Correcting Stereotypes of Diabetics in the Health Care Reform Debate

Dear all,
First, whether pro or anti, please check your ideology at the door of this discussion. It’ll be hard, but let us all focus.

I am personally offended by the portrayal of people with diabetes by the media and various activists in the debate, not to mention how the media swallows this “stuff” without question. People who know nothing about the disease must think that we are all obese couch potatoes, with the occasional exception being some grade school girl who is sooo courageous. More infuriating to me is that these mis-perceptions are unwittingly spread by physicians with no effort to stating the basic difference between Type I and Type II.

I am also annoyed that the ADA and JDRF do nothing (it seems) to correct the stereotype beyond leaving a fact sheet on their web sites.

So the question I pose is this: how can we as a community clear up the widespread ignorance about diabetes that this debate is encouraging?

Stealing someone elses idea on here from about a week or so ago. Tell 3 people a day the difference between Type 1 and Type 2.

I didn’t mean to “steal” any ideas from anybody, nor did I see any similar topics. My premise is that there is a lot of disinformation out there, and I am looking for ways to work with others to educate people and put a halt to ignorance. I like your suggestion. Do you have any ideas on how we can mold public opinion? One thought I had was in coming up with a 3 paragraph, 1 page fact sheet that even the densest person could learn from. Then every time there is an inaccurate news story or even comment on any talk show we would send it immediately to the ‘personalities’ involved as well as the head of their organization/paper/station, etc. Could that work?

I have been thinking about doing this for awhile now. So now that this issue has come up let me run it past you.

Fox News is the #1 cable news channel. There has been much debate on Fox both pro and con over health care reform. Gov. Mike Huckabee has a program on the weekends. He is a diabetic. I have thought numerous times about writing him and asking for his support for ALL diabetics in the health care debate. Maybe we could even get him to do a segment delineating the differences between T1s and T2s and what we as a coummunity need in relation to health care reform.

I would be more than happy to take on this task. So, what do you guys think?

I like that - that would be a good start. I wonder about enlisting other public spirited celebs? It is probably wouldn’t get far since Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s “Hardball” is a recently diagnosed Type II - though you’d never know it from the HC debate. So is Larry King, who also has a popular forum he could use.

One thought I had about mechanics in contacting folks is that while e-mail is fast and easy, it is also easily ignored and discarded. Who does not like getting a letter in the mail that doesn’t look like a bill? Is this rational, or am I a luddite?

I have been working on a letter to Gov. Huckabee. It is almost finished. I was just wondering if before I send it I could post it and have you guys read it and tweak it? If you all are willing let me know or if you have any suggestions about what I should include let me know.

That sounds like a winner to me! Go for it.