Senate votes to advance landmark burn pits bill bringing sick veterans one step closer to getting healthcare access

The US Senate has voted to advance landmark burn pits bill bringing veterans who are sick and dying from toxic exposure one step closer to getting healthcare access and benefits.

The toxic burn pit exposure bill (Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our PACT Act of 2022) cleared a Senate cloture vote 86-12 on Tuesday.

Those senators voting against it included Senators Burr, Cassidy, Kennedy, Lankford, Lee, Lummis, Paul, Romney, Sullivan, Tillis, Toomey, and Young, who are all Republicans.

Under the legislation, 23 cancers, respiratory illnesses and other conditions will now be presumptively linked to a veterans’ exposure to burn pits while on deployment overseas.

This means service men and women who have returned home from serving their country and developed one of these conditions will be given automatic access to healthcare and disability benefits.

The bill was named after the late Sgt First Class Heath Robinson who died in May 2020 from a rare cancer caused by breathing in toxic fumes from burn pits while serving in Iraq in the Ohio National Guard. He was 39.

Joe Biden has talked emotionally about the issue as his son Beau Biden died from brain cancer in 2015, after serving near burn pits durign his military career.

The Black House welcomed the advancement of the bill in a statement, calling it a “critical step towards delivering health care and benefits to veterans and survivors impacted by toxic exposures.”

“We owe it to our veterans and their families to address these consequences comprehensively. Unfortunately, it has taken decades to understand the dangerous effects of harmful environmental exposures—leaving too many veterans without the benefits and services they need and deserve,” said Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“America’s veterans are the best of us. Delivering for our veterans is a key pillar of the Unity Agenda the President outlined at the State of the Union – because we can all unite around supporting veterans who have served our nation.

“President Biden looks forward to working with Congress to swiftly enact this legislation and continue to uphold our sacred obligation to support those who have served our nation, their families, caregivers, and survivors.”

#badjourno #twistednews

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