Carbajal Joins Biden for Signing of New Law Overhauling Health Care for Toxic-Exposed Veterans
Legislation co-sponsored by Carbajal treats toxic exposure as a cost of war, and expands access to healthcare for millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their time in service, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam
Washington, August 10, 2022
Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal joined President Joe Biden at the White House for the signing of the landmark veterans’ health benefit bill, the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, which Carbajal co-sponsored in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.
The new law will open health care benefits to over 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service and finally consider exposure to burn pits and airborne hazards as a cost of war, addressing the full range of issues impacting toxic-exposed veterans, including access to earned benefits and healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“It was my privilege to join President Biden today, alongside veterans and my fellow lawmakers, to see the largest expansion of veterans’ benefits in decades signed into law,” said Congressman Carbajal. “When our servicemembers embark on their missions to protect the United States, we make a promise that we will take care of them when they come home. But that promise has not been kept for some veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals and substances in the course of their duties. We owe it to toxic-exposed veterans to provide the care and benefits they've earned. As a veteran myself, I am proud to have co-sponsored this comprehensive legislation to finally recognize military toxic exposure as a cost of war and ensure we keep our promise to our veterans.”
More Information for Veterans and Their Families
Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors can find more information on these new benefits by visiting VA.gov/PACT or by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at 1-800-MyVA411.
Background on the Honoring our PACT Act:
The Honoring our PACT Act concedes exposure to burn pits and airborne hazards by creating presumptions for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers, shifting the burden of proof off our veterans. If a veteran served in a particular theater at a particular time, they will be presumed to be exposed to toxic substances and therefore potentially eligible for healthcare and benefits.
The bipartisan legislation will also streamline VA’s presumption decision making process, so that Congress does not have to keep intervening, and our veterans don’t have to wait decades for help.
More information on the bill can be found here.
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