SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — President Biden is expected to arrive in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 9.
On Thursday, August 10, he is anticipated to address the public on the PACT Act before attending a campaign event. The PACT Act, according to the White House, is the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic-exposed veterans and survivors in more than 30 years.
The PACT Act, or Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act, was named in honor of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, a decorated combat medic who died from a rare form of lung cancer. This legislation aims to provide timely benefits and services to more than five million veterans who may have been impacted by toxic exposures during service, according to the White House.
For post-9/11 combat veterans, this bill reportedly extends the period of time they have to enroll in veteran healthcare from five to 10 years post-discharge. For those who do not fall within that window, the bill also creates an open enrollment period, according to the White House. Through this bill, more veterans can enroll in healthcare without having to demonstrate a service-connected disability.
The bill is reportedly evidence-based, and transparent, and allows the Veteran Administration to make faster policy decisions on crucial exposure issues.
On Aug. 10, 2022, President Biden signed the act. His Utah address will come on its one-year anniversary.
According to the White House, the U.S. has a “sacred obligation to properly prepare and equip the troops we send into harm’s way — and to care for them and their families when they return home.”