AADE e-Advocacy Newsletter

October through December 2010

AADE Advocacy: A look back at 2010 and the 111th Congress!

As we close the book on 2010 and prepare ourselves for the 2011 legislative year and the start of the restructured 112th Congress we wanted to take a look back at what has been accomplished and where AADE is heading.

What the AADE Advocacy network has accomplished:

  • The CDE provision was included in the House version of the Healthcare Reform Package as well as the Senate Finance Committee’s (SFC) version. Although the language was omitted from the final 'merged' bill between SFC and the Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee we cannot view this as a failure. This was the first time our language was included in any bill of this size and importance. The language was not omitted due to any policy concerns or opposition to the provision by any Senator but simply an assumption, by some, that the provision may not be essential to the provision of DSMT care. But thanks to your hard work and persistence we are poised to dispel these assumptions in the new Congress.
  • AADE commissioned Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC (Dobson | DaVanzo) to create a cost estimate of H.R. 2425 over the ten year period from 2011 through 2020 using Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring methodology. One of the major obstacles we faced with getting support for the legislation was proving its cost effectiveness. This study showed Members of Congress that the legislation was budget neutral and further proved it to be a necessary to designate Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) as providers of Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) under the Medicare program.
  • In an effort to gain recognition of the qualified diabetes educator, AADE embarked on a diabetes educator state licensure initiative. Legislation (H.B. 490) was introduced in the state of Kentucky requiring licensure to provide diabetes education. The bill, in its first attempt, passed the Kentucky state House 96 – 0 but was derailed before reaching the state Senate by an exhausted budget battle that lasted till the closing minutes of the 2010 state legislative session.
  • With generous contributions from Eli Lilly, Roche, Medco, Takeda and Medtronic, over 75 AADE members were able to travel to Washington, DC for the first-of-its-kind, two-day public policy forum. We are currently discussing a similar event to be held in 2011.
  • In the midst of major races for Senate and House seats and focus on debates and votes over major legislation you still made your voice heard in Washington. We close out the 111th Congress with 50 co-sponsors for H.R 2425 and 13 co-sponsors for S. 3211. These numbers do not include Senator Shaheen and Rep. DeGette.
  • Because of your word of mouth and efforts to share the action alerts you have helped build the AADE advocacy database up to over 16,000 subscribers. This is leaps and bounds from where we were going into the 111th Congress and puts us in a nice position to begin the 112th. Additionally, during this Congress you have generated more calls, sent more letters, attended more town halls and have made more personal visits with your members of Congress than in any of the previous years.

What’s coming in 2011:

  • Our two Champion Members of Congress U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO 1st) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are positioned to re-introduce the Diabetes Self-Management Training Acts in the House and Senate at the start of the 112th Congress.
  • We will be re-introducing the Diabetes Educator Licensure legislation in the state of Kentucky as well as introducing the legislation for the first time in the state of Indiana. We are continuing to research state diabetes trends and statistics to determine which states will follow. To read more or listen to the audio conference calls click here.
  • We are continuing to pursue fair reimbursement for DSMT to reflect the value of the diabetes educator and the services they provide.
  • We will continue to strengthen and build relationships with stakeholder groups, including government agencies, congressional representatives and healthcare patient and provider organizations to gain more wide spread support for the AADE legislative agenda.
  • With the help of our advocacy network we will increase awareness and build stronger public support for the AADE legislative agenda.

In spite of all of the debate over healthcare related issues over the past two years you have accomplished quite a bit and set a new standard. With the successes we have achieved and the recent changes we should all be very optimistic going into the new Congress. Senator Shaheen is expected to be appointed the Democratic co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus. Rep. DeGette is the Democratic co-chair of the House diabetes caucus and Ed Whitfield (R-KY 1st) is expected is to be appointed the Republican co-chair (there is a strong group of diabetes education advocates in his district). Senator Mark Kirk, an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2425, has moved from the House to the Senate after winning the Illinois vote this past November.

With many changes happening on both sides of Congress we are still waiting for a full list of all relevant committee assignments (ways and mean, energy and commerce and Senate finance) so we can begin to identify key districts or states to target.

One thing to remember as we move forward is that regardless of who you voted for (or did not vote for) the Representative in your district or Senators in your state work for you. The legislative agenda has been, and will always be, bi-partisan and about the educator and the patient and taking the necessary steps to alleviate the epidemic that is diabetes.

Together you have made your voice heard in Washington and in the states. Now let’s take the next step and get the legislation passed.

Get ready for a very active 2011!

From all of us at AADE Advocacy have a safe and Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year!

If you have any questions or concerns please contact James Specker at advocacy@aadenet.org


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