Statement on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Alexandria,
January 18, 2011

Last year, the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a historic moment for people with diabetes and for those at risk for diabetes. That’s because of provisions in the law that provide for quality, affordable diabetes care and diabetes prevention. But it wasn’t without controversy and struggle. As the debate heats up again, we want to ensure that Members of Congress understand the truth about health reform and the provisions that bear upon diabetes. For the nearly 24 million people living with diabetes, it is essential that insurers are not able to refuse to sell or renew policies because of diabetes or refuse to cover children or drop young adults with diabetes from their parent’s health plans.

Under the old health care system, it was legal to deny health insurance to people with diabetes or force them to pay more for insurance coverage simply because they had diabetes. Even for people who had insurance coverage, their plans sometimes did not cover the most basic diabetes needs, leaving them with large expenses in addition to the cost for insurance. This lack of access to affordable care led many people to forgo the care they needed to prevent, delay or slow the progression of diabetes. As a result, many people ended up suffering needlessly from expensive complications that might have been prevented had medical care been available to them earlier.

Rolling back these gains would take an enormous step in the wrong direction for all people touched by diabetes, as well as those who provide their care. This law includes many tools in the fight to Stop Diabetes®, and we cannot let this victory be turned back.

- John W. Griffin, Jr., Chair of the Board

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)