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Introduction Of The Diabetes Treatment And Prevention Act Of 2007

Rep. Eliot L. Engel

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Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Diabetes Treatment and Prevention Act of 2007 with my good friend, Vito Fossella.

There is no question that diabetes is a mounting challenge for our nation's health care system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes has doubled over the past 15 years. Over 20 million Americans are currently living with this disease, but 6 million of them have not yet been diagnosed. Another 54 million are classified as ``pre-diabetic,'' with a high-risk of developing this condition. The statistics are simply staggering.

Beyond being a public health threat, Diabetes accounts for over $92 billion in direct medical costs every year, and these numbers are only likely to increase. The Diabetes Treatment and Prevention Act would increase our ability to prevent new cases of diabetes and improve disease management.

Our bill would codify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation and set up demonstration grants to allow for further research on how to translate effective diet and exercise interventions for us in the general populations. It would also increase the ability of state and local health departments to engage in surveillance and education activities, and set up demonstration projects to examine the best ways to treat diabetes when it occurs in conjunction with other chronic health conditions.

I am proud that we have taken a multi-pronged approach in this legislation to attack our mounting diabetes epidemic on two fronts; it will promote research at the Centers for Disease Control so that we may better understand this disease while also funding innovative treatment and education efforts at the state and local level.

This legislation, combined with the Engel/Fossella Gestational Diabetes (GEDI) Act (H.R. 1544), which combats growing rates of Diabetes in pregnant women across the nation will go a long way towards managing and preventing the onset of Diabetes.

I urge my colleagues to co-sponsor this legislation today.