McNerney introduces brain-trauma bill

mcnerneyportrait.jpgRep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, today is introducing the Caring for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 2007, co-sponsored by Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark.

“Traumatic brain injuries are the hallmark injuries of the war in Iraq,” McNerney said in a news release. “Though our men and women in uniform may be screened for TBI when they return home from services overseas, it is important to ensure that the Veterans Administration is equipped and ready to provide the ongoing services necessary to fully address the impact of traumatic brain injuries.”

The bill would establish a special panel within the VA to assess the VA’s current capacity to treat veterans with traumatic brain injuries, as well as to make recommendations on developing policies for care and rehabilitation. It also would create TBI-specific education and training programs for VA’s health professionals.

A Senate version of the bill was introduced late last month by Sens. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Larry Craig, R-Idaho. McNerney and Boozman both are members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.