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NVHR chair pushes for more funding to mitigate viral hepatitis cases

Posted On Fri, January 29, 2010

A leader at the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable has come out requesting increased funding to help reduce the spread of chronic viral hepatitis.

Following President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address last night, NVHP Chair Lorren Sandt issued a plea to politicians asking for the FY 2011 federal budget to reconsider the budgetary freeze scheduled to go into effect, and to include substantial increases in funding to help the 5 million Americans with viral hepatitis.

Noting that federal viral hepatitis prevention, treatment, and surveillance programs had only received a $51,000 increase in funding in the previous budget before eventually ending up with a $900,000 increase, Sandt warned that more sizable increases in funding were needed in order to keep the virus from becoming a more serious problem.

"Our nation's public-health system cannot afford another year of neglect," she said. "Each and every day in 2010, more Americans will become infected and thousands more will silently progress to liver cancer, cirrhosis, or liver failure because they don't they know they are infected and need treatment.
She added that estimates by the Milliman consulting firm had found that public and private payer costs for treating hepatitis C could triple in costs to $85 billion by 2024 if adequate federal action was not taken.

With such worries over the ability to properly fund treatments relating to viral hepatitis, those who are stricken with the virus should be proactive in checking to make sure their health insurance coverage can adequately cover any treatments that may be required.

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