earlier this year—monumental legislation to allow veterans affected by toxic exposure, including 3.5 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, to obtain immediate and lifelong access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care. Understanding the need for additional VA input and formal cost estimates, Tester led the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in unanimously passing the legislative package in May, furthering his bipartisan effort to ensure access to life-saving health care and benefits.

Bill text of the COST of War Act of 2021 can be found HERE.

A one-pager on the bill can be found HERE.