1. McKeon, Erin
  2. Gonzalez, Rose MPS, RN

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On March 22, the ANA sent letters to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate supporting bills to address sickle cell disease and gynecologic cancers. The Sickle Cell Treatment Act of 2003 (S 874, HR 1736) would provide federal matching funds for sickle cell disease (SCD)-related services under Medicaid, provide a 50-50 match for nonmedical expenses related to SCD, create a new comprehensive service bundle for SCD patients, and authorize grants to educate and treat SCD patients. The bill was introduced in the Senate by Jim Talent (R-MO) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) and in the House of Representatives by Richard Burr (R-NC) and Danny Davis (D-IL).


This modest investment in education and treatment will promote improvements in the care of thousands of Americans with this disabling disease. SCD can lead to lung tissue damage, pain, and stroke. It also causes damage to most organs, including the spleen, kidneys, and liver. Treatment of complications often includes antibiotics, pain management, intravenous fluids, blood transfusion, and surgery, backed by psychosocial support. The Sickle Cell Treatment Act will help promote access to the comprehensive multidisciplinary program of care these patients desperately need. At the end of the regular session, the Sickle Cell Treatment Act passed the House and Senate as an amendment to other legislation dealing with import tariffs (HR 4520).