Atlanta, Georgia - The American Diabetes Association (Association) is pleased to announce its federal and state legislative and regulatory priorities for 2015. Each year, the Association identifies the leading priorities which will focus efforts across targeted issue areas as part of our ongoing efforts to Stop Diabetes®. In addition, in all areas of engagement, there will be an ongoing commitment to ending health disparities.

Currently, in the U.S. there are nearly 30 million people living with diabetes and another 86 million with prediabetesa condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. Other names for prediabetes are impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.X. The diabetes epidemic is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on millions of people across the nation. The national annual cost of diagnosed diabetes is an estimated $245 billion, representing a 41 percent increase over a five year period. 

“The American Diabetes Association’s legislative and regulatory priorities are part of the Association’s ongoing commitment to fight for the millions of Americans who are affected by diabetes,” said Gina Gavlak, RN, BSN, Chair, National Advocacy Committee, American Diabetes Association. “For 2015, these priorities will serve as our guide as we work with Congress and state legislators to ensure the needs of people with, and at risk for, diabetes remains a top focus for all legislators across the country.” 

The American Diabetes Association’s federal priorities for 2015 include:

  • Federal Funding for Diabetes Research and 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 funding dedicated to diabetes research at the Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administration.
  • Health Insurance: Ensure public and private health insurance options, including those under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid provide access to the services, tools and education necessary to meet the needs of people with diabetes and prediabetes.
  • Prevention: Prevention of type 1 and type 2 diabetesa condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body's inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in young people.X.
  • Discrimination: Ensure laws and policies result in fair treatment of people with diabetes, focusing on employment and the Safe at School campaign.
  • Health Disparities: Policies specifically focused on reducing the disparate impact of diabetes on minority communities.
  • Diabetes Medications and Devices: Provide scientific expertise on the need for improved means to treat and monitor diabetes with focus on ensuring medically sound criteria for evaluation and establishing needed regulatory pathways.
  • Federal Coordination on Diabetes: Support effort to coordinate the quality of care for diabetes across all federal agencies engaged in the care and management of diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association’s state priorities for 2015 include:

  • Health Insurance: Ensure public and private health insurance options, including those under the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, provide access to the services, tools and education necessary to meet the needs of people with diabetes and prediabetes.
  • Discrimination:
  1. Safe at School: Ensure students with diabetes are medically safe and have access to the same educational opportunities as their peers without diabetes. Legislation and regulation to focus on permitting students who are able to do so to self-manage their disease and make sure trained school personnel are available to perform routine and emergency diabetes care tasks. 
  2. Driver’s Licenses: Ensure laws and policies for private and commercial licenses result in fair treatment of people with diabetes.
  • Prevention: Primary prevention of type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes Programs and Surveillance: Funding for Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs, and other diabetes public health programs.
  • State Coordination on Diabetes: Initiatives to assess the burden of diabetes and to develop and implement policy recommendations.
  • Health Disparities: Initiatives to reduce the disparate impact of diabetes in minority communities through coordinated assessment, development and implementation of policy recommendations.
  • Diabetes Research: Support funding for diabetes research and oppose efforts to limit research options.