Governor Laura Kelly Calls on the U.S. Senate to Pass a Bipartisan Bill Delivering Essential Healthcare to Veterans Exposed to Toxins
TOPEKA – Governor Kelly today called on the U.S. Senate to pass the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022, which would provide health care and benefits to veterans exposed to toxins during military service. The comprehensive bill is the result of a bipartisan agreement between Kansas’ U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and Senator Jon Tester of Montana. The House of Representatives has passed the bill; the Senate is expected to vote on its passage in the coming days.
“As Commander in Chief of the Kansas National Guard, I am calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the Honoring our PACT Act – and on President Biden to sign it – because it is essential that we care for the troops who have done so much to protect us,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “For far too long, our veterans have been left without the benefits and services they deserve because Congress failed to act. I want to thank Senator Jerry Moran for working to change that and for finding a bipartisan solution that delivers long overdue healthcare for our veterans.”
The bill is named for Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, who was deployed to Kosovo and Iraq with the Ohio National Guard and died in 2020 from toxic exposure during his military service. Among other things, the Honor our PACT Act will expand Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare eligibility to Post-9/11 combat veterans, which includes more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans. Nearly half of the troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 were from the National Guard and reserves.
“After their sacrifice, bravery, and service, our veterans should not have to prove that they earned our support and care,” said U.S. Representative Sharice Davids. “I’m joining the millions of toxic-exposed veterans who have struggled in silence, who have felt ignored and unheard, and whose families have grieved alongside them to call on the Senate: Pass the Honoring our PACT Act and deliver the care and the accountability that our veterans and service members deserve.”
“Our Service Members answer the call and are there when the nation asks them to serve,” said Kansas Adjutant General Major General David Weishaar. “I believe it is crucial that, as a nation, we take care of those veterans upon their return home.”
Learn more about the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 HERE.