Columnists

Senator Young Votes for Bill to Support Veterans Who Faced Toxic Exposure

Senator Todd Young

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) yesterday issued the following statement after voting for the Honoring Our PACT Act, comprehensive legislation to provide toxic-exposed veterans with health care and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The legislation passed the Senate 84 to 14.

“While I was disappointed Senate Democrats refused to allow any amendments to be considered that would have enabled the Honoring Our PACT Act to be improved further, I was pleased to support this bill. Our veterans need support from the VA to receive the care they have earned, and this bill will provide new and important benefits to thousands of veterans who have been exposed to toxic substances. This legislation also includes authorization for a new medical lease in Lawrence, Indiana to help better serve our Hoosier veterans.

“When this bill becomes law, oversight will be essential. It was only a few years ago that veterans were dying on waitlists, unable to access VA health care. We must not allow the presumptions of exposure that are extended under this legislation to overwhelm the VA system. The VA must be provided with the resources necessary to prevent any veteran covered under this legislation from waiting for care,” said Senator Young.

The bipartisan legislation will expand health care for post-9/11 combat veterans, create a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure, expand the VA’s list of service presumptions, and improve resources to support VA’s claims processing.