Hudson Valley News
6:36 am
Thu July 31, 2014

House Bill On Tick-Borne Diseases Advances

Credit Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

A tick-borne disease research bill authored by a New York congressman is making progress.

Republican Congressman Chris Gibson says the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the Tick-borne Disease Research Transparency and Accountability Act that he introduced in May. The bill seeks to prioritize federal research on Lyme and related diseases and give patients a seat at the table. Gibson says it is the first standalone bill addressing Lyme disease to pass through a committee in Congress. The legislation forms an interagency working group consisting of federal agencies and non-federal partners, including physicians and patient advocates. The legislation 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 bill has 19 co-sponsors, including Democrats Sean Patrick Maloney and Paul Tonko from New York, and Peter Welch, of Vermont.