Thousands of veterans to receive expanded health coverage through full implementation of PACT Act

On Monday, Rep. Joe Morelle (D-25) gathered with other local officials and representatives from the Finger Lakes VA in downtown Rochester to discuss a new phase of the PACT (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics) Act coming into effect this month.

Jason Richards, an Outreach Program Coordinator with the VA, explained that the full implementation of the legislation means that veterans who may have health issues due to exposure to toxic materials will now be covered in a wide range of situations. This new provision allows for toxic exposure discussions regardless of combat, making more veterans eligible for VA health care.

Originally targeted to assist veterans exposed to things like burn pits and Agent Orange in Vietnam, the PACT Act now covers toxic exposures for veterans in any location. The Veterans Administration has quickly approved the new health coverage implementation and Rep. Morelle expressed gratitude for their efforts. He emphasized the importance of ensuring that veterans and their families receive the benefits they deserve as exposure to toxic materials can impact not only the veteran but also their family members.

It is believed that there are likely thousands of veterans in the Finger Lakes region and many more nationwide who will benefit from the expanded regulations. Morelle and local VA representatives are working to spread awareness about healthcare coverage options under the new law among eligible veterans. Additional information can be found on the VA’s website.

By Samantha Johnson

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