STATEHOUSE (Feb. 14, 2017) – A bill authored by State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) concerning a veterans’ treatment pilot program was amended and passed out of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Military today with a vote of 9-0.
Senate Bill 454 would direct the Indiana Lottery Commission to create a scratch-off game to fund a pilot program that would provide free hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to Indiana veterans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Under SB 454, 40 percent of the revenue from the scratch-off game would be deposited into the Veteran’s Treatment Fund to pay for the HBOT treatment, 10 percent would go to the Veterans Service Officer Fund and another 10 percent would go to the State Lottery Commission. The remaining 40 percent would be deposited into a homeless veterans fund created by Senate Bill 517. The scratch-off game would sunset on June 30, 2020.
The treatment program includes HBOT therapy, which is a medical treatment that enhances the body's natural healing process through inhalation of 100 percent oxygen in a total body chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. Under SB 454, Indiana veterans who suffered from traumatic brain injuries and PTSD during their service would be eligible for the treatment under this bill at no cost.
“Passing this bill out of committee is the next step to providing Hoosier veterans with the help they need,” Sen. Delph said. “Making sure our veterans are taken care of remains a top focus of mine.”
The bill would require the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to establish a program registry and waiting list for treatment. The ISDH would also be responsible for maintaining the pilot program.
The bill now heads to the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy. To track this legislation, click here.
A high-resolution photo of State Sen. Mike Delph is available by clicking here.
Contact: Natalie Russell, Press Secretary