Acquired Brain Injury Fund

By on October 21, 2009

As the co-chair of the Select Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, I invited the Brain Injury Association of Wyoming to present to the Select Committee last Friday in Thermopolis.  They presented the idea of charging a surcharge to certain crimes such as DUI, Domestic Violence, etc that would be placed in a fund to help those with brain injuries in Wyoming.

Wyoming has a Medicaid Waiver program for Acquired Brain Injury that is well funded and highly effective.  The problem is that it is primarily designed for adults.  Children are expected to go on to the Children’s Developmental Disability Waiver program, which I have discussed before on this blog.  The Childrens’ DD waiver is not well funded and the waiting list is abysmal.  I have tried repeatedly to get more funding into that wavier program without success.  The fund that the Brain Injury Association is proposing would help with those that are falling through the loopholes in the system and would also help to supplement the needs of those already on the Acquired Brain Injury Waiver program.

There was a young man at the meeting that testified along with his parents.  He is 19 now and can not qualify for any of the state’s programs because of this age.  The Acquired Brain Injury Waiver needs him to be 21 and the Children’s DD waiver has such a long waiting list that he will not get services prior to turning 21.  He was injured about a year ago in an ATV accident.  He had on a helmet and everything.  Just an accident.  He is now struggling to hold down a job at McDonalds and taking classes at the local community college. His parents have gone into massive debt trying to help their child.

The Select Committee was receptive to the idea of the fund being created.  Other states have already done so, and it has been successful.  Do you think this is a good idea?  Leave your comments below.


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