As many of you know, BIAA was one of the leading organizations working with Congressmen Pascrell and Platts on the original draft of the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act, (ConTACT, HR1347) in 2008. The bill has truly come a long way.
On September 8, 2010, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health held a field hearing regarding the ConTACT Act (HR 1347) in Newark, NJ entitled "Protecting School-aged Athletes from Sports-related Concussion Injury." The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey (BIANJ) testified on BIAA's behalf about their experiences in New Jersey including their proposed state legislation, opinions on how the ConTACT Act could be modified to reflect the current situation in states across the country, and why it is important to continue the push towards protecting student athletes from second impact syndrome.
On September 16, 2010, the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve the ConTACT Act and send it on to full committee consideration. The subcommittee adopted several changes to the legislation suggested by BIAA including ensuring that the measure works in concert with state legislative efforts, providing that any type of cognitive tests, not just computerized tests, be eligible to receive state grants under the baseline testing provision, and encouraging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with BIA state affiliates and other relevant organizations during the law's implementation period.
The bill was considered by the full Energy and Commerce Committee on September 23, 2010 and passed as amended by voice vote. Finally, in the late evening hours of September 29, 2010, the ConTACT Act was passed by the full House of Representatives and will now be considered by the Senate. This is a tremendous victory for school-aged children and their parents across the country and BIAA is committed to working with Senate leadership to ensure final passage of this important measure.