A bill said to improve health care for veterans was signed into law today as part of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act. Signed by Congressman Jerry McNerney (11th District), the legislation would help veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.
Brain injuries are said to be a common injury sustained by service members in Iraq and Afghanistan. The leading cause of traumatic brain injury among active duty military personnel in war zones are blasts, with gunfire and shrapnel contributing as well, according to the Defense and Brain Injury Center. Since 2000, they report the number of military personnel diagnosed has gone from 10,963 to 27,862 as of December 2009.
The legislation would reportedly help develop policies for better care and rehabilitation by establishing a panel to assess how the VA treats veterans with traumatic brain injuries and make recommendations for improvement. It would also provide education and training programs for the injury.
"Our men and women in uniform have earned the best possible medical care," McNerney said. "It's up to us to make sure they get that care when they return home. Unfortunately, the signature wounds of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are traumatic brain injuries. I wrote this law so that the Department of Veterans Affairs will be better equipped to provide treatment for our veterans who suffer from these severe injuries."