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BIAA Co-Sponsors Fly-in, Congressional Briefing


While Congress considers health care reform, it is critical that people with injuries, illnesses, and disabilities have continued access to rehabilitative and habilitative care. As a leader in three different coalitions [i.e., Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (CPR), Habilitation Benefits Coalition (HAB), and Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition (ITEM)], BIAA was integral in planning and executing a Congressional fly-in and briefing, “The Value of Rehabilitation and Habilitation Services and Devices,” on June 27. The briefing was attended by more than 200 guests. 

Proper treatment, including comprehensive rehabilitation, is especially essential for individuals with brain injury. That's why BIAA and its grassroots community went to Capitol Hill to represent the needs of persons with brain injury in the fight to protect rehabilitation and habilitation services.

Peter Thomas, Principal at The Powers Law Firm and longtime brain injury advocate, made opening remarks at the briefing, which was co-sponsored by BIAA. Dr. Gregory O’Shanick, BIAA’s medical director emeritus, represented the brain injury community as one of the panelists. As he explained so poignantly, “It is an artificial distinction to think that these services are ‘add ons’ to the necessary saving of lives that occur on the front end in our streets, in theatre, and in the ER by our outstanding system of first responders and trauma physicians. These services are continuations of the contract that we make as physicians when we save the life of the person in the ER. When we save that life, we do so with the intent to have that life be one of quality and dignity […] That is our duty. And if we fail to complete our commitment to the patient and ‘finish the job’ with rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, should we even have saved that person to begin with?”

We spent our time on Capitol Hill advocating for persons with brain injury and the disability community as a whole. We met with senators and representatives and presented a united #VoiceOfReHab. To everyone who attended and for all who shared our message online, we thank you for amplifying our voice. 

To watch the briefing, click here.

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