WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Dan Benishek has co-written a new bipartisan bill that would improve medical care for families of veterans.
Benishek and Congressman Mike Honda, a Democrat from California, have introduced HR 5484 today. The bill would create a national center for research into health conditions experienced by the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances. The center would be created within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Toxic Exposure Research Act will allow the VA to research the effect of exposure to toxic substances on the descendants of veterans. Benishek’s chief of staff, John Billings, says in a statement that veterans seeking care for toxic exposure symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed due to a lack of scientific understanding. Billings also says the research the VA has conducted on suspected birth defects related to toxic exposure is severely limited.
The bill would also create a national outreach campaign on potential long-term health effects of exposure to toxic substances by members of the Armed Forces and their descendants.
The Toxic Exposure Research act is the House companion to an identical Senate bill, S.2738. The Vietnam Veterans of America and AMVETS have both come out in support of the legislation.