Diabetes Advocacy Group Opposes Proposed Affordable Care Act Repeal

The American Diabetes Association opposes the Affordable Care Act repeal without a replacement plan.

Many Americans are calling for healthcare reform, with hopes that President-elect Donald Trump will tackle this issue once he takes office. Throughout his campaign, President-elect Trump made unwavering promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

With the repeal potentially becoming a reality once Trump is sworn into office, advocacy groups, healthcare stakeholders, and patients have expressed concern for repealing the health law, especially since there are no definitive replacement plans.

The American Diabetes Association has publically spoken out against the repeal without an immediate replacement plan. The association is speaking out against the repeal on behalf of the 30 million Americans with diabetes, and the 86 million individuals with prediabetes it represents, according to a press release.

They recently sent a letter to Congressional leadership to highlight how repealing the ACA without a plan to replace it may disproportionately affect patients with diabetes.

“The ACA provides numerous health insurance protections for people with, and at risk for, diabetes and has greatly improved access to adequate and affordable health insurance,” the letter stated. “The Association strongly opposes going back to a time when people with diabetes were routinely denied health insurance or forced to pay exorbitant premiums simply because they have diabetes; when treatment for preexisting conditions like diabetes could be excluded from coverage; when people could find their insurance coverage was no longer available just when they needed it most; when individuals with diabetes were locked into a job because they could not otherwise obtain adequate health insurance for themselves or their families; and when seniors in the Medicare Part D donut hole had to pay for 100% of their drug costs.”

The association also discussed the inequities of patients with diabetes, and made suggestions to Congress regarding what should be included in a replacement plan.

They suggest that health insurance coverage should be provided for the same number of individuals currently enrolled in ACA health plans to prevent individuals who may not have alternative options from becoming uninsured.

A replacement plan should ensure that all individuals will be able to access continuous coverage, regardless of a person’s circumstances, according to the Association.

The association also urges Congress to implement a replacement plan that will provide adequate, affordable coverage for individuals, regardless of pre-existing conditions, income, age, or employment status. This means that patients with conditions that make them an undesirable customer to insurance companies should not be charged costly premiums due to a risk of higher healthcare utilization.

Prevention initiatives, especially for diabetes, should also be a part of the replacement plan to ensure that patients remain educated about the risks of developing certain diseases.

“Congress should not risk critical advancements made under the ACA without simultaneously enacting a replacement plan that maintains or improves existing access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage,” the letter concluded.