Late Breaking News
New Law Provides ‘Last Resort’ Healthcare to Camp Lejeune Contamination Victims
Ensminger has said he believes his 9-year-old daughter’s death from childhood leukemia is linked to exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Partain, meanwhile, was diagnosed with breast cancer and has said it was linked to the Camp LeJeune water. He said he discovered that numerous men who had been exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune also had breast cancer diagnoses.
In a video interview with the advocacy organization Environmental Working Group, Partain called the passage of the bill the “first step in justice.”
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) was among those who pushed for passage of the bill. He said in a statement that an “estimated 750,000 people may have been exposed to probable and known human carcinogens in the base’s water supply between the 1950s and 1980s,” making this is the “largest recorded environmental incident on a domestic DoD installation.”
“This has been a long time coming, and, unfortunately, many who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune over the years have died as a result and are not with us to receive the care this bill will provide,” Burr said in an earlier statement.
“While I wish we could have accomplished this years ago, we now have the opportunity to do the right thing for the thousands of Navy and Marine veterans and their families who were harmed during their service to our country,” he said.
The new law addresses other issues unrelated to Camp Lejeune, including:
- Providing better access to VA services for rural veterans. VA must waive co-payments for veterans utilizing tele-healthcare.
- Requiring VA to implement tele-consultation capabilities at its facilities in order to better coordinate healthcare for veterans.
- Giving TBI victims access to expanded individualized rehabilitation and reintegration services.
- Mandating new protections to prevent sexual assaults from going unreported and unpunished in VA facilities.
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said that the passage of legislation “will make an immediate impact in the lives of veterans, their families and survivors by providing the care and support they have earned through their service to our nation.”