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Brain Injury Federal Legislative Update

The Brain Injury Association of America has requested that I circulate the following legislative update concerning brain injury legislation and other important brain injury related matters occuring on capital hill this week:

Dear Advocates:

After legislation to reauthorize the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act successfully passed Congress last week, the bill still needs to be considered by the President for his signature into law.  BIAA anticipates this consideration will occur in the very near future.

This week saw major activity occur on H.R. 5613, legislation recently introduced which would place a moratorium until March 2009 on seven Medicaid regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.  On Wednesday, the bill was unanimously approved by the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, setting up a potential veto showdown with the White House.  BIAA has strongly endorsed this legislation and submitted an official letter of endorsement to the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Murphy (R-PA), last week.

Also this week, The Rand Corporation published an important comprehensive study of the mental health and cognitive needs of U.S. servicemembers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.  This groundbreaking study - which focuses specifically on the post-deployment health-related needs and economic costs associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression and TBI - estimates that 320,000 servicemembers may have experienced TBI as a result of recent combat operations.

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