Maloney’s Bipartisan Lyme Disease Legislation Passes House as Part of 21st Century Cures Act
Washington – After years of fighting to pass critical Lyme disease legislation into law, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney announced that his bill passed the House of Representatives as part of the 21st Century Cures Act on a broad bipartisan vote of 392 to 26. In February 2015, Reps. Chris Gibson and Sean Patrick Maloney introduced The Tick-Borne Disease Research Transparency and Accountability Act to fight Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
“The 21st Century Cures Act makes strategic investments in cancer research and fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic – it also includes my bill to invest in critical Lyme disease research,” said Rep. Maloney. “My neighbors in the Hudson Valley know how debilitating Lyme disease can be, and I’m proud that by working across the aisle with Congressman Chris Gibson we have passed the most important piece of Lyme disease legislation ever written – this is a real victory for the Hudson Valley.”
The 21st Century Cures Act includes Reps. Gibson and Maloney’s provisions to create an interagency working group consisting of federal agencies and non-federal partners, including experienced Lyme physicians and patient advocates with a broad spectrum of scientific viewpoints. The working group is tasked with ensuring coordination among federal agencies like the NIH and CDC to maximize research priorities. The bill requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consult with the working group to submit a strategic plan to Congress within three years that includes benchmarks to measure progress. The plan must include a proposal for improving outcomes of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, including progress related to chronic or persistent symptoms, infections and co-infections.