Building Congressional Support for Diabetes Care

Today's guest blogger is Sara Milo, Director of Legislation and Governmental Affairs at the AACE.  

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recently took 43 AACE members from across the country to Capitol Hill for the 2014 Spring Congressional Visitation.  Participants were on a mission; get as many Members of Congress as possible to support the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act (HR 1074/S. 539).  The legislation establishes a commission to review federal diabetes activities and make recommendations to improve the quality and delivery of diabetes care.

The Commission will provide a mechanism for diabetes experts in private sector to help federal government address diabetes in an effective, fiscally responsible manner.  The Commission will consist of representatives from federal agencies most involved in diabetes activities, and health care professionals and patient advocates that work with diabetes patients on a daily basis.

What is exciting about this legislation is that it is supported by a large number of diabetes and medical groups.  It has been endorsed by the American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Association of Diabetes Educators, The Endocrine Society, The Pediatric Endocrine Society, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association of Renal Physician, and the American Medical Association.   

The visitation trip was very successful in securing additional congressional co-sponsors for the legislation.  There are now over 109 co-sponsors of this legislation in the House of Representatives, including House Diabetes Caucus co-chairs, Representative Diana DeGette and Representative Ed Whitfield.  It enjoys broad support on the House Energy & Commerce Committee where the bill has been referred.

The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act represents an opportunity for Congress to do something this year to address the diabetes epidemic.   The legislation is financed with existing funds so it has zero cost, which keeps it from getting caught up in budgetary battles on Capitol Hill that can place an initiative in limbo for years.

AACE urges all readers of LillyPad to contact their federal lawmakers and ask for their support for The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act.  For more information on H.R. 1074/S. 539, please visit www.aace.com

 

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