Clinton Hails Approval By Key Senate Committee of Her Proposals to Aid Wounded Warriors and Their Caregivers
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today hailed approval by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee of her provisions for increased assistance for wounded warriors and the caregivers who support them. The Committee included the proposals, originally introduced in Senator Clinton's Caring for Wounded Warriors Act, in a package of health care measures that will be added to the comprehensive Senate bill to address the needs of veterans.
"When our brave wounded servicemembers return from deployment, their families and loved ones are often called into tireless service to care for them. These important measures approved today will provide aid and support to those compassionate caregivers who give so much of themselves every day. They are the unsung heroes of the homefront and deserve all the help we can give them," Senator Clinton said.
The provisions approved by the Committee support two pilot programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs, improving the resources available to those caring for troops who have been injured while on active duty. The first program would certify and train family caregivers of veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury as personal care attendants, qualifying them to receive compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The second would leverage existing partnerships between Veterans Affairs facilities and the nation's premier universities, training graduate students to provide respite care for families caring for wounded warriors suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
The inclusion of Senator Clinton's measures drew quick praise from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).
"The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is very pleased that Senator Clinton's proposal for a new program to train, certify and compensate family caregivers of military veterans and servicemembers with traumatic brain injury (TBI) was approved by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee today," said Joseph A. Violante, National Legislative Director for DAV. The bill would also provide additional forms of respite to these families not available to them today. "We thank Senator Clinton for her insight in this crucial need for relief and respite programs, and will continue working with Senator Clinton to get the full Congress to pass this and other vital legislation to support seriously disabled veterans. This bill is in keeping with our resolve at DAV to build better lives for disabled veterans and their families," Violante said.
"Traumatic brain injury not only affects individuals but entire families as well. The Brain Injury Association of America applauds Senator Clinton and Members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee for their leadership in passing this legislation, which compassionately and responsibly provides much-needed supports to family caregivers of servicemembers with TBI," said Susan H. Connors, President and CEO of BIAA.
As New York's first Senator to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Clinton has fought aggressively to ensure that servicemembers and veterans have the healthcare and support they need. Her legislation to improve the detection, assessment and treatment of TBI, as well as expand the support systems for members and former members of the Armed Services with TBI, has been signed into law. She also played a key role in securing into law access to TRICARE military health benefits for all drilling members of the National Guard and Reserves and their families. The provisions of the Caring for Wounded Warriors Act builds on this record, providing innovative support and training for the caregivers of severely injured active duty and medically retired troops.