House passes reauthorization of trauma care programs

The House on Tuesday passed legislation by voice vote to reauthorize trauma care programs.

Traumatic injury is the top cause of death for people under age 45, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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One of the bills, H.R. 4080, would reauthorize Trauma Care System Planning Grants to boost access to trauma care through fiscal 2019. 

Members of both parties said the grants were necessary to ensure people could easily obtain care in the event of traumatic injury.

"It is unfortunately something that the majority of states are not prepared to handle," said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). 

The second bill, H.R. 1098, would reauthorize CDC projects to reduce the occurrence of traumatic brain injury and brain injury registries through fiscal 2019. Additionally, it would reauthorize state grants through the Health Resources and Services Administration for traumatic brian injury projects through fiscal 2018.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) said the legislation was necessary to help people like veterans.

"Traumatic brain injury is the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Pascrell, the measure's sponsor. "Unfortunately, TBI [traumatic brain injury] remains a silent epidemic in this country. That's why the legislation today is so critical."