Schumer Calls for More Health Coverage to Vietnam Vets

"It's a disgrace, an absolute disgrace..."

Brendan Keany
February 20, 2020 - 2:01 pm
Chuck Schumer

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)

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DUNKIRK (WBEN) - On Thursday morning, Senator Chuck Schumer stood alongside several Vietnam veterans at Memorial Park in Dunkirk to call on the federal government to increase spending on healthcare.

The VA has proposed adding four health conditions to the Agent Orange “Presumptive Conditions” benefits list, but that process has been stalled.

"We have discovered that there are new illnesses that are also related to Agent Orange, and we want them put on the 'Presumptive Conditions' list," said Schumer.

The conditions include bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, Parkinson-like symptoms and hypertension.

"The head of (The Office Management and Budget), a guy named (Mick) Mulvaney, who's a bean counter who wants to cut everything, just deep-sixed it, and no one knew what happened," the senator continued.

However, some of the organizations that represent veterans used FOIA to obtain emails, and according to Schumer, these emails showed the OMB was thwarting the effort for cost reasons.

"That is a disgrace," he said. "When these men served, they didn't look at the calculator and say, 'This is what it will cost me to go away.' It's a disgrace, an absolute disgrace, to have our government say, 'You're not getting the benefits you're entitled to, caused by your brave service overseas, because we want to save a little money.' Save money somewhere else."

Listen to the full press conference below:

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