– Legislation sponsored by House Health Committee Chairman Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) that would require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner was approved in the Pennsylvania House on Wednesday by a solid bipartisan vote of 158-34.
“Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the nation for the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease for seven years running,” said Rapp. “This legislation is a win-win to ensure that every patient diagnosed with this epidemic and other related tick-borne diseases has full access and insurance coverage for available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.”
Watch Rep. Rapp’s comments following today’s passage of House Bill 629
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted primarily by ticks and is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, such as babesiosis, bartonellosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and others, pose a serious threat to the quality of life of many Pennsylvanians, with the frequency of diagnosed and reported Lyme disease cases increasing dramatically over the past several years.
Lyme disease can be easily treated with antibiotics when caught and treated early. If untreated, the disease can cause joint swelling, cardiac or neurologic complications. The most severe cases can be debilitating.
House Bill 629 now advances to the Senate for consideration.
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Representative Kathy Rapp
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin