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Pascrell Brain Injury Amendments Added to National Defense Package

Treatment for traumatic brain injuries remains an enduring concern for servicemembers and their families

Today the House passed two amendments on the floor authored by Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), both of which can help ensure servicemembers affected by traumatic brain injuries (TBI) receive better treatment. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is expected to pass the House of Representatives this week.

“Traumatic brain injury is a terrible and all-too-common malady for our heroic servicemembers,” said Congressman Pascrell, the founder and longtime co-chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. “Finding ways to combat and rehabilitate brain injury among our troops is commonsense and compassionate. My amendments continue our work by requiring the Defense Department to find ways to improve access to and better treatment for catastrophic brain injuries. These important fixes can do a world of good by helping injured troops and their families navigate debilitating brain injuries.”

Pascrell’s amendments would require the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct two separate studies on (1) eliminating outpatient rehabilitation limits for active duty servicemembers suffering from TBI; and (2) recognizing non-governmental bodies for accrediting brain injury treatment programs for servicemembers. These studies will provide critical information to the Department of Defense and Congress about the possible expansion of rehabilitation treatment to our service members that have suffered a brain injury while serving this great country. The amendments were both endorsed by the Brain Injury Association of America.

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. 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.

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