Gibson’s Anti-Lyme Disease Bill Over Hurdle In House Committee

Congressman Chris Gibson
Chris Gibson

Gibson’s Anti-Lyme Disease Bill

Over Hurdle In House Committee

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson’s anti-Lyme Disease legislation – the Tick-borne Disease Research Transparency & Accountability Act of 2014 – has been voted out of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, his office announced today.

H.R. 4701, introduced by the 19th District Republican in May, seeks to prioritize federal research on Lyme and related diseases and give patients a seat at the table.

“This legislation is the first standalone bill addressing Lyme disease to pass through a committee in Congress,” said Gibson. “…I look forward to its passage by the full House, but my staff and I will not relent in our fight for improved research, treatment, and prevention of this public health scourge.”

The bipartisan legislation forms 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 to maximize research priorities.

H.R. 4701 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.

Congressman Gibson thanked the following advocacy groups for their guidance and support: Tick-borne Disease Alliance, Lyme Research Alliance, Partners Against Lyme, Lyme Disease Association, Lyme Disease Society, and Lyme Action Network.