U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has introduced legislation that would authorize $100 million for the prevention and treatment of tick-borne illnesses.
She says Lyme disease and other illnesses are expanding to more areas of the country and she wants the federal government to step up its efforts in a number of areas, like: “data collection and analysis, support early detection and diagnosis, improve treatment and heighten public awareness.”
To that end, Collins’ measure would authorize $20 million per year to states. It would also create a national oversight office to coordinate efforts, and authorize $10 million per year for five years for regional centers to study Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
“Medical costs of Lyme disease are estimated at $ 1.3 billion a year,” she says. “When accounting for indirect medical costs, including the loss of work, the annual cost balloons to $75 billion a year.”