WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, joined by Ranking Member Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), introduced the Veterans' Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Act of 2007 (S. 1233). This legislation is intended to improve care for veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
"As the needs of our wounded war veterans change, VA medical care must change to respond to those needs. While TBI has become the signature wound of the Iraq War, VA has not fully adapted to meet the needs of those with this injury. This legislation will provide for better care for veterans with TBI, both by providing additional resources and by setting in place improved policies for treating veterans with TBI, which is sometimes invisible. Wounded veterans deserve the best medical care possible and this legislation will help," stated Akaka.
The legislation - developed based on testimony at the Committee's March 27, 2007, hearing on this issue - addresses the immediate needs of veterans suffering from a TBI. Key provisions allow for high-quality rehabilitation closer to where veterans live; provide VA clinicians with increased resources to develop expertise in TBI; and direct VA to develop assisted living programs to meet the lifelong needs of these veterans. Funding authorized by this legislation has been included in the Veterans' Affairs Committee's Views and Estimates letter to the Budget Committee and was included in the Senate-passed Budget Resolution.