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Legislative Update From Brain Injury Association of America

The Brain Injury Association of America has requested that I publish the following legislative update on traumatic brain injury issues pending in Congress:

Dear Advocates:

Congress held numerous budget and appropriations hearings this week, as well as several hearings addressing health care provided to wounded service members and veterans.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS-Ed) held a hearing on Thursday on this year’s proposed budget for the Department of Health and Human Services, featuring HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt as a witness.  At the same time, BIAA signed on this week to a coalition letter to the Subcommittee urging its Members to provide $30 million for TBI Act programs this year.

Also this week, both chambers of Congress held important hearings on efforts to improve health care for returning service members, as well as to improve the veterans’ disability benefits system.  BIAA submitted questions and comments in relation to several of the hearings.

A significant victory in Medicaid policy was achieved late this week as well, as a Senate Amendment to prevent implementation of the Administration’s proposed regulation restricting reimbursement for Medicaid Targeted Case Management (TCM) was successfully added to an Indian health bill.  The Amendment would establish a Moratorium on implementation of the TCM interim rule until April 1, 2009.

Congress is in recess next week so further updates will be provided when Congress returns.

In the interim, please write to President Bush and your congressional representatives to restore full Traumatic Brain Injury Act funding in next year's budget.



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