Senator Hassan joined in on the bipartisan legislation called the Tick Act which stands for Ticks: Identify, control, and knockout.
The senator says there is a lot of concern over tick-borne diseases and this bill will help the issue on a national level.
According to health officials, Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases have increased from around 3,000 cases in 2003 to around 450,000 just last year.
Senator Maggie Hassan said these diseases are especially high around New England with New Hampshire having 1,381 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in 2017. Vermont had 1,093 cases reported to the Health Department in 2017.
The senator said medical costs of Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases are estimated at $1. 3 billion per year.
The Tick Act would establish an office of oversight and coordination for tick- borne diseases at the Department of Health and Human Services with a national strategy for research and treatment.
It would also reauthorize regional centers that would develop strategies to prevent and treat tick- borne diseases. A five year program for regional centers would cost $10 million. The bill will also provide $20 million CDC grants for state health departments.
“We are really trying to get at having a national strategy making sure we can develop regional centers of excellence that can share their best practices and expertise and authorize grants directly to the states so that the federal and state governments can work together to combat what has really become a serious epidemic,” said Senator Hassan.
The bill is first scheduled to be voted on in a health committee on Thursday. If it passes there, it will then go to the senate for a vote.