1. House Passes Bill to Improve Veterans' Care
March 29, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) Reacting to shabby treatment of wounded service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the House on Wednesday created a coterie of case managers, advocates and counselors for injured troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Wounded Warrior Assistance Act, approved 426 to 0, also establishes a hot line for medical patients to report problems in their treatment and demands an end to the red tape that has frustrated disabled service members as they move from Pentagon care to care by the Veterans Affairs Department.
Definately a two thumbs up! Sometimes government sees the obvious, grasps the obvious, and does the right thing!
2. Independent Living Centers (ILC's) Freeing People Trapped in Nursing Homes
In 2004, a reporting by ILCs showed that they "successfully relocated" 2,864 persons.
In 2005, they reported only 2,867 persons were "relocated,"a/k/a were freed from unnecessary institutionalization! [Source: Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues]
The work continues-- I am looking forward to a continued increase in people with disabilities, living in the community. Better quality of life, and cheapter-- could it get any better?
3. Susan & Hillary Pushing for War Injured- Establishing TBI Legitimacy
March 29, 2007
Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Susan Collins today announced that she has joined with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) in introducing legislation to improve the detection, assessment, and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) among wounded service members and to expand support for the victims of TBI and their families.
The “Heroes at Home Act” would authorize $3.75 million for the Secretary of Defense to implement and (sic) objective, computer-based assessment protocol to measure cognitive functioning, both prior to and after deployment, in order to facilitate the accurate diagnosis and treatment of mild and moderate TBI.
A bit of pandering to the disability community? Probably.
What do I think? Sometimes its better to do the right thing, for the wrong reason, than to do nothing at all!
4. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Promoting Wellness for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2007 (S. 1050) which:
Amends the Public Health Services Act to require medical and dental schools and residency programs to increase training to improve competency and clinical skills in providing care to patients with disabilities, including those with intellectual disabilities;
Authorizes wellness grant programs to fund programs for smoking cessation, weight control, nutrition and fitness that focus on the unique challenges faced by individuals with disabilities; preventative health screening programs; and athletic or sports programs that provide individuals with disabilities an opportunity to increase their physical activity; and
Establishes accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment.
Yeah! acknowledgement of medical community deficits and a measurable remediation plan!
5. The Senate expanded the small business tax package
Why is this good news? The Senate small business tax package includes a five year extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This tax credit can be claimed by employers who hire from certain targeted populations including people with disabilities.
OK House-- now its your turn.