American Diabetes Association Statement on the White House Health Reform Summit

Alexandria,
March 5, 2009

The American Diabetes Association is honored to participate in today’s White House Health Reform Summit. The purpose of the Summit is to begin to identify ways to address reforming the health system. The Association was invited along with Members of Congress, Administration officials, and other patient advocacy, provider, consumer and insurance organizations.

There are nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States who have diabetes, and another 57 million people have pre-diabetes. Every day, Americans pay a horrific price to diabetes: 4,100 people are diagnosed with the disease, there are 230 amputations in people with diabetes, 120 people will enter end-stage kidney disease programs, and 55 people will go blind. During this same time period, there will be 613 deaths due to diabetes. As the diabetes epidemic grows greater by the minute, the economic and health consequences are too great not to act.

"We are pleased to see the President bringing together policymakers and key stakeholders to begin putting ideas on the table and to begin to discuss the difficult choices and decisions surrounding health reform," said Larry Hausner, Chief Executive Officer, American Diabetes Association, who will attend the Summit. He added that "President Obama’s budget proposal of $634 billion dedicated to health reform is a crucial first step toward positive change in reforming the existing health system."

The American Diabetes Association has offered a series of recommendations for comprehensive health reform to reduce the burden of diabetes and other chronic diseases by ensuring access to adequate and affordable health coverage, improving quality of care and health outcomes, eliminating disparities among ethnic and racial groups, and containing costs. Emphasis must be placed on prevention of chronic diseases and their complications through accessible, adequate, and affordable health care and through promotion of healthier lifestyles.

Mr. Hausner will be available for comment both prior to and following the Summit.

 

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 (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.