Lyme disease -- it has become epidemic on Long Island and much of the New
York Metropolitan Area, indeed across the United States. But as bad as the
illness has become, so has treatment for it -- health insurers have
discouraged long-term treatment for what is often a long-term illness.
Suffolk County Long Island Legislator Edward Romaine recently held a
public meeting on Lyme disease.
Eva Haughie, President, Empire State Lyme Disease Association. She has
had Lyme disease for nearly 20 years. Her association is based in Manorville. Dr. Joseph Burrascano, East Hampton, New York He is a pioneer in the
treatment of Lyme disease. And because of the push by medical insurers to
only cover short-term treatment -- two, three or four weeks of antibiotics
-- and Dr. Burrascano having developed a protocol for treating the many
people who are not cured in the short-term but have chronic Lyme disease,
he ended up being attacked. But he came through it and is regarded as a
major leader in the field. Staci Grodin, Co-Founder and President, Turn the Corner Foundation. A
Lyme Diseases victim, her Turn the Corner Foundation has raised over $2
million and funded important Lyme disease research. Sandy Berenbaum, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Brewster, New York. She
has specialized with working with those with chronic Lyme disease. Her
accounts were most poignant, and her explanation of why health
insurers balk at providing compensation for long-term treatment most illuminating. Diane Blanchard, President, Time for Lyme. A former resident of Westhampton, where she and members of her family contracted Lyme disease, she presently lives in Greenwich, Connectcut. Her organization, Time for Lyme, focuses on education and research. Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. Humayan Chaudhry. confirms how Lyme disease has become "endemic". Suffolk County Legislator Edward Romaine New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Sag Harbor, New York who
talks about the bill he has before the New York State Assembly requiring
health insurers to provide compensation for long-term treatment of Lyme
diseases -- a measure that has been bottled up in Albany. Shelter Island Town Supervisor Alfred Kilb, Jr. Shelter Island has long
been a particular hotspot for Lyme disease and Kilb describes Shelter
Islanders he knows with chronic cases of the disease.
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