Broadcasting Live from Santa Fe Community College
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Help Coming For Veterans Suffering From Toxin Related Health Issues

Screenshot (293).png
Kevin Meerschaert
via U.S. Senate feed
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) speaks during a press conference Tuesday in Washington D.C.

 A bipartisan agreement has been announced in Congress  that will deliver health care benefits to veterans exposed to dangerous toxins while in service of their country.

The agreement was announced Tuesday in Washington. The bill is named the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our PACT Act of 2022.  It’s named in honor of a veteran who died due to toxic exposure.

New Mexico U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich is chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee of Veterans Affairs.

He thanked the Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester of Montana and Ranking Minority member Jerry Moran of Kansas along with many veteran’s supporters who came together to make the bill a reality.

“I am so grateful for the relationship on the Veterans Committee because it is bipartisan and it is real,” he said. “With Senator (John) Bozeman (R-AR) on the appropriation side of this too it has been equally bipartisan and real and we just wouldn’t be here today without all of those advocates.”

The bill will expand VA health care eligibility to Post-9/11 combat veterans, which includes more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans. It also adds 23 burn pit and toxic exposure-related conditions to the VA’s list of service presumptions, including hypertension.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.