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VA Proposes Important Amendment to Expand Healthcare for Veterans
Date:3/29/2010

Swords to Plowshares Encourages Vietnam Veterans Impacted by Agent Orange to Re-Open Claims

San Francisco (Vocus) March 29, 2010 -- Vietnam War veterans who have endured the devastating health effects of Agent Orange for decades are encouraged to file a new claim or re-open an existing claim at the VA.

VA’s proposed regulation, which will make several diseases with proven scientific association to Agent Orange, has the potential to expand access to free lifetime healthcare for 200,000 or more Vietnam War veterans.

''We applaud Secretary Shinseki for taking this very important step to finally provide free healthcare and pay compensation to our Vietnam veterans who were denied the treatment they were rightfully owed,'' said Michael Blecker, Executive Director at Swords to Plowshares.

Secretary Shinseki is proposing, if the new rule is accepted, that Vietnam War veterans suffering from B-cell leukemias, Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease will only have to show they have the condition and that they served in Vietnam in order to receive VA compensation payments as well as free VA healthcare.

“The Obama administration and VA Secretary Shinseki have demonstrated that they understand the urgency it takes to prevent further suffering and premature deaths among our aging Vietnam War veterans with serious, chronic illnesses caused by Agent Orange poisoning,” said Blecker.

To date, Vietnam War veterans have encountered many obstacles and have been required to prove exposure to harmful herbicides
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