December 5, 2013
Susan Davis Diabetes Prevention Bill Picks Up Bipartisan
WASHINGTON – Legislation sponsored by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) on diabetes prevention is gaining momentum in the House. The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (H.R. 962), which would extend the proven benefits of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to seniors under Medicare and rein in health care costs, has amassed 28 cosponsors, including a number of Republican supporters.
“The effort to extend diabetes prevention programs to seniors is picking up steam,” said Davis. “I’m pleased my colleagues are raising their voices in support of my bill. With targeted prevention initiatives, like the National Diabetes Prevention Program, Congress can achieve cost savings by preventing diabetes and its complications, meeting our goals of improving health and reining in spending.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), found patients with prediabetes can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent through participation in a lifestyle intervention program. For seniors over age 60 the trial was even more effective, reducing risk by 71 percent.
Unfortunately, this successful program is not currently available to most seniors who could benefit. The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act of 2013 will extend the proven benefits of the National Diabetes Prevention Program to Medicare beneficiaries by making the community-based intervention available as a Medicare benefit.
Currently, 50 percent of all seniors in the U.S. have prediabetes and are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. It has been estimated that without action, Medicare spending on diabetes will grow to $2 trillion in 2020.
The Urban Institute estimated that expanding this program will actually save up to $191 billion to the US health care system, with most of the savings being achieved by federal health programs, like Medicare.