Sinema is an original cosponsor of the Health Care For Burn Pit Veterans Act, an essential building block of the PACT Act
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act – legislation that expands health care eligibility for veterans exposed to toxic substances. This legislation was inspired by the Health Care For Burn Pit Veterans Act that Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema helped introduce as an original cosponsor.
“Senate-passage of our bipartisan bill expanding health care access to Arizona veterans exposed to toxic substances as a result of their service is one step closer to becoming law. I’ll continue working to ensure Arizona veterans and their families get the care and benefits they have bravely earned,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Sinema worked with Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to strike a bipartisan deal and advanced legislation inspired by the Sinema-backed Health Care For Burn Pit Veterans Act. The bipartisan SFC Heath Robinson PACT Act includes language from Sinema’s Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act, which creates an assumption of service connection for individuals deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. This legislation also includes language from the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act, which Sinema is also an original cosponsor.
At least 1 million of the 3.5 million post-9/11 combat veterans potentially exposed to toxic substances are unable to access VA care – Sinema’s legislation corrects this harm.
Sinema’s bipartisan Health Care For Burn Pit Veterans Act expands VA health care eligibility by increasing the period of eligibility for VA health care for post-9/11 combat veterans from five to 10 years after being discharged. The bipartisan legislation additionally creates a one-year open enrollment period for post-9/11 combat veterans who did not enroll during their initial five years after being discharged. Sinema voted in support of the SFC Heath Robinson PACT Act and looks forward to it becoming law.