The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and affects nearly 10 percent of the US population. The federal government supports important Diabetes Research at the National Institutes of Health—to the tune of $150-million a year. That funding will dry up unless Congress acts soon.
For New York Congressman Tom Reed, finding a cure for diabetes is personal. Reed says his son – has Type 1 diabetes.
“My wife, God bless her, up at 2 o’clock 3 o’clock poking his fingers in the morning to make sure his blood sugars were not life threatening,” said Reed, a Republican congressman from New York.
Reed is the co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus. He’s backing a bill which would preserve critical funding for Diabetes research at the National Institutes of Health.
Federal funding for the research program is set to expire in September.
Meghan Riley with the American Diabetes Association says the money supports important research.
“They’re looking for enhanced treatments, they’re looking for a cure,” said Riley, VP Federal Government Affairs with the American Diabetes Association.
The bill would actually increase federal funding to the program for the first time since 2004. Riley says it would be money well spent.
“Diabetes is our most costly chronic disease at 372 billion dollars a year,” said Riley.