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house Bill H.R. 6615

Should Federal Research on Traumatic Brain Injuries Be Reauthorized?

Argument in favor

Traumatic brain injuries affect 2.5 million high school students every year, in addition to elderly patients and athletes in contact sports. These injuries can have significant consequences, including death. Federal funding for both prevention and research are needed in this case.

KyleCorley's Opinion
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12/19/2018
Being a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivor funding for the research needs to be reauthorized. Other than hits to the head in contact sports car accidents are the most way in getting a TBI. It can change your life in a second and not for the better as you have to relearn everything from using the bathroom, to waking, to if lucky to diving again. Not to mention you have to work yourself back from the ground level of you work again. You have to start working maybe 15 to 20 hours a week because you can't just jump right back into full time work. You will also have a hard time finding a job as employers are not into hiring people with disabilities as you have to say you have one having a TBI. You run into another issue finding good healthcare as you now have a pre-existing condition with the current definition.
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DrCindyBean's Opinion
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12/19/2018
Absolutely we should allow federal research on trauma brain injuries
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Pfergmomma's Opinion
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12/18/2018
Parents are allowing their kids to get involved with sports which can cause concussions at earlier and earlier ages. We need to be adequately informed of the short- -and long-term risks.
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Argument opposed

General taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to fund traumatic brain injury research. Instead, NFL games should be subject to a $1 excise tax per ticket, so those who support one of the main causes of traumatic brain injuries contribute to these injuries’ research and prevention.

Tooluser1's Opinion
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12/18/2018
Private research will be faster, cheaper, and produce FAR better health outcomes.
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Doug's Opinion
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12/11/2018
If we know certain sports are the leading cause of these injuries, why are we studying the effects instead of banning the sports? It’s like saying smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages cause cancer and not regulating tobacco or alcohol.
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Diane's Opinion
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12/20/2018
This is an NFL problem. Make them use their billions to pay for it. and they need to pay taxes to states who build stadiums against the will of taxpayers.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed December 19th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 352 Yea / 6 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedJuly 26th, 2018

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What is House Bill H.R. 6615?

This bill —  the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 — would reauthorize a national concussion surveillance system to determine concussions’ prevalence and incidence. This surveillance system would act under the authority of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providing $5 million in funds to carry out the national concussion surveillance system.

The bill would also provide for state grants for concussion rehabilitation, protection, and advocacy services, which would be handled by the Administration for Community Living (ACL). It would increase funding for state grants to improve access to both rehabilitation and other traumatic brain injury (TBI) services from $5.5 million to $7.321 million in fiscal years 2019 through 2024. Finally, it would increase state grant funding for TBI protection and advocacy services from $3.1 million to $4 million in fiscal years 2019 through 2024.

In total, the bill would authorize $23 million a year over the 2020-2023 period.

Impact

Youth athletes; military; professional athletes; children; the elderly; state TBI protection and advocacy services; CDC; and ACL.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6615

$92.00 Million
Based on the annual dollar amount to be authorized annually, the CBO estimates that this bill would cost $92 million over the 2020-2023 period.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced this bill to extend the federal TBI program through 2024 and authorize resources to boost the CDC’s efforts to launch a National Concussion Surveillance System as a means of filling longstanding data gaps and provide a better estimates of the TBI burden:

“I am proud to introduce this critical bipartisan, bicameral reauthorization of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act. For the last 18 years, I have fought to advance research and treatment for TBI because our athletes on the ballfield and our brave soldiers on the battlefield deserve more. While we have a long way to go, the advances in technology since Congress first started having this conversation can bring us closer to a world where no one must endure the consequences of a brain injury. This goal will take the right investments and partnerships, and this legislation does just that. For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be able to implement a study to see how many people, both young and old, have sustained a brain injury, which will give us critical insight into this problem. This new TBI Act also modernizes how the government oversees TBI research, treatment, and prevention. And it provides an adjustment to account for the long overdue increase in funding for TBI that I fought to pass in the FY 2018 Omnibus last year. I look forward to working with my fellow Co-Chair of the TBI Task Force Congressman Tom Rooney, as well as Senators Casey and Hatch to ensure this legislation passes Congress and heads quickly to the President’s desk.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who is sponsoring this bill in the Senate, adds that TBI affects millions of people, and is not sufficiently understood:

“The CDC has reported that this year alone, about 2.5 million children and adults will experience a traumatic brain injury. We know TBI is a serious problem, but we fail to grasp its severity and scope. Our bill will change that. By reauthorizing the TBI program, our legislation will extend important research, education, and advocacy efforts to help us better understand the nature of brain trauma and reduce the prevalence of these injuries going forward.”

TBI advocate Kim Archie proposes that TBI research be funded through a $1 federal excise tax on all National Football League (NFL) tickets, with all proceeds going directly to the government for concussion and TBI research, no strings attached. Archie point out, “There's already a $4 surcharge for parking at NFL games. Why not $1 for safety?"

Writing about this proposal, Vice Sports writer Aaron Gordon adds that Archie’s proposal makes sense on multiple levels, and would raise millions of dollars a year for TBI research:

“Philosophically speaking, it's wholly appropriate that the public should be funding research about public health issues, and not biased industries with an obvious desired outcome. Practically speaking, a per-ticket tax could raise plenty of money and remain trivial for any individual customer. The ongoing controversy between the NFL and the NIH involved a $16 million study. A $1 tax on all NFL tickets—a little more than one percent of the average price—would raise $17.5 million in a single regular season. Granted, the NFL could object to such a tax. They could even lobby against it. But doing so would put the league in an incredibly awkward public relations position. After all, the NFL clearly has no objection to making the public pay for its shiny things: local, state, and federal taxpayers currently subsidize stadiums and Super Bowls to the tune of billions of dollars, and the league routinely demands tax exemptions, too, whether it's regarding property taxes on new stadiums or even Super Bowl tickets… Oh, and if the NFL feels unfairly singled out on an issue that affects college football and the NHL as well? That's fine. Tax those sports, too… Perhaps fans will object to this idea. After all, they're the ones paying for it. But it only seems fair that the people who enjoy watching gigantic humans collide at full speed fund the research about what said collisions do to their brains. Those fans can continue to enjoy football at a minimal cost increase—$16 more a season, plus a few more bucks for preseason and playoff games, the cost of about two stadium beers—and perhaps do so with even less guilt than they may already have, knowing that a portion of their purchase is going toward finding the truth.”

This bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health with the support of two cosponsors, both of whom are Republicans. It also has the support of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA).

The Senate version of this bill, S. 3657, the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018, passed the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP Committee) with increased funding (from $5,500,000 to $7,321,000 for 2020 through 2014). It had the support of two cosponsors, both Democrats.


Of NoteTBI is caused by abnormal movement to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. TBIs can vary from very mild to incredibly severe, with symptoms ranging from brief and subtle changes in mental state (such as mild confusion and disorientation) to drastic changes (such as loss of consciousness, amnesia, coma) or even death. Mild TBIs are often referred to as concussions. Approximately 2.8 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in 2013 related specifically to TBI. The estimated cost of TBI in the United States is $76.5 billion.

The TBI Act of 1996, signed during the Clinton administration, was the first piece of legislation addressing TBI. It primarily addressed TBI prevention, research, and service through state grants. Since the TBI Act’s passage, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws addressing TBI through prevention, accurate diagnosis, and treatment. These laws are largely a response to TBI caused by youth sports.

In 2017, 2.5 million high school students were affected by concussions or other forms of TBI, leading to a majority of the policies adopted by the states to focus on concussion education, athlete removal when a concussion is suspected, and evaluation by a health professional.Most recently, a series of new state laws have focused on TBI in military veterans, requiring treatment of veterans with TBI, and allocating money to programs specifically focused on TBI treatment.

The CDC recently released new diagnostic guidelines focused on treating children with mild TBI and concussions. These new guidelines are informed by years of CDC research aimed at accurately diagnosing and treating mild TBI in young adults and children. Additionally, the NIH, through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), has a focus research group and awards grants specifically targeting TBI research.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto / nikada)

AKA

Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018

Official Title

To reauthorize the Traumatic Brain Injury program.

    Being a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivor funding for the research needs to be reauthorized. Other than hits to the head in contact sports car accidents are the most way in getting a TBI. It can change your life in a second and not for the better as you have to relearn everything from using the bathroom, to waking, to if lucky to diving again. Not to mention you have to work yourself back from the ground level of you work again. You have to start working maybe 15 to 20 hours a week because you can't just jump right back into full time work. You will also have a hard time finding a job as employers are not into hiring people with disabilities as you have to say you have one having a TBI. You run into another issue finding good healthcare as you now have a pre-existing condition with the current definition.
    Like (70)
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    Private research will be faster, cheaper, and produce FAR better health outcomes.
    Like (23)
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    Absolutely we should allow federal research on trauma brain injuries
    Like (41)
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    Parents are allowing their kids to get involved with sports which can cause concussions at earlier and earlier ages. We need to be adequately informed of the short- -and long-term risks.
    Like (24)
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    Why is this even a question?
    Like (21)
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    This is important research. Vote yes.
    Like (19)
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    Of course! This is a no-brainer (sorry). To the person who said that private research is better and faster, you need to understand that the government funds much of the ‘private’ research. So if the funding is not reauthorized, many privately run projects would have to stop or cut back significantly. This research is so important. As we baby boomers continue to age, the need for treatment will increase dramatically.
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    No brainer😂
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    H.R. 6615 AKA the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act I recommend and support passage of HOUSE bill H.R.6615 AKA the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 — would reauthorize a national concussion surveillance system to determine concussions’ prevalence and incidence. This surveillance system would act under the authority of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providing $5 million in funds to carry out the national concussion surveillance system. Traumatic brain injuries affect 2.5 million high school students every year, in addition to elderly patients and athletes in contact sports. These injuries can have significant consequences, including death. Federal funding for both prevention and research are needed in this case with supplemental support from a $1 excise tax per NFL Ticket 🎫 being a major contributor to brain 🧠 contact injuries research. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 12*18*18.......
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    If we know certain sports are the leading cause of these injuries, why are we studying the effects instead of banning the sports? It’s like saying smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages cause cancer and not regulating tobacco or alcohol.
    Like (14)
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    Why are there reauthorizations needed for any of these kinds of bills ??! Traumatic brain injury like research on other medical issues should be an ongoing project, not on a hanging thread. We can’t quit in the middle.
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    Traumatic brain injuries are not only the result of sports. Many injured soldiers come home with a traumatic brain injury. It's a national problem, we should use national money to fix it.
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    This is an NFL problem. Make them use their billions to pay for it. and they need to pay taxes to states who build stadiums against the will of taxpayers.
    Like (10)
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    The US government used to be involved in medical research until it was deemed as taking profits away from private research. Then grants were given to private research who then turn around and charge outrageous prices for treatments the government helped pay to develop. This seems to be simply an information gathering project to be shared by all. A slight improvement over current grants.
    Like (9)
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    Yes indeed, we need to see what we can do to prevent more injuries. It could prevent future disabilities for many people. Let's get on top of this
    Like (7)
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    Keep the government out of this with the exception of Health Department. Allow private sources to research the head injuries related to sports. If you get the government into it people can be bought off so foot ball agencies won’t have to pay for head injuries. And people who allow young children to engage in contact sports should have their head examined.
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    Nearly everyone is referring to football injuries but aren't TBI's also sustained by people in the military? That's enough justification for me and if it also helps professional football players that's okay too.
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    No. Fund the wall.
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    I agree with Robert 'S Opinion; start with Trump. Yes, research on traumatic brain injury is definitely needed.
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    Having been active in an organization that was a grant recipient I must wholeheartedly ask that this be re-authorized. Sometimes research in the private sector benefits all including our veterans and vice versa. If private sector research is dropped may gains in understanding TBI may go unnoticed and not utilized by either military or private citizens which could be life changing for all. So much has been gained in this arena in the past 29 years when I first became involved. Please let’s not stop the momentum! With athletes, children and military and elders at risk most people know or have a loved one touched by TBI.
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