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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 27, 2018 02:50 PM
From: Representative Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Urging Federal Government to Allocate Funds for Lyme Disease
In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016, Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases, and about 40% of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone.

In October 2016, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee released a report on the cost estimates to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Lyme disease and Related Tick-borne Diseases. As it relates specifically to funding, the report highlights that many other states receive funding and/or grants from the federal government for various Lyme disease projects, while Pennsylvania receives very little such funding.

Lack of funding leads to lack of data which leads to under-reporting and under-diagnosis. Why is it that Pennsylvania, the leader of Lyme diseases cases in the nation, receives such little funding?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) anticipates having a budget of $22 million this year for Lyme disease research. Although it is unknown at this point how much of this money will be utilized or made available for grants to states or other research entities, it is my hope that Pennsylvania is allocated significant funds to be used for research and data surveillance, especially since we lead the nation in confirmed cases. Therefore, I am introducing a resolution in the near future to urge the federal government to allocate significant funds from the anticipated $22 million to Pennsylvania.

I continue to be a strong advocate for individuals and families who are affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and with Lyme disease posing a serious threat to the quality of life of many Pennsylvanians, it is vital that we do all we can.

This resolution is part of a legislative package I am sponsoring aimed at combating Lyme disease. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.

Introduced as HR761