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June 10, 1992

Congress Acts to Resuscitate Nation's Financially Ailing Trauma Care Systems

JAMA. 1992;267(22):2994-2996. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480220012003

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CONGRESS may soon come to the rescue of the nation's ailing trauma care systems with a new program of federal grants to help defray uncompensated trauma care costs.

The federal assistance is aimed primarily at helping trauma centers provide medical care for undocumented aliens and for victims of drug-related violence.

The bill (HR 3698), known as the Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Improvement Act of 1992, passed through the Conference Committee in May. John Liu, a legislative aide for Rep Bill Lowery (R, Calif), says quick approval by Congress and by President Bush is expected. Lowery is a major proponent of the legislation.

The dramatic increase in drug-related violence, among other factors, has strained overburdened trauma care systems in many urban areas in the United States and has forced many centers to close. Trauma care for victims of gunshot wounds is extremely expensive and many of these patients