Gov. Baker vetoes Lyme disease bill; files his own version

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker has vetoed a bill that would have required health insurers to cover the costs of a certain drug treatment for chronic Lyme disease.

Instead, the Republican filed what he described as compromise legislation to expand access to treatment therapies for Lyme disease.

Baker said in a statement that there’s uncertainty in the medical community about the clinical effectiveness and the safety of long-term antibiotic therapies to treat the illness.

He said his veto shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of concern that persons suffering from Lyme disease receive access to proper medical treatment.

Baker said his bill would require private health insurance companies, nonprofit hospital service corporations, medical service corporations, and HMOs to cover the costs of medically appropriate and clinically proven Lyme disease treatments.

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