Diabetes – Shaping our Future

Today the American Diabetes Association joins the American Cancer Society Action Network and the American Heart Association in testifying before the Senate about chronic disease prevention.

This morning I got an ACTION email from the American Diabetes Association reminding me that today is the day I can speak to my representatives by sending a letter about the importance of Medicare and Medicaid programs for people with diabetes. I can voice my opinion and encourage that the government continue to provide healthcare to millions and millions of people who are sick.

This is a moment that will define our future.

Consider some points:

  • In 1994 no state had 7 percent or more adults with diabetes
  • In 2005 half of the states had adult diabetes rates of 7% or more
  • In 2011 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes
  • 25.8 million Americans have diabetes in 2011 – that’s up from 23.6 million in 2007
  • 8.3% of our population has diabetes
  • The cost of diabetes diagnoses and care was $218 billion in 2007
  • The risk of death from complications is twice that for people with diabetes than without
  • Medical expenses are more than two times higher for people with diabetes
  • Compared to non-Hispanic white adults the risk of developing diabetes is
    • 18% higher among Asian Americans
    • 66% higher among Hispanics/Latinos
    • 77% higher among non-Hispanic blacks
    • 87% higher for Mexican Americans
    • 94% higher for Puerto Ricans
    • It is estimated that one out of every three children born after the year 2000 will be directly affected by diabetes. In Hawaii, one out of every two children born after the year 200 will be directly affected by diabetes.
    • Diabetes accounts for almost 50% of Medicare spending in Hawaii vs 30% in mainland US.

*sources: American Diabetes Association, National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) & National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention

We are in the midst of a global diabetes epidemic.

Our government is trying to balance the budget and control spending. Cutting Medicare and Medicaid is on the table.

I don’t have diabetes. I don’t have cancer and my heart is fine. Right now anyway.

So what is my responsibility, our responsibility, to the millions and millions of people in our country who do have diabetes, or cancer or heart conditions?

With the number of sick Americans and the dollars needed to care for them on the rise, how can we possibly save anything by cutting spending on Medicare or Medicaid?

Use your voice – http://bit.ly/Diabetes-voice-to-congress.

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