WASHINGTON – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) are underscoring the need for swift action in the Senate on their Health Care For Burn Pit Veterans Act—a critical step in their bipartisan effort to deliver for toxic-exposed veterans. In an op-ed published in Military Times, the senators wrote:
“Decade after decade, American men and women have deployed to countries across the globe in the defense of our freedom. Thousands of them were exposed to harmful toxins during that service that resulted in life-altering health conditions. And far too many of them face yet another battle here at home when seeking the care and the benefits they desperately need. Our veterans deserve better. And they are tired of waiting for solutions. That is why we, as the leaders of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, have introduced the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act—bipartisan legislation that will offer every post-9/11 veteran suffering from effects of toxic exposures access to timely and high-quality care through the VA.”
In their op-ed, the senators also emphasized additional bipartisan efforts to be announced in the coming weeks, aimed at creating a fair and transparent process for VA to establish new presumptive conditions and delivering long-overdue benefits to millions of toxic exposure veterans across the country. They continued:
“Words alone cannot deliver the solutions owed to our nation’s heroes. We must seize the opportunity at hand to advance legislation that will bring us one step closer to connecting all generations of veterans with the care they need and have earned. Passing the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act is the first step in doing just that.”
As leaders of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Sens. Moran and Tester have been dedicated to identifying a path forward for outstanding toxic exposure issues and remain committed to following through on the country’s promise to provide timely care and benefits to all generation of exposed veterans. The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act unanimously passed out of Committee last week and now moves to the full Senate for consideration. This legislation is the first of a three-step approach to expand access to health care for toxic-exposed veterans, establish a new process through which VA will determine future presumptive conditions, and provide overdue benefits to thousands of toxic-exposed veterans who have been long-ignored or forgotten.
Read the senators’ full op-ed HERE.
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