House Reauthorizes Special Diabetes Program

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Contact: Jared King
Navajo Nation Washington Office
Communications Director
Cell 202-200-0625
jking@nnwo.org

***LEGISLATIVE ALERT*** 

House Reauthorizes Special Diabetes Program

WASHINGTON– Today, the House of Representatives passed a one-year reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Programs for Indians (SDPI).

The reauthorization was contained in HR 4302, a bill which also created a one-year “doc fix” that would avert a 24 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians. The “doc fix” was a contentious bill in the House.

Proponents of the SDPI reauthorization were pushing for a five-year reauthorization of the program instead of the yearly reauthorization that has occurred in recent times. However, in order to avoid stirring up any controversy or debate on the other items contained in the bill, the House opted to pass a one-year extension to all provisions by voice vote, under a suspension of the rules which required a two-thirds vote.

The Senate version, S 2110, was introduced March 11, 2014, by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and contains a five-year reauthorization.

The bill was placed on the Senate legislative calendar March 12, 2014, by unanimous consent. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is expected to schedule the bill for full Senate consideration within the next few days.

Congress established the SDPI in 1997 to address the growing epidemic of diabetes in the American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) communities. Native communities have the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the nation, with the current the rate hovering at 2.8 times the national average. The SDPI is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2014, unless Congress acts to renew it.

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