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Michael Phelan
Michael Phelan
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Tricare Puts Profits Over Health of Brain Damaged Soldiers

4 comments

The signature injury to our brave soldiers fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is traumatic brain injury, which is often the result of blast waves from roadside bombs. Studies suggest that as many as 15% of blast victims go on to suffer long-term cognitive problems. All Americans should agree that the soldiers who risked their lives for their country and came home with traumatic brain damage deserve cognitive rehabilitation therapy to help them achieve the best possible recovery. Shockingly, after nearly a decade at war there is still no good plan to treat these wounded warriors.

Last month, the Pentagon sent a letter to Congress in response to members’ concerns about the medical treatment of soldiers who suffered brain injuries in the war on terror. The letter from George Peach Taylor, Jr., acting assistant defense secretary for health, told Congress that the military was still studying the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation therapy, which is a lengthy program designed to retrain victims of traumatic brain injury to do activities of daily living, which, due to their brain damage, they can no longer do. Examples include remembering tasks, recalling words, and recalling names. The letter also reports that the military’s health plan for troops and other vets, Tricare, does not covery cognitive rehabilitation. Tricare justifies its unpatriotic denial of coverage by citing work done by a contractor hired by Tricare which claims to have found limited evidence that cognitive rehab works.

Leading brain injury specialists have cried BS and criticized the Tricare study as deeply flawed and unacceptable. One expert stated the obvious, calling the Tricare study a “misuse” of science designed to hold down costs by depriving soldiers of care. Critics also note that Aetna and Humana already cover the treatment, and that the Pentagon’s own panel of experts convened more than a decade ago by the Institues for Medicine recommended its use. I’ll bet that the health plan that we pay for for members of Congress covers this therapy. Make it know to your Congressional representatives that our soldiers deserve the same, if not better, coverage.

4 Comments

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  1. whatever says:
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    No, Tricare puts retiree’s, before active duty.

  2. whatever says:
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    No, Tricare puts retiree’s, before active duty.

  3. Elayn Glena says:
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    Whether you are military or civilian and sustain a TBI (traumatic brain injury) I have found limited to no cognitive rehab training for the survivors. On July 4th 1995 I sustained a very serious mountain bike accident in Colorado. I was told 15 years ago – I had a very very serious (long pause by doctor) concussion and he was very very sorry and wished me “good luck”. I told him luck had nothing to do with it – what was the treatment protocol. Again a long pause – then he added that since I was a Neuromuscular Specialist in Rehab and Research – I should figure it out myself !!!! You know what – I did just that. It has taken me 15 years of trial and error and exploring many choices from my previous experience and training and then continuing to design new protocols to help me recover my brain functioning and body abilities. I would be happy to teach doctors, therapists, family members and the individuals striving to recover from TBI and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). It definitely is possible and won’t take as long as it did for me – because I have condensed the information and have a Recalibration Technique that accelerates recovery. What takes some time is the fact that nerves regenerate at 1/4 inch per month but many areas of the brain “take over” or “redirect function”. Lost my eyesight in the accident – commanded my brain to see – got “pseudovision” so I could take care of myself. It took 5 1/2 years before my real eyesight “began” to come back. Anything is possible – what the mind can conceive – the brain/body will achieve. All things are working just fine now – I care so I share. Contact me at elaynglena@yahoo.com. Let’s get the process started – there is a way – let’s ignite the will NOW !!! I’ve been there and done that so perhaps the delay is because others don’t know where to begin having not gone thru the experience so cannot truly relate nor know what questions to ask or what it takes. As an example – I walk today because I did water therapy 1 1/2 hours 3 times a day for 6 years. Couldn’t tell or feel where my right leg was – yet I walked. Quad muscles in right leg moved but it was 4 1/2 years before I felt it “contract and release” – the energy had come back and I could feel the power and able to rebuild the strength. For 13 years I felt like I was “here but not here” in some kind of “bubble” separating me from the real world. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and riding the bus was part of the solution. It was 14 years before I could swim without a kickboard and swimfins doing the breast stroke as I didn’t have sufficient brain signals to the body for coordination, balance, spacial orientation and strength. Just before the 15 year mark my “brain fog” lifted. Yes I have “been there” – contact me and I will show you the way.!!! Maybe because I died in the accident (NDE – near death experience) and chose to come back – I brought with me gifts “to help humanity and advance science and the arts”. Let’s be a Team and explore the Blessings !!!!

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    Elayn:

    What a remarkable story of grit and determination!

    Mike Phelan