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President's Proposed Budget To Eliminate Funding For Federal Traumatic Brain Injury Program

A news flash from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)  today has informed us of the proposed elimination of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal TBI Program, which provides grants to state agencies and protection and advocacy organizations to improve access to health and other services for individuals with TBI and their families in the 2007 fiscal budget.

How the President can justify the elimination of this essential program at a time when head injury has become the signature wound of his war in Iraq is beyond comprehension.  The Centers for Disease Control has repeatedly stated that brain injury will affect someone in this country every 24 seconds.  Instead of eliminating funding for this program, funding needs to be increased to improve access to services for victims of brain trauma and their families. 

What does this President propose to tell the spouses, parents and children of the soldiers that are increasingly coming back from Iraq with head injuries that will require a life long commitment to care and rehabilitation?

Here is what Susan Connors, the executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Americas said today:

"The Brain Injury Association of America is perplexed by the Administration’s budget recommendation.  In last week’s State of the Union address, the President pledged to support our troops in Iran and Afghanistan.  Leading national newspapers and radio talk shows are still prominently featuring the blast brain injuries sustained by ABC News reporters Woodruff and Vogt.  Just weeks ago, the final Congressional vote was cast to restore $9 million in funding for HRSA’s TBI Program.  And just weeks from now, the Institute of Medicine’s evaluation of HRSA’s TBI Program will be released." 

"Clearly, the President’s zeroing out of the TBI Program is at odds with other policy makers, the news media, and the apparent sympathies of the American public.  The Association will work vigorously to restore funding for HRSA's TBI Program, joining with coalition partners at the national level and calling on the highly effective state affiliate grassroots advocacy network to educate Members of Congress as to the need for and value of the Federal TBI Program."

I urge everyone concerned with TBI to join BIAA's efforts to restore federal funding to the TBI Program.  It's not to early to contact your congressman and senators today!

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