The American Diabetes Association® (ADA), the nation’s leading organization for all people living with diabetes, announced its support today for the Ending Health Disparities during COVID-19 (EHDC) Act, introduced by Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL).
For months, the ADA has urged Congress to address health disparities exacerbated by the pandemic. This legislation includes important COVID-19 testing and insurance access provisions that would help to bridge these gaps. Among many key objectives, the bill would:
- Increase testing for the virus among medically underserved populations,
- Ensure that federal agencies and state governments are capturing health data related to inequities,
- Provide COVID-19 treatment at no cost,
- Create a national COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force, and
- Provide additional opportunities for those without health insurance to enroll.
“COVID-19 has taken an enormous toll on the 122 million Americans living with diabetes and prediabetes – a group that’s made up of disproportionately low-income Americans and people of color,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. “Not only has this pandemic shined a spotlight on systemic inequities that already existed, but it’s widened them, making it even harder for our most underserved communities to get the help they need during this crisis. This is why the ADA is proud to support the Ending Health Disparities during COVID–19 Act. This important legislation would help level the playing field by implementing nationwide COVID testing, providing free treatment for the virus once it becomes available, and expanding access to insurance for those who lose health coverage when they lose their job. This bill couldn’t have come at a more critical time, and we urge all members of Congress to support this bill.”
Not only is diabetes the most common chronic condition in the U.S., diabetes rates are inversely related to income, and people of color are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes or other related underlying conditions as white Americans. The ADA recently launched #HealthEquityNow, a national platform to ensure that all people living with diabetes, and the millions of underserved Americans who are at greatest risk for diabetes, have access to health resources they need not just to effectively treat the condition, but to prevent the onset in the first place. To learn more about #HealthEquityNow, visit diabetes.org/HealthEquityNow.
The list of bill cosponsors includes Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Gregorio Sablan (I-MP), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), John P. Sarbanes (D-MD), Ayanna S. Pressley (D-MA), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Andre Carson (D-IN), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Sylvia R. Garcia (D-TX), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-GU), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL). The ADA called on all members of Congress to support this important legislation.