As most of you are aware, there are numerous Lyme bills currently being voted on at the Wisconsin Capital:

Many of these are quite good as they address things like putting signage at park locations warning about the risk of ticks and Lyme disease and making bug spray available; however, there is one bill – AB 313, which poses a serious threat to patients & to the doctors who dare treat them.

Exact wording of the bill: Assembly Bill 313

AB 313, previously LRBs 1652 and 3362Establishes a sixteen-member Tick-Borne Disease Study Committee to create a report for the legislature on consensus-based recommendations for policy changes on awareness, prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, reporting, and treatment of Lyme Disease.

This bill would allow Governor Evers to appoint a 16 member advisory panel to offer recommendations on how doctors diagnose and treat Lyme disease.

Many of us have explained to our representatives about the potential for that bill to go side-ways since nothing about Lyme/MSIDS is agreed upon in the medical community as well as the fact that appropriate Lyme guidelines already exist.

This bill is huge government overreach – telling doctors how to diagnose and treat patients.  All of the Lyme literate doctors I spoke with oppose this bill for numerous reasons – one of which is the fact this bill could seriously interfere with the way they currently treat patients as well as could increase scrutiny of their medical practice. They are already under severe scrutiny with many having to pay fines to the state medical board:  My own doctor spent over 50K to protect his practice against such a witch hunt.

There are currently two different Lyme disease guidelines in play:
  1. Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) Guidelines:  Under the IDSA’s tutelage, patients have been abused for decades and are told they have “medically unexplained symptoms” or MUS. Then they are sent to a psychiatrist and given anti-depressants. For an example for the typical handling of Lyme disease by mainstream medicine, see this graph:
  2. International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Guidelines:

Lyme literate doctors follow the ILADS guidelines as they take into account that people are often infected with numerous pathogens and that many of these pathogens are persistent, necessitating treatment to be overlapping in nature and often for an extended period of time. They also acknowledge that sexual and congenital transmission can occur.

The IDSA guidelines, followed by the majority of doctors, pretty much states that 21 days of doxycycline will cure this. They still deny the persistence of borrelia and other pathogens as sexual and congenital transfer.

The two guidelines couldn’t be more different yet we can not force doctors to follow one or the other. The old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink,” comes to mind. As much as we would love to force all doctors to follow the ILADS guidelines we shouldn’t. The practice of medicine is still, thankfully, up to the practitioner who underwent years of schooling to become a doctor. Doctors aren’t told how to treat cancer, diabetes, or a broken leg and they shouldn’t be told how to treat Lyme/MSIDS either.

Currently, patients need to see an experienced practitioner who is trained by ILADS.  This requires doctors to have continuing medical education specifically in the treatment of tick borne illness.  Mainstream medicine does not require this and most doctors are woefully educated; however, the choice to treat Lyme/MSIDS patients appropriately should be up to the practitioner.

Please write the following Representatives behind AB313 and let them know we oppose it:

Introduced by Representatives Mursau, Milroy, Anderson, Crowley, Edming, Gruszynski, Hesselbein, Kulp, B. Meyers, Ohnstad, Ott, Ramthun, Rodriguez, Sargent, Shankland, Sinicki, Snyder, Spreitzer, Tauchen, Thiesfeldt, Tusler and Rohrkaste; cosponsored by Senators Cowles, Miller, Hansen, Kapenga, Larson, Olsen, Petrowski, Ringhand, Smith and Tiffany

Please see the following letter written by Mike Nickel, current moderator for the online Wisconsin Lyme support group:

Letter regarding AB313

Dear Rep. Mursau

My name is Mike Nickel. I’m the past president of the Wisconsin Lyme Network {501 c3}, a statewide non-profit dedicated to the education of lyme disease and tick-borne illness to the general public and medical community of Wisconsin. We have liaison with medical professionals not only in Wisconsin, but nationwide as well as multiple Wisconsin support/patient groups as well as nationwide. The largest organization of MD’s in the country that deals exclusively with lyme disease and tick-borne illness is called ILADS. {International Lyme and Associated Disease Society of America}.

All of our organizations statewide and nationwide adamantly oppose AB313. It is our firm belief that the state legislature will greatly endanger lyme patient care and the practice of the state MD’s that provide that care by passing AB313. ILADS has already established lyme and tick-borne treatment guidelines which are utilized by ILADS trained practitioners nationwide.

We’re completely puzzled why the state of Wisconsin feels it should empanel a committee, made up largely of lay people to recommend any type of medical procedure much less something as complicated and severe as tick-borne illness.

Parts of the legislation are fine and some of the other Lyme bills are endorsed by us but AB313 recommending “guidelines’ can cause great harm to the patient community and even drive our lyme treating practitioners out of the state of WI.

Insurance companies and Medical boards can use any “recommendation of short-term antibiotics” as an excuse to sanction Doctor’s not treating to those specific guidelines. This would literally destroy effective treatment for the scores of lyme patients in this state and the 30,000 newly infected here annually. 

On behalf of the Wisconsin lyme community we ask that you please pull this bill. I would be more than happy to meet with you personally and discuss how we could proceed with a bill that would be fully supported by the community and be of great help to patients. I and other advocates look forward to working with the Assembly on effective legislation to benefit our patients. Please let me know a date that would work for you.

Thank you for your consideration,

Mike Nickel


My letter to the Wisconsin Representatives:

Dear Wisconsin Representatives,
My name is Alicia Cashman, and I head up the Madison Lyme Support Group. Both my husband and I fought a ten year battle in treatment for Lyme/MSIDS and have finally achieved our health back. I can directly attribute this health to going to doctors trained by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). These doctors take on huge risk treating patients appropriately as they stand in direct opposition to the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA).
There is a very real probability that Assembly Bill 313 could put these ILADS trained Wisconsin doctors in jeopardy.
Thankfully in the United States medical practitioners are still allowed the freedom to diagnose and treat patients in the way they feel is best. I’m surprised that you would even consider telling doctors how to diagnose and treat patients. This is huge government overreach.
Every single ILADS trained Wisconsin doctor I spoke with is opposed to AB 313.
Why would you want to make things harder for our health professionals who already take on significant risk in treating us? Currently, patients from other states come to the state of Wisconsin where we have a handful of doctors who treat this appropriately. Passage of this bill could potentially make them want to take their practices elsewhere where they have a God-given freedom to diagnose and treat patients under the Hippocratic Oath free of government interference.
While I appreciate the intent, legislation has often worked directly against patients as well as doctors under the law of unintended consequences. I feel AB 313 would follow this path as it calls upon a panel that very well could be stacked against patients, not to mention the fact that nobody has the right to dictate how a practitioner treats patients.
Currently, there is activity at the federal level which is following this law of unintended consequence:  The Federal Tick borne disease Working Group is now stacked with Infectious Disease doctors who deny the chronic/persistent nature of Lyme disease, that it can be sexually and congenitally transmitted, and that it takes far more than 21 days of doxycycline to affectively deal with this polymicrobial illness.
Also, back when Representatives Craig and Sargent wanted to put the nursing board in charge of “best practices” on how to treat Lyme disease, which would have effectively replaced one tyranny with another, a Wisconsin pediatrician showed up to the public hearing stating that Lyme testing used by ILADS treating physicians was “home brewed,” despite these labs being CLIA-certified, and passing the most stringent requirements for labs. This is just one example among a thousand how mainstream doctors continue to side with the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and its biased approach. I found his statement directly on the CDC website.
I’ve written this before but I include it again as it serves as a solid reminder that until things change at the federal level, state legislation will continue to be undermined by the CDC:  This makes perfect sense when you understand the backstory: and
I seriously implore you to please remove AB 313.
Alicia Cashman
Madison Lyme Support Group


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