WASHINGTON--()--The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) is appealing to diabetes patients, their family members and friends, and other health care professionals to urge members of Congress to pass the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act.
“With 26 million adults and children in our nation suffering daily from this debilitating condition, the stakes couldn’t be any higher”
The legislation calls for the creation of a public-private commission composed of endocrinologists, other front-line diabetes health care providers, patient advocates and representatives from federal agencies involved in diabetes care activities.
The commission’s charge is to identify critical gaps in existing federal diabetes clinical care initiatives, ineffective or redundant activities that should be discontinued, and new approaches that are needed to stem the tide of the U.S. diabetes epidemic. The commission will submit its recommendations for better leveraging the federal government’s investment in diabetes-related programs to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and Congress.
AACE commends Representative Pete Olson (R-22-TX) for introducing this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 1071) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for introducing the legislation in the Senate (S. 539). Both bills were introduced on Tuesday, March 12.
A devastating, systemic disease that is the leading cause of kidney failure, new cases of blindness and amputations, diabetes’ financial impact exacts an enormous economic toll: the U.S. spends an estimated $176 billion each year on diabetes-related care, including one out of every three Medicare dollars. Once the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes are factored in, the total cost of diabetes in the U.S. is more than $200 billion annually.
“With 26 million adults and children in our nation suffering daily from this debilitating condition, the stakes couldn’t be any higher,” says Alan J. Garber, M.D., Ph.D. and President of AACE. “Then you factor in the 35 percent of the U.S. population that is prediabetic and the 17 percent of our country’s children and adolescents who are obese, a known precursor to diabetes, and it becomes evident that unless we invest federal dollars wisely and create innovative approaches to diabetes care, the impact to our economy and healthcare system could be catastrophic.”
The legislation has been endorsed by the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Medical Association, The Endocrine Society and the Pediatric Endocrine Society.
To signify support for the bill (H.R. 1074/S. 529), members of the public are encouraged to send a message to their Congressional representative and/or Senator. To find your representative, visit: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. To contact your Senator, visit: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members are certified in Endocrinology and Metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our site at www.aace.com.