ROSEN HELPS INTRODUCE BILL TO COMPENSATE VIETNAM-ERA VETERANS EXPOSED TO HARMFUL SUBSTANCES
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) helped introduce a bipartisan bill with Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) to improve compensation to Vietnam-era veterans exposed to toxic herbicide substances in Thailand. Rosen is a co-sponsor of several bills to help improve veterans' health care and most recently introduced legislation to improve the Veterans Choice Program.
“Our veterans deserve far better treatment than what they currently receive, and this bill is a step towards closing that gap," said Rosen. "This bill will help Vietnam-era veterans who were based in Thailand receive special consideration in their treatments after being exposed to herbicides in those regions. This bipartisan bill represents our nation’s commitment to improving veterans’ health coverage and I am proud to support this measure. ”
BACKGROUND: The Veterans Exposed to Herbicide Bill would modify the presumption of service connection for Vietnam-era veterans who were determined to be exposed to herbicides in Thailand. This legislation expands benefits for to veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and to the children of veterans who are suffering from spina bifida. The parameters for treatment include those who served on military bases in Thailand and those who were on or near the perimeters of Thai military bases during the Vietnam war.
Last week, Rosen introduced the Veterans Deserve Better Act with Republican Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03). This bipartisan legislation would improve access to quality health care for veterans who count on the Veterans Choice program. Congress established the Veterans Choice Program in 2014 in order to address long wait times at VA facilities and the inability of rural veterans living far from VA clinics to get access to care. The program allows veterans facing longer than a 30-day wait time for an appointment, or who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility, to receive medical care from a community provider.