2019 toxic exposure bills in Congress

Photo credit Photo illustration by Heather Sullivan/Connecting Vets. Photo: Cpl. Samuel Corum.

Protection for Veterans’ Burn Pit Exposure Act: Requires research on illnesses that could be related to toxic exposure and directs VA to designate them as presumptive conditions for VA health care and disability benefits.  

Burn Pit Registry Enhancement Act: Requires tracking of the cause of death for veterans on the VA’s burn pits registry.

Jennifer Kepner HOPE Act: Provides eligibility for VA hospital care, medical services and nursing home care to certain individuals exposed to burn pits.

Occupational and Environmental Transparency Health (OATH) Act: Requires the Defense Department to track toxic exposures. 

Vietnam Veterans Liver Fluke Cancer Study Act: Directs the VA secretary to study and report on the prevalence of cholangiocarcinoma in Vietnam veterans.  

Expanding Care for Veterans Act: Expands research and education on and delivery of complementary and integrative medicine to veterans.

Lonnie Kilpatrick Central Pacific Relief Act: Provides a presumption of service-connection for certain veterans exposed to certain herbicides while serving in the Armed Forces.

Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act: Provides for the treatment of veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll as radiation-exposed veterans for purposes of the presumption of service-connection of certain disabilities by the VA.

Expedite Agent Orange Coverage Act: Extends the authority of the VA secretary regarding presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to herbicide agents.

Agent Orange Fairness Act: Directs the VA secretary to establish a task force on Agent Orange exposures. 

Burn Pits Veterans Revision Act: Directs the VA secretary to amend the schedule for rating disabilities to add a diagnostic code and evaluation criteria for obliterative bronchiolitis.

Family Member Access to Burn Pit Registry Act: Directs the VA secretary to provide a process by which a family member of a deceased veteran who is eligible for the VA burn pit registry may register for such registry on behalf of the deceased veteran.

Accountability in VA Scheduling and Consult Management Act: Requires the VA secretary review VA processes and requirements for scheduling appointments for health care and conducting consultations under the laws administered by the secretary.

Each bill has to survive a lengthy legislative gauntlet to pass into law, with cost being a chief concern. 

Need help with toxic exposure? Click here for a list of resources and information on VA and Defense Department registries.
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