The Rising Price of Diabetes
Medical expenditures and decreased productivity cost the U.S. $174 billion in 2007
Eight percent of the United States population has diabetes, and it's costing the nation billions of dollars in health care costs and reduced productivity each year.
The ADA has highlighted this crisis in a statement issued in the March issue of Diabetes Care giving updated estimates for diabetes expenditures in 2007. Total costs: $174 billion.
Of that expense, $116 billion is estimated to have been spent in treatment and $58 billion in reduced national productivity. On average, people with diabetes spend 2.3 times more on medical expenses than they would if they didn't have diabetes.
One step Congress has taken to address this financial burden is the allocation of additional federal funds for diabetes programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A law passed in December 2007 allots a 1.42 percent increase for the Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a 0.15 percent increase for diabetes research at the National Institute of Health's National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Although these percentages may seem small, they mean an additional $2.87 million for DDT and $880,000 for the NIDDK.
Congress also voted to approve a one-year extension of the Special Diabetes Programs that are part of a Medicare package passed in December 2007. These are substantial type 1 diabetes research programs and prevention and treatment programs for Native American communities.
ADA continues to advocate for an extension on these programs, as well as an increase in federal funds allocated to diabetes programs at the NIH and CDC.
Become a Diabetes Advocate
Taking action in the fight against diabetes has never been easier. Get involved in the American Diabetes Association's efforts to:
- Increase funding for diabetes research and prevention programs
- Improve health care and insurance coverage
- End discrimination based on a person's diabetes
Go to diabetes.org/advocate. To receive updates from the Association about important public policy issues, be sure to sign up under "Become a Diabetes Advocate".