The PACT Act Improves Veterans’ Access to Cancer Care and Other Health Support

October 05, 2022 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Government Affairs Director

The legislation’s key features (https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/) include:

In particular, the legislation includes removing the need for certain veterans (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/10/fact-sheet-president-biden-signs-the-pact-act-and-delivers-on-his-promise-to-americas-veterans/) to prove a service connection if they are diagnosed with one of 23 specified conditions, including several forms of cancer (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/10/fact-sheet-president-biden-signs-the-pact-act-and-delivers-on-his-promise-to-americas-veterans/), which improves their ability to obtain prompt treatment. The PACT Act also further supports (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/10/fact-sheet-president-biden-signs-the-pact-act-and-delivers-on-his-promise-to-americas-veterans/) President Biden’s Unity Agenda and Cancer Moonshot Initiative (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/biden-cancer-moonshot-relaunch-will-end-cancer-as-we-know-it).

“For the millions of veterans who may have been exposed to harmful toxins, this bill means quicker access to healthcare services and other benefits,” Biden said (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/02/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-senate-passage-of-the-bipartisan-pact-act/). “This could be the difference between life and death for many suffering from toxic-related illnesses. For the spouse or child of a servicemember who died from toxic exposure, struggling to put their lives back together, this bill will be a lifeline. It means a monthly stipend for a surviving spouse and kids and access to tuition benefits to help cover the cost of college. It means access to life insurance, home loan assistance, and help with health care. It matters.”

Exposure to toxic substances can elevate health risks (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/10/fact-sheet-president-biden-signs-the-pact-act-and-delivers-on-his-promise-to-americas-veterans/) and lead to the development of diseases such as cancer. Healthcare professionals must advocate (https://ons1.realmagnet.land/ONSHealthPolicy) for health policies that ensure the best and timely care for all (https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/position-statements/access-quality-cancer), particularly for vulnerable populations.


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