January 11, 2011

ADA Has Legislative Priorities?

Well, on January 6, 2011, the American Diabetes Association finally issued their 2011 legislative priorities. While reasonable, I see nothing innovative or challenging in their agenda. It is good to know that they continue to back federal funding for several established government agencies.

Since they don't wish to be specific in their priorities, this should not be a challenge since most of the Federal funding of this will probably be funded, but to a lesser degree than previously with the cutbacks necessary to rein in our bloated budget.  I sincerely hope that this has some success.

Now to take the remaining list of priorities and my comments.

Health Reform Defense & Implementation – focus on access to quality, affordable coverage that provide people with, and at risk for, diabetes the tools necessary to manage diabetes and prevent its onset and complications
I have to wonder why this means defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which congress is under mandate from the people to repeal. Plus if they are participating in the legal defense, I think this would be wrong on so many levels. We do need affordable coverage and many people do need the tools to manage diabetes to prevent its onset and complications. This seems such a mild statement, that one must wonder what they expect to accomplish.  ADA's track record is not even a fair rating in the past.

Prevention – focus on primary prevention of type 2 diabetes centered on prediabetes, physical activity and nutrition
If they follow through with this, this could be great. Again they fail to mention any specifics and this should always be a top priority, especially the way they expect the number of people with diabetes to increase.

Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention and Access to Care Act to address racial and ethnic disparities
This is an excellent goal, but hopefully will encompass financial disparities. Otherwise this priority will fail.

Gestational Diabetes Act to expand diagnosis, data collection and treatment
This does reflect the major change in policy and definition for gestational diabetes in the 2011 Care Guide. For this issue alone they get my praise for something positive.

Diabetes Screening and Medicaid Savings Act to provide screening and diabetes care under Medicaid
A good priority, but lacks support in encouraging the insurance industry and Medicare to provide necessary screening from children to the elderly.

Stem Cell Research
This is too broad a priority and should be limited to research for diabetes applications only.

Health Entitlement Programs including Medicare and Medicaid
Should include all, meaning not only Medicare and Medicaid, but the medical insurance industry as well.

Discrimination Issues
Time for ADA to act accordingly and end their own discrimination.  The one area they listed is worthy, but does not address ADA's own discrimination.

Bills Related to Complications and Comorbidities of Diabetes
This is very general as it needs to be. What legislation will be introduced remains a mystery until introduction.

These are at best broad priorities for an organization that should also have some specific goals and priorities. I would hopefully think they could publish some specific goals and priorities.

The listed or published priorities are in and of themselves very discriminatory. No where is any mention made of doing anything for Type 1 diabetes.  Only Type 2 is given a mention. It is small wonder that the number one complaint against the ADA is their discrimination against Type 1, yet at every chance they get they will take credit for something the JDRF accomplishes. 

I agree with those that want to hold ADA's feet to the fire for their lack of attention to Type1 priorities. Even the monogenic diabetes classifications get no mention in their priorities. While Type 2 is about 95 percent of all diabetes, does this mean that the others deserve no mention. I don't think so!  I also will not accept that the word diabetes means all types when one type, Type 2 is singled out.

Read their priorities here, a slightly expanded version here, and if interested a list of the officers here.

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