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
http://www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available
in English and Spanish.
SOURCE American Diabetes Association