Home Health Maloney Urges Colleagues to Pass the Honoring our PACT Act – https://maloney.house.gov

Maloney Urges Colleagues to Pass the Honoring our PACT Act – https://maloney.house.gov

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WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) spoke on the House floor to urge her colleagues to pass H.R.3967, the Honoring our PACT Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation will finally recognize military toxic exposure—from contaminated water at military bases, airborne hazards from burn pits, or radiation from atomic testing—as a cost of war and provide healthcare for potentially as many as 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxins.
 
You can watch video of the Congresswoman’s floor speech here. A transcript is below.
 
“I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3967, the Honoring our PACT Act, which will ensure comprehensive benefits and care for our troops who suffer from toxic exposure, especially from burn pits. I want to thank Chairman Takano for his leadership on this bill. It is something we should all support, it supports our veterans.
 
“As the daughter of a veteran, a sister of a veteran, and a wife of a veteran, caring for our veterans is extremely important to me, as it should be to every American. I could not help but be struck by the similarities between this bill and the [9/11 Health and Compensation Act] which served and supported our heroes and heroines of 9/11, who likewise were exposed to burning toxins that later gave them cancers and severe illness.
 
“This bill could help over 3 million veterans who are currently suffering from exposure to toxic burn pits.
 
“Whether you served in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere – if you were exposed to these toxic hazards, you are entitled to care. They were there for us, we should be there for them. We should all support this important bill, and I yield back.”
 
Background
The Honoring our PACT Act is a comprehensive legislative package that will open-up healthcare to over 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service and finally concede exposure to burn pits and airborne hazards based on locations and dates of service. It will create presumptions for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers, shifting the burden of proof off our veterans. This means that if a veteran served in a particular theatre at a particular time, they will be presumed to be exposed to toxic substances and therefore potentially eligible for healthcare and benefits. Critically, this 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.
 
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