Advocacy is Our Priority

U.S. CapitolDiabetes is a growing epidemic, one taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on millions of children and adults across the country. Currently, in the U.S. there are nearly 26 million people living with diabetes and another 79 million with prediabetes. As of 2012, the annual price tag for diagnosed diabetes in the United States is an estimated $245 billion*, putting the fiscal stability of our country at risk.

Each year, the Association identifies its leading federal and state legislative priorities and policy goals that will be instrumental in our ongoing efforts to Stop Diabetes®. Advocacy is a key part of the Association’s mission to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes—it’s how we put diabetes on state and national agendas, increase funding for research and prevention programs, and break down the barriers that prevent people with diabetes from enjoying the same opportunities as everyone else.

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; support 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.

•    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.

The American Diabetes Association’s state priorities for 2013 include:

•    Health Insurance: Support implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid; oppose efforts to repeal or create loopholes in laws mandating diabetes coverage in state-regulated insurance plans.

•   Discrimination Issues: Continue Safe at School campaign to ensure students with diabetes are medically safe and have access to the same educational opportunities as their peers; oppose laws and policies with blanket treatment of people with diabetes, including private driver’s licenses.

•   Diabetes Action Plans: Support bills requiring state agencies involved with diabetes to review and prioritize their efforts and develop action plans.

Read the full list of 2013 legislative priorities here.

All of our voices need to be heard. Want to help Stop Diabetes? Become a Diabetes Advocate!

Every letter you write, every phone call you place helps send our important messages to Congress and state legislatures. A great way to start is by signing up for our advocacy action alerts, so you’ll be informed of late-breaking developments.

*New cost data released in March 2013.

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