Need for Agent Orange Coverage Still Colors Vet Benefits While Trump & Congress Stall Bill

SITUATION:
Nam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are not receiving proper VA benefits.
House & Senate passed National Defense Act but slow to put bills together & implement.
Trump and Congressional leaderships seem to be sitting on the final bill.
Reconciliation of House & Senate bills is needed to pass NDAA legislation.
Thousands of Vietnam veterans still living with chronic health conditions.
Veterans Administration is denying critical benefits  & health care.

SIGNIFICANCE:
Immediate need to reconcile legislative differences House & Senate Bills.
House (H.R. 6395) & Senate (S.4049)  NDAA legislation needs combining.
021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed in both chambers.
Still veterans are being subjected to additional & unwarranted delays in coverage.
Trump Admin’s continues repeated calls for further evaluation of scientific research.
Research already reviewed & provided by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM),

SOLUTIONS:
Need for support of amendment passed by both houses to expand VA’s list of medical conditions.
Includes Agent Orange + Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, & Parkinsonism.
Health conditions that meet historical standard need to be added to presumptive list.
Conditions & list for service-connection includes Agent Orange exposure.
Congressman Tester’s amendment would require VA to provide a presumption of service.
All connections are related to Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, & Parkinsonism.
Bill will expand care & benefits for veterans suffering from these  3 conditions.
As established by standard for scientific evidence of association 20 years ago.

STATS:
83,000 Vietnam Vets have bladder cancer

SOURCES:

  1. An Email Request for Support from a Viet Nam Vet who spent months in Central Highlands exposed to Agent Orange
  2. Tester’s Landmark Bill to Provide Benefits to Vets Exposed to Agent Orange Passes Senate” –https://www.veterans.senate.gov/newsroom/minority-news/breaking-testers-landmark-bill-to-provide-benefits-to-vets-exposed-to-agent-orange-passes-senate

      3) “ SUPPORT TESTER/HARDER AMENDMENT IN THE FY2021 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT” – https://vva.org/what-we-do/veterans-advocacy/legislative-action-center/?vvsrc=%2fCampaigns%2f76816%2fRespond

4)  https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/2WgzSw4t18IveAa8IfqF7Q

PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING ON THIS PROBLEM:

VETERANS ASSOCIATIONS:

Stephen Whitehead, National Commander of Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Joe Chenelly, Executive Director of AMVETS
Roscoe Butler, egislative Director of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
Lt Gen Dana Atkins, President & CEO of Military Officers Association of America
John Rowan, National President and CEO of Vietnam Veterans of America

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:

Senator Jon Tester [ Sponsor of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)]
Senator Jerry Moran, [R}  KS Chair, Comm on Veterans Affairs (202) 224-6521]
Congressman Josh Harder (D-10th-CA)
Honorable Adam Smith, Chairman, Armed Services Committee;
Mac Thornberry, Ranking member, House Armed Services Committee;
Senator James Inhofe, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee;
Jack Reed, Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee

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