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Casey: Congress Must Help Make Life Better for Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

Casey Calls for Renewal of Research Funding & Introduces Bill to Reduce the Cost of Insulin for Kids

Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, called for more funding for research into Type 1 diabetes and introduced a bill that would make sure insulin for children with Type 1 diabetes is affordable for families during a hearing entitled, “Redefining Reality: How the Special Diabetes Program is Changing the Lives of Americans with Type 1 Diabetes.” Sen. Casey’s Affordable Health Care For Children With Disabilities Act (S. 2067) would help cover the medical costs of children with disabilities, which would include the cost of care and insulin for children with Type 1 diabetes.

“We must do everything in our power to help make life better for the more than 1.25 million Americans living with Type 1 diabetes,” said Senator Casey. “That includes providing stable research funding to help find a cure through the Special Diabetes Program, which I recently helped vote out of committee. It also includes ensuring the cost of insulin for children does not bankrupt a family. That’s why I introduced a bill today that would encourage states to expand Medicaid coverage to children with disabilities, including Type 1 diabetes, regardless of their family’s income."

The Special Diabetes Program, which funds critical research for Type 1 diabetes treatment and prevention that could one day lead to a cure, expires on September 30. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed during childhood and is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children.

Adriana Richard, a 16-year-old from Northumberland County, testified at the hearing about her experiences living with Type 1 diabetes and as an advocate for other children and youth with the disease. “We’re so close to finding cures for diabetes and if we stop research now, there’s no way we will ever find it. [W]e need the Special Diabetes Program for research…to help scientists and engineers invent things like [the] continuous glucose monitor that [has] changed my life,” said Adriana. She added, “I’m grateful that as a resident of Pennsylvania the cost of my insulin is zero dollars because it’s fully covered as a life-sustaining medicine under Medicaid. Thank you, Senator Casey, for your interest in expanding this program broadly so that kids with diabetes in other states may also benefit.”

Read the Affordable Health Care for Children with Disabilities Act here.