ARLINGTON, Va., March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote today on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Diabetes Association (Association) expresses continued concerns with the bill and urges all members of Congress to oppose it. The Association’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin L. Hagan released the following statement:

«On behalf of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes and the 86 million more with prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association cannot support the AHCA as it is currently drafted, and urges all members of Congress to oppose this bill.

«The Association is extremely alarmed by projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that show roughly 24 million people will lose coverage over the next decade; the significantly weaker tax credits compared to current ACA tax credits; the proposed continuous coverage premium penalty; and the proposed changes to Medicaid under this bill. Each of these elements could have a devastating effect on people with diabetes and negatively impact their ability to manage their disease.

«The Association has grave concerns with the bill’s elimination of the requirement for plans to cover all of the Essential Health Benefits, a critical component of the ACA, which, if repealed, will put people with diabetes at risk of being unable to access the care and services necessary to manage their diabetes. Further, the current draft of the AHCA would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund after 2018, eliminating almost 40 percent of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) chronic disease prevention and health promotion budget and taking a drastic step backwards for diabetes prevention.

«In its current form, the AHCA falls short of the minimum standards for an ACA replacement the Association has previously outlined and that fellow patient advocacy groups agree are necessary to ensure continued access to quality care for those who need it. The Association cannot support the American Health Care Act.»

The Association sent a letter detailing concerns with the AHCA to Congressional leaders on March 22. Click here to see the letter.

About the American Diabetes Association

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and every 23 seconds, another person is diagnosed with diabetes. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (Association) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The Association drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the Association supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn). 

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SOURCE American Diabetes Association