The office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other members of Congress launched an appeal to the Obama administration late last week. The appeal was to see to it that all brain-injury patients are provided with the full range of rehabilitation services available to the injured congresswoman.
In a letter signed by chief of staff Pia Carusone, Giffords’ office urged Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to include brain-trauma rehabilitation services as essential benefits in its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, despite budget cuts looming in Congress.
Five months after a gunman shot her in the head at point-blank range during a public appearance, Giffords is still undergoing rehabilitation care at TIRR Memorial Hermann Medical Center in Houston. Her staff only provides limited updates on her condition. Most updates given by her staff refer to ‘progresses’ and ‘improvements.’
Giffords’ legislative aide, said the only reason Giffords has unlimited access to state-of-the-art rehabilitation care is that she was injured on the job, making her eligible for coverage through the federal Workmen’s Compensation Act.
Members of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force joined the appeal; he also sent a letter to every member of Congress on Thursday asking for support.
Pascrell acknowledged that the benefits are expensive, but the director of neuropsychology at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, N.J., corroborated what studies show: providing appropriate care is actually less expensive than warehousing patients in nursing homes or providing round-the-clock home health care.
A New York Brain Injury Lawyer revealed that no absolute answer was given in response to Giffords’ office’s request. Only generic “we’ll think about it” was offered.
Annually, at least 1.7 million people in the US suffer brain trauma. Most often those injuries are incurred from car crashes, strokes, assaults, falls and gun-related incidents. 50,000 brain-trauma patients die, 230,000 are hospitalized and up to 90,000 survive with long-term disabilities. Hospitals in the Bronx and Brooklyn are treating this disorder.
Yet even with those staggering numbers, insurance benefits for brain-trauma rehabilitation are extremely limited and uneven, not just for civilians but even for members of the military injured on the battlefield.
In the event your child suffers a TBI, be sure to contact a New York Brain Injury Attorney to help you win medical coverage and adequate compensation to see your child through to a complete recovery.