Pam Hallman Speaks Before the U.S. Congressional Brain Injury Task Force

On October 25, our own Pam Hallman was been chosen to represent domestic violence and brain injury survivors across the country in front of the U.S. Congressional Brain Injury Task Force at a briefing, titled “The Silent Epidemic in America – Brain Injury and Domestic Violence,” in Washington D.C.

The briefing explored the correlation between domestic violence and brain injury and discussed the unique challenges in addressing brain injury in domestic violence cases. Pam was joined by Dr. Javier Cárdenas, Director of the Barrow concussion and Brain Injury Center; Dr. Valerie Maholmes, Chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and Anne McDonnell, the Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia, as speakers at the briefing, with BIAA President/CEO Susan Connors moderating.

As both a brain injury and domestic violence survivor, and with years of experience speaking on the topic, Pam undoubtedly left a lasting impression on the task force and all present for her testimony. We applaud Pam for her bravery and for sharing her story in the hopes that it brings about meaningful changes in the lives of current and future survivors of domestic violence.

Keep Up the Letter Writing

Following the success of our letter writing campaign at the Advocacy Station during the Fall Conference, BIAMI and Rainbow Rehab are going to continue the letter writing. During the Fall Conference, we were able to send over 1,000 letters. We want to keep that momentum going! Got to our letter writing page to submit yours today.

Legislative Update: BIAMI & CABT Partners Win 1st Round in Defeating Heavy Truck Legislation

Comparison of truck sizes

CABT, the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, strongly supported by BIAMI, successfully kept an amendment allowing bigger trucks from inclusion in a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill voted on July 17th. This victory – the first in what will be a long, challenging battle – is especially notable because of powerful lobbying from big truck proponents FedEx, UPS, and Amazon.

BIAMI opposes “Double 33s” because research and traffic safety data demonstrate that their enormous size and poor braking ability cause significantly more accidents and deaths than even the double trailer trucks now on our roads. And the major damage they do to roads and bridges would cost Michigan taxpayers a fortune.

BIAMI promises to keep the fight going, and we urge your support of CABT’s effort. Learn more at www.cabt.org.

No-Fault: Fix It, Don’t Nix It

“Bad Behavior Also Applies to Insurance Companies

Thanks to the FREEP’s JC Reindl for an informative overview of Michigan’s auto no-fault situation. The series shines in underscoring the unethical and often illegal behavior of certain lawyers, facilities, doctors, and hospitals. But bad behavior also applies to insurance companies, which routinely delay or deny claims, dispute medically valid diagnoses, and do everything possible to avoid fulfilling their contractual obligations – all while raking in enormous profits and jacking up costs for other providers that keep premiums rising.

For us at the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, the bottom line is that neither Michigan drivers, nor the State itself, can afford eliminating auto no-fault’s catastrophic accident coverage. But significant savings can be achieved by 1) eliminating fraud; 2) forcing insurers to reveal rate-setting data; and 3) looking at all components of our insurance premiums – especially collision coverage. The result could help lower premiums statewide and still protect the catastrophically injured.

Thomas Constand
President and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan

To see this letter and others published in the Detroit Free Press, click here.

Capitol Day, Annual Meeting, and Spring Fling

On Wednesday, May 17th, we will be gathering in the Mackinaw Room for Capitol Day 2017. It’s a chance for brain injury survivors, their friends and family members, caregivers, and professionals to meet their state legislators in Lansing face to face and discuss the issues that are most pressing to them. To read more about Capitol Day, past successes, or to register, please visit our Capitol Day page.

The Annual Meeting and Spring Fling are also on the horizon. They will be held at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth on May 6th. The Survivors Committee is planning an evening of fun with karaoke and pizza. Not only is this a chance to have some fun with fellow survivors, but also meet with some of the BIAMI board members and celebrate the work and achievements our volunteers. The volunteer award winners will be chosen this week; further nominations will not be accepted. For more information, please view our Annual Meeting and Spring Fling flyer.

Urgent Action Needed: No Repeal Without Replacement

We are asking you to contact your federal lawmakers and urge them not to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a comprehensive replacement plan. Congress is currently putting forth legislation to repeal the ACA. This is not about political affiliations, but about healthcare coverage continuity for millions of Americans. Any repeal of the ACA without a plan to take its place will negatively affect hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents and millions of Americans. It’s wrong for America and it’s wrong for Michigan.

Here’s why:

  • An immediate repeal would affect roughly 1-in-10 people in Michigan, disproportionately impacting less well-off districts. Without agreement on an immediate replacement, repeal could leave those dependent on ACA for health coverage completely uninsured.
  • ACA repeal without a robust replacement plan could also increase the cost of coverage as younger and healthier Michigan residents opt out of health insurance, further burdening the State to cover those older or with chronic conditions. Furthermore, ACA repeal without a substantive replacement means those with pre-existing conditions will either be denied coverage or face far higher costs for basic coverage. This would affect around 28% of Michigan residents. Michigan citizens should not be forced to choose between their health and bankruptcy.
  • Because the ACA allows children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they reach age 26, repeal could eliminate coverage for nearly 73,000 young adults in Michigan age 18-26.
  • In Michigan, the Medicaid expansion has had a positive effect on the state’s economy and more than paid for itself. According to a study published by the University of Michigan in the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 30,000 new jobs were created every year with 85% of them in the private sector and one-third in a healthcare field. Repealing the ACA without a replacement plan in place would undo all of this and could cost Michigan over 100,000 jobs.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicaid for long-term services an d Cuts, block grants, or per capita cap proposals would hurt these people, who have no other means of paying for the care they need.

Call your U.S. Representative at: (202)225-3121 Call Senator Stabenow at: (202) 224-4822

Call Senator Peters at: (202) 224-6221

Use Engage to email your lawmakers using the sample message:

  1. Go to our Engage site (http://cqrcengage.com/biami/home)
  2. Send the featured letter that’s posted by pressing Take Action
  3. Fill in your information, and add personal details if you would like

Thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent matter.

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