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Shaheen, Collins & Patriots Linebacker Dont’a Hightower Call on Congress to Tackle Diabetes

High resolution versions of the photos are available here and here.  

Video from today’s event, including Senator Shaheen’s remarks, is available here.

(Washington, DC)— This morning, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME), co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, joined with Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower to urge Congress to pass legislation to stop diabetes. They were also joined by patient advocates with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, representatives from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and NFL players who are a part of the ADA’s “Team Tackle.” 

“Congress needs to do its part to stop diabetes,” said Senator Shaheen. “For all of us who gathered in the Capitol today, diabetes is personal. It’s great to have Dont’a Hightower, and everyone on Team Tackle on my team as we remind every member of Congress that diabetes doesn’t only destroy lives but also threatens to overwhelm the federal budget and bankrupt our entire healthcare system. Together, we can reach our shared goal of developing the tools and therapies to prevent type 2 from occurring and find a cure for type 1.”

“Since I founded the Senate Diabetes Caucus in 1997, funding for diabetes research has more than tripled,” said Senator Collins.  “The 2016 omnibus spending bill passed late last year continues this progress with an overall $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, the largest since 2003, but there is still much work to be done.  I have called on my colleagues to maintain our strong commitment to diabetes research in the 2017 spending bill, and Senator Shaheen and I are determined to require Medicare to cover Continuous Glucose Monitors, just as many private insurance companies already do.  Today’s investments will yield cures and therapies for patients tomorrow.”

Diabetes is one of the most costly diseases to the health system, costing the American health care system billions of dollars annually.  According to the Center for Disease Control, the estimated annual total cost of diabetes is $245 billion.

Last month, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Shaheen joined with Senator Collins to lead a bipartisan letter, signed by 30 Senators, urging Congress to support the three priorities that the Senate Diabetes Caucus shares with the ADA: 

  • Appropriate funding for research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
  • Full support for the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
  • And support and promote the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Earlier this year, they re-introduced the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Care Act to establish a national commission of health care experts to advance diabetes care.