Sen. Richard Burr introduced his Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act, designed to help people who were victimized through their exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Sen. Burr expects the committee to vote on his bill this month.
Sen. Burr is the top Republican on the committee, and has been unable to gather support for his bill from other senators. If the bill passes this vote, it will be the bill’s furthest progress in 2 years.
If it passes, the bill would mandate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer health care to all veterans and their families:
- who lived at Camp Lejeune between the years 1957 and 1987; and
- who have illnesses due to their exposure to toxic and/or contaminated water.
The Department of Defense (DoD), the VA, and several veterans organizations have issues with the bill, however. Their main concerns lie with the idea that funding the bill would take money from already established resources. This is just one concern the bill would have to surmount in order to get enough votes to pass the Senate.
Two years ago Burr’s bill was derailed by an alternative bill, which proposed the DoD should be made responsible for veterans and their families exposed to Lejeune’s contaminated water. Sen. Burr’s bill would put the responsibility on the VA to provide health care but would agree to having the DoD pay for the health care.
Sen. Burr believes just under 30,000 would require health care despite the fact close to 1 million people were likely exposed to the toxic water.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.