Kaine & Young Introduce Bill to Support Americans Living with Long COVID
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the Long COVID Support Act, bipartisan legislation to support Americans living with Long COVID. The bill would accelerate research on Long COVID and provide information to patients and medical providers about Long COVID.
“After hearing about Americans living with Long COVID not being believed, I decided to share my own story about my mild Long COVID symptoms so they would know there’s someone in Congress who is fighting for them. Since then, so many Americans have shared with me their experiences with Long COVID and the challenges they’ve faced accessing the support they need,” said Kaine, a member of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. “I’m glad Senator Young is joining me in introducing this bipartisan bill to improve research and expand resources for those living with Long COVID.”
“While the COVID pandemic has ended, many Americans who experienced a COVID infection continue to experience lingering neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, and mental health symptoms,” said Young. “Senator Kaine and I share a desire to help our fellow citizens facing these challenges. Our bipartisan bill will increase research about the causes of Long COVID, provide resources to Long COVID patients and providers, and help identify the most-effective treatments.”
Long COVID or post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. These symptoms range from mild to debilitating and can last for months and even years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that over 55% of adults in the U.S. report having had COVID-19, with over 28% of adults who had COVID-19 experiencing some form of Long COVID. In Virginia, nearly 55% of adults report ever having had COVID-19, with nearly 32% of adult Virginians who had COVID-19 experiencing some form Long COVID. Currently, 5.8% of Americans and 5.4% of Virginians have Long COVID.
The Long COVID Support Act would:
- Accelerate Long COVID research by authorizing the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to centralize robust data-sets regarding patient experiences with Long COVID and related conditions for future research.
- Improve understanding of Long COVID treatment efficacy and disparities by authorizing HHS to study the health care system’s response to Long COVID and provide recommendations for how to improve that response.
- Educate Long COVID patients and medical providers through efforts to develop and disseminate information on common symptoms and treatment for Long COVID and related conditions.
Kaine has been a leading advocate in Congress for Americans living with Long COVID. This bill is based off Kaine’s CARE for Long COVID Act, which would improve research and provide resources to people living with Long COVID. Provisions from his CARE for Long COVID Act were included in the pandemic preparedness bill that passed out of the Senate HELP Committee last week. In January 2023, Kaine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) hosted a first-of-its-kind Long COVID summit to bring together HHS leaders, patients, and providers to discuss their experiences living with and treating Long COVID.
Full text of the bill is available here.
For an estimate of how many people are living with Long COVID in each state, click here or here. Information and guidance from the White House regarding how Long COVID can be a disability under various Federal civil rights laws are available here and here; the needs of children with Long COVID are available here; and accommodations in the workplace for people experiencing Long COVID are available here. Click here to learn about how the Administration for Community Living’s disability and aging networks can help people with Long COVID access support resources. Click here for a guide from the Social Security Administration on Long COVID Disability claims.