House bill seeks to treat veterans’ trauma

Congressman Steve Knight listens to constituent questions as an attendee raises green paper in agreement during a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Emphasizing a focus on veterans’ mental health services, Representative Steve Knight’s (R-Palmdale) No Hero Left Untreated Act passed the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

If this legislation is made law, House of Representative’s Bill 1162 would recover veterans from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, chronic pain and opiate addiction.

“Our veterans face many challenges after returning home and it is our job to try to limit those challenges as much as we can,” Knight said in a statement.

The Department of Veterans Affairs would establish a pilot program on Magnetic eResonance Therapy (MeRT), a neurological treatment for mental trauma. The treatment restores proper brain function by magnetic stimulation through a procedure that is not pharmaceutical or invasive, Knight’s office said.

Over 400 veterans have reported an improvement using this method, according to Knight’s office.

“As new technologies are proven to be beneficial to the health of others, we need to be on the front lines of expanding those technology options to our veterans,” Knight said. “The No Hero Left Untreated Act would support those technologies and their access to our veteran community.”

Both political parties have expressed support for the bill, as it currently has 54 cosponsors. Multiple veteran service organizations, including AMVETS, Veterans Advantage PBC, the Patriot Project and the Veterans House Council have supported the bill, the statement from Knight said.

“This small pilot would be instructive to VA in understanding the benefits and deciding whether to offer this promising therapy to those receiving VA health care,” Executive Director of AMVETS Joseph R. Chenelly said in a statement.

The House passed this legislation unanimously in November, but an updated vote is needed from the new Congress before it can move onto the Senate.

The full House of Representatives will vote on the bill next.


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