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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Activism » Maryland Lyme Bill

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Author Topic: Maryland Lyme Bill
Tincup
Honored Contributor (10K+ posts)
Member # 5829

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FYI-

A Lyme related bill was introduced in the Maryland House recently and passed very quickly (3-4 business days).

The sponsors are hoping to have it passed through the Senate just as fast as it went through the House.

Here is a brief discussion about the bill; it is the 2nd bill the sponsor brings up in this short talk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCj3vq7YvDw

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission-Workers' Compensation-Lyme Disease Presumption

HOUSE BILL 1135

Bill wording/text:

http://mlis.state.md.us/google_docs$/2009rs/bills_noln/hb/fhb1135.pdf


HB 1135 Status as of February 18, 2009: Bill is in the House - First Reading Economic Matters Hearing MARCH 10 at 1:00 p.m.

Sponsored By Montgomery County Delegation and Prince George's County Delegation

Entitled Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission - Workers' Compensation - Lyme Disease Presumption MC/PG 103-09

Committee Assignments- House: Economic Matters

The bill passed the House with amendments (FWA). The amendments allow coverage under Worker's Compensation for more than just park police with Lyme disease- it includes other outdoor employees as well.

It includes a sunset clause- 6 years.

It also limits the time an employee has to claim a work related accident/injury resulting in an occupational disease (Lyme), to three years after the "accident" (tick bite).

We know this can be problematic because Lyme isn't always diagnosed promptly. It does, however, greatly extend the "normal" time a person is allowed to file a claim under Maryland Worker's Compensation's current policy (the point of the bill).

It takes away the burden the employee has in proving he/she was ON THE JOB when bitten by a tick. It is very difficult to testify under oath that you were standing "on the job" when the tick crawled on you and bit you.

Obviously, if you KNEW the tick was there and biting, you would do something about it at the time, hopefully.

Current policy forces all employees to prove they were on the job when bitten and contracted Lyme disease or they are denied benefits.

And it is a rare day the tick will go to court and testify on your behalf.

[Big Grin]

List of additional employees included by attaching the amendment.

http://tiny.cc/3kQfZ

The main opposition to the bill, in MY opinion, will be the Worker's Compensation insurance carrier, due to rising costs paid out. See note below.

Interesting to note they mention "long-term disability payments could increase expenses in the future years". Ya think? It's about time they noticed that little hitch in their giddy-up.

Local Fiscal Effect: M-NCPPC is a bi-county agency that maintains the regional park system in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

The commission is funded with appropriations from the counties' annual operating budgets and is self-insured for
workers' compensation costs. M-NCPPC advises that the bill would increase commission expenditures by less than $100,000 in fiscal 2009 due a to small increase in
self-insurance risk management costs.

However, long-term disability payments could increase expenses in future years. Information on the potential number of employees affected is not available at this time.

``````````````````````````````````````````````

This is very interesting... notes from last year's similar bill.

http://mlis.state.md.us/2008RS/fnotes/bil_0005/hb0855.pdf


Local Fiscal Impact: The City of Annapolis and Kent, Prince George's, and Washington counties report expenditures would increase as a result of a Lyme disease presumption.

Prince George's County reports that the county has incurred almost $100,000 in costs for one police officer diagnosed with Lyme disease after a tick bite in 2002.

Washington County notes many local citizens, including police officers, engage in rural activities, and a Lyme disease presumption could result in the county being held
accountable for nonwork-related exposure.

MY note- That comment above looks like the old "let's try to get out of paying benefits to these hard working people" trick... the very reason the bill is needed.

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MORE interesting to note is the negative (nay) votes on a bill designed to help patients. See the list of the 15 House members who voted against this type of bill last year. MY opinion is we need to be mindful of the nay voters in the future.

http://mlis.state.md.us/2008rs/votes/house/0185.htm

Voting Nay - 15
Aumann Dwyer Krebs Norman Shewell
Bates Eckardt *McConkey O'Donnell Stocksdale
Boteler Frank Miller *Schuh Weldon

Total- 7 women, 8 men

Total- 14 are Republicians, 1 is an Independent

7 are from Anne Arundel County or Baltimore County- which is Ho Ho Hopkins and Department of Health territory.

See if you can find anything else they have in common (just for fun/education):

http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/06hse/html/hseal.html


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AND...

In the Senate- there was only one "nay" vote. If I recall, Greenip is a Republican and is not far from the home of Ho Ho Hopkins, in Anne Arundel County.

http://mlis.state.md.us/2008rs/votes/senate/0773.htm

Voting Nay - 1

GREENIP

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A hearing is scheduled on March 10, 2009. If you plan to attend (it is good to watch the process and a good learning experience) be sure to check before you head to Annapolis that nothing has changed as far as date and time.

In my opinion, as written, the bill looks to be beneficial to patients. It would be nice if it could be passed with this language!

[Big Grin]

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

Posts: 20353 | From The Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mushroomman06
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 13088

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T.C.

This post is just the kind of LYME info. I look for here in the state of Maryland.

You are so good at digging up info. and following thru on it as time passes.

Keep up the good work, and when I am better at tasks on the computor and have found ways to locate relieable articles I will be there to help out.

Posts: 108 | From maryland | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
stella marie
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What do they have in common you ask????

They have a face a tick would love. [Wink]

--------------------
Stella Marie

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Leelee
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
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Thank you Tincup! As I live in Maryland, this is obviously of great interest. I appreciate your comments and explanations especially. I sometimes have trouble following all the ins and outs of government and legal things.

--------------------
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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sometimesdilly
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TC-

thanks for the update, gal.

i plan on going to Annapolis for the hearing. hope to see other Lyme patients from MD there.

Posts: 2505 | From lost in the maze | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mushroomman06
LymeNet Contributor
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T.C.

Thanks again. Plan on going to Annapolis and getting a first hand feel on what transpires.

Mushroomman

Posts: 108 | From maryland | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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