By Leslie Riddle, Program Officer

300px Capitol buildingOur friends at the Lymphedema Advocacy Group recently lobbied Congress in Washington, D.C. for better coverage of lymphedema treatment. Even though the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, we still need to fix a critical gap in insurance coverage for lymphedema treatment. Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor the Lymphedema Treatment Act. Click here to take action.

When lymph nodes are removed or damaged during breast cancer treatment, it can result in painful and debilitating swelling. This condition is known as lymphedema and experts estimate that from 20% to 30% of women will experience some level of lymphedema after breast cancer surgery or radiation.

Currently, Medicare and many private insurance policies fail to cover the costs of the daily compression supplies people with lymphedema need to control their swelling. People who can’t afford these supplies are left with worsening lymphedema, which can lead to infections and even long-term disability.

The Lymphedema Treatment Act would end this injustice by changing Medicare law to cover compression supplies—setting an important precedent for Medicaid and other insurers to do the same.

Right now is a key time to ask your legislators to cosponsor the Lymphedema Treatment Act. Last Congress, the bill had 290 bipartisan cosponsors and you can help regain that support and get the bill passed this year.

All women deserve access to comprehensive lymphedema treatment. Make sure your legislators know you care about access to lymphedema treatment and you want them to fight for it.