Each December, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) announces its legislative priorities for the upcoming year. Diabetes continues to take a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on millions of children and adults across the country. There are currently over 25 million people living with diabetes in the United States alone.
“The American Diabetes Association works tirelessly to fight against diabetes and its deadly consequences and gives a voice to the millions of Americans affected by this disease,” said Gina Gavlak, RN, BSN, Incoming Chair, National Advocacy Committee, American Diabetes Association. “As part of the Association’s commitment and ongoing efforts to Stop Diabetes, our legislative priorities will ensure that we will do our best to work closely with Congress and state legislators to make diabetes research, prevention programs and access to health care a top national priority”.
The American Diabetes Association’s federal priorities for 2013 include:
• Federal Funding for Diabetes Research and Prevention Programs: Increase funding for the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Diabetes Translation; reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program; funding for the National Diabetes Prevention Program and increasing overall federal funding for diabetes research and prevention
• Health Insurance: Ensure the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid are implemented in ways best meeting the needs of people with diabetes and prediabetes. According to the ADA, more than 14 million diabetics receive access to healthcare through Medicaid and Medicare.
• Prevention: Focus type 2 diabetes prevention efforts on individuals with prediabetes, as well as the general public; expand efforts to reduce obesity and improve nutrition and physical activity
• Health Disparities: Support proposals specifically focused on reducing the disparate impact of diabetes on minority communities
• Research and Surveillance: Stem Cell Research and Gestational Diabetes Act
• Discrimination Issues
• Bills Related to Complications and Comorbidities of Diabetes
• National Diabetes Clinical Care Act
“States across the country are working to implement the health care law and build a marketplace that works for their residents,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a December press release. “In ten months, consumers in all fifty states will have access to a new marketplace where they will be able to easily purchase quality health insurance plans.”
Pennsylvania residents who are having trouble accessing publicly funded health care coverage or services can call the Pennsylvania Health Law Project at 800-274-3258 for free legal and advocacy services. If your employer does not offer insurance or the insurance is not affordable, you will be able to buy insurance directly through an Exchange in your state next year. Low income families will be able to get tax credits to help pay for insurance, according to the ADA.
The ADA is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.
This article was taken in part from a press release by the American Diabetes Association. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your physician. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of diabetes, make an appointment with your physician.
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