Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Introduces Bill to Improve Diabetes Research

March 3, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) today re-introduced H.R. 1192, the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act, legislation to streamline federal funding intended for diabetes research, ensuring that federal tax dollars are targeted for maximum benefit to patients. The bill also engages diabetes experts in the private sector to help the federal government address diabetes research in a fiscally responsible manner. The goal of the bill is better patient care, less people diagnosed with diabetes and a reduction in its costs to the nation.

“At a time of crushing debt, we must maximize every limited research dollar available," Rep. Olson said. "Diabetes is a national epidemic. Cutting-edge medical research and clinical care institutions only matter if we can translate that research into direct patient care. This bill will help ensure that Americans at risk of diabetes receive appropriate and effective preventive care and those with diabetes receive the same high-quality care and enjoy a better quality of life by successfully managing their disease.”

Olson's bill H.R. 1192; would form a National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission, which would consult with federal agencies and assist in coordinating and directing diabetes clinical care policy. The board would be comprised of healthcare professionals, patient advocates and representatives from the various federal agencies who deal with diabetes. The Commission would make recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and to Congress about current policies and programs that will improve the quality of diabetes care and patient outcomes.

A 2010 report by the Texas Health Institute found that more than 8 million Texans will have diabetes by 2040. Currently, more than 2 million Texans are battling diabetes. Diabetes costs the U.S. more than $218 billion annually. $1 out of every $3 Medicare dollars is spent on people with diabetes. $1 in every $10 healthcare dollars is spent on diabetes and its complications. Finally, 37 federal departments and agencies are involved in the implementation of federal diabetes activities.

According to the most recent statistics by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes by the numbers - 2014: 29.1 million Americans have diabetes — one out of eleven. Of these, 7 million do not know they have the disease.  The annual cost of diabetes increased 41% in the past 5 years. Most of the cost for diabetes care in the U.S., 62.4%, is provided by Medicare, Medicaid, and the military. The rest is paid for by private insurance (34.4%) or by the uninsured (3.2%). Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly
202-225-5951

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