Pa. lawmakers to consider bill to increase access to Lyme disease diagnostics, treatment

Health

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The PA House Health Committee will vote on legislation that will ensure Pennsylvanians have access to Lyme disease diagnostics and treatment Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

House Bill 1033 would require health insurers to cover treatment for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, regardless if they’re short or long-term antibiotics.

In the last 8 years, Pa. had the most Lyme disease cases in the country.

Since 2016, more than 10,000 cases have been reported each year. That’s about 40% of the country’s cases in the Keystone State alone.

This bill was passed by the House last year, but did not make it through the legislative process.

Pennsylvania does have other related legislation.

The Lyme & Related Tick-borne Disease Surveillance Education, Prevention & Treatment Act was signed into law in 2014. It had the state Department of Health establish a task force to address the issues surrounding Lyme disease.

That group released a report the following year, and while supporters say this was a step in the right direction, they insist more needs to be done.

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