KFYR-TV: Senator Jon Tester discusses VA implementation of PACT Act

by Michael Anthony

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KUMV) – President Biden signed the PACT Act in August, bringing more benefits and health care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. On Wednesday, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) held a hearing with VA officials on the bill’s implementation.

Speaking as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Tester credited congress for passing the bill and the Biden Administration for quickly working to add these new benefits. He says congress and the VA must work together to support soldiers.

“Veterans who previously filed claims will now hear of their brothers and sisters joining them in line. The VA must ensure that each of them gets the right decision as quickly as possible. Other veterans who rely on the VA for health care will see new faces in hospital waiting rooms. The VA must ensure they get the quality care that they deserve,” said Tester.

President Biden says the bill has expanded eligibility for more than 3.5 million veterans.

VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal told senators they need to improve their productivity as well as adding more clinicians to meet the new demand.

Tracey Therit, Chief Human Capital Officer for the VA, says they are working to reach out to college graduates and post-secondary students to join the VA’s workforce.

Senator Jon Tester discusses VA implementation of PACT Act (kfyrtv.com)