Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Agent Orange Supplemental Act

Below is the bill we have made available before, to other groups, to Congress, and to at least one of the major national Veteran Service Organizations. As you will see, it creates an entirely new section in Title 38 to allow for different eligibility criteria, and different methods of exposure. Please note, there are no names on this, or on any other bills we have proposed in the past. Never were, never will be. We do not write these for the purposes of ego but to create legislation that has the best chance at passage, and of doing what it is intended to do, provide benefits for all who were exposed, anywhere in the world, to the poison contracted for by the US Department of Defense in the 1950s through 1972. Those who advocate this project need to check their own egos and get past them. It's not the 'who,' its the 'what.'

Here is the proposed Agent Orange Supplemental Act; take it and use it, but use it in the spirit in which it is written:
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111th CONGRESS

HR 0000, a Companion Bill to S 0000

The Agent Orange Supplemental Act of 2009
To amend Title 38, Part II, Chapter 11, Subchapter II by adding Section 1119 to authorize and clarify the award of benefits for those Veterans who served during the Vietnam Era, but did so outside the Vietnam Theater of Operations, and were presumed to have been exposed to herbicides.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In , 2009, Mr. Xxxxx introduced the following bill; it is co-sponsored by Representatives:

A BILL
To amend Title 38 USC to authorize the award of benefits to Veterans presumed to have been exposed to certain herbicides while serving in locations outside the Vietnam Theater of Operations during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.
(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Agent Orange Supplemental Act of 2009'
.
(b) References- Wherever in this Act an amendment is expressed in terms of an amendment to a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 2. CLARIFICATION OF AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PRESUMPTIONS BASED ON HERBICIDE EXPOSURE; CONFIRMATION OF RETROACTIVE PAYMENT.
(a) Title 38, Part II, Chapter 11, Subchapter II is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

Sec. 1119. Presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents; presumption of exposure for veterans who served during the Vietnam Era but outside of the Vietnam Theater of Operations.

(a) (1) For the purposes of section 1110 of this title, and subject to section 1113 of this title--
(A) a disease specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection becoming manifest as specified in that paragraph in a veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served outside the Vietnam Theater of Operations during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975; and
(B) each additional disease (if any) that (i) the Secretary determines in regulations prescribed under this section warrants a presumption of service-connection by reason of having positive association with exposure to an herbicide agent, and (ii) becomes manifest within the period (if any) prescribed in such regulations in a veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served outside the Vietnam War Theater of Operations during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, and while so serving was exposed to that herbicide agent, shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by such service, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such disease during the period of such service.
(2) The diseases referred to in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection are the following:
(A) Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma becoming manifest
(B) Each soft-tissue sarcoma other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or mesothelioma.
(C) Chloracne or another acneform disease consistent with chloracne.
(D) Hodgkin's disease.
(E) Porphyria cutanea tarda
(F) Respiratory cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea)
(G) Multiple myeloma
(H) Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2).
(I ) Hairy Cell Leukemia
(J) Parkinsons Disease
(K) Ischemic Heart Disease
(3) For purposes of this section, the term ``herbicide agent'' means a chemical in an herbicide used in support of the United States and allied military operations in the Vietnam Theater of Operations, and in locations outside the Vietnam Theater of Operations during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975.
(4) For purposes of this section, the term “Vietnam Theater of Operations” is defined as The Republic of Vietnam, The inland waterways of the Republic of Vietnam, the waters off shore of the Republic of Vietnam, and in the sky above the Republic of Vietnam, and in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975.
(5) For purposes of this section, the term “Outside the Vietnam Theater of Operations” is defined as any and all locations identified by the Department of Defense as a base, installation, unit, ship, aircraft, or other military entity on or in which herbicides were used, stored, shipped from, or through.

(b) (1) Whenever the Secretary determines, on the basis of sound medical and scientific evidence that a positive association exists between
(A) the exposure of humans to an herbicide agent, and
(B) the occurrence of a disease in humans,
the Secretary shall prescribe regulations providing that a presumption of service connection is warranted for that disease for the purposes of this section.
(2) In making determinations for the purpose of this subsection, the Secretary shall take into account
(A) reports received by the Secretary from the National Academy of Sciences under section 3 of the Agent Orange Act of 1991, and
(B) all other sound medical and scientific information and analyses available to the Secretary. In evaluating any study for the purpose of making such determinations, the Secretary shall take into consideration whether the results are statistically significant, are capable of replication, and withstand peer review.
(3) An association between the occurrence of a disease in humans and exposure to an herbicide agent shall be considered to be positive for the purposes of this section if the credible evidence for the association is equal to or outweighs the credible evidence against the association.

(c) (1) (A) Not later than 60 days after the date on which the Secretary receives
a report from the National Academy of Sciences under section 3 of the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the Secretary shall determine whether a presumption of service connection is warranted for each disease covered by the report. If the Secretary determines that such a presumption is warranted, the Secretary, not later than 60 days after making the determination, shall issue proposed regulations setting forth the Secretary's determination.
(B) If the Secretary determines that a presumption of service
connection is not warranted, the Secretary, not later than 60 days after making the determination, shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of that determination. The notice shall include an explanation of the scientific basis for that determination. If the disease already is included in regulations providing for a presumption of service connection, the Secretary, not later than 60 days after publication of the notice of a determination that the presumption is not warranted, shall issue proposed regulations removing the presumption for the disease.
(2) Not later than 90 days after the date on which the Secretary issues any proposed regulations under this subsection, the Secretary shall issue final regulations. Such regulations shall be effective on the date of issuance.

(d) Whenever a disease is removed from regulations prescribed under this section--
(1) a veteran who was awarded compensation for such disease on the basis of the presumption provided in subsection (a) before the effective date of the removal shall continue to be entitled to receive compensation on that basis; and
(2) a survivor of a veteran who was awarded dependency and indemnity compensation for the death of a veteran resulting from such disease on the basis of such presumption shall continue to be entitled to receive dependency and indemnity compensation on such basis.

(e) Subsections (b) through (d) shall cease to be effective on September 30, 2030.

(f) For purposes of establishing service connection for a disability or death resulting from exposure to a herbicide agent, including a presumption of service-connection under this section, a veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served outside the Vietnam Theater of Operations during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, shall be presumed to have been exposed during such service to an herbicide agent containing dioxin or 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and may be presumed to have been exposed during such service to any other chemical compound in an herbicide agent, unless there is affirmative evidence to establish that the veteran was not exposed to any such agent during that service. Locations identified by the Department of Defense as having been a location, base, unit, ship, aircraft, or other military installation where herbicides were used, stored, or shipped from or through.

(g) Presumptions established pursuant to this section shall be considered to be presumptions established pursuant to the Agent Orange Act of 1991. Awards based on such presumptions are subject to section 5110 of this title and may be made effective earlier than the effective date of the regulation establishing the presumption, and must be made back to the date of first claim.

(h) Applicability-- The provisions of section 1119(g) as added by this Act apply to any determination made on or after the date of enactment of this Act, or prior to it back to the date of first claim.

(i) The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is directed to proceed with all dispatch to process the claims pending from Veterans who are affected by this act, and all new claims filed under the provisions of this act.

[Created 09/14/2008]
[amended 08/03/2010]
[Edited 11/20/2010]
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Feel free to distribute this as you see fit, to submit to your Representative or Senators to persuade them to introduce it next session. Be prepared that this requires a new appropriation and some in Congress will likely demand new science, and the cost of this bill will be extremely high, so there will be problems attempting to get it through.

VASVW is committed to advocating this bill as well as the Agent Orange Restoration Act.


While you cannot copy from this page, we have posted the proposed Supplemental Bill and the proposed Restoration Bill on the VASVW.org website:

The Agent Orange Supplemental Act - Proposed

The Agent Orange Restoration Act - Proposed

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous20:37

    Get ready to add a name to your list of "Vet Killers". Rep Jeff Miller from the 1st District of Florida has just been named to take Filners place as committee chairman. Trust me when I say there is no more difference between them then the two cheeks of a mules butt! Miller has had it made for the past four years; he just votes NO for anything the Dems put up.....he was a cosponsor for the AO bill in this Congress but, has a record for voting NO on bills he cosponsors. Before the Dems took Congress four years ago, he just rubber stamped his vote on whatever Bush wanted and how he wanted it.

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  2. I really don't see much improvement with either party in office..They all TALK a good game however, when it comes to any action they just follow the Money. They could care less about those who wore this country's uniform and allowed themselves to be put into harms way so they could enjoy all the benefits Veterans provided them with !! They are however, really focused on Japan's disaster, but never on our own..just lie, delay and deny..watch another Veteran die...meanwhile, we will provide other countries with what they want..and watch our own suffer ..

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  3. Clinton Castle15:02

    My ship, the USS Navasota was as close as 5 miles from Vietnam, above the 20 parrell many times. I was in the South China Sea in 1965, 1966, and 1967 and now have had Prostate Cancer and Diabetes type 2 (no one in my family has ever had either health issues). I now have one daughter with MS and another with Lupus. VA has turned me down for my Cancer and Diabetes. I have also talked to other shipmates and they have told me that other shipmates have died of Cancer or have it and also Diabetes.

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  4. Mr. Castle,

    I hope you realize this post is 4 1/2 years old. I suggest very strongly that you click on the masthead picture of the ship heading into rough waters at the top of this page. That will take you to the latest news which I think you will find to be GOOD NEWS at last. Hang in there.

    VNVets

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