COLORADO SPRINGS — President Joe Biden signed the PACT act, expanding federal health care services for millions of veterans.

According to the Associated Press, the law will now grant treatment for chronic illnesses that veterans have blamed on burn pits. These pits, according to the AP, “were used to dispose of chemicals, tires, plastics, medical equipment, and human waste on military bases.”

“So many of you here today remind us that we have fought for this for so many years,” Biden said to a room of veterans there to watch the bill being signed.

While the focus of the bill involved actions for burn pits, the law also addresses action for the expansion of health care services as well.

AARP, a nonprofit organization said the bill will offer benefits like:

  • “20 more illnesses are now considered presumptive conditions for burn pit and other toxic exposures.”
  • “The enrollment period to join VA health care expands.”
  • “VA will provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA health care.”
  • “Improvements to research, staff education, outreach, and treatment related to toxic exposures.”

The full AARP article includes more benefits, including new benefits for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Previously the bill, which was blocked by Republicans due to concerns over a technical change regarding how it would be funded, left many Veterans who traveled to Washington D.C devastated. However, on August 2, the Senate held another vote and the legislation passed with bipartisan support.

For more in-depth information regarding the PACT Act, you can read more, here.

Senator Michael Bennet will be in Colorado Springs on August 11, to celebrate the passage of the PACT Act.