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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

US Senate Unanimously Approves Veterans Health Care Bill

Montana Sen. Jon Tester

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to extend health care benefits to offshore Vietnam veterans who had contact with Agent Orange.

The current law only offers the benefits to veterans who served within the borders of Vietnam.

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act ensures that veterans of the war who live with the effects of the deadly chemical can access necessary healthcare, whether they served on land or at sea.

Montana’s senior senator, Democrat Jon Tester, is the ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and spoke on the Senate floor after the vote.

“Quite frankly, this rights a wrong that’s been perpetrated by a government that has ignored them for far too long.”

Montana’s Republican U.S. senator, Steve Daines, says he is happy to see the bill pass, and that it is due time Blue Water Vets get the care their sacrifices demanded.

A date has not yet been set for the president to sign the bill.

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