Saturday, November 04, 2006

Make Your Vote Count

MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT


November is diabetes awareness month and what a great month for it since November is also Election day! As you know it is important to vote and more important to vote for someone who is in favor of diabetes awareness. When you go out and vote on Tuesday please ask your self the following questions before you vote.

Is this person or will this person help find a cure?

Have or will they propose legislation for educational programs on diabetes programs?

Will or have they vote to increase spending to fund a cure?

I encourage everyone to think about these questions before they go and vote. If you do not know if your representatives voted in favor of the diabetics needs then call their campaign office and ask. There more than 20 million of us living in the US and that is a huge voting block if we make our voices heard.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Wake Up Congress!! You are Hurting Small Business


S. 1955, also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act, would not only allow the creation of AHPs that can skirt the 46 state laws for small business health plans, it would also allow all state-regulated health insurance policies to bypass those laws. This means that in addition to small business health plans, all state-regulated health insurance -- like individual policies, for example -- would also lose their guarantee of required coverage of lifesaving diabetes items.

Supporters of this bill believe they are helping more Americans get health insurance coverage. However, coverage under these policies either covers diabetes needs inadequately or prices them out of reach of many Americans if it covers those needs at all. In short, S. 1955 will be devastating for millions of people with diabetes across the country.

Despite a strong effort by Advocates from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee members' states, S. 1955 passed in that Committee by a vote of 11-9 on Tuesday. Now this bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote.

If there was ever a time for diabetics to take action -- emailing your Senators, calling them, or visiting them -- this is it. It is outrageous that Congress could even imagine passing such a law! This great country of ours is in a healthcare crises and we need a strong lead to step up and let them know that the more than 20 million diabetes who live in the United States of America and that vote. We need to unite as one big voice that we want a cure and in the meantime we want the best affordable healthcare coverage anyone can buy.

I ask all of you to please call or write your member of congress and let our voice be herd or come election day we go shopping for a new member that really wants to help us.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

I along with the more than 22 million diabetes need your help! We need a cure for diabetes that can not come soon enough. There are plenty of us that have to finger prick ourselves daily, inject insulin at least 2 times a day and take numerous types of medicine to prevent organ damage that we are more prone too as a diabetic.

As we fight to find a cure and try and educate others with prevention methods why did your administration decide to cut more than $11 million out of the NIH budget compared to last year and $20 million out of the CDC budget for prevention?

I know governing in a democracy is about choices and some of them are tough but with a disease that effects more than 22 million Americans and costs this country’s healthcare costs more then $132 billion last year. (All cancers breast, testicular, brain etc. costs $139 billion combined) I would have thought this was an easy decision.

I know it is not too late! Please work with Congress and fully fund the NIH and CDC Budgets to last years funding if not more.

As I said we all have been waiting very long for a cure. Generations have been waiting for the day to find a cure and I know you do not want to be one of the major obstacles that prevented that from happening.

The Diabetic Advocate

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Congress Must Fund Diabetes Research and Education Now

Diabetes has and continues to reach epidemic proportions in this country. In the past months and years their have been outcries for help for funding for research. Congress has not become fully active in the fight to find a cure. Diabetes costs this country billions of dollars in healthcare costs and has affected tens of millions of people.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes which is the amount of a person’s blood sugar rises to dangerous levels and causes numerous health problems. Both types do not have a cure. Type 1 is a gland in the pancreases that no longer makes insulin because the immune system destroys the cells that make it. The sugar then builds up in the blood causing internal damage while the cells starve. In type 2 the body can make insulin but the diabetic cells cannot properly use it. A child that is found to Type 2 diabetes at age 10 will see his or her life shortened by 19 years according to a government estimate.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are more than 20 million people living in the United States that are diabetic, which is estimated to be seven percent of this nations population. The CDC feels there are 41 million more people that are pre-diabetic; their blood sugar is high and with out changing their lifestyle they will untimely become diabetic. In a recent article in the New York Times, a CDC doctor said within 24 hour period of time there will be 1,400 diabetes newly diagnosed diabetics, 55 people will go blind, 230 amputations and 120 patients will enter end stage kidney disease programs all because of diabetes.

According to a recent CDC report one out of every three babies born in the United States as of 2000, will be diagnosed with diabetes, a more shocking statistic one out of every two Hispanic babies will be diagnosed with diabetes.

All types of cancer costs the United States a combined $171 billion a healthcare costs, Diabetes costs $132 billion. The Cato Research Institute did research on the cost of diabetes. They found that a diabetic without complications cost an estimated $1,600 a year but that cost can and will go up if any related ailments case problems. Some examples of how that cost skyrockets are an estimated $30,400 for a heart attack or amputation more than $40,000 and for a stroke and an estimated $37,000 for end stage kidney disease.

Congress has not seen the warning signs that diabetes has grown into epidemic proportions. There have been numerous ways that Congress could have been much more active by securing more funding for the CDC for research and fully funded diabetes education and prevention programs. Sadly, they did not seize the opportunity to do so.

I find it outrages, that this past Congress did not fully find prevention program and has only dedicated $300,000 for such programs and chose to make cuts in the CDC and NIH budgets for useful prevention and education causes. They chose to slash the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation Act for the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases which is part of the NIH research division by $9 million compared to last year.

As more and more diabetics are found their needs to be a strong education that is fully funded so they can properly handle the disease. Congress should also fully fund a prevention program that in the short time may cost some money but in the long run it will save this country millions if not billions of dollars in healthcare costs. I would strongly encourage Congress to listen and respond to the outcry of their constituents to find a cure for this horrific disease by dedicating more funding for research, education and prevention.

Please contact your Congressman/woman or your Senator and encourage them to fund Diabetes Prevention and Education programs.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Stop Neglecting The Diabetic Epidemic

As you may or may not be aware of the series of articles that appeared in the New York Times discussing Diabetes and its effects on diabetics, the healthcare system and the largest city in the United States – New York City.

The story finally sheds light on how Diabetes is being neglected by the government and how it is costing our healthcare system billions of dollars. (An estimated $132 billion a year.)

Some facts that were mentioned in the New York Times Article

One in three children born in the US five years ago are expected to be diagnosed with Diabetes according to the CDC and more of a dimming forecast is even bleaker for Latinos; one in every two! Diabetics are two to four more likely than others to develop heart disease have a stroke and three times more likely to die of complications from flu or pneumonia.

Frank Vinicor of the CDC gave some shocking stats. One might be shocked how the epidemic is growing in a 24 hour period of time, between when you wake up in the morning and when you go to sleep.

4,100 people diagnosed with Diabetes
230 amputations of diabetics
120 people who enter e-stage kidney disease programs
55 people who will go blind



What will it take for Congress and the President to give more funding for a cure, education and prevention? I know with a Republican majority running the federal government they are more fiscally responsible. However, look at the cost according to the Cato Research Institute that was also put in the New York Times article.

$1,600 a year roughly in medical costs (doctor visits, insulin, needles, testing strips, finger prick needles)

$30,400 if a diabetic has a heart attack or becomes an amputee $37,000 for kidney disease and more than $40,000 for a stroke.

The CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, which helps diabetics who are struggling and assists with prevention, had its funding cut and is now funded at $300,000. The Division of Diabetes Translation has been cut and it comes on a recently released CDC study that found that diabetes has risen by more than 14% in the last two years. In 2003 there were 18.2 million diabetes and in 2005 there are now 20.8 and growing! What is wrong with our leaders? Can't they see this disease can not be neglected because if it is it will only get worse?

It is time that our elected representatives in the House of Representatives, United States Senate and President take action to end this epidemic for the more than 20 million diabetics and growing.

I urge all of you to contact your Senator and Congressman and let them know Diabetes should be a priority, meaning more money for finding a cure and more money for prevention. I also suggest you write letters to the editor to your local newspaper to get more media attention for this neglected disease. Please send a letter to the New York Times thanking them for their great story and bring this issue to light. letters@nytimes.com

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Question of the Day

Can someone please tell me the difference between Sugar and Sugar Alcohol? Manufacturers are allowed to put sugar free on products when there is no sugar but sugar alcohol. I have reviewed the nutritional information and it still falls under the total carbohydrates. I am thinking sugar is sugar correct??? If someone could kindly answer this for me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks! and Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

DO NOT CUT FEDERAL FUNDING

It appears that Congress has no idea what they are doing again. This is not breaking news. However, the fact that they may cut 1% of the existing federal funding for prevention programs is! If the Senate does accepts the current conference report on the “2006 Labor, HHS Bill they will be cutting more than $300,000 for prevention funding! We simply can not allow this to happen.

Does Congress know that 20.8 million Americans, or 7 percent of the population, have diabetes, and this number is growing at a shocking rate. Between 1990 and 2001, diabetes prevalence in the United States has increased by more than 60 percent. The number of Americans with diabetes is now growing at a rate of 8 percent per year and is the single most prevalent chronic illness among children

Does Congress know that one out of every 10 health care dollars is spent on diabetes and its complications? In addition to the $132 billion in 2002 dollars in direct and indirect costs spent solely on diabetes each year, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, adult-onset blindness and lower limb amputations and a significant cause of heart disease and stroke. While diabetes is currently one of the most costly health problems in America, many of these costs could be reduced by increasing awareness and improving prevention

I ask Congress to look at the long term results! Prevention is a key to success and in the long term saves taxpayers millions of dollars in healthcare spending. I urge them to reconsider this and make sure Diabetes get the research and prevention funding they need to 1. Find a cure 2. Save taxpayers money in the long term and 3. Prevent Diabetes from becoming an epidemic by funding outreach for prevention programs

I urge all of you to Contact Congress TODAY and tell them to oppose the conference report on the “2006 Labor, HHS Bill unless it is the appropriate Diabetes funding!