Biden Signs Bill That Helps Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) — President Biden signed a bill on Wednesday that expands health care benefits for U.S. veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.
Known as the PACT Act, the legislation is the biggest expansion of veterans’ health care and benefits in more than 30 years, the White House said in a statement on the signing.
“Sometimes military service can result in increased health risks for our veterans, and some injuries and illnesses like asthma, cancer, and others can take years to manifest,” the White House said. “These realities can make it difficult for veterans to establish a direct connection between their service and disabilities resulting from military environmental exposures such as burn pits — a necessary step to ensure they receive the health care they earned.”
Danielle Robinson and Brielle Robinson, the wife and daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Heath Robinson, for whom the bill is formally named, introduced Biden at the signing event, NBC News reported.
The bill increases access to care and disability payments and mandates the Department of Veterans Affairs to assume some respiratory conditions and cancers are related to the exposure to burn pits. Now, to be compensated for their illness, veterans do not have to prove they became sick through being exposed to toxic burn pits, NBC News reported. Before the bill, about 70 percent of veterans’ claims related to burn pit exposure were denied because of lack of evidence.