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Brain Injury Association Legislative Update

Her is the latest brain injury legislative update prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA)

Health Care Reform Update

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, House Democrats introduced their consensus health bill, HR 3962, at a rally on the Capitol's West Front.  According to House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, the bill could be considered on the House floor as early as November 5, 2009.

The consensus bill prohibits insurance rating based on health status or pre-existing conditions and prohibits annual or lifetime limits on medical spending. It also establishes important consumer protections, including internal and external appeal requirements, provider network adequacy requirements, and greater transparency by insurance companies.

BIAA will continue to monitor the situation closely and alert grassroots advocates if any action is necessary.

BIAA participates in Sports and Concussion hearing on Capitol Hill

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on legal issues relating to brain injuries sustained while playing football.  Testimony was given from the National Football League, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and retired players, Tiki Barber and Merril Hoge, as well as Congressional Brain Injury Task Force Chairman, Congressman Bill Pascrell, jr. and the Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University and member of the Brain Injury Association of America board of directors, Chris Nowinski.

The Committee investigated the findings of a recent study done by the University of Michigan regarding the prevalence of brain injuries among former football players.  The study raised significant health concerns about concussions and how they may contribute to lasting effects starting at both the professional and amateur levels.

BIAA is committed to assisting in the awareness campaign to educate coaches, parents, and players regarding the dangers of concussion.

Appropriations Update

Consideration of an appropriations measure that would fund labor, health and education programs for Fiscal Year 2010 continues to stall in the Senate.  This week, Congress cleared a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government at the FY2009 levels through December 18, 2009.

BIAA will continue to monitor the situation and alert advocates when action is needed.

BIAA supports S. 801, The Caregiver and Veterans Health Services Act of 2009

BIAA and our friends at the Wounded Warrior Project are currently working towards enactment of legislation establishing a national program to provide training and critically-needed supports to family caregivers of veterans living with traumatic brain injuries and other severe wounds.

Reported in the Senate, S. 801, the Caregiver and Veterans Health Services Act of 2009, would provide comprehensive supports for caregivers of veterans who sustained severe injuries after September 11, 2001.  The bill has been approved by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and is awaiting floor action. 

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