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Thousands of veterans to receive expanded health coverage through full implementation of PACT Act

Thousands of veterans across the United States, including those in the Finger Lakes region, are now eligible for expanded health care services related to potential exposure from toxic materials. On Monday, Rep. Joe Morelle (D-25), along with other local officials and representatives of the Finger Lakes VA, gathered in downtown Rochester to discuss the latest phase of the PACT (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics) Act coming into effect this month.

Jason Richards, an Outreach Program Coordinator with the VA, explained that the full implementation of the legislation means that veterans who may have health issues due to exposure to toxins will now be covered in a wide range of situations. This new provision allows for toxic exposure discussions regardless of combat, making more veterans eligible for VA health care.

Originally targeted to assist veterans exposed to things like burn pits and Agent Orange in Vietnam, the PACT Act now covers toxic exposures for veterans in any location. Morelle expressed gratitude to the Veterans Administration for the quick approval of the new health coverage implementation. He emphasized the importance of ensuring veterans and their families receive the benefits they deserve, as exposure to toxins can impact not only the veteran but also their family members.

The expansion of regulations under the PACT Act is expected to benefit thousands of veterans in the Finger Lakes region and many more nationwide. Morelle and local VA representatives are working hard to spread awareness about these new healthcare coverage options available under this law so that all eligible veterans can take advantage of them. Additional information can be found on

By Samantha Jones

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