Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 | 2 a.m.
It’s not every day that we can highlight a successful bipartisan program, particularly within our highly polarized political environment. Yet the Special Diabetes Program epitomizes beneficial public policy resulting from collaboration between elected officials of both parties.
Congress created the Special Diabetes Program to address the growing burden of diabetes on people affected by the disease as well as its economic impact. Today, there are nearly 30 million Americans, both children and adults, living with diabetes — and this number is expected to double in the next 25 years. For those living with Type 1 diabetes, they face a constant balance between the risks associated with dangerously low blood sugar and those resulting from high blood sugar. There is no known way to prevent the devastating illness of Type 1 diabetes that often develops in infancy, childhood, young adulthood or later in life.
Yet because of the advancements in research made possible through the Special Diabetes Program, such as insulin and artificial pancreas technologies, people afflicted with Type 1 diabetes are living longer and healthier lives than ever. Additionally, rates of complications affiliated with Type 1 diabetes are lower today than 30 years ago.
By renewing the Special Diabetes Program, we can continue building on the success we’ve already seen in improving the quality of life for Americans afflicted with diabetes. That is why I urge Congress to renew the Special Diabetes Program this year and ensure that we continue making progress toward treating and ultimately curing Type 1 diabetes.