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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Thousands of Camp Lejeune Marines and family members who suffered because of water contamination at the base are closer to receiving health care for their illnesses.

A bill to provide the care to Marines who lived or worked at the base from Jan. 1, 1957, to Dec. 31, 1987, edged toward U.S. Senate approval Wednesday after its supporters amended it to address the concerns of Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

DeMint had blocked the bill because of concerns about fraud. A spokesman for Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said the bill will be amended to include language saying the care can be denied if it can be proved that the person’s illness wasn’t caused by exposure to chemicals at Camp Lejeune.

The amended bill would go to the U.S. House for approval.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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