JDF Health Care Reform


Diabetes is a chronic and complex metabolic disease which results in the inability of the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Approximately 16 million people in the United States have diabetes; in fact, this year more than of 170,000 Americans will die from diabetes and its complications while more than 650,000 people will be newly diagnosed.

Diabetes is a leading cause of death by disease in the United States, and studies have shown that it reduces life expectancy by up to 30%. It is the leading cause of new adult blindness as well as a major cause of kidney disease, heart disease, stroke and amputations-complications which often lead to a premature death. Diabetes has significant economic costs as well. A study conducted by Lewin-VHI found that U.S. health care expenditures for people with diabetes exceed $130 billion per year-—one out of every seven dollars spent on health care in the United States. This figure is based on a 1992 study conducted by Lewin-VHI, Inc. and reflects adjustments to the rate of inflation.

Medical Research

JDF believes that to enhance health care quality, reduce pain and suffering and control spiralling health care costs, a broader commitment to medical research is essential. Many studies have shown that biomedical research investments today yield significant health care cost savings tomorrow. Therefore, an increased federal commitment to medical research funding must be an integral component of any serious effort to reform our health care system. The current health care climate—with its emphasis on cost control—has put new and increasing pressures on university-based and private research while changing the emphasis to outcomes assesment rather than discovery-based research. These trends are likely to further squeeze future medical research investment and threaten much of the progress made in recent years in improving the quality and capability of our health care system. If health care quality is to be advanced and costs contained, public and private sector support for medical research must be expanded.

Health Care Reform Legislation

JDF supports the following health care insurance reform provisions:

In addition, JDF urges the Administration and Congress to act to ensure that all health plans provide coverage for all of the integral components of the care, management and treatment of diabetes as outlined by the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT). This includes insulin syringes, blood glucose meters and strips, insulin infusion pumps, all of the supplies used in conjunction with this equipment, as well as diabetes self-management training.

For more information or a copy of the latest Government Relations newsletter, please contact or e-mail:

JDF Government Relations
1400 I Street, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
1-800-JDF-1-VOTE
(202) 371-9746
(202) 371-2760 Fax
E-mail: govrel@jdfcure.com

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