American Diabetes Association: Proposed House budget could harm Stop Diabetes efforts


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Changes to the House of Representatives' budget for the upcoming fiscal year could put an American Diabetes Association movement at risk, the ADA said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the organization said that the House resolution cuts $19 billion from overall discretionary funding for fiscal year 2013, compared with the current year. The American Diabetes Association's Stop Diabetes movement, launched in 2009, would be affected by this cut, ADA said, noting that the budget resolution would "alter essential health programs and jeopardize vital diabetes research and prevention programs." The ADA also added it was concerned about "the devastating impact" the budget cut will have on the future of discretionary public health programs, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation and its National Diabetes Prevention Program.

"We are dismayed that the brunt of the efforts to reduce the deficit is falling disproportionately on critical programs providing a lifeline of research, prevention and treatment services to people with diabetes and other health needs," the association said in its statement. "The House resolution leads us down a path to reducing funding for diabetes research and prevention programs, one that will severely damage our nation's response to the diabetes epidemic and its devastating and costly complications, such as amputations, blindness, heart disease and kidney failure."

The association also said another part of the House resolution concerns them: turning Medicaid into block grants to the states. About 3.5 million Medicaid enrollees have diabetes and that losing access to coverage would have a detrimental impact on their health, ADA said.

"[The association] recognizes the difficult financial situation our country faces; however, weakening life-saving programs like Medicaid and Medicare and harming our research and prevention efforts will further burden vulnerable populations and lead to a deterioration in public health," ADA said. "This will drastically affect the nearly 105 million Americans with diabetes or prediabetes who are counting on these programs."

The American Diabetes Association will host its annual Diabetes Alert Day is March 27.

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