Washington — Veterans who suffer traumatic brain injuries would be eligible for a wider range of government-paid medical treatments that would be evaluated more thoroughly under a bill by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, that passed the U.S. House late Tuesday.
The bill also seeks to ensure greater access by veterans to the pilot program that it addresses.
“I’m a doctor,” Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, said on the House floor in support of his bill and its provisions for measuring the success of various treatments. “I know that unless you measure something, it will not change.”
Cassidy is the leading Republican challenger to the re-election of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., this fall in a contest drawing national attention because of its importance to the Republican drive to win a Senate majority.
Cassidy included an extension of the pilot program in a Veterans Affairs reform bill that was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this year.
“It is our duty as members of Congress to take care of our veterans and make sure they receive the best care available,” Cassidy said.
The measure passed on a voice vote. Time is short for the Senate to act on the bill before the current Congress winds down.