How The Proposed Healthcare Legislation May Impact People With Diabetes

Our quality of life depends on several factors, one being the caliber our of healthcare.

With this in mind, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recently sent a letter to Congressional leaders expressing concern about the proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

While it’s understood that everyone has their own opinion regarding this matter, those whose lives are, or may be affected by diabetes might be interested in what aspects of the proposed bill has people at the ADA worried.

Four Areas of Concern

According to William T. Cefalu, M.D., the ADA’s Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer, the ADA has “serious reservations” about four areas of the proposed healthcare legislation:

  • 1. Tax Credits. The ADA finds the tax credits in the proposed American Health Care Act to be “significantly weaker” than the current ACA plan, especially for low and middle income people. Though the new bill might reduce premiums for individuals now in good health, the costs for people with diabetes will likely go up, and coverage will be less.
  • Instead of the ACA’s premium subsidies, the proposed legislation offers age-based tax credits that range from about $2,000 to $4,000 annually.
  • 2. Proposed Changes To Medicaid. The ADA strongly believes the proposed changes to Medicaid, such as the repeal of Medicaid expansion, will negatively impact low-income individuals and families managing diabetes, and will limit the early screening, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetes.
  • The ADA also expresses “deep concerns” about the legislation’s per capita caps protocol for financing Medicaid. Per capita caps would allocate future Medicaid funds based on current state spending per enrollee.
  • 3. Continuous Coverage Premium Penalty. The ADA states the proposed continuous coverage premium penalty is of “particular concern,” since many people experience a lapse in insurance coverage when they cannot afford premiums—not because they opt to be uninsured.
  • The proposed continuous coverage premium penalty requires people purchasing health insurance to pay a 30 percent penalty if they were uninsured during the previous year.
  • 4. Limiting Essential Benefits. The ADA is pleased that the new legislation retains the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits for small group and individual insurance plans. However, the bill disappointingly removes the Essential Health Benefits from Medicaid coverage.
  • Essential Health Benefits are ten areas of service insurers must cover, such as physician services, in and outpatient hospital care, pregnancy and childbirth, mental health services, and prescription drug coverage.

The ADA is not alone with its concerns. Other medical provider groups are expressing doubts about the coverage and financial structure of the proposed legislation, including the American Nurses Association, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Diabetes and its complications can be managed, and type 2 diabetes can often be prevented—if there is access to and availability of adequate and affordable health insurance. In the recent past, we have made great strides in improving the lives of those individuals with diabetes through innovative research, effective therapeutic interventions and improved access to care. If the ACA is repealed and not replaced by legislation that includes the aforementioned principles [adequate, affordable healthcare for everyone, including prevention], there will be serious health implications for our most vulnerable population.

~ William T. Cefalu, M.D., Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer, ADA

Sources: American Diabetes Association; Urban; Forbes/Continuous Care; Healthcare.gov; Medicare Advocacy; Forbes/Nurses

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Actos (pioglitazone), known as the thiazolidinediones, are oral drugs used to treat Type 2...

Regular diabetic testing is essential for proper management of diabetes. Depending on the severity of the diabetes, a diabetic may be...

When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, many people panic and are concerned that their life is over. In fact, if the...

Oil pulling therapy derives from Ayurveda, a holistic healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine maintains that...

There are many causes for both male and female hair loss, including heredity, diet and illness. Could taking prescription insulin be one more...

More Articles

Doctors use regular assessments of their diabetic patients not only to monitor the progress of the disease but also as opportunities to counsel...

Every body needs insulin, an essential hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar by converting glucose into energy. Diabetics...

People are not the only beings who suffer from diabetes. Any mammal with a pancreas can develop the disease through a lack of or impaired insulin...

When is diabetes not really diabetes? When it is Diabetes Insipidus. Diabetes Insipidus is a rare disorder not related to diabetes mellitus,...

When news stations feature stories about diabetes, they tend to include a shot of an overweight body, calling attention to the person's excess...

The most well-known variations of diabetes are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes....

Those who have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can greatly reduce their susceptibility by doing one key...

There are those who have heard of the term "diabetes mellitus," but might not be familiar with it. Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

=It’s helpful to know the difference between a food’s total grams of carbohydrate, and net grams of carbohydrate since only net carbs affect blood...

Eating LCHF, or a Low Carb High Fat diet, is a bit mind-bending for those of us who have learned to consume low-fat and lean. In many respects, it...

A 1-minute quiz could predict whether or not you're at risk for prediabetes. More than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, which - left...

The human body needs chromium, a trace mineral, for several essential functions including the normalizing of...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...