Politics of Diabetes
Overall, this was a productive couple days of lawmaker meetings. Yes, we need national reform in our health care system and many aspects must be addressed. But this is about the federal funding for treatment and research, among overall educational and outreach efforts for the Big Diabetes Community.
In my opinion, the Indiana lawmakers' support is critical because they represent a state where you have the likes of Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics U.S., Anthem/Wellpoint, various medical device-maker interests, and an emerging biotech industry. These businesses are powerful players in the Type 1 research world, and programs they start or participate have incredible impact on millions of us within the Diabetes Community worldwide. Sen. Bayh's voice in this, as well as the influence of Republican Sen. Dick Lugar, can play a powerful role in convincing other senators why this support is so critical. Every moment we have to bend their ear counts. Same goes for the Reps, who represent chunks of the state but are integral to making sure they know the JDRF and what the true impact of these federal funding initiatives truly mean for us. (Hint to all Lawmakers who may not have had JDRF meetings or are uncertain about supporting the SDP).
So, the Advocacy Work continues...