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The Diabetes Screening and Medicaid Savings Act (S. 755)

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:20am
I try to keep away from politics but all the talk about ADA made me realize that sometimes you have to get involved to make things better. It is OK to once in a while expect others, like the ADA, to solve some problems for you, but eventually you have to get involved too.

So I took a deeper look at this new US Senate bill - The Diabetes Screening and Medicaid Savings Act (S. 755).

What is this bill?
It has two parts -
1) Make testing for diabetes part of Medicaid. I agree on this one. Testing and diagnosing early are great savers for Type2 diabetics for sure.
2) Comprehensive benefits for individuals with Diabetes. Now this part is a little tricky. I like what it says in principle. We should give better and free benefits for diabetics that are struggling especially ones who do not have coverage and cannot afford it. But too many open questions left like who is going to pay for all this? The cost of managing diabetes keeps going up each year.

Possible additions to the Bill
1) Provide funding for this addition. A bill to increase services should come with ways to fund it. Just adding the benefit with no way to finance it is asking for trouble.
2) Add a rider about using generics where possible.
3) The biggest cost I see in my diabetes management is the cost of testing material. This might be different for others, but I feel like the best way to manage for me is to test frequently. With the cost of a test strip running a dollar each strip, this is pretty steep. The Senate needs to use the volume of strips they are going to use as a leverage to drastically cut the cost of blood sugar monitoring for not just folks on Medicaid, but eyerone else. That would be a real saver of money. Maybe encourage some generic testing meters in the market.
4) Make adjustments in the bill about making the disease management an individual goal. Give a hand up for people, not hand outs.
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