American Diabetes Association Urges New Congress to Address Inadequate Research and Prevention Funding in 2007

109th Congress Adjourned Without Approving New Budget; Diabetes Health

Coverage and Stem Cell Research Also Vital to Stemming Diabetes Epidemic

Dec 18, 2006, 00:00 ET from American Diabetes Association

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Diabetes
 Association (ADA) announced that securing sufficient funding for diabetes
 research and prevention efforts will be its top priority for the incoming
 Congress, after the 109th Congress adjourned without passing a new budget.
 The decision by the 109th Congress to adjourn earlier this month without
 passing a budget for Fiscal Year 2007 means that the Bush Administration's
 proposed $11 million cut to diabetes research at the National Institutes of
 Health (NIH) and further cuts to prevention and treatment efforts at the
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were not enacted. However,
 maintaining Fiscal Year 2006 funding levels also means that the federal
 investment in fighting diabetes continues to fall far short of what's
 necessary to reverse the national surge in diabetes prevalence and related
 complications. ADA has urged Congress to increase diabetes research at NIH
 by $92 million - or 5 percent - and diabetes treatment and prevention
 efforts at CDC by $20.8 million, or one dollar for every American with
     "Congress still needs to step up to the plate and recognize the
 tremendous national need to support diabetes research and prevention
 efforts," said Larry Deeb, MD, President-Medicine & Science, American
 Diabetes Association. "Diabetes is growing rapidly in the United States,
 but the Administration and the 109th Congress has failed to invest in
 exciting research and effective treatment and prevention efforts. To stem
 the tide of the diabetes epidemic, the new Congress must make the
 commitment to increase federal funding for efforts that can lead toward a
 cure and widespread prevention."
     Recent studies have raised the need for action from the Administration
 and Congress to address the startling growth of diabetes. While nearly 21
 million children and adults in the U.S. live with diabetes today, the
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if present trends
 continue, one in three Americans and one in two minorities born in 2000
 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. In 2002, one in 10 healthcare
 dollars went towards diabetes care. The cost of diabetes in America in 2002
 was at least $132 billion.
     Throughout the year, ADA volunteers urged their elected officials to
 confront the diabetes epidemic. In addition to increasing funding for NIH
 and CDC, ADA urged Congress to pass legislation to expand federally-funded
 embryonic stem cell research and to help ensure affordable, quality
 diabetes health coverage.
     In May, Association volunteers played a critical role in the defeat in
 the U.S. Senate of the "Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization Act"
 (S.1955), legislation that would have eliminated diabetes coverage
 guarantees for medications, supplies, and education vital to managing the
 disease. ADA continued to oppose attempts to reconsider similar legislation
 before the end of session that would have the effect of limiting crucial
 coverage protections for people with diabetes.
     ADA volunteers were also at the forefront of the effort to pass, in the
 U.S. Senate, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 810). Top
 researchers, including those at the ADA, believe embryonic stem cell
 research offers great hope for a cure and better treatments for diabetes,
 and ADA hopes similar legislation is reconsidered in the new Congress.
     "Diabetes is the great public health crisis of the 21st century," said
 Darlene Cain, Chair of the American Diabetes Association. "There are
 bipartisan solutions to this grave situation, but we need to see more
 leadership from Washington to see them implemented. We look forward to
 working with the Administration and the new Congress to make fighting
 diabetes a priority in 2007."
     The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading voluntary
 health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy.
 The Association's advocacy efforts include helping to combat discrimination
 against people with diabetes; advocating for the increase of federal
 diabetes research and programs; and improved access to, and quality of,
 healthcare for people with diabetes. The Association's mission is to
 prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected
 by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides service to hundreds
 of communities across the country. For more information please call the
 American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available
 in English and Spanish.

SOURCE American Diabetes Association