Boise VA visit

U.S. VA Secretary Denis McDonough, center, tours the Boise VA Medical Center’s Research Laboratory with Mary Cloud Ammons Anderson, right, a research scientist, and Andrew Wilper, left, the chief of staff at the Boise VA.

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Originally published July 28 on IdahoCapitalSun.com.U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough forcefully denounced the U.S. Senate’s unexpected decision to kill a bill that would have provided health care and benefits to 3.5 million veterans who have been exposed to toxic burn pits while stationed around the world.

In a visit to the Boise VA Medical Center on Thursday, McDonough said killing the legislation, known as the PACT Act, will “inexplicably” delay necessary health care to veterans who have faced 30 years of war and exposure to toxic particulates from burn pits, largely in the Middle East.

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