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

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.