Statement by the American Diabetes Association Regarding the FY 2013 House Budget Resolution
Proposed House Budget Will Harm Efforts to Stop Diabetes®
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The American Diabetes Association (Association) opposes the FY 2013 House budget resolution that will place current efforts to Stop Diabetes at risk. If passed, the resolution would drastically alter essential health programs and jeopardize vital diabetes research and prevention programs.
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and 79 million have prediabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The total annual cost of diabetes and its complications, including undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes was an estimated $218 billion in 2007, and will continue to grow unless our country takes action. Given the magnitude of this epidemic, and the response needed to provide adequate prevention programs and life-saving research, the House FY 2013 budget resolution is alarming.
The Association is concerned about the devastating impact the House resolution will have on the future of discretionary public health programs, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Diabetes Translation and its National Diabetes Prevention Program. The House resolution cuts $19 billion from overall discretionary funding for FY 13, compared to the current year. Under the House resolution’s spending cap, funding for non-defense discretionary programs, including those at the NIH and CDC, would be decreased while the spending cap for defense programs would be increased. We are dismayed that the brunt of the efforts to reduce the deficit is falling disproportionately on critical programs providing a lifeline of research, prevention and treatment services to people with diabetes and other health needs. The House resolution leads us down a path to reducing funding for diabetes research and prevention programs, one that will severely damage our nation’s response to the diabetes epidemic and its devastating and costly complications such as amputations, blindness, heart disease and kidney failure.
Additionally, the Association strongly opposes the provision in the House resolution that would turn the Medicaid program into block grants to the states. Approximately 3.5 million Medicaid enrollees have diabetes and if people with diabetes lose access to Medicaid coverage, the result will be horrific complications and costly care in emergency room settings. Additionally, the House FY 13 resolution would change Medicare from a program guaranteeing care to one that places seniors at risk. We are concerned that under this proposal, additional costs will be shifted to Medicare beneficiaries and private plans may not cover the range of services, medications and supplies necessary for people with diabetes who are covered by traditional Medicare. For the 10.8 million individuals aged 65 and older with diabetes, affordable access to comprehensive health coverage is crucial in order to successfully manage their diabetes and reduce the risk of severe complications.
The Association recognizes the difficult financial situation our country faces; however, weakening life-saving programs like Medicaid and Medicare and harming our research and prevention efforts will further burden vulnerable populations and lead to a deterioration in public health. This will drastically affect the nearly 105 million Americans with diabetes or prediabetes who are counting on these programs.
The American Diabetes Association 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. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
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