Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bayh bill brings help to families of vets

Senator Bayh pushes for mental health parity

March 13, 2008
It's not surprising that the approval rating for Congress is even lower than for President Bush, who could leave office as one of the least popular presidents in history.
After all, this nation is facing a multitude of problems, not the least of which is the recession that many financial experts say has a grip on the country.

Besides the economy, we have skyrocketing fuel prices, more people without health insurance and problems around the globe in addition to the war in Iraq.

And what is Congress doing? Conducting hearings about the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in Major League baseball.

If only Congress showed as much concern for the servicemen and women coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with a variety of injuries and ailments.

How can we forget the deplorable conditions uncovered not long ago at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Both Republicans and Democrats like to talk about supporting our troops while they are in harm's way as well as when they return home. Too often, that is simply talk.

U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., is one of three Senate sponsors of a bill to eliminate a disparity for members of the armed services who receive inpatient treatment for serious psychiatric conditions.

The Travel Assistance for Family Members of Our Troops Act of 2008 will allow family members of servicemen and women with psychiatric conditions to receive the same travel allowances as families of patients being treated for serious physical injuries.

It is legislation that should be approved. The question is, what took Congress so long to discover the disparity? Instead of studying baseball, Congress should take an in-depth look on how we are or aren't helping veterans.

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