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Public Statements

Traumatic Brain Injury Health Enhancement and Long-Term Support Act of 2007

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY HEALTH ENHANCEMENT AND LONG-TERM SUPPORT ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - May 23, 2007)

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Mr. DONNELLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 2199.

Mr. Speaker, this bill will help us better care for America's wounded warriors suffering from traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This important legislation will require the VA to better screen veterans for symptoms of TBI, devise a long-term care strategy, and promote better understanding of TBI and how we can provide the best care possible.

I also want to thank my good friend, Mr. Michaud, for including my bill, H.R. 2190, establishing an advisory committee on rural veterans, as a provision of this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, over 40 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are coming home to rural communities, and countless older veterans live in rural America, places like Pulaski County and Starke County, Indiana. The health care needs and services rural veterans require are very, very unique. These veterans often have increased barriers to obtaining the same quality of care as their urban and suburban counterparts. We must do better by them.

It is critical that the VA have direct input from rural veterans at the highest level of policymaking. The Advisory Committee on Rural Veterans will work with and advise the VA Secretary on how policies and programs affect them, and how services can be improved for rural veterans and their families.

I urge my colleagues in the House to pass this bill to improve care for our wounded warriors and America's rural veterans.

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