TOUCHED BY LYME: Congress shows interest in Lyme disease research
“Tick-borne disease is on the rise across the nation, and lawmakers are pushing to invest more this year in diagnostics and research to help the hundreds of thousands of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.”
So writes health care reporter Ariel Cohen this week in a Roll Call article headlined: “Lawmakers push for Lyme disease research as tick population climbs.”
Roll Call is a newspaper and website published in Washington DC. It delivers news and analysis of pending federal legislation, along with other political happenings.
Cohen’s article points out that Congress appropriated a record $91 million for Lyme disease research in 2021, and says lawmakers and advocates are hoping for more this year. She writes:
“People know somebody who has Lyme, or they have constituents that have come to talk about it, and they all have the same story: It’s very difficult to diagnose and very difficult to treat,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Congressional Lyme Caucus member, said in describing a recent groundswell of Capitol Hill interest.
Cohen discusses Lyme-related legislation currently being considered, as well as appropriations requests for expanded funding.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tina Smith, D-Minn., led a group of 12 senators urging the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee to prioritize funding for research and prevention of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the fiscal 2022 spending bill….
“There are still many questions surrounding Lyme and other tick-borne diseases due to significant gaps in funding and research,” Smith, Collins and the other 10 senators wrote to Senate Appropriations Committee leaders in a July 8 letter.
The article also discussed the LymeX project, a $25 million public-private partnership to accelerate Lyme research and innovation. She quotes Kristen Honey, of HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. She talks to Bonnie Crater, co-founder of the Center for Lyme Action, and Luis Marcos, director for the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at Stony Brook Medicine.
It’s a good overview of what’s happening in Congress related to Lyme and tick-borne diseases. Click here to read it.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s Vice-president and Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.