Advocacy Accomplishments–2018 Highlights
Bending the curve
- Achieved $600 million reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program, which supports critical research toward better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes and essential prevention and management programs for American Indians through Fiscal Year 2019.
- Participated in hundreds of meetings, briefings; events; and other actions in support of our legislative and regulatory priorities which led to a record setting 80 legislative and regulatory wins in states across the country.
- Added two states to the 27 states already requiring diabetes action plans that assess the burden of diabetes and prioritize policy recommendations to reduce the burden of diabetes.
- Achieved 30 state level wins that advance prevention policies including school-based policies, community-based policies, and budget allocations that increase state investment in prevention programs.
- Mobilized Diabetes Advocates through our Congress at Home initiative to host nearly 60 in-district meetings across the country with Congressional members and their staff. Over 80% of the meetings were with targeted key congressional member offices—those with direct influence and jurisdiction over ADA federal policy priorities and asks.
- Convened nearly 200 people living with and affected by diabetes, health care professionals, researchers, and 17 current and former professional football players at Call to Congress—to advocate on Capitol Hill in DC for increased federal funding for diabetes research, affordable insulin and health care access and coverage, and more.
Helping patients & their families thrive
- Achieved goal of congressional hearing on insulin affordability and delivered testimony to the Senate Special Committee on Aging about the rising cost of this lifesaving drug. Published a white paper with conclusions and recommendations to address this issue and a public policy statement outlining steps state and federal legislators and regulators can take to address rising insulin costs.
- Secured an additional 181,000 signatures for ADA’s insulin affordability petition–for a total of over 432,000 signatures. This ongoing campaign included the launch of a new animated video to explain the complexities of the insulin supply chain.
- Achieved 37 state level wins protecting or improving health care for millions of people with diabetes in states across the country
- Continued efforts to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief defending the ACA against a lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality. The brief, which was jointly filed with four other patient advocacy organizations, brought to the court’s attention the ADA’s significant interest in protecting the ACA for Americans impacted by diabetes.
- Introduced in the House and Senate for the first time the Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act, which would remove barriers to Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support in Medicare and encourage beneficiaries to participate in such programs.
- Educated and inspired action among our 525,00+ advocates in over 70 federal, state and legal advocacy calls to action throughout the year.
- Handled 2,005 discrimination cases, a record high in the 18-year history of the Legal Advocate Program. Much of the increase was noted in cases involving discrimination in the workplace, representing a 15% increase over 2017.
- Affirmed positive outcomes for individuals who received assistance from the Legal Advocate Program, such as increased knowledge of relevant laws and increased confidence in responding to discrimination. These outcomes were verified by data from a survey of constituents helped via ADA Safe at School campaign.
- Celebrated the publication of a Final Rule by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that eliminated a blanket ban against insulin use for commercial drivers with diabetes. This rule was the culmination of a 12-year rule-making process and more than two decades of advocacy by ADA.
- Pursued litigation against the U.S. Army Child, Youth & School Services on an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and organized amicus curiae (friend of the court) support from a record 32 diabetes, disability, and civil rights organizations.
- Filed a class action lawsuit against the New York City public school system challenging discriminatory practices that violate the rights of children with diabetes by denying them the necessary services to safely attend school–and even exclude them from some school activities.
- Improved access to continuous glucose monitors used with a mobile device for Medicare beneficiaries.
- Educated individuals with diabetes and prediabetes about health insurance coverage options and key factors to consider when enrolling.
- Increased access to nutritious foods through healthy food financing, school-based meal assistance programs, and other state-level health equity legislation that impacts communities across the country.
- Empowered advocates by launching three new Advocates in Action opportunities, including two webinars, Kids with Diabetes: How ADA Helps and Advocacy in an Election Year: Legal Do’s and Don’ts of Advocacy, as well as a Local Media Blitz geared at placing opinion editorials in districts with newly elected officials written by Diabetes Advocates.
Being great business stewards
- Identified synergies between GA&A advocacy goals and priorities with other organization initiatives to drive new opportunities for fundraising and financial support.
- Designed a broad fundraising strategy to support Call to Congress, ADAs premier advocacy engagement campaign, including building an entirely new Do It Yourself (DIY) fundraising platform to engage advocates in supporting ADAs Call to Congress initiative and advocacy work as a whole.