Third Way Statement on Introduction of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act
April 30, 2015
Third Way today issued this statement from Gabe Horwitz, Director of the Economic Program:
The sheer effect of diabetes on our country is astounding. More than 29 million Americans have the disease, and a quarter of them don’t know it. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have estimated that 40% of Americans born between 2000 and 2011 will develop diabetes. It has grown to epidemic proportions with the number of people with diabetes doubling between 1990 and 2005. And amid the personal suffering is a staggering financial cost to families and the government—in 2012 the total cost of diabetes in the U.S. was $245 billion. In fact, one of every 10 health care dollars goes to treating it.
That is why we are so pleased to see bicameral leadership on preventing diabetes from affecting more Americans. We applaud Senator Al Franken and Rep. Susan Davis’ introduction of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act which provides coverage for Medicare beneficiaries with prediabetes who enroll in the National Diabetes Prevention Program. This is a critical first step to get Medicare beneficiaries at risk for developing diabetes the help they need to prevent them from developing diabetes.
Millions of Americans are on the verge of developing diabetes, but don’t yet know it. It’s just common sense that Medicare should improve screening for these individuals to get them enrolled in proven prevention programs—and, as we have shown, it saves the federal government money. Washington should grab this rare win-win. We’re grateful to Senator Franken and Rep. Davis for their commitment to beating this disease.
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