Support Needed for National Pediatric Brain Injury Law

January 24th, 2012

To an outside observer, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are invisible…and medically, the injuries are not well understood. As a result, those who suffer often don’t receive adequate—or even minimal—treatment. But the truth is that TBI changes lives. Any head injury is a tragedy, but when TBI happens to children, adolescents, or young adults, the tragedy is magnified. An article on NJ.com says it best:

Imagine you are a parent whose child has sustained a brain injury through something as enjoyable as playing a sport or as horrific as abuse by a caretaker or as patriotic as serving our country as a member of the armed forces. Wouldn’t you want the best system of care possible to maximize the chances of recovery and quality of life for your child? There are many tragic stories about children and youth with brain injury; Congress has an opportunity to provide support and hope for them.

That’s the goal of H.R. 2600, a new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Also known as the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act (PABI Plan Act), this bill would help create a standardized, evidence-based system of universally available care for young people (ages 25 and younger), including those serving in the armed forces. The PABI Plan Act would ensure care at all stages of brain injury, beginning with prevention, and including emergency and acute treatment in medical facilities, reintegration into schools and communities, and transition into an adult system of independent living.

H.R. 2600 was introduced to Congress on July 20, 2011 by Republican Leonard Lance of New Jersey, and it has been referred to committee. But the bill has seemingly stalled, despite the fact that the bill has more than 100 co-sponsors in a rare bipartisan effort. Co-sponsors from North Carolina include:

  • Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3]
  • Rep Larry Kissell [D, NC-8]
  • Rep. Mike McIntyre [D, NC-7]
  • Rep. Bradley Miller [D, NC-13]

Funding for H.R. 2600 would come from discretionary money held by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and would not add to the budget deficit.

This is an important bill that would help children and young adults recover as much as possible, and receive support as they age into adults.

“The ultimate goal of the PABI Plan Act is to maximize recovery, enhance quality of life and ensure that New Jersey — and American — youth have the best chance to live productive and meaningful lives,” said Barbara Geiger-Parker, president and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey, a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to support and advocate for individuals affected by brain injury and raise public awareness through education and prevention.

We urge concerned individuals to contact their Representative and voice support for the PABI Plan Act. To find contact information for your Representative, click here:  GovTrack.us

To read the full article on NJ.com, click here:  More support needed