Happy New Year!

Group of Smiling People

Happy New Year! The Brain Injury Association of America welcomes the new and returning members to the 113th Congress. BIAA is poised to take on both the opportunities and difficulties this new Congress presents.

With the 2012 election behind us, President Obama maintained his job as Commander in Chief; the Senate remained a Democratic majority and the House of Representatives remained Republican, BIAA looks forward to the challenges ahead. With the fiscal cliff averted, policymakers are focused on the debt ceiling and resolving the sequester. The Continuing Resolution (CR) that is funding the federal government will expire on March 27, 2013. BIAA will continue to monitor all budget discussions moving forward in the new Congress.

Amidst the politicking, BIAA will continue to advocate with the support of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force (CBITF), a bi-partisan caucus of more than 120 members of Congress, led by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-D). Congressman Todd Platts (PA-R), the previous co-chair of the CBITF retired at the end of the 112th Congress. BIAA thanks Rep. Platts for his tireless work for individuals with brain injury and their families. BIAA looks forward to working with the CBITF to advocate for all individuals that are impacted by brain injury.

Our goals this year are to sustain and bolster brain injury programs, increase access to care and preserve vital brain injury research. As in 2012, appropriations increases in 2013 are unlikely, but there are still many opportunities to advance our cause.

This year, BIAA will continue to collaborate with the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health , the Food and Drug Administration, and the Administration for Community Living, a new partnership that was developed in 2012.

BIAA will also continue to monitor and comment on the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ research and treatment for active duty military, their dependents and Veterans.

This year more than ever, BIAA will count on its grassroots advocates to show members of Congress how important brain injury is to their constituents. Thank you to everyone who participated in our action alerts last year. You helped make Congress aware of TBI Act reauthorization and repealing the therapy cap which limits the amount of therapy an individual can receive. You have all truly made a difference and we hope to continue that excitement and dedication in 2013!