Friday, February 29, 2008

Traumatic Brain Injuries

The Congressional Budget Office's Director Downplays the Rate of
Combat Traumatic Brain Injuries... As if they aren't a major result

Congressional Budget Office
Director Peter Orszag said recent
reports may have overstated the
long-term expense of caring for
U.S. veterans who sustain head
injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This man, the CBO, and this
Administration are not in touch with reality. Nor are
they serious about the care of our Wounded Warriors.

According to CBO's analysis, other studies seem to exaggerate the
rate of traumatic brain injury, while using shaky methods for
forecasting the long-term health care bill.

"The cost per incident is typically based on --in outside estimates,
not in CBO's -- on things like what happens when people get into a
car accident and they have a serious brain trauma as a result, and
those are often very different than what happens to a soldier who's
wearing a helmet," he told the National Economists Club in
Washington in a Jan. 31 speech.

That means the budgetary impact, at least, might be better than

That smells and sounds like BULL---- to me. As a U.S. Marine
Combat Medical Corpsman, I Think that this administration is
attempting to minimise the EVER GROWING DEBILITATING
and the Momentum of the Anti-War movements within our
country. (Doc E. Everett McFall)

Orszag continued, "I want to be very clear I'm not trying to minimize
in anyway the costs involved for the soldiers," Orszag said. He didn't
cite a particular casualty study in his remarks.

Traumatic brain injuries have been in the news recently, as question
rise about whether they are being properly diagnosed and treated. The
Army recently announced new procedures to screen soldiers returning
from overseas deployments.

The New England Journal of Medicine reported this week that even
mild brain injuries are associated with a range of health problems,
although post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are also
contributing factors. In an accompanying editorial, Richard Bryant
wrote that soldiers grappling with these injuries shouldn't be given
a hopeless diagnosis.

"There are two very important outcomes of the study," Bryant
wrote. "First, soldiers who have mild traumatic brain injury are at
greater risk for health-related problems. Second, soldiers should not
be led to believe that they have a brain injury that will result in
permanent change."

Iraq, Afghanistan Vets so far are not straining
U.S. Care System so far, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have not
had a big financial impact on the Veterans Administration health
care system, CBO's Orszag said.

(Then WHY is the Veterans Administration health care system
expanding and building so many NEW Hospitals and facilities
for newly injured combat veterans? Why is The VA requesting
more funds to treat the escalating influx of Combat Patients?)

That's because older veterans
get the bulk of today's care.
Also, today's wounded have
access to better immediate
health care in years past, which
may keep them healthier in the
long run.

Overall, the U.S. has to find some
way to rein in its medical care costs
or its financial health will disappear,
Orszag warned. Even a healthy economy won't be able to keep up with hospital
bills if they keep rising at their current pace.

(Where is he getting his facts from? The reports are coming in
every week from the National Veterans Service organizations,
are just the opposite.)

"Let me be blunt. If health care costs continue to grow at the rate at which
they have been, it is entirely implausible that we will grow our way out of
the problem," Orszag said.

How do you feel about TBI funding?
Let your public officials know how you feel.
Sound Off...What do you think?