The Policy Corner: July 12, 2013 E-Newsletter

Personal injury attorney, Ian Mattoch, is a fierce advocate for his clients who have suffered traumatic brain injury.  As president of Brain Injury Association of Hawaii, Ian receives weekly updates through The Policy Corner.  This week’s Policy Corner E-Newsletter reports Senate approval of the Labor-HHS-Education Bill, Health Care Reform Webinar, and TBI Act Reauthorization.

The Policy Corner is made possible by the Centre for Neuro Skills and LakeviewNeurorehabilitationCenters & SpecialtyHospital.  Brain Injury Association of America gratefully acknowledges their support for legislative action.

Senate Approves Labor-HHS-Education Bill
This week, the United States Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal 2014 spending bill for labor, health and education programs. The bill passed with a 16-14 party line vote. The Labor-HHS-Education bill would provide $783.4 billion for the respective departments, including $164.3 billion in discretionary funding.  The legislation will fully fund President Obama’s request of $5.2 billion for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to carry out health care reform. The legislation would also fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $31 billion, an increase of $307 million. This level will allow NIH to allocate $40 million for the new Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The bill also included $7 million for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Other highlights of the bill include:  ElderFalls: In 2010, 2.3 million older adults were treated in emergency departments after a fall, with more than 662,000 of these patients hospitalized. Many falls are preventable with lifestyle interventions and appropriate physical supports. In a new initiative, the bill includes $10 million to research and implement evidence-based approaches to preventing elderly falls.

Special Education: The bill provides $11.7 billion, an increase of $125 million, under section 611 of Part B Grants to States for educating students with disabilities. The bill also includes $463 million, an increase of $21 million, to support statewide systems of coordinated and early intervention services for children with disabilities 2 years old and younger, as well as their families; and nearly $70 million, an increase of $20 million, to support research on how people with disabilities learn and how best to meet their educational needs.

Free Webinar on Health Care Reform July 24, 2013
Join us for a free webinar on July 24, 2013, at 3 p.m. ET:
Peter Thomas and Bobby Silverstein of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC will discuss the current status of implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and other legislative and regulatory actions affecting access to rehabilitative care for people with TBI. Register for the webinar here:  All information before and after the webinar will be provided through GoToWebinar.

TBI Act Reauthorization 2013
On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, the TBI Act, H.R. 1098, was introduced by Reps. Pascrell and Rooney, co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. This bill will reauthorize the current programs relating to TBI and also will move the state grant and protection and advocacy grant programs from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau to another agency with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The move acknowledges the impact of TBI across the age span, including older adults and returning service members/veterans. The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force recommends relocating the program to better coordinate with federal agencies regarding long-term services and supports available to individuals with other disabilities, particularly the long-term services and supports provision of the Affordable Care Act. BIAA thanks Reps. Pascrell and Rooney for introducing this important legislation. Please call your Member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 1098 today!

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