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Stabenow and Kildee introduce bills to help veterans who were exposed to PFAS

The former Wurtsmith Air Force base
Mike Fritcher
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
The former Wurtsmith Air Force base.

Congressman Dan Kildee and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow want to help veterans who were exposed to industrial chemicals known as PFAS.

That’s why they introduced legislation September 28 to help those veterans and their families get the healthcare they need.

PFAS chemicals were heavily used in AFFF firefighting foam at military bases around the country.

The first bill, The Veterans Exposed to Toxic PFAS Act, would make all illnesses that have been linked to PFAS exposure service-connected disabilities. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would foot the bill for the coverage.

The second bill, The Care for Veterans Act, would make sure veterans exposed to different contaminants at the base also receive health benefits from the VA.

Congressman Kildee says these bills would make good on this country’s promise to care for veterans and their families.

“These bills make good on that promise by ensuring that all service members exposed to toxic chemicals as a part of their military service get the health care they need,” Kildee said.

James Bussey, a veteran who was stationed at the Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, says he’s happy to see lawmakers helping veterans with an issue they have been vocal about.

“For several years it was just us trying to get things rolling and it was hard getting things done,” Bussey said.

Bussey, who served at Wurtsmith from 1989 to 1992, has been diagnosed with kidney and liver disease among other health issues that he is concerned might be related to PFAS exposure.

“You know, I just feel generally feel like a 95-year-old man when I’m only 51,” he said.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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