On April 10, 2019, Representative Bruce Westerman (AR), introduced H.R. 2200, the Keeping Our Promises Act. This legislation would add multiple diseases to the presumptive disease list for Agent Orange exposure.
In the Veterans and Agent Orange update in 2016, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) committee concluded there was compelling evidence for adding bladder cancer and hypothyroid conditions to the presumptive disease list. Further, the study clarified that Vietnam veterans with “Parkinson’s-like symptoms,” but without a formal diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, should be considered under the presumption of Parkinson’s disease.
In November 2017, the VA issued a press release noting they were exploring these new presumptive conditions related to herbicide exposure. However, to date, the VA still has not added the NAM recommended presumptive diseases, or provided an update to its 2017 press release.
In the Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11, released in November 2018, the NAM concluded that there is sufficient evidence of an association between Agent Orange and the development of hypertension. The report elevated hypertension from suggestive evidence to sufficient evidence of a link. The VA has not taken any action on adding hypertension since the November 2018 report.
H.R. 2200 will add bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, “Parkinson’s-like symptoms,” and hypertension to the presumptive disease list for Agent Orange exposure. All four of these diseases are recommended for inclusion by the National Academy of Medicine.
DAV strongly supports H.R. 2200 as it is aligned with DAV Resolution No. 174, which calls for the addition of these presumptive diseases. Please draft your own letter to urge your Representatives to support and cosponsor H.R. 2200.
Stand with us and support the addition of these diseases as presumptive to Agent Orange. Thank you for your continued support of the DAV Commander’s Action Network.