PANDEMIC PULSE

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Sen. Kaine Introduces the CARE for Long COVID Act

On March 2, 2022, Sens. Kaine, Duckworth, and Markey introduced S. 3726, the Comprehensive Access to Resources and Education (CARE) for Long COVID Act. If enacted, this legislation will invigorate the federal government’s response to the growing needs of patients living with long COVID. Specifically, the CARE for Long COVID Act will:

  • Authorize $30,000,000 of funding for FY23 through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund to improve treatment and outcomes for patients with long COVID, including the creation of a voluntary patient registry;
  • Authorize $15,000,000 of funding for FY23 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct or support research related to the US health care system’s response to long COVID;
  • Authorize $30,000,000 for each of FY23, FY24, and FY25 through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and disseminate information to the public regarding long COVID and associated conditions. This funding will also support a health care provider education program that will advance the proficiency of health care providers for treating patients with long COVID and associated conditions;
  • Authorize $30,000,000 for each of FY23, FY 24, and FY25 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness about the impact long COVID and associated conditions may have on rights associated with employment, disability status, and education under state and federal law;
  • Authorize $3,000,000 for FY22 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to collect data through the Medicaid program and the Children’s Health Insurance Program on items and services that are furnished to individuals with long COVID (Sec. 6); and
  • Authorize $50,000,000 for each of FY23, FY24, FY25, FY26, and FY27 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to award grants and contracts to organizations that will increase the availability of critical social supports for patients with long COVID, including legal assistance.

Because this legislation would allocate significant levels of funding to provide critical supports and services for patients with long COVID, Pandemic Patients strongly supports it. We urge swift passage of the legislation and will be advocating for its advancement through Congress. If you share our vision of this bill being enacted, we encourage you to contact your senators to ask that they cosponsor the CARE for Long COVID Act.

Pandemic Patients Submits Letter of Support for California’s Proposed Workplace Safety Standards

On July 29, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) proposed to implement new workplace safety standards for large employers operating in the state. Referred to as General Industry Safety Orders, the proposed standards would require employers to play a more active role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

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J.B. Asked: Can I Appeal a Disability Insurer’s Medical Review?

“I have long COVID and I recently filed a claim for disability insurance benefits through my workplace disability policy. The insurance company relied on a clinician’s review of my medical records to deny my claim. The clinician is employed by the insurance company, they never examined me in-person, and they do not specialize in a field of medicine relevant to my long COVID symptoms. Can I appeal the insurance company’s decision?”

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