How to become an Outspoken Diabetes Advocate

Just wondering if there was any way to become a person that goes to the Capitol and let them know how the insurance companies are treating us by refusing to help us maintain what control we do have over our lives without them stepping in and telling us we are doing wrong. I live in NW Pennsylvania and D.C. is about an 8 hour drive for me. I would love to know about this “Health Care Reform” bill that is being worked on to and what it does for those with chronic medical conditions. I do work for the State of Pennsylvania and have medical benefits through my husband (he works for the State too), but we feel very limited when it comes to my testing 10X a day cause the insurance company only permits 4X a day, no matter what you are dealing with. Currently, I am battling an URI and was put on antibiotics to help clear up my eyes and chest. Physician said not to up the basal rates, but to just bolus larger amounts to get BS back down under 140. I didn’t listen though…I upped the basals since I don’t feel much like eating. I am checking every 2 hours in order to keep from going hypo when the antibiotics finally kick in. Who and where do we go to get our stories heard by the folks that make the rules for this “Health Care Reform”?

I WISH I knew. If you find out anything - count me in. I think its disgusting how the insurance companies think they can dictate what is good for you and what is not. Does any one of them have Diabetes??? If they help you control your diabetes to the best you can, then there is less complications later on and a lot less cost to Medicare, Social Security, when we are all sick and elderly. I am worried sick about what is going to happen to Medicare.
I would love to go to Washington and “speak” my mind.
(Type 1 55 years)

I am an advocate with the Canadian Diabetes Association ; the Association has another day planned in December , called " Diabetes Day on the Hill " in Ottawa , our nations capital . I participated in 2007 , a very worthwhile exercise . In the end I and 2 others from my area met with our MP ( Member of Parliment ); I took letters along written by people touched by diabetes in the MP’s area and presented them to him . Here in Canada the provinces/territories receive funds towards health and the province/territory then direct the funds . It does matter , where you live in Canada as far as coverage is concerned …in other words lots more work ahead .
Does ADA have a similar involvement with Advocacy ? I hope you get to speak to your representatives at your Capitol .

You might check with the JDRF’s Promise Campaign. I registered with them to be a local advocate and was invited to go speak with my local congressman during the August recess when he was home in Texas. I know the local gov’t relations rep now who travels between north Texas and DC and meets with representatives at their Washington offices. Sounds similar to what you’d be interested in doing.

They do have a similar program w/ the American Diabetes Association because I went to DC in 2004. It was 4-5 days of training and activities which prepared us to meet w/ our Senators and Representatives. ADA made all of the appointments and a delegation of folks from each district were chosen. We paid for our travel and rooms and they paid for everything else…meals, programs and some transportation to the Hill. It was about the time of the hot stem cell debates so I went prepared to discuss these issues w/ my representatives for Missouri.

As a constituent, you can make appointments to speak directly with your members of Congress. I’ve spoken with mine on the phone & with their aides, but don’t how long it takes to get a face-to-face meeting.

I firmly believe the best thing we can do right now is to communicate with our elected Washington representatives. I have written to my congressman and to our two Pennsylvania senators to ask them strongly to support the health care reform legislation. I know politics is not allowed to enter this forum, but any of us who have dealt with our insurance companies for some time see clearly thast change must come, and the bills currently under discussion in the House of Representatives and in the Senate are both a good start although I wish they would go a lot further, but, then, politics apparently is the art of compromise.

And you think that the government will do a better job. Well then again when you consider the bang up job they have done with taking over Amtrak, General Motors, bailing out the finaincial institutions, creating job with stimulus money…I’m sorry bad example, none of that has worked.

You do realize that under the proposed plan you will have to go before a government panel and they will tell you which plan you qualify for and can have. That is if you choose the government option.

Hey, friends, please keep these kinds of interchanges in the US Healthcare Reform group as they are not appropriate here and do not reflect the Values of TuDiabetes.


Please accept my apologies for bringing this discussion to TuDiabetes. I am signed up to be part of the US Healthcare Reform group, but nothing has been posted since Sept. except for mine as of today. All I wanted to know was how to be a spokesperson for people with Diabetes and get the information out as there are many young, old, and middle-aged people with the disease and they are not getting adequate care or are even made aware that they are eligible for specialty care. Again, I am sorry this discussion has turned into something inappropriate.

No, Catherine, no need to apologize. I’m glad you started the discussion. I, too, have concerns/opinions/beliefs/etc regarding the debate and that’s why I signed up to be an advocate, too. And it’s why our admin team opened the reform group for people to talk about the details without hostility.

I just wanted to remind everyone in a friendly way that discussing politics in a way that divides us right/left is strictly off limits here. So it’s one thing to ask how the healthcare legislation affects us or how we can become more politically active and it’s another to post our individual beliefs regarding certain politicians or agendas.