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Veteran trauma treatment bill passes House, onto Senate

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions at a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Knight announced he was considering a run in the special election for the seat Katie Hill is expected to vacate shortly. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The House of Representatives were all for Rep. Steve Knight’s (R-Palmdale) No Hero Left Untreated Act when they vote unanimously in favor of it Tuesday.

Under the legislation, known as H.R. 1162, veterans would be able to get treatment for post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, chronic pain and opiate addiction.

“This is a great step forward in proving quality care to our veterans at a time when they need it most,” Knight said in a statement. “I look forward to working with my Senate counterparts to get this bill to the president’s desk.”

The No Hero Left Untreated Act would implement a pilot program through the Department of Veterans Affairs to use Magnetic eResonance Therapy (MeRT) for veterans. This therapy is a neurological treatment for mental trauma, which restores proper brain function by magnetic stimulation through a procedure that is not pharmaceutical or invasive, Knight’s office said.

Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) said this therapy is a “promising treatment.”

“It is our duty to take care of every veteran suffering from the physical or invisible wounds of war,” Roe said in a statement.

According to Patriot Project Board Member Dr. Carol Ann Malizia, the therapy has high success rates, as 98 percent of those treated respond positively.

“Without investment in such innovative treatment, our nation’s veterans will continue to pay a disproportionate toll for their service,” Malizia said in a statement. “H.R. 1162 is a significant step forward in providing veterans with the treatment they desperately need and clearly deserve.”

The House had already passed the bill last November, but an updated vote was needed from the new Congress. When it passed in the House on May 23, it had 56 bi-partisan supporters.

The Senate will now vote on the bill before it can move onto the president’s desk.


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