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Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 first responders, is also lending his star power to push for increased health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxins and burn pits in the battlefield. Natalie Brand reports.
- Former talk show host Jon Stewart was back on Capitol Hill today to push for health benefits for veterans.
- CBS 2's Natalie Brand reports from Washington.
JON STEWART: The only thing that hasn't happened is action. So no more excuses.
NATALIE BRAND: Jon Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 first responders, is also lending his star power to a push for increased health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxins and burn pits in the battlefield.
JON STEWART: It can't be about, jeez, I don't know if we should add head and neck cancers because that's going to add another $100 million. Like, no more.
NATALIE BRAND: He joined lawmakers who introduced a new bill that would streamline the VA review process for veterans who have 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers related to burn pits and airborne hazards, and establish a presumption of service connection.
MARK TAKANO: No veterans should be forced to prove that their government exposed them to toxic substances, and our bill fixes that.
NATALIE BRAND: One of the families who had battled the VA over exposure to burn pits shared their story with CBS News this past April.
- I kept saying, my husband is going to die before you even give him a yes or no.
NATALIE BRAND: Marine veteran Jason Howard lost his battle to brain cancer just weeks after the VA finally approved his claim.
Last month, lawmakers introduced a separate bipartisan bill to help veterans who were exposed to toxins from burn pits. Wednesday's bill goes even further.
MARK TAKANO: We cannot continue to tackle this topic one disability or one exposure group at a time.
NATALIE BRAND: Lawmakers say the proposed legislation would provide health care for as many as 3.5 million veterans. Natalie Brand, CBS News, Capitol Hill.