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Sherrod’s Bipartisan Bill Connects 32,000 Ohio Veterans with Healthcare and Benefits

COLUMBUS, OH – This week, Ohioans are reading about how Sherrod’s bipartisan PACT Act, named in honor of Ohio veteran Heath Robinson, has officially connected 32,000 Ohio veterans exposed to toxic burn pits with healthcare and benefits. Sherrod continues to meet with Ohio veterans and veteran advocates across the state to spread awareness about the PACT Act and ensure all veterans receive the healthcare they’ve earned. 

Sherrod named the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act in honor of Ohioan Heath Robinson, who passed away after being exposed to burn pits during his service. Yesterday, Ohio veterans, servicemembers, and military families, including Heath’s wife Danielle, praised Sherrod for his work fighting for those who serve while launching the “Veterans & Servicemembers for Sherrod” coalition. 

Read / watch more: VA has approved care for 1 million toxic exposure claims under burn pit law named for Ohio vet

Sabrina Eaton – May 21, 2024

  • The legislation was named the “Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022″ after an Ohio National Guard soldier from Pickerington who died in 2020 at age 39 from diseases caused by burn pit exposure. He encountered the toxins while deployed in Kosovo and Iraq, said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who backed the legislation.
  • Since the legislation was passed, Brown has done 37 events around Ohio to alert veterans to the health care they’re entitled to receive. According to the White House, nearly 32,000 PACT Act benefit claims had been granted in Ohio as of May 19, with close to 4,000 new Ohio VA health care enrollees under the program.
  • “This law is the most comprehensive expansion of care for veterans who faced toxic exposure in our country’s history,” said a statement from Brown. “We’ll keep working to get the word out to veterans across Ohio. If you were exposed to toxins while serving our country, you deserve the care you earned. Period. No exceptions.”
  • The law also established 31 new Veterans Administration health care facilities in 19 states, requires that veterans enrolled in VA health care be screened regularly for toxic exposure-related concerns, and requires the VA to establish an outreach program for veterans regarding toxic exposure-related benefits and supports.

WCMH: Sherrod Secures Healthcare Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits

WCMH: “According to the bill sponsor, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, nearly 32,000 Ohio veterans are getting treatment under the PACT Act.”

WEWS: Sherrod Secures Healthcare Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits

WEWS: “The PACT Act, as it’s known, provides needed care to military veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. Sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown, it’s named for a veteran from Ohio who died of cancer that was likely the result of a burn pit exposure in Iraq. Today, the President announced more than one million claims for benefits have now been approved since the law went into effect less than two years ago.” 

WTVG: Sherrod Secures Healthcare Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits

WTVG: “Over one million claims have been approved through the PACT Act. The law, passed back in 2022, gives veterans expanded access to health benefits and compensation following exposure to toxic burn pits… Now according to the office of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who sponsored the act, over 30,000 Ohio veterans have had their claims granted by the VA.” 

Read more about Sherrod’s work to secure healthcare for Ohio veterans:

  • Mansfield News Journal: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown discusses new VA healthcare at Veterans Roundtable in Mansfield
  • WFMJ: Sherrod Brown visits Youngstown to discuss PACT Act benefits to veterans exposed to toxins
  • Toledo Blade: Veterans gather with Ohio senator to put out call for potential PACT Act recipients
  • Journal-News: Butler County veterans discuss health care and disability benefits with Sen. Sherrod Brown
  • TimesReporter: Senator works to get word out about PACT Act help for veterans exposed to toxins

See also: Friends of Sherrod Brown Campaign Launches “Veterans & Servicemembers for Sherrod” Coalition; Sherrod Continues Fighting To Connect Ohio Servicemembers and Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits with Healthcare Benefits