The Reform Jewish Movement has long viewed the provision of health care as a societal obligation. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in rising rates of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and a growing need for quality medical treatment of veterans with TBIs. Estimates of TBIs resulting from these wars are in the tens of thousands, nearly 30 percent of all combat-related injuries seen at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 to 2005 included a brain injury, and about one third of all who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan have a TBI, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or depression. These illnesses can radically impact victims’ lives, with the potential to affect nearly every aspect of their psychological, emotional, and physical well-being. They are a significant factor in the high unemployment and homelessness rates among veteran. More must be done to accurately diagnose and treat TBIs and mental illnesses in America’s veterans.
The TBI Treatment Act would direct the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs to fund and carry out a five-year pilot program for diagnostic testing and treatment of TBIs and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans, to ensure the treatment and rehabilitation of wounded American soldiers.
Jewish tradition is clear on the importance of a community providing health care for its residents. In the Talmud, we are taught, “Whoever is in pain, lead him to the physician,” (Baba Kamma 46B). We must do everything in our power to support and rehabilitate American servicemen and women returning from combat with TBI.
Urge your Representative to co-sponsor the TBI Treatment Act (H.R.2344). Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 or send an e-mail by entering your zip code below. For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Deborah Goldberg at 202.387.2800.