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Will Congress Pass Improved Diabetes Care?

AACE leads charge for legislative changes focused on treating diabetes, prediabetes and associated illnesses…

An estimated 29.1 million Americans (almost 10% of the total population) have diabetes, another 86 million citizens aged 20 or older suffer from prediabetes, and spending on diagnosed diabetes has increased 41% over five years. Further, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, new cases of blindness among adults and non- traumatic lower-limb amputations in the U.S. and is a gateway to multiple chronic diseases and conditions that are diabetes complications, including heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Citing these alarming statistics, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), the world’s largest organization of clinical endocrinologists (specialists in the treatment of diabetes), is leading the charge of more than 40 national organizations representing physicians, allied health professionals, patients, communities and the medical industry in support of legislation that will improve care for those with diabetes, prediabetes and associated illnesses.

The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 1192/S. 586) calls for the creation of a commission of the country’s foremost diabetes experts – endocrinologists and related clinical care specialists, patient advocates and federal agency representatives – to identify duplication and critical gaps in federal diabetes initiatives and make recommendations to improve the implementation and coordination of diabetes care. The legislation is co- sponsored in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Pete Olson (R- 22-TX) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-2-IA) and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“Diabetes and its devastating complications are exacting a terrible physical and financial toll on our country’s population, and it has become an unmanageable situation,” said Dr. Mack Harrell, president of AACE. “While well-intentioned, many of the nation’s healthcare regulatory activities on this front are inconsistent, ineffective or overlapping, so it’s incumbent upon on Congress to take action immediately to pass this legislation that calls for better leveraging our government’s investments to reverse this dire situation and improve clinical care.”

A delegation of AACE leaders will be making visits to Congress members this week to advocate for the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act and other high-priority legislative initiatives.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) News Release March 2015