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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Sen. Richard Blumenthal introduces companion Lyme bill to the Senate

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Author Topic: Sen. Richard Blumenthal introduces companion Lyme bill to the Senate
KarlaL
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 29631

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On June 4th, 2015, the companion bill to Representative Chris Gibson’s (R-NY) bill was introduced to the Senate. Sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), S.1503 “would provide for enhanced Federal efforts concerning the prevention, education, treatment, and research activities related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, including the establishment of a Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee.” The complete text of the bill is not yet available on the internet.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1503

Cosponsors
8 cosponsors (7D, 1R)

Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

Casey, Robert “Bob” [D-PA]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

*****, Chris [D-DE]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

Gillibrand, Kirsten [D-NY]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

Reed, John “Jack” [D-RI]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

Schumer, Charles “Chuck” [D-NY]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]
(joined Jun 4, 2015)

Committee Assignments: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Votes: There have been no votes related to this bill.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1503

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KarlaL

Posts: 694 | From New Lebanon, NY | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lpkayak
Honored Contributor (10K+ posts)
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Hes been on our side for awhile

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Abxnomore
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Indeed he has. He was behind the first review of the IDSA guidelines.
Posts: 5186 | From Lyme Zone | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rumigirl
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Halleluliah!
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KarlaL
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Blumenthal, Ayotte, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Strengthen Lyme Disease Prevention, Education, and Research, Following Lyme Awareness Month

Press Release:
Richard Blumenthal, United States Senator for Connecticut
Thursday, June 4, 2015

http://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/blumenthal-ayotte-colleagues-introduce-bill-to-strengthen-lyme-disease-prevention-education-and-research-following-lyme-awar eness-month

or http://goo.gl/pa3cYw http://goo.gl/pa3cYw

CDC estimates nearly 300,000 Americans contract Lyme disease annually

95% of Lyme disease cases occur in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Vermont, Virginia, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin


(Washington, DC) – Today, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Kelly Ayotte (R.-N.H.) introduced legislation to increase public awareness and strengthen efforts to combat tick-borne diseases - a significant threat to public health. The Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2015 would help ensure the necessary resources are dedicated to fighting tick-borne diseases.

Blumenthal said,
"Now that the weather is warmer, people will be spending much more time outdoors. Unfortunately, more time outside – especially in wooded areas that are so common in my home state of Connecticut – also means more exposure to tick-borne illnesses, like Lyme disease – a pernicious and insidious public health threat. I am proud of re-introduce a measure that will address the need for a strong national effort to fight these diseases as they become more rampant in the warmer months. By making improvements to reporting methods and diagnostic tools, as well as creating a national advisory body that brings together patients, scientists, and policymakers, this legislation will make critical improvements to prevention and treatment methods."

Ayotte said,
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, New Hampshire had the second highest incidence rate of Lyme disease in the country. Our legislation will help address this troubling statistic by creating a strong national effort to fight this disease, which is dangerous if untreated. Our bill would create a Tick-Borne Diseases Committee comprised of physicians, scientific experts, patients, and Lyme advocates to focus on improving reporting methods, developing better diagnostic tools, ensuring better coordination of efforts, and working to improve prevention and treatment methods related to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases."

Joining Blumenthal and Ayotte as co-sponsors are U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Christopher ***** (D-Del.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Bob Casey (D-Penn.).

Full text of the bill can be viewed here (pdf file, 47 KB):
http://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/download/lyme-and-tick-borne-illness-prevention-act
– –
Contact:
Senator Richard Blumenthal 706 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, DC, 20510
tel (202) 224-2823
fax (202) 224-9673

[ 06-09-2015, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: KarlaL ]

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KarlaL

Posts: 694 | From New Lebanon, NY | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KarlaL
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 29631

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There are important differences between Chris Gibson’s bill and Senate bill. If both bills are passed then there will be a conference between the Senate and the House to reconcile differences in the bills.

There is a lot for Lyme patients to be happy about in this bill:

Like Chris Gibson’s bill, the Senate bill is covered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires which requires balanced representation and transparency.

DUTIES.—The Committee shall-

ensure interagency coordination and communication with constituency groups;

ensure that a broad spectrum of scientific viewpoints are considered in public health policy decisions and that information disseminated to the public and physicians is based on the best available science and is appropriately balanced;


The Senate bill more closely resembles Rep. Chris Smith’s bill in that representative from the federal agencies are ex-officio non-voting members of the committee.

Voting members of the committee must include:

(i) Not fewer than 4 members from the scientific community representing the broad spectrum of viewpoints held within the scientific community related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, including experts in the areas of—

(I) medicine, epidemiology, and public health;
(II) veterinary medicine and animal health;
(III) entomology and pest management; and
(IV) microbiology.

(ii) Not fewer than 2 representatives of tick-borne disease voluntary advocacy organizations, which may include representative of a patient-supported tick-borne disease advocacy organization .

(iii) Not fewer than 2 health care providers, including not fewer than physician involved in direct patient care, with relevant experience providing care for individuals with a broad range of acute and chronic Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

(iv) Not fewer than 2 patient representatives who are individuals who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease or an other tick-borne disease or who have had an immediate family member diagnosed with such a disease.

(b) ACTIVITIES.—The activities described in this subsection are the following:

(1) The development of diagnostic tests, including—

(A) the development of sensitive and more accurate diagnostic tools and tests, including a direct detection test for Lyme disease capable of distinguishing active infection from past infection;

(2) Surveillance and reporting of Lyme disease

and other tick-borne diseases— (A) to accurately determine the incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases;

to evaluate the feasibility of developing a reporting system for the collection of data on cases of Lyme disease that do not meet the surveillance criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to more accurately gauge disease incidence;

The creation of a physician education program that includes the full spectrum of scientific research related to the identification of symptoms associated with, and the diagnosis of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases,

The bill requires annual reports that address:

(2) a scientifically qualified assessment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, including both acute and chronic instances, related to the broad spectrum of clinical evidence of treating physicians involved in direct patient care, as well as published peer reviewed data, that shall include recommendations for addressing interagency research gaps in tick biology and tick management, and the diagnosis, transmission, and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, and an evaluation of treatment guidelines and the utilization of such guidelines;

(3) details regarding progress in the development of accurate diagnostic tools that are more useful in the clinical setting for both acute and chronic disease;

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KarlaL

Posts: 694 | From New Lebanon, NY | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KarlaL
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 29631

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Schumer says feds need to do more to combat Lyme disease

Steve Orr, Staff writer

For the complete article, go to:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2015/06/12/schumer-lyme-disease/71137874/

Noting that Lyme disease is on the upswing in Ontario and Monroe counties, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Friday urged stepped-up federal efforts to combat Lyme and other tick-borne infections.

At a news conference in a Victor park, Schumer spoke with local Lyme victims and highlighted a sign warning about ticks that's been hung in the park.

"You never saw a sign like this in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area 10 years ago," Schumer said after the news conference. "It used to be mainly in the Hudson Valley. But the scientists believe the deer ticks have migrated. And so now, there'll be over 1,000 cases, they estimate, in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area this summer. That's because for every case diagnosed, they say there are 10 that aren't.". . .

For the complete article, go to:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2015/06/12/schumer-lyme-disease/71137874/

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KarlaL

Posts: 694 | From New Lebanon, NY | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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