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CALL TO ACTION 2008 #5 (August 9, 2008)
from Pat Smith, President, Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA)

Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Prevention Education & Research Act
of 2007 S-1708 / HR-741

Update: Over the past year and a half, many of you have taken time from your busy schedules to contact your own Members of Congress and the appropriate Congressional Committee Chairs concerning the fate of the Lyme disease bills. You responded with overwhelming support, calling, writing, and meeting with these Members. Your united support has made a tremendous difference in the way legislators have responded to our bill. The House bill has 115 co-sponsors and the Senate has 15. Not too many legislative offices are unaware of the effects of Lyme disease and patients. need for a bill which will provide research, education, surveillance evaluation, and prevention.

We thank you for that bill support and for the updates many of you provided to us. This patient outpouring has enabled us to continue to meet in DC with House and Senate members, even over the summer, and to continue to provide them with scientific materials and patient-related materials to further help them to reach an understanding about what is transpiring with Lyme disease diagnosis, treatment, and doctor issues and the impact on the bills.

Continuing Commitment: Our bill sponsors, Congressman Christopher Smith and Senator Christopher Dodd, and many co-sponsors, have affirmed their commitment to the Lyme community through their sponsorship and support of the Lyme bills and have indicated they will continue to do so. They have worked hard to educate their peers about the bills and Lyme issues we are all facing.

Senator Dodd arranged a briefing of the Senate HELP Committee in April for the LDA and Dr. Fallon. The House Lyme Disease Caucus (Smith, Stupak, Holden) helped the LDA arrange a briefing for House Members the same day. Congressional offices continue to contact us for more information and to update us on their progress on our behalf. A number of Congressmen and Senators continue to work with us behind the scenes on issues that are Lyme-related.

Currently, Congress is in recess. the Senate until Sept. 4, the House until Sept 8. Congress will then reconvene. However, it then plans to adjourn for the year on Sept. 26 (House), and the Senate most likely will adjourn around that time. Basically, that means there are about 3 weeks more of DC sessions scheduled in September for this year's Congress Members to wrap up their year's busy work schedule.

As always, we encourage patients to contact their representatives with their personal stories or any Lyme related problems they have experienced. If you wish to continue educating Congress in anticipation of the changes which may occur in DC after the election, you can go to the LDA website and click the Legislative link on the top menu or go to the direct link.

Once you locate your representatives. contact information and note any updates posted on the site, feel free to contact your representatives, especially about the need to support the bill. As work behind the scenes continues, we will let you know of any further bill-related actions as we hear about them.

Thanks everyone.

Pat Smith
Lyme Disease Association, Inc.
PO Box 1438
Jackson, NJ 08527
888-366-6611 information line
732 938-7215 fax