[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E366]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                       HON. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, March 28, 2019

  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Madam Speaker, as we near the end of March, which is 
Lymphedema Awareness Month, I rise to mark my reintroduction of the 
Lymphedema Treatment Act. When a cancer patient has her lymph nodes 
removed and experiences swelling and discomfort, it is a jarring 
experience. She is then often hit with another surprise: many insurers, 
including Medicare, do not cover a critical treatment for lymphedema--
compression garments. This is one more challenge on top of the 
monumental battle of fighting cancer.
  Including medically-necessary compression garments in Medicare 
coverage is a common-sense solution to increase access for the 10 
million people who suffer from lymphedema. That is what my bill would 
do. Coverage under Medicare sets a precedent and is an important step 
in increasing access to compression garments for all Americans. 384 of 
my colleagues cosponsored this bill last Congress, and almost 100 have 
joined me and Representatives Buddy Carter, Earl Blumenauer, and Mike 
Kelly as original cosponsors today. It is critical that we pass this 
bill into law.
  Finally, I want to thank the Lymphedema Advocacy Group in particular 
for their tireless work in championing the Lymphedema Treatment Act. 
Today, my heart is with Elaine Eigeman, board chair of the Lymphedema 
Advocacy Group, who recently entered hospice care. She has been a 
champion for lymphedema patients for years, and she is the primary 
reason this bill was first introduced four years ago. I am proud to 
reintroduce this bill in her honor.