Oops, sorry! That was supposed to read "in the U.S." The House of Representatives will FINALLY be voting on the Lymphedema Treatment Act, which will (eventually!) provide insurance coverage for our garments and treatment. This has been a HUGE problem for those of us on Medicare, and for all the insurance companies who have followed Medicare's guidelines for coverage. Once it's passed the House, we may need to contact our Senators to be sure it gets passed by the Senate, so please read through this announcement and stay tuned for further word.
The Lymphedema Treatment Act will be included in House bill H.R. 3, the Congresswoman Schakowsky Announces Inclusion of HerLymphedema Treatment Act In H.R. 3Schakowsky Bill Has Over 365 Cosponsors,
Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which is expected be voted on this week!
The full House announcement about H.R. 3 can be read here, and a press release
from Congresswoman Schakowsky's office, our House lead sponsor, can be read
here and is copied below.
H.R. 3 is expected to pass the House will ease, which is why we are not
asking you to reach out to your Representative prior to the vote.
We will keep you informed as additional actions are needed. Getting through the
Senate will be more challenging, so there will be more work to do there, and
thank you emails and phone calls to House members will be in order.
As always, thank you for your advocacy!
Founder & Executive Director
Lymphedema Advocacy Group
Nearly 85% of the U.S. House of Representatives
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, announced that her Lymphedema Treatment Act
(H.R. 1948) will be included in the version of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019
, that will be voted on in the House next week. Her bipartisan and bicameral legislation was introduced alongside Representatives Buddy Carter (R-GA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Mike Kelly (R-PA) in March 2019 with 93 original cosponsors; today, H.R. 1948 has 365 cosponsors, making it the most widely supported health care bill in the 116th
Congress. The Lymphedema Treatment Act
would ensure Medicare Part B coverage of compression therapy, the clinically-recognized treatment for lymphedema. "I have seen Lymphedema in a close friend of mine, so I know that it can be a painful and costly condition to treat and manage on top of struggling with cancer,"
said Congresswoman Schakowsky. "I want to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., Chairman Richard E. Neal, and Chairman Bobby Scott for including my legislation in H.R. 3. In addition to transforming our prescription drug market, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act will now make sure that those dealing with lymphedema don't also have to worry about the cost of treating it. Nearly all of my colleagues in the House have cosponsored the Lymphedema Treatment Act and I look forward to finally passing this critical legislation next week."
Lymphedema is a chronic, progressive group of conditions characterized by swelling and discomfort in various parts of the body due to malfunctions in the lymphatic system. Between 1.5 and 3 million Medicare beneficiaries currently suffer from lymphedema. Patients undergoing treatment for cancer are particularly susceptible to lymphedema. When left untreated or undertreated, lymphedema can lead to complications, infections, comorbidities, loss of function, and disability—often necessitating costly emergency department or hospital visits. Commercial insurance and state Medicaid programs currently cover compression therapy.
The Lymphedema Treatment Act
enjoys strong support from a broad coalition of patient advocacy, provider, and industry groups, including the Lymphedema Advocacy Group; the American Cancer Society; the American Medical Association; the Lymphatic Education and Research Network; 3M; the Oncology Nursing Society; the American Physical Therapy Association; the American Occupational Therapy Association; American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; American Association of Nurse Practitioners; American Lymphedema Framework Project; American Nurses Association; Breast Cancer Action; Cancer Legal Line; Cancer Legal Resources; Greet The Day; LIVESTRONG; Lighthouse Lymphedema Network; Living Beyond Breast Cancer; Lipedema Foundation; Lymphedema Awareness Foundation; Lymphology Association of North America; Lymphatic Education & Research Network; National Comprehensive Cancer Network; National Lymphedema Network; National Patient Advocate Foundation; Northwest Lymphedema Center; Ovarian Cancer National Alliance; Society for Gynecologic Oncology; Society for Vascular Nursing; Susan G. Komen; Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society; Elymphnotes; Lymph Notes; Lymphedema Community; Lymphedema People; Lymphland; The Annie Appleseed Project; Ackerman Cancer Center; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
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