Lawmakers push to expand coverage to more veterans exposed to Agent Orange


WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Congressman Josh Harder says many Vietnam War vets suffering today because of their exposure to Agent Orange don’t get the medical benefits they deserve.

“Vietnam Veterans have been paying tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket for diseases they incurred in service to their country,” Representative Josh Harder, D-California, said. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has designated 14 specific illnesses linked to Agent Orange for which veterans can receive federal health benefits but Harder says too many vets have health issues also linked to Agent Orange, that aren’t on the VA’s list.

“Hypertension, bladder cancer, parkinson’s disease,” Harder said. 

In 2017, Former VA Secretary David Shulkin tried to expand the list of medical issues that qualify for Agent Orange benefits. 

The request was turned down by the White House. Now Harder, along with Congressman Mark Takano are making another push.

The two sent a letter to the White House urging them to expand the coverage to more veterans.

“They need to make sure they’re getting the benefits they deserve,” Harder said.

Harder plans to introduce a resolution calling for just that.

“You can file a claim for anything,” Natalie Khawam said. 

Attorney Natalie Khawam says Vietnam vets can apply for benefits even if their illness aren’t on the VA’s list but the odds are against them.

“Those claims can be thrown out quickly, easily. Then you’re back in line again processing a claim months later,” Khawam said. 

The VA sent a statement saying it “currently awaits the results of two studies that will guide decisions on this issue.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Stories

More Local News

Recent Videos

College basketball

College Hockey

A cool down is in store for Sunday

Tips: defrosting your windshield quickly

Camping numbers way up in 2020

COVID-19 ND Watch 11-28-20

Minot Boy's Hockey

KX Conversation: Mindfulness Educator & Occupational Therapist Heidi Woods on mental health concerns

KX Conversation: Pastor Nathan Chapman says there's still lots to be grateful for this year

A warm first half of the weekend

Friday, November 27th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Morning Forecast - Dave Holder

Brent's Bearded Brigade

Warm temperatures highlight the forecast

Thursday, November 26th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Morning Forecast - Dave Holder

UMary Women's Basketball

Vaccine Questions

SYSK: Dr. Perk

KX Convo: Ebonie Siemer

Traveling Nurse

New Unit

More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss