Injured Veterans Program Faces the Ax

Hundreds of veterans with traumatic brain injuries will get kicked out of assisted living facilities this fall unless policymakers in Washington soon extend an expiring pilot program.

Lawmakers are in an uproar over reports that dozens of veterans may have died because of obstacles to obtaining medical treatment at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, but Congress may contribute to the problem by failing to act on pending legislation.The VA has notified Congress that a pilot program for injured veterans will expire at the end of September without congressional action.A Senate bill that included language to extend the program stalled on the floor earlier this year because of a fight over how to pay for it. The House Veterans’ Affairs panel plans to hold a hearing on two measures to reauthorize the popular program, but time on the legislative calendar is running out.

Theresa Bozeman, a nurse living in Louisiana, said she is worried about who will take care of her husband, Todd, an Army National Guard sergeant who suffered a severe brain injury from a gunshot wound in July 2012.

Bozeman said that “it would be a tremendous stress” if the assisted-living program lapsed.