The Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011 was introduced to the House of Representatives on July 25, 2011. The bill targets ongoing problems and concerns regarding exposure to deadly herbicides, including Agent Orange, during the Vietnam War.
The bill seeks to increase compensation for any individual Vietnamese nationals, Vietnamese-Americans, and United States veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange, and children of those affected that have developed complications related to deadly herbicides used during the Vietnam War.
Those individuals would receive medical and chronic care, nursing services, and medical equipment under the bill. For caregivers, assistance ranges broadly from medicine and medical equipment to training and home care. Counseling services are also offered.
Currently the bill is in the early steps of the legislative process. On Aug. 1, 2011, it was referred to the subcommittee on Health. Introduced bills and resolutions first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before voting them out of committee to general debate on the House floor.
U.S. President Barack Obama has even addressed the issue, speaking to the the 93rd Annual Conference of the American Legion recently. He said that three diseases are now presumed to be related to Agent Orange exposure, and that Veterans Affairs are beginning to pay benefits regarding these issues.
Over the past year the backlog has grown due to new claims from Agent Orange, meaning it could be a longer wait to receive benefits than you would hope for. Progress in sharing medical records between the Department of Defense and the VA is also being made.