Congress promised to take care of our service members and their families. I co-sponsored and voted for this legislation to ensure that our service members and veterans exposed to toxic substances have access to the care and benefits they’ve earned and rightfully deserve.
TheHonoring our PACT Act will expand healthcare to over 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service. This is the first time in history that those suffering from exposure to burn pits and airborne hazards will receive healthcare benefits from the VA.
The legislation adds coverage for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers that affect veterans. This means that if a veteran served in a particular conflict at a particular time, it is presumed they were exposed to toxic substances and therefore are potentially eligible for healthcare and benefits. In particular, it provides additional coverage to post 9/11 veterans, K2 veterans, and Vietnam veterans, including those who served in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.
This legislation will also streamline the VA’s decision-making process so that veterans don’t have to wait decades for help. Now, the bill is one step closer to being signed into law by President Biden.
As we move forward, remember that my staff and I are here to help. If my offices can assist you with the VA or other federal agencies, pleaseemail us or call my Fresno office at (559) 495-1620, or Merced office at (209) 384-1620.
Jim Costa Member of Congress
Fresno Office 855 M Street Suite 940 Fresno, CA 93721 559-495-1620
Merced Office 2222 M Street Suite 305 Merced, CA 95340 209-384-1620
Washington, DC 2081 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3341