– Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Braford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) applauds the recent passage of legislation 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. The bill was approved in the Pennsylvania House on Wednesday by a solid bipartisan vote of 158-34.
“Lyme disease is a rampant problem here in Pennsylvania,” said Pickett. “We have been ranked the highest in the nation for the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease for the last seven years. I believe this legislation is so important to ensure that every patient diagnosed has full access and insurance coverage.”
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.
Representative Tina Pickett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Brooke Haskell