It will take an act of Congress change to help Lymphedema patients manage their condition. Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Sometimes both arms or both legs swell. But it can happen to any part of your body. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. However there are many patients who were born with Lymphedema or the conditions appears without any cause at any age.
I have Lymphedema as a result of cancer treatment that required removal of lymph nodes. This post is not just about Lymphedema but also the efforts patients, families and caregivers are giving to change the Medicare policy.
I am one of many advocates for the Lymphedema Treatment Act (LTA). I will be traveling to Washington DC in early May to lobby for the LTA. This will be my 4th trip to DC to lobby for it. During the last Congress our house and senate bills had the highest number of bipartisan sponsors on the hill.
Yet that was not enough to have the bill move through Congress. We are not building a wall or changing health care policy. We are asking for compression garments to be covered by Medicare. Today they are not covered and patients are going without or not replacing them due to the cost. The resultant swelling, possible infection and other side effects are covered by Medicare. You can get help if your condition results in infection and other risks but you can’t get the preventative products to mitigate medical and hospital coverage.
Would it not be best for patients as well as the costs of healthcare to cover compression supplies? In my discussions with previous Congresses, we all agree that it makes sense but unfortunately the law must be changed.***
So the LTA advocates are planning a trip to again ask Congress to support the House and Senate bills. I will be representing the state of Massachusetts and assisting other states with those discussions. We are volunteers from all states. We are patients, care-givers, families, medical community and friends. We want all Lymphedema patients to have access to compression supplies.
We can use your help! Contact your Senators and Representatives and ask those who have not sponsored to do so. We have made it easy for you to do so. Go to our website and select email Congress. If you are able to call, select “Call your Senator” as well as “Call your Representative”.
You can also join our organization as an advocate. You don’t need to travel to DC but if you can we will provide you training.
*** details as to why the law is required is found on our website section
- Fact Sheet
- Facebook page
- Senate Bill S581
- House Bill (as of post date was, bill not introduce, eta Mar 31 2019)
- Call your Senators (check if they are sponsors)
- Call your Representatives (check if they are sponsors)
HartFelt wishes that Congress passes the Lymphedema Treatment Act in 2019