Wasserman Schultz Praises Burn Pit Health Help for Veterans by Biden, Congress

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Washington, March 3, 2022 | comments
Our nation must respond to the true impact of war, and our veterans must not bear that burden alone, often decades after their service, amid a cloud of medical uncertainty. I am very proud President Biden clearly committed to address the needs of veterans who encounter brutal environmental hazards like burn pits while serving our nation.
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Washington DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Chair of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the recent action taken by the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and the House passage of the PACT Act:

“Our nation must respond to the true impact of war, and our veterans must not bear that burden alone, often decades after their service, amid a cloud of medical uncertainty. I am very proud President Biden clearly committed to address the needs of veterans who encounter brutal environmental hazards like burn pits while serving our nation. The visible and invisible illnesses veterans can face from such toxic exposures can be difficult to prove, and as Chair of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, I am equally committed to ensuring that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a quick and fair process to recognize service-connected health conditions.

I am especially pleased that VA will add new presumptive service connections for nine rare respiratory cancers to ensure veterans exposed to particulate matter while serving near burn pits get the care and benefits that America owes them. This builds upon the VA Secretary’s decision last year to add asthma, sinusitis, and rhinitis as new burn pit-related presumptive conditions. These VA efforts, along with comprehensive legislation passed in the House today, both mark major milestones to expand access to health care services and benefits for veterans impacted by environmental exposures during their service.

I am proud to have fought for greater investments in research centers to study health and exposure issues related to environmental hazards like burn pits. I will continue to fight for that funding, and will also work to ensure that VA has the resources needed to quickly, efficiently provide veterans with the benefits they have earned. I look forward to working with Secretary McDonough on providing resources for these presumptive disease designations and to delivering the PACT Act to President Biden.”
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