The TEAM Coalition is currently working with Congress on behalf of millions of our nation’s heroes to pass legislation that:
- Establishes an appointment commission that can trigger studies to further the knowledge base of this issue.
- Ensures the VA will enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Science to review information and explore the issue of toxic exposure.
- Encourages the VA to look at information from VA and DOD medical records, toxic exposure records, and analyze this data to identify those who would be in high-risk groups.
- Adds to the standard VA patient questionnaire, conducted during primary care visits, questions that are specific to toxic exposure.
- Develops a portal for veterans so they can access Individual Longitudinal Exposure Record (ILER).
- Extends training for healthcare professionals.
- Establishes a lung cancer screening system that is currently in place with other federal entities.
Legislation We're Watching
Congress has drafted thirteen toxic exposure bills that address these points.
Comprehensive and Overdue Support for Troops (COST) of War Act of 2021
- Ensure toxic exposure veterans get immediate, lifelong access to VA health care
- Establish consistent, transparent framework based on medical & scientific evidence to establish new presumptions of service connection between conditions & exposure
- Reduce burden on toxic exposure veterans claiming direct service connection without presumption. Require VA examine veteran’s military records for proof of toxic exposure. Consider if other evidence shows records are wrong or incomplete
- Acknowledge new presumptions of service connection for Agent Orange veterans suffering from hypertension or MGUS, and Burn Pit veterans suffering from various lung-related conditions or glioblastoma
- Require specialized toxic exposure training for VA health care and disability claims processing personnel
- Guarantee toxic exposures are accurately recorded by requiring an independent study on the Individual Longitudinal Exposure Record (ILER)
- Sponsor: Chairman Jon Tester, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2021 (H.R.3967)
- Provide healthcare for 3.5M veterans exposed to airborne hazards and burn pits
- Streamline VA’s review process, and require medical exams and opinions
- Concede exposure to airborne hazards and burn pits
- Establish a presumption of service connection for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers related to burn pits and airborne hazards exposure
- Create a presumption of exposure to radiation
- Expand Agent Orange exposure & add hypertension & MGUS to presumptive list
- Require VA provide standardized training and conduct outreach
- Improve data collection between VA & DoD and commission studies
- Sponsor: Chairman Mark Takano, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) created heat maps, funded by WWP, showing the potential risks to troops exposed to toxicants in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. Click here to view the maps and complete study.