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PACT Act delay part of “long history” of failure to care for America’s veterans, experts say

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(Photo by Allison Bailey/NurPhoto via AP)
Military veterans and families affected by burn pit exposure and Congresspeople hold a press conference condemning Republican Senators for defeating the Honoring Our PACT Act. The legislation would have established a connection between military service and exposure to toxins via burn pits, easing access to healthcare for veterans and active duty members. The bill originally passed the Senate with 84 votes, but Republican Senators later objected, claiming it contained unrelated spending.

A bill that would have expanded medical coverage for veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits failed to pass in the U.S. Senate on Thursday when 25 Republicans unexpectedly voted no, NBC News reports. 

Veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan claim to have developed conditions like asthma and cancer following their exposure to toxic burn pits; however, over 70% of related disability claims are denied by Veterans Affairs, according to NBC News. The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act—or, the PACT Act—would have helped resolve this issue for the estimated 3.5 million veterans affected, NBC News reports. The PACT Act had previously passed in the Senate in June, and was expected to easily pass in its second round in the Senate after House revisions.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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