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A proposed bill can help veterans who have been exposed to toxins

Updated: Apr. 18, 2021 at 11:14 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - About 3.5 million U.S. veterans have been exposed to toxic fumes or other carcinogens during their time of service. Now, a bill has been introduced to fast track their access to health care benefits.

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio, along with veterans advocate Jon Stewart among others, have announced legislation help service members who have found themselves battling cancer, or respiratory and auto-immune diseases due to exposure to burn pits and other toxins.

They say this group of suffering veterans has been overlooked for too long.

“If you have a toxic wound- And I’m telling you, the toxic wounds are as real as any physicals wound that you would get from war- They don’t know what to do with you. And you spend your time when you come back home basically as a defendant in a trial for your own health care,:” said Stewart.

The new bill would remove the “Burden of Proof” from a veteran to show his or her condition was linked to toxic exposure during military service.

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