VA Urged To Reconsider Stance Against Expanded Benefits For Vets Exposed To Agent Orange, Burn Pits
Veterans' advocates have long been trying to get the VA to provide coverage for the negative effects experienced by soldiers who were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Now Congress has joined the push. The health impact from burn pits is also getting attention, but is a more recent issue so scientific studies are still being done.
The Wall Street Journal:
Agent Orange Concerns Joined By Worry Over Modern-Era ‘Burn Pits’
Members of Congress and veterans advocates are mounting a push to get the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase aid to former service members with health problems blamed on toxic exposures, a move the VA secretary has publicly fought since taking over the department. Secretary Robert Wilkie opposes legislative proposals to expand benefits to thousands of Vietnam War veterans who served at sea and claim exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant. The VA also opposes new benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan troops exposed to burn pits until the issue can be studied in depth. (Kesling and Armour, 10/21)
In other veterans' health care news —
Left In Cold By VA Medical Center, Homeless Veteran Finds Kindness In Strangers
[Norman] Franks, 58, is angry at how the VA handled his case, arguing that he never should have been turned away that May night when the temperature fell into the 40s, or to have lived at a campground for so long. When he arrived at the hospital that May evening, Franks said, he was told by a VA social worker that he might be able to sleep undisturbed in the TV lounge. (MacQuarrie, 10/22)