Great news! On July 15, both the House and Senate voted to override the presidential veto of the Medicare package. This means that a two-year extension of the Special Diabetes Programs, which was included in the bill, will now continue through September 2011.
"We applaud Congress for their vote to extend the Special Diabetes Programs," said R. Stewart Perry, Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association. "We know the value of these programs and the real difference they make in the quality of life for millions of people with diabetes and, in changing the future for all people with diabetes."
23.6 million Americans -- or 7.8 percent of the population -- have diabetes. Diabetes is among the leading causes of death by disease in the United States. The Special Diabetes Program for Indians helps to implement prevention, education and treatment programs in Native American communities. At 17 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups. Recent government studies have demonstrated that the program's prevention and treatment efforts -- have contributed to significant reductions in diabetes complications in these targeted populations.
Previous funding for the Special Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research has led to the establishment of large scale, collaborative research programs that could not otherwise have been undertaken. This has resulted in the advancement of research that accelerates the improvements towards prevention, treatment and finding a cure.