Sending Office: Honorable Tom Reed
Support the Special Diabetes Program: An Effective and Vital Program that Improves Lives by Advancing Research and Reducing Health Care Costs
Deadline for Signatures: Wednesday, May 1
14 Organizations in Support: American Diabetes Association, JDRF, Endocrine Society, Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, National Indian Health Board, National Council of Urban Indian Health, Lions Clubs International, Omada Health, National
Kidney Foundation, Children with Diabetes, Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Services Inc., Healthcare Leadership Council, American Podiatric Medical Association, and American Association of Diabetes Educators
276 Current Signers: Ralph Abraham, Alma Adams, Robert “Bob” Aderholt, Rick Allen, Colin Allred, Kelly Armstrong, Jodey Arrington, Cindy Axne, Brian Babin, Don Bacon, Nanette Barragan, Karen Bass, Ami Bera, Jack Bergman, Don Beyer, Gus Bilirakis,
Rob Bishop, Sanford Bishop, Earl Blumenauer, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Suzanne Bonamici, Mike Bost, Brendan Boyle, Kevin Brady, Anthony Brindisi, Susan Brooks, Julia Brownley, Vern Buchanan, Cheri Bustos, G. K. Butterfield, Bradley Byrne, Salud Carbajal, Tony
Cardenas, Andre Carson, Sean Casten, Kathy Castor, Steve Chabot, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Gilbert “Gil” Cisneros, Katherine Clark, Yvette D. Clarke, Wm. Lacy “Lacy” Clay, Steve Cohen, Tom Cole, Chris Collins, Gerry Connolly, Paul Cook, Jim Cooper, Lou Correa,
Jim Costa, Joe Courtney, T.J. Cox, Angela “Angie” Craig, Rick Crawford, Charles “Charlie” Crist, Jason Crow, Elijah Cummings, Sharice Davids, Danny, K. Davis, Rodney Davis, Susan Davis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Peter DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Rosa L. DeLauro, Suzan
DelBene, Antonio Delgado, Mark DeSaulnier, Scott DesJarlais, Ted Deutch, Debbie Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Sean Duffy, Jeff Duncan, Thomas “Tom” Emmer, Eliot Engel, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Abby Finkenauer, Brian Fitzpatrick, Bill Foster, Lois Frankel,
Marcia L. Fudge, Tulsi Gabbard, Ruben Gallego, John Garamendi, Sylvia Garcia, Greg Gianforte, Jared Golden, Vicente Gonzalez, Lance Gooden, Garret Graves, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Michael Guest, Brett Guthrie, Debra “Deb” Haaland, Vicky Hartzler, Alcee Hastings,
Denny Heck, Kevin Hern, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Brian Higgins, French Hill, Katherine “Katie” Hill, Jim Himes, George Holding, Kendra S. Horn, Steven Horsford, Jared Huffman, Duncan Hunter, Hakeem Jeffries, Bill Johnson, Dusty Johnson, Eddie Johnson, Hank Johnson,
Dave Joyce, John Katko, Mike Kelly, Trent Kelly, Robin L. Kelly, Ro Khanna, Dan Kildee, Derek Kilmer, Ron Kind, Pete King, Steve King, Ann Kirkpatrick, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ann McLane Kuster, David Kustoff, Darin LaHood, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Rick Larsen,
John Larson, Brenda Lawrence, Al Lawson Jr, Debbie Lesko, Andy Levin, Ted Lieu, Daniel “Dan” Lipinski, Dave Loebsack, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Nita M. Lowey, Frank Lucas, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Ben “Ben Ray” Lujan, Stephen “Steve” Lynch, Brian Mast, Tom Malinowski,
Carolyn Maloney, Sean Maloney, Kenny “Ken” Marchant, Roger Marshall, M.D., Doris Matsui, Ben McAdams, Lucy McBath, Betty McCollum, Jim McGovern, Patrick McHenry, David McKinley, Kathy McMorris Rodgers, Jerry McNerney, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Carol Miller,
Paul Mitchell, John Moolenaar, Alex Mooney, Gwen Moore, Seth Moulton, Markwayne Mullin, Jerry Nadler, Grace Napolitano, Joseph “Joe” Neguse, Dan Newhouse, Ralph Norman, Del. Eleanor Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tom O’Halleran, Ilhan Omar, Steven Palazzo,
Gary Palmer, Jimmy Panetta, Donald Payne, Ed Perlmutter, Scott Peters, Collin Peterson, Dean Phillips, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, David Price, Aumua “Aumua Amata” Radewagen, Jamie Raskin, Tom Reed, Guy Reschenthaler, Kathleen
Rice, Cedric Richmond, Denver Riggleman, Martha Roby, Phil Roe, Harley Rouda, David Rouzer, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Raul Ruiz, Dutch Ruppersberger, Bobby Rush, John Rutherford, Del. Gregorio “Killili” Sablan, Linda Sanchez, John P. Sarbanes, Mary Scanlon, Jan
Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Kurt Schrader, Kim Schrier, Austin Scott, David Scott, Jose Serrano, Terri Sewell, Donna Shalala, Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, Mike Simpson, Albio Sires, Adam Smith, Jason Smith, Lloyd Smucker, Darren Soto, Abigail D. Spanberger,
Jackie Speier, Greg Stanton, Peter “Pete” Stauber, Elise Stefanik, Bryan Steil, Haley M. Stevens, Chris Stewart, Steve Stivers, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Bennie Thompson, Mike Thompson, William R. Timmons, IV, Scott Tipton, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Tonko, Xochitl
Liana “Xochitl” Torres-Small, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Michael “Mike” Turner, Jeff Van Drew, Filemon Vela, Ann Wagner, Tim Walberg, Jackie Walorski, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maxine Waters, Steve Watkins, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Randy Weber, Peter Welch, Brad
Wenstrup, Bruce Westerman, Susan Wild, Joe Wilson, Steve Womack, Rob Woodall, John Yarmuth, Theodore “Ted” Yoho, Don Young, and Lee Zeldin.
As Co-Chairs of the House Diabetes Caucus, we ask you to join us in signing a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy to support reauthorization of the critical Special Diabetes Program (SDP). The SDP is a vital program that is improving
the lives of the 30 million Americans with diabetes and 84 million Americans with prediabetes. This program generates considerable savings for our nation’s health care system. We need urgent action to preserve and continue the essential work of this program,
which expires on September 30.
Diabetes costs the U.S. economy roughly $327 billion annually—more than any other disease. People with diabetes have health care costs 2.3 times greater than those without diabetes. In addition, one in four health care dollars and one in three Medicare dollars
are spent treating diabetes and its complications, which can include kidney disease, blindness, and amputations. Diabetes is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
The Special Diabetes Program consists of two components: (1) the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research, which supports research to prevent, treat, and cure type 1 diabetes, and the (2) Special Diabetes Program for Indians, which
supports type 2 diabetes (T2D) treatment and prevention strategies for American Indian and Alaska Native populations (AI/AN), who are disproportionately burdened with T2D.
Supporting SDP will continue the momentum in diabetes research and help bring diabetes-related costs under control. We encourage you to join us in recognizing the importance of SDP by signing the attached letter.
To add your name to the letter or for additional information about the program, please contact Thomas Woodburn with Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s office (Thomas.Woodburn@mail.house.gov)
or Logan Hoover with Congressman Tom Reed’s office (Logan.Hoover@mail.house.gov).
Diana DeGette Tom Reed
Member of Congress Member of Congress
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Speaker of the House Republican Leader
U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy:
We write today to thank you for your strong and steadfast support of the Special Diabetes Program and ask for your commitment to reauthorize the program prior to the expiration of its current authorization in September 2019. The Special Diabetes Program
is comprised of two important components: the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research (SDP) and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). Without question, the lives of roughly 30.3 million individuals with diabetes, 84.1 million
with prediabetes, and countless families impacted by the disease have benefited from these critical programs. It is essential that we continue to invest in the research necessary to develop a cure for diabetes as well as support the programs that help prevent
and treat the disease and its complications.
Diabetes is our country’s most costly disease in both human and economic terms, affecting people of all ages, races, and in every region of our country. It is the number one cause of kidney disease, blindness in working-age adults, and lower-limb amputations.
In addition, it is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Approximately one in four health care dollars and one in three Medicare dollars are spent treating people with diabetes. The total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2017 was $327
billion, with $237 billion for direct medical costs and another $90 billion due to reduced productivity. Medical expenditures for individuals diagnosed with diabetes are roughly 2.3 times higher than expenditures for those without the disease.
Overall, the economic costs of diabetes, adjusted for inflation, increased by 26 percent from 2012 to 2017, and these costs are expected to increase as the number of people with diabetes continues to grow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report, an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes (6.7 per 1,000 persons) were diagnosed among U.S. adults in 2015.
While the increase in these statistics is very concerning, the SDP is making meaningful progress. SDP funds research that is leading directly to the development of new insights and therapies that are improving the lives of those with diabetes and accelerating
progress towards curing and preventing the disease. Likewise, the SDPI is having a significant and positive impact on the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), who are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes. The SDPI is making it possible
to develop and sustain quality diabetes treatment and prevention programs in AI/AN communities where they are most needed.
Some notable developments from SDP and SDPI include:
- Artificial Pancreas (AP) Systems: SDP-funded research greatly accelerated the development of AP systems, which have shown the ability to reduce costly and burdensome type 1 diabetes (T1D) complications and improve the quality of life for those with
the disease. SDP funds led to the first fully automated insulin-dosing system being made available to patients in 2017, some 5 to 7 years earlier than expected. Multiple other AP systems are being tested in outpatient trials. According to one study, the use
of AP systems in adults could save Medicare roughly $1 billion over 25 years.
- Kidney Disease: Researchers have discovered that 6.5 years of intensive blood glucose control can cut in half the onset of impaired kidney function in people with T1D. This reduction in end-stage renal disease could save Medicare roughly $126 billion
over 25 years. Kidney disease in AI/AN individuals is also in decline. Between 1996 and 2013, incidence rates of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in AI/AN individuals with diabetes declined by 54 percent. The decrease in ESRD incidence has resulted in a 29 percent
decrease in prevalence of ESRD since 2000, representing the only instance of a decline in adjusted prevalence for a major racial group.
- Eye Therapies: SDP-funded research discovered that combining a drug with laser therapy can reverse vision loss in people living with diabetes. The SDP also filled a critical research gap by funding a head-to-head comparison of three drugs for the
treatment of diabetic eye disease. The results are helping patients, clinicians, and insurers to identify the right therapy and course of treatment for each individual person. During the SDP era, diabetic eye disease rates have decreased by 50 percent for
AI/ANs, resulting in a reduction of vision loss and blindness among AI/AN patients.
- Prevention: A truly groundbreaking 15-year study of 8,600 children is currently ongoing to determine what environmental factors influence the onset of T1D. Researchers believe that by identifying specific triggering factors, new strategies can be
developed to prevent the initial onset of the disease. Communities with SDPI-funded programs have seen a 54 percent increase in nutrition services, a 72 percent increase in community walking and running programs, a 59 percent increase in adult weight management
programs, and a 56 percent increase in weight management for children and youth.
- Glucose Control: The average blood sugar level, as measured by the hemoglobin A1C test, decreased from 9.0 percent in 1996 to 8.1 percent in 2014 in the AI/AN population. Every percentage point drop in A1C can reduce the risk of eye, kidney, and
nerve complications by up to 40 percent.
Clearly, the SDP and SDPI are improving the lives of the over 114 million Americans living with or at risk of developing diabetes, while also greatly reducing the long-term health care expenditures related to its complications. However, further investment
in these vital programs is essential to continue outreach and education, plan next steps for research programs, and effectively allocate resources – all of which play an important role in helping to better treat, prevent, and ultimately cure diabetes.
Thanks to your leadership, both components of the Special Diabetes Program continue to receive strong bipartisan support. We look forward to working with you to ensure that these programs together remain a beacon of hope for all Americans living with or
at risk of diabetes.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0