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Secretary Sebelius Releases New Report on Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America

Nov 12, 2009

This press release is an announcement submitted by Department of Health and Human Services, and was not written by Diabetes Health.

To learn more about how health insurance reform will help Americans with diabetes and view the complete report, visit www.HealthReform.gov

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the nation marks American Diabetes Month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report today, Preventing and Treating Diabetes: Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America. The report comes one day after Sebelius toured the East Manatee Family Healthcare Center in Bradenton, Fla. At the center, Sebelius met with patients and Floridians who care for people with diabetes.

"Americans with diabetes are suffering in our current health care system," said Sebelius. "Health insurance reform will help ensure these Americans can get the prescription drugs and supplies they need and bring down premiums so all Americans can have high-quality, affordable health insurance."

As affordable treatment remains inaccessible to many Americans suffering from chronic diseases, people with diabetes shoulder some of the nation's highest health care expenses. The report notes:

  • One in six individuals with diabetes report avoiding or delaying needed medical care because of cost. Annual health care expenses for a diabetic topped $11,477 in 2007. A box of 100 test strips for blood sugar monitors can cost up to $60 while the price of a vial of insulin can range from $30 to $70, mainly because generic brands are not manufactured in the United States.
  • A study showed that 80 percent of people with diabetes went uninsured after having lost coverage due to health insurance transitions triggered by job change or layoff, a move, divorce, graduation from college, or a change in income or health status.
  • If all states improved diabetes control to the level of the top four best performing states, at least 39,000 fewer patients would have been admitted for uncontrolled diabetes in 2004, potentially saving $216.7 million.
  • Fourteen percent of American Indians, 12 percent of African Americans, and 10 percent of Hispanics have type 2 diabetes. These rates of diabetes are greater than in the non-Hispanic white population, which has a rate of only 7 percent.

The report outlines the ways health insurance reform will lower costs and improve access to quality health care services for Americans with diabetes. Health insurance reform will lower health care costs for people with diabetes by capping annual out-of-pocket expenses, eliminate discrimination for pre-existing conditions and health status, create a health insurance exchange so families can shop for suitable plans, provide coverage for preventive screenings, and reduce health disparities so that all Americans can have access to quality, affordable health care.

To learn more about how health insurance reform will help Americans with diabetes and view the complete report, visit www.HealthReform.gov


Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Government & Policy, Health Insurance, Insulin, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues



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Comments

Posted by Jerry1423 on 13 November 2009

I really don't know what to believe in this article because there are so many errors; including the cost of insulin and test strips are way off. To put a single figure for the cost of diabetic supplies is careless because the costs vary greater between a type 1 with a pump, and a type 2 only on oral meds. My type 1 meds yearly costs are less than half the amount mentioned, before insurance.

If a diabetic cannot afford their meds, then contact the manufacturer. You will get them for free. Just check their web sites.

80% of diabetics do not have insurance ??? total nonsense. If you loose you job, or got a divorce then get COBRA insurance - After my divorce COBRA was $200, and that's not bad.

As a Type 1 diabetic for 34 years I would like to tell Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to stick her comments where the sun doesn't shine, especially when writing to diabetics as they know the facts because they are part of them.

Please get the information straight before writing an article like this. Health care reform won't improve anything, only make things worse. I can't think of anything that was made better after more government control, except the paychecks of those who are in government.

Posted by Cryppie on 14 November 2009

The article misinforms. Allowing politicians to determine what is acceptable coverage means that insurance coverage will be determined by what will obtain the most votes or donations to the politician.

Second, not covering pre-existing conditions for 1 or 2 years is not discrimination. We are talking about insurance. No business in its right mind would take on a customer with a costly illness and begin payments for the illness immediately before taking in only one premium. A pre-existing condition is a high risk. It is really no different than charging a 60-year-old who's had a heart attack more for life insurance (or not insure at all) than what would be charged to a healthy 30-year-old. My government life insurance - managed by the federal government - doubled the bi-weekly premium the day I hit 60 - I now pay over $600 a month for 500K of insurance. I cannot get life insurance from anyone else because I am too risky - a heart attack and diabetes.

Government-run medical insurance - which the president has stated repeatedly as his goal - will inevitably result in higher taxes for every working person, and reduced care, particularly as the patient moves past 50 or 60. This already happens in Great Britain, Spain, and Canada.

I believe there are things that can be done to help reduce costs. Serious tort reform that allows true malpractice victims to get a just payment - without granting millions to the lawyers and which prevents absurd pain/suffering payments because the lawyer conned the jury with pseudoscience - as John Edwards did with his cerebral palsy cases. Competition among insurers across state lines. Eliminating free medical care to those who willingly break the law to enter this country. Congressional funding for serious program enforcement - which is lacking in every federal program. The Congress and the cabinet departments do not really want close examinations of their programs for fear of finding out how many are really ineffective and riddled with waste and fraud. My experiences in the Section 8 housing program bears that out.

And remember - the Congress has cleverly set the start date in 2013 - after two elections, but will starting taxing us in 2010.

Finally - at what point in time did the Constitution give the Congress and the Executive the ability to mandate to a supposedly free citizenry that it buy a particular product on pain of fine or imprisonment. This has no relationship to the mandate to pay income taxes or excise taxes. The government is ordering all of us to buy a certain kind of light bulb in 3 years. It already controls what kind of toilets we're allowed to buy. It's increased the costs of food because it has mandated that feed be used to make ethanol.

Some changes are needed - but not as envisioned by a Congress and Executive that because of its wealth and connections will never have to use what it tells us we must use.


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