Pascrell Traumatic Brain Injury Amendments Added to Annual Defense Package

Pascrell Traumatic Brain Injury Amendments Added to Annual Defense Package

Four separate amendments would require Pentagon to address servicemember TBI

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the co-chairman and co-founder of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force has passed four separate amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) addressing traumatic brain injury in American servicemembers. Two of the amendments were bipartisan with Republican cosponsors.

 

The various amendments are cosponsored by Congressmembers Joe Wilson (R-SC-02), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Don Bacon (D-NE-02), and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06).

 

“I am very happy the full House of Representatives approved my four amendments to address traumatic brain injury in American servicemembers,” said Congressman Pascrell. “TBI is a terrible burden for millions of Americans and their families, and especially so for members of the armed forces. These additions to our annual defense bill will lead the Defense Department to enhance injury identification, as well as find better and more modern treatments for American servicemembers affected by brain injuries. It has been over two decades since TBI was identified as the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Defense Department owes our servicemembers the best quality of care to continue improving on how it handles brain injuries. I will work to see that these provisions are enacted into full law.”

 

Pascrell NDAA brain injury amendments

 

Pascrell Amendment #1: Would require the Department of Defense to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of eliminating outpatient rehabilitation therapy maximums for active-duty service members who suffered a traumatic brain injury.

 

Pascrell/Bacon (NE) Amendment #2: Requires the Department of Defense to conduct a study to analyze the feasibility of recognizing non-governmental accreditation bodies for brain injury treatment programs for active-duty service members that sustained a brain injury.

 

Pascrell Amendment #3: Requires the Department of Defense to develop a Traumatic Brain Injury Oversight Strategy and Action Plan to standardize identification, treatment, tracking, monitoring, and referral guidelines for TBI programs across all military branches. The Plan must include a standardized system of monitoring and care to include a 72-hour post injury exam and protocols, data collection and reporting guidelines.

 

Pascrell/Wilson (SC) Amendment #4: Requires the Department of Defense to conduct a study on the enhancement of diagnostic screening tools for TBI. The study should identify definitive point-of-injury solutions for TBI testing.  The study should address DOD’s ability to rapidly and accurately assess brain injury and its severity with point-of-injury technology, greatly enhancing the health, survival, and long-term medical issues of service members and veterans. The study should address the impact of how accurate TBI diagnostic tools would improve military readiness and address the concern for a growing medical burden.

 

Brain injury was the signature wound in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 3.2 million and 5.3 million people live with a TBI-related disability in the United States.

 

Founded by Congressman Pascrell in 2001, the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force’s mission is to further provide education and awareness of brain injury (incidence, prevalence, prevention and treatment) and support funding for basic and applied research on brain injury rehabilitation and development of a cure.

 

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