Sinema Applauds Advancement of Bipartisan Bill Expanding Health Care Access for Veterans Exposed to Toxic Substances

May 25, 2022

Sinema is an original co-sponsor of the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema applauded the U.S. House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees reaching agreement on bipartisan legislation expanding VA health care eligibility for veterans exposed to toxic substances—inspired by the Sinema-backed Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act.
“Arizona veterans of all generations exposed to harmful toxic substances deserve access to VA health care. I’m proud to have helped bring colleagues together to fulfill our responsibility and provide care for our veterans, and I look forward to our commonsense bill becoming law” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. 
Sinema recently worked with Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to strike a bipartisan deal and advance legislation inspired by the Sinema-backed Health Care For Burn Pit Veterans Act. The compromise bill, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or the SFC Heath Robinson PACT Act, also includes language from Sinema’s Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act of 2021, which creates an assumption of service connection for individuals deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. The SFC Heath Robinson PACT Act also includes language from the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act of 2021, on which Senator Sinema is an original co-sponsor. 
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 looks forward to supporting the SFC Heath Robinson PACT Act in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.