Fight for Lyme Disease - CDC, IDSA & Insurance Coverage Change

Fight for Lyme Disease - CDC, IDSA & Insurance Coverage Change

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Lyme Justice started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme Disease is the fastest growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the United States, overtaking Zika Virus and West Nile Virus, with the number of cases reportedly increasing annually nearly 25-fold since reporting began in 1982.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are currently 300,000 new cases of Lyme Disease each year, but they state there are no accurate tests to quantify the number of new cases, which could well be in the millions.  However, a recent polling evaluating the effectiveness of Lyme Disease diagnoses found that 50% of “diagnosed” Lyme Disease patients did not recall a tick bite, and that less than 50% recalled receiving the characteristic “bull’s eye” rash.  The main reason Lyme Disease is difficult to detect is because the symptoms can be obscure. Due to the obscure symptoms associated with Lyme, the disease is often referred to as the "Great Imitator" as it commonly imitates the symptoms of other illnesses.  Lyme Disease is often misdiagnosed as numerous conditions and diseases, just to mention a few, including but not limited to: Autism, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Lupus, Parkinson’s, Prostatitis, or Multiple Sclerosis.

In a Statement for the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 2012, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) stated the following: “IDSA recognizes that Lyme Disease can be painful and that the disease is not always properly identified or treated” and then also goes to say “We sympathize with these patients’ suffering, but remain concerned that a diagnosis of so-called Chronic Lyme Disease, suggesting that active infection is ongoing, is not supported by scientific evidence and, more alarmingly, the treatment of long-term antibiotic therapy will do patients more harm than good.”

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) also states that a majority of Lyme Disease cases are “successfully treated with 10-28 days of antibiotics”, and that “long term antibiotics have not been found to effectively treat symptoms that persist after the initial infection is cleared.”  Per the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) guidelines, a single dose of doxycline is recommended after potential exposure to the bacterium borrelia burgdorferi microbes via a tick bite.

On the other hand, if you were to speak with actual Lyme Disease patients or those in the trenches fighting this vector borne epidemic, most familiar with the disease would say that depending on the duration and severity of the infection, antibiotics will help but most likely not knock the bacteria or debilitating symptoms into remission, and turn to alternative treatments for help.

The current stance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and private insurance companies is that “Chronic Lyme Disease” does not exist, and is associated with costly experimental and expensive treatments.  As insurance companies rely on policy and guidelines in making coverage decisions, insurance companies are not obligated to cover the treatment of Lyme Disease per the guidelines issued by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which insurance companies rely on to systematically deny claims associated with the treatment of Lyme Disease.

Consequently, a majority of all “Lyme Literate” Medical Doctors (LLMD) are not in-network with any of the major insurance companies, resulting in patients being obligated to pay for all Lyme Disease Treatment upfront, requiring significant amounts of financial resources.  These people cannot even get their insurance companies to pay for an appointment for a Lyme Literate doctor.  Unfortunately, if an individual gets seriously ill in the United States and does not have applicable insurance benefits, there is not much of a safety net, requiring most families to make difficult financial decisions in order to receive treatment historically not covered by health insurance.  

I have decided that enough is enough and it's time to make a major change in the way that the USA, its organizations and insurance companies view, diagnose and treat Lyme Disease.  I am tired of sitting back and watching some of my closest friends, their families and their neighbors, friends and families, continue to suffer and/or die and forever draining their bank accounts for correct diagnosis and treatments, due to insurance not covering all offered treatments for Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases and their co-infections.

We need YOUR help to bring this issue back into the spot light, and help fellow Americans get the education, resources, help, and treatment and that they so desperately need and deserve.  With your help, we can take the first major steps in giving Chronic Lyme patients a chance at a sustained recovery from this debilitating disease.

References -

https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html

https://www.idsociety.org/globalassets/idsa/topics-of-interest/lyme/lyme-disease-testimony-global-health-subcommittee.pdf

https://www.ilads.org/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2698836/

https://www.idsociety.org/public-health/lyme-disease/lyme-disease/

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!