Advocacy Accomplishments – 2017 Highlights
- Became a founding member of a coalition of over 20 patient advocacy organizations that worked to defend the access and patient protections provided in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from various repeal efforts in Congress. Collective advocacy efforts both within the coalition and by the Association and our advocates gained national media attention and helped defeat the repeal of the ACA numerous times.
- Raised voice at the state level by participating in hundreds of meetings, briefings; Diabetes Days at State Capitols; and submitting letters, comments or statements in support of our legislative and regulatory priorities which led to a record setting 70 legislative and regulatory wins in states across the country.
- Mobilized advocates at unprecedented levels — alerts, petitions, and in-person on priorities including health care, insulin affordability, and funding for diabetes research and programs.
- Strengthened our collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) by providing education on diabetes for the agency’s entire workforce and serving on a panel at the TSA’s annual disability and multicultural coalition meeting.
- Supported litigation against the Federal Aviation Administration for its rules regarding medical certification of pilots with diabetes, for a second time filing a brief in support of pilot Eric Friedman in a lawsuit at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
- Continued to pursue litigation against the U.S. Army Child, Youth & School Services to ensure children with diabetes have access to the full range of child care programs offered by the Army. We convened a meeting of top Association and Army medical professionals as part of the mediation process, and diligently opposed defendant’s efforts to have the case dismissed.
- Activated 251 advocates, high-profile diabetes researchers, Team Tackle members and Association staff at Call to Congress raising awareness for ADA’s legislative priorities on Capitol Hill
- Opposed efforts to limit program eligibility and increase enrollee costs, on behalf of the millions of individuals with diabetes in the Medicaid program.
- Discussed the importance of affordable access to insulin with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
- Advocated for funding for diabetes research and for increased funding for diabetes prevention programs in states across the country.
- Achieved a letter signed by more than 85 bipartisan members of Congress to the House Appropriations committee seeking support for ADA’s fiscal year 2018 funding requests of $2.165 billion for the NIDDK, $185 million for CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation and $25 million for the National DPP. The co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus led a similar letter, which was signed by 25 bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate.
- Protected existing levels of health insurance benefits through 30 state level wins that benefit millions of Americans across the country. Defeated harmful proposals and legislation that would have impacted low-income families on Medicaid. Successfully supported legislation that eases access to prescribed medications for people with diabetes in several states across the country. Added key new benefits to state Medicaid programs, like the National Diabetes Prevention Program, that will help millions of Americans stay healthier.
- Convened an Insulin Access and Affordability Working Group and met with stakeholders across the insulin supply chain with the goal of making policy recommendations in 2018 for viable long-term solutions that will bring down the cost of insulin for individuals with diabetes. We held more than 200 congressional meetings, and collected 266,000 petition signatures and more than 600 patient, caregiver, and provider stories.
- Helped improve Medicare’s coverage policy for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which will be available to Medicare beneficiaries starting April 1, 2018.
- Provided legal advocacy assistance to 1876 individuals, helping people in every state and in Puerto Rico. The most common issue involved denial of care or the provision of poor diabetes care by schools, child care programs, or correctional facilities. The second most common issue involved difficulties getting reasonable accommodations in the workplace, or termination from job because of diabetes.
- Fielded 2,955 calls regarding discrimination issues through the Center for Information. More than 40% of individuals called on behalf of children with type 1 diabetes. 36% were adults with type 1 diabetes. Less than 25% were adults with type 2 diabetes.
- Educated thousands of people with diabetes, their families, advocates, health care teams, and others about the legal rights of people with diabetes through Advanced School Advocacy Trainings, Safe at School workshops, and presentations and trainings at the National Police Accountability Project meeting, ADA Post Graduate meeting, and Children with Diabetes conference.
- Educated individuals with diabetes and prediabetes about the availability of adequate, affordable health insurance coverage through state marketplaces.
- Defeated state-level discriminatory drivers licensing proposals that would have impacted more than 3 million Americans, and improved existing Safe at School state laws that make schools safer and more accessible for students with diabetes.
- Addressed health disparities through legislative and regulatory work resulting in important state level laws covering: healthy food financing policies to reduce food insecurity, surplus food programs, increasing access to farmer’s markets, budget allocations supporting programs and state level offices of health equity, and school-based policies that bring free and reduced-price meals to students in high poverty schools and school districts. Worked with FDA, CMS, & HHS leadership on furthering diabetes health equity strategies.
- Promoted diabetes prevention though key legislative and regulatory state-level wins like: increasing school requirements for physical education and activity; increasing access to recreational space through joint use agreements; legislation requiring Diabetes Action Plans aimed at reducing the burden of diabetes through policy interventions; increasing funding for diabetes prevention programs; and policies aimed at reducing consumption of sugary beverages.