Even though COVID-19 has kept much of the world at bay, the JDRF Advocacy team continues to work on legislative, administrative, and health policy issues for those with T1D. JDRF staff in Washington, DC. continue their work, while advocates continue to provide support at the local level for all initiatives. Below is a brief summary on recent events and legislation.
Unfortunately, JDRF Advocacy’s Government Day planned for March was canceled this year due to the pandemic. This is an opportunity where grassroots leaders from across the country assemble in Washington, DC. to meet with members of Congress and share their stories about life with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Chris Tapio, Board member and advocacy volunteer, was planning to attend and represent our community.
JDRF Advocacy’s highest priority has been the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). The SDP enables the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue breakthrough research to cure, prevent and treat T1D by allocating $150 million a year specifically to T1D. It is critical to continuing our progress. On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law, providing a much needed renewal of the SDP through November 30, 2020. Please help us thank our Members of Congress for their support at jdrf.org/SDPthanks
Affordability of health care for those with T1D is another key priority for JDRF Advocacy. We recognize that this can be more challenging than ever for those with T1D, and we are doing what we can to help. Our health policy team recently added a ‘When You Lose Your Coverage’ section to the JDRF T1D Health Insurance Guide, and has updated the ‘Help with Costs’ section of the guide. Americans have been urged to seek 90-day prescription refills, so we encourage all to connect directly with health insurance providers for details. If denied a 90-day refill, please see the ‘Applying for an Exception’ section of the guide. The insurance guide can be found in English at: jdrf.org/insurance and in Spanish at: jdrf.org/seguro For those who have a Medicare Part D plan, the CARES Act provides up to a 90-day supply of a prescription medication if requested by a beneficiary during the COVID-19 emergency, and additional funding for Community Health Centers, where individuals can access affordable insulin and other prescriptions.
The strength of our Advocacy work remains with YOU. Your voice is critical for our Legislators to know and understand the impacts of T1D on your family. Your story matters! If you haven’t signed up to be an Advocate, it’s one of the easiest things you can do. To sign up, go to jdrf.org/join. You will receive periodic updates on our Advocacy work, and most importantly, receive calls to action where you can use a pre-written email and just add a few sentences of your own thoughts and send to your legislators. This month, the Promise to Remember Me Campaign will be launched for advocates to speak directly to our Members of Congress. Be on the lookout for requests to participate. Your voice counts.
Thank you to everyone who continues to lend their voice to the important legislative efforts on behalf of the T1D community. To learn more on how you can get involved, please contact the JDRF Office at (916) 920-0790.
Northern CA Inland Chapter
Advocacy Team Chair