May 06, 2010

Lymphedema legislation

I just learned about House of Representatives legislation in the works to provide Medicare coverage of lymphedema diagnosis and treatment. Here's what I wrote to my Congressman, Jim McDermott. I hope you will consider taking action also.

To find and contact your Congressional representative, click here.
As an 11 year breast cancer survivor living with lymphedema, I sincerely hope that Rep. McDermott will support H.R. 4662: Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010.

Medicare and Medicaid do not currently pay for treatment of lymphedema, a life-long condition related to surgery for removal of lymph nodes. It is also congenital. HR 4662 would cover diagnosis, compression garments, and special physical therapy that people living with lymphedema require to maintain good health.

I've had metastatic breast cancer for 7 years, am now age 50 and hope to live long enough for my lymphedema treatment and garments to be covered by Medicare.

Given the large numbers of women diagnosed with breast cancer every year in our country, who will have a lifelong risk of developing lymphedema, this is an enormous hole in our health system. I hope Rep. McDermott will help rectify this lack.

To read more about the mom whose son was born with primary lymphedema, and who started this bill, read this article.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:09 PM

    Hi Jill and other readers! I just came across your blog. I name is Heather Ferguson and my four year old son Dylan was born with primary lymphedema. My Congressman, Larry Kissell, is the one who introduced the Lymphedema Treatment Act after I met with him. He will soon be reintroducing the bill in the new Congress. If anyone wants to learn more please visit

    I also send out twice monthly email updates on the bills progress and what people can do to help. If anyone wants to be added to my contact list send your request to

    This is a grass-roots efort so we need your help! Please get involved as Jill suggests by writing your members of Congress. All the info to do so is at the website. I hope to hear from some of you - Heather :-)