February 17, 2022

Senate Unanimously Passes Manchin Bill To Provide Healthcare For Veterans Exposed To Burn Pits

Washington, DC – Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act, which provides healthcare for Veterans exposed to burn pits during deployments to the Middle East and Afghanistan. Senator Manchin, member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), also introduced similar legislation last year.

“It’s our duty to take care of the brave men and women who selflessly fought to defend our nation, often in terrible conditions,” Senator Manchin said. “Many of our Veterans in West Virginia and across America who were exposed to open-air burn pits in the Middle East and Afghanistan are now facing health complications without healthcare coverage and benefits. While there is more work to be done, I’m proud the Senate has unanimously passed this important first step in recognizing and addressing the impact of toxic exposure to Veterans deployed overseas.”

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s recent efforts to address burn pit exposure recognition:

  • On February 27, 2021, Senator Manchin reintroduced the Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition Act, which will address a barrier currently preventing many Veterans from getting U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare and benefits for illnesses and diseases related to exposure to burn pits. The bill would recognize and concede their exposure during deployed service.
  • On March 3, 2021, Senator Manchin spoke with Mr. Stephen Whitehead, National Commander of the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV) about his bipartisan Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act during a joint hearing of the House of Representatives and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees.
  • On March 11, 2021, Senator Manchin discussed the need for the Senate to pass his bipartisan Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act during a Senate Veterans Affair Committee hearing on military toxic exposures.

A one-pager on the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act can be found here.