25 September 2008

Congress did something useful this week

No, I don't mean the bailout.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pain Care Policy Act.

Today’s Vote Represents Critical Step to Improving Pain Management in America

Baltimore, MD — “The American Pain Foundation (APF) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for taking a critical step in helping to improve pain care in America by passing the “National Pain Care Policy Act of 2008” (HR 2994). The potential impact of this legislation on everyday lives cannot be overstated, nor can the tireless efforts of all of the individuals and organizations that have steadfastly joined forces to move this bill forward.

“Despite the fact that pain affects more than 76 million Americans—more than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined—it remains woefully undertreated and misunderstood. All too common are stories of patients in the grip of pain, who are left to consult multiple care providers before their pain is properly diagnosed and managed, if it ever is. Not only is unmanaged pain emotionally and physically debilitating for patients, it also places a heavy burden on families and caregivers. The undertreatment of pain is also estimated to contribute to excessive healthcare costs and lost work productivity of approximately $100 billion every year.

The companion Senate measure has yet to be passed.

Among the millions of Americans affected by pain are thousands of young veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, the cause of so-called phantom pain from amputated limbs is not fully understood, and much more research is needed to develop effective methods of treatment.

The American Pain Foundation is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization serving people with pain through information, advocacy, and support. The Foundation has a number of programs for Military and Veterans, ranging from advocacy to caregiver workshops.

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