JDRF Issues Statement Opposing Revised Healthcare Legislation

CEO Warns Against Removing Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions Like Type 1 Diabetes

UPDATE: May 4, 2017 – On behalf of the 1.25 million Americans with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and their families who rely on affordable, comprehensive health insurance, JDRF is deeply upset that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would allow insurance companies to charge people with T1D more money for coverage and would significantly cut Medicaid, on which many low-income people with T1D rely.

JDRF urges everyone in the T1D community to contact their Senators to tell them why people with T1D should not have to pay more for their health insurance.

JDRF will spend the coming weeks working with Senators across the political spectrum to ensure any health reform legislation will protect people with pre-existing conditions and provide access to affordable, comprehensive coverage for everyone – including the T1D community.


NEW YORK, May 2, 2017 — Derek Rapp, President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, has issued the following statement opposing the MacArthur Amendment to HR 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and encouraging T1D advocates nationwide to write to their member of Congress. To submit a letter to the House of Representatives advocating for accessible, affordable healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, visit the JDRF Advocacy page: www.jdrf.org/act.

Statement from Derek Rapp, President and Chief Executive Officer, JDRF

Dedicated to curing, preventing and treating type 1 diabetes (T1D), JDRF has long recognized how important affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage is to the estimated 1.25 million Americans living with T1D and their families.

JDRF is deeply concerned with the MacArthur Amendment to HR 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). JDRF opposes its passage because the amendment could jeopardize the insurance coverage that people with T1D rely on to live healthy lives.

Specifically, the MacArthur Amendment would give states the option to allow insurance companies in the individual insurance market to charge higher premiums based on a person’s health status and encourage the use of high-risk insurance pools, which often charge premiums that are 150 to 200 percent higher than what is charged for typical coverage. While a ban on discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions like T1D would technically still be in place, in practice, the proposed amendment is likely to lead to significantly higher, often unaffordable insurance costs for those with complex and chronic conditions. For many years, the T1D community had to battle with insurers that were allowed to deny coverage or charge significantly more to cover people with pre-existing conditions and we want to ensure that our community does not have these same battles in the future. These proposals violate the principles for health reform JDRF established in January 2017, which include preserving protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Moreover, the AHCA, which is currently in the U.S. House of Representatives, contains deep cuts to Medicaid and would affect the ability of lower income people with T1D to access and afford care.

Living with T1D is a constant and expensive challenge. To survive, people with T1D rely on daily supplies of insulin and tools required to administer an accurate dose. It takes 24/7 vigilance and a close relationship with one’s physician to avoid life-altering or life-threatening complications. As access to quality care becomes more expensive, the health of people with T1D suffers.

JDRF is committed to preserving protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. We oppose the MacArthur Amendment and the AHCA, but we will continue to work with lawmakers across the political spectrum to craft healthcare solutions that provide access to affordable, comprehensive coverage for everyone – including the T1D community – and advance all aspects of the JDRF Advocacy Agenda.

Patient Advocacy Groups Stand Together

In addition to the statement above, JDRF has joined nine other organizations—representing more than 100 million Americans battling chronic conditions—to sign a statement opposing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in its current form.  The organizations’ joint statement is available at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/leading-patient-advocacy-groups-stand-together-to-oppose-american-health-care-act-300448714.html.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.

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