At age 14, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Suddenly, a huge part of life became navigating the complicated world of checking blood sugars, counting carbohydrates, and taking insulin shots. It is a disease that affects me every hour of every day. I’m not alone. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, a figure that is expected to double within the next 25 years.
Diabetes is also incredibly expensive, individually and nationally. I have not yet reached the deductible on my health insurance and my monthly supply of insulin, which I need to live, costs $546. Government spending on diabetes tops $322 billion annually, and more than one in three Medicare dollars goes towards its treatment. The best way to bend those projections is with research through the Special Diabetes Program.
The SDP is a renowned research program; its research produces a steady stream of medical and technological breakthroughs. It is a wise and effective investment of tax dollars. Because of the SDP, I use devices that keep me healthier, devices that did not exist when I was diagnosed 17 years ago.
Funding for the SDP is set to expire at the end of September. I am grateful our Idaho congressional leaders have been supportive of the SDP in the past. I’m asking them to continue their support and approve the renewal of this program, ensuring that we continue the research that getting us to closer to a cure. We cannot afford to lose momentum now.