Hoeven: Senate Passes Legislation Expanding Health Benefits for Navy Veterans Who Served in Vietnam

Senator Helped Introduce Senate-Version of Legislation, Bill Now Goes to President for Signature

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the Senate passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to expand health benefits coverage for Blue Water Navy veterans who were stationed on ships off the Vietnamese coast. The bill requires that all those who served off the coast of Vietnam are presumed to be eligible for health care for illnesses linked to Agent Orange exposure, ensuring the Department of Veterans Affairs complies with a federal appeals court ruling to that effect from earlier this year. Hoeven helped introduce the Senate version of the legislation in April. The bill has now passed both chambers of Congress and will go to the president to be signed into law. 

“The impacts of Agent Orange are well documented, and we must honor the debt we owe to those veterans who were affected in the course of their service,” said Hoeven. “Our legislation will help ensure the VA provides the appropriate care to those who served in the waters of Vietnam.”