Lawmakers Pass Measures To Improve Veterans' Health Care Services
Veterans' Health Care Services
House and Senate lawmakers recently passed measures addressingveterans' health. Summaries of news about the legislation appearbelow:
Traumatic brain injury: The Senate on Tuesday by voice vote\tpassed a bill (S 793) sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)\tintended to improve treatment of traumatic brain injuries in\tveterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, CQ Today\treports. The bill would require CDC\tand NIH to conduct\tresearch to improve treatment techniques for traumatic brain\tinjuries and also would mandate that CDC monitor brain injury cases.\tIn addition, the legislation would reauthorize and expand programs\testablished by a 1996 law that permits CDC to grant states funds for\tbrain injury patients to enter treatment and rehabilitation programs\t(Hunter, CQ Today, 12/11).
Vision loss benefits: The House on Tuesday by voice vote\tpassed a resolution to make several revisions to a measure (HR 797)\tthat was passed in March that would expand benefits for veterans who\thave experienced vision loss, CQ Today reports. The\toriginal bill would have expanded benefits for veterans who were\tblinded in one eye by a service-related injury and later lost vision\tin the other eye. This provision would affect about 5% of the 13,209\tsoldiers who have lost sight in one eye during service-related\tincidents, according to the Blinded\tVeterans Association. The House resolution changes the name of\tthe legislation and also would provide an extension of one year for\ta Department of Veterans\tAffairs work-study program. In addition, it makes corrections to\ta portion of the bill that would require the VA secretary to\tcollaborate with HHS\tto verify the employment status of veterans who are unable to work\t(Yoest, CQ Today, 12/11). \t
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