Legislation sponsored by State Representative Dan Swanson mandating insurance coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for a person with a tick-borne disease was sent to the Governor on Wednesday, May 22nd after passing in the State Senate. Advocates for Lyme Disease sufferers say the current recommended treatment of the disease, 10 to 21 days of antibiotics, is insufficient for people with acute or long-term levels of the disease. The Republican said patients should get as much treatment as a doctor sees necessary. “We found that some Lyme sufferers, once they receive their initial treatment (for) Lyme, the insurance companies would no longer pay for the Lyme coverage,” Swanson said. “This mandates insurance companies cover additional medical requirements – most likely antibiotics – for continued care in their Lyme treatment plans.” House Bill 889 previously passed the Illinois House by a vote of 106-0, despite opposition from a myriad of insurance companies and underwriters. The Senate went on to pass the bill 58-0 under the stewardship of Senator Neil Anderson of Moline. Swanson previously passed legislation last year named the “Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention & Protection Law” —named after a Mercer County Jr. High School student. Once signed, the legislation will take effect on January 1, 2020.
Swanson has also seen his cold war special license plate legislation pass in both the House and the Senate. The bill was approved in the House back in march on a vote of 114-0 and was given approval in the Senate this week on a vote of 54-0. HB2088 provides that the Secretary of State may issue Cold War license plates to Illinois residents that served in the Armed Forces during the Cold War. “House Bill 2088 provides the Secretary of State may issue Cold War license plates to Illinois residents who have served in the United States Armed Forces between August 15th, 1945 – which is recognized as Victory over Japan Day – and January 1st, 1992 – which recognizes the Soviet Union collapse on the 25th of December, 1991.” It will now go to the Governor for his consideration. Swanson has been a strong supporter of legislation involving veterans at the capitol.