Lymphedema Treatment Act Earns Support of Majority of U.S. House

Apr 29, 2016 Issues: Healthcare

Washington, DC – This week, legislation championed by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), the Lymphedema Treatment Act, reached over 218 cosponsors, earning the bipartisan legislation support from the majority of the U.S. House. The bill would ensure Medicare coverage of compression garments for the millions of Americans who suffer from this condition and need these items for the daily management and treatment of their lymphedema. Rep. Reichert responded with the following statement:

"Up to three million seniors throughout the United States suffer from pain and discomfort due to Lymphedema.  Often times basic tasks like putting on pants and walking down the sidewalk are made extremely difficult," said Rep Reichert. "Compression garments are a simple but effective way to treat the effects of Lymphedema.  Unfortunately, these garments are not currently covered by Medicare.  I am very proud that now over half of the House of Representatives has joined my bill to make these garments eligible for Medicare coverage and provide these seniors with the care they need." 


Lymphedema is a chronic condition resulting from damaged or inadequate lymph nodes or lymphatic vessels that afflicts millions of Americans.  It is a disease that one can be born with but it is most often caused by cancer treatments that damage the body’s lymph system or immune functions.  Due to the painful swelling that results from lymphedema, compression therapy is an essential component of treatment but compression supplies are not covered by Medicare despite being an ongoing necessity. H.R. 1608 closes this coverage gap by requiring Medicare to cover lymphedema compression items.