US Senate Aging Committee Highlights Importance of Diabetes Funding and Research
The US Senate Committee on Aging held a hearing on Wednesday, July 15, to discuss the importance of funding and research to combat diabetes. The hearing, “Diabetes Research: Improving Lives on the Path to a Cure,”included witnesses from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Missouri School of Medicine, as well as individuals with firsthand experience living with Type 1 diabetes.
Also in attendance at the hearing were 160 delegates from every state participating in the Children’s Congress of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The children travelled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for diabetes funding and research. Three of the children testified at the hearing about their experiences living with diabetes and the importance of continuous glucose monitoring technologies in managing their conditions. One of the witnesses was a teenager from Casco, Maine, who recently broke a 39-year-old national high school long-jump record by jumping 22 feet, 5 inches.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who chairs the Senate Aging Committee and is the founder of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, emphasized the importance of diabetes funding and research. She highlighted both the costs associated with diabetes, including the financial burdens it puts on individuals, the health care system and Medicare. “I’ve learned a lot about the difficulties and heartaches that this diseases causes for so many American families as they await a cure,” she said. “Diabetes is a lifelong condition that does not discriminate. It affects people of every age, race and nationality. Moreover, diabetes costs the United States and estimated $245 billion a year, a cost that is projected to more than double by the year 2020. It also accounts for one out of three Medicare dollars. In fact, medical costs for Americans with diabetes are more than double those incurred by those without diabetes.”
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