U.S. Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) applauded passage by their chamber of a bipartisan bill that would authorize Medicare coverage for lymphedema compression treatment items.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 17 voted 402-13 to approve the Lymphedema Treatment Act, H.R. 3630, which U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) sponsored in May 2021 with 147 original cosponsors, including Rep. Carter and Rep. Kelly. H.R. 3630 was received in the U.S. Senate on Nov. 17 and referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
“The Lymphedema Treatment Act passed the House with overwhelmingly bipartisan support,” said Rep. Kelly. “This bill will ensure Lymphedema patients on Medicare get the treatment they deserve. Too often these patients cannot get their basic care covered by Medicare. Not anymore.”
If enacted, H.R. 3630 would specifically ensure Medicare Part B coverage of doctor-prescribed compression garments, which are clinically recognized treatments for lymphedema, a chronic, progressive group of conditions characterized by swelling and discomfort in various parts of the body due to malfunctions in the lymphatic system that currently affects between 1.5 and three million Medicare beneficiaries, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.
“We are one step closer to providing relief for lymphedema patients, many of whom live through one of the worst diagnoses imaginable – cancer – only to come out the other side with an equally debilitating condition and a fraction of the resources and support,” Rep. Carter said. “As co-chair of the Cancer Survivors Caucus and a pharmacist, I am excited to see Congress provide relief to patients who have been denied Medicare coverage for far too long.”
The Oncology Nursing Society and the Susan G. Komen organization support the measure.
“With tremendous bipartisan support in the Senate, we can get this bill to President Biden’s desk before the end of the year,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Millions of lymphedema patients are counting on us.”