The 2012 election season is heating up. With 53 days until the election, now is the time for Diabetes Advocates to engage candidates on the important issues our community faces like access to health care, funding for diabetes prevention and research, and finding a cure.
Many elections will be hotly contested, with candidates holding town hall meetings, rallies and other events all over their district or state. These events will be our opportunity to impress upon them the importance of our priorities for the 26 million Americans with diabetes and the 79 million more with prediabetes.
When you attend a candidate event, here are 3 questions you could ask:
1) With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, insurers can no longer refuse to cover children because of their diabetes or drop young adults with diabetes from their parent’s health plans. Additionally, by 2014 insurers will not be able to refuse to sell or renew policies because of diabetes. These are just a few of the important protections recently put in place for people with diabetes. Do you support maintaining these protections for people with diabetes in the Affordable Care Act?
2) Diabetes is an epidemic with 105 million Americans currently having diabetes or prediabetes. Currently, the federal government underfunds critical programs for diabetes research and prevention at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Do you support increasing funding for these vital programs?
3) The Special Diabetes Program, a key component of the government’s commitment to diabetes research and prevention, is due to expire in September of next year. I believe reauthorization should include an increase in funding for each program from $150 million per year to $200 million per year for 5 years. Do you support reauthorizing the Special Diabetes Program?
These meetings are a great opportunity to speak directly with candidates and make the diabetes epidemic part of the conversation.
To find out when local Congressional or Senate candidates are holding town hall meetings in your area, check their websites and your local paper’s community calendar, or call their district offices. You can find links to your current elected officials’ websites and phone numbers for their local offices by using the “Find Your Elected Officials” page of our website.
Finally, if you go to a candidate event, or otherwise engage a candidate, it is essential you read this sheet detailing the do’s and don’ts for engaging candidates as it is essential you do not engage in activities that are prohibited for nonprofit organizations like the American Diabetes Association.
After you attend a candidate event, click here to tell us how it went.
Thank you for making your voice heard and helping to Stop Diabetes® this election season.
L. Hunter Limbaugh
Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association