Medicaid cuts could cost individuals with type 2 diabetes, group says

With lawmakers in Washington battling over the federal budget, many different ideas have been tossed around for bringing down the national debt. One group is voicing its concern about proposals that threaten to cut funding for Medicaid.

The American Diabetes Association will hold a press conference this week in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and Families USA to announce its opposition to any legislation that would reduce funding for Medicaid programs.

Officials said that many people with the condition rely on the federal health program to obtain their testing supplies and medications. Without Medicaid, some of these people would likely not be able to maintain the high levels of care they need to effectively control their blood sugar levels and avoid health complications.

As part of the press conference, the organization will highlight numbers showing how many people in the nation's four most populous states rely on Medicaid. A certain percentage of these individuals may lose their coverage if funding for the program is reduced.

Since diabetes is one of the most expensive conditions to care for, any decision to cut funding to individuals with the diabetes who rely on Medicaid could have significant implications. Additionally, type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects low-income individuals, who would be the most vulnerable to potential coverage limitations.

Furthermore, the American Diabetes Association says that cutting funding for Medicaid would only have short-term budgetary benefits. By limiting coverage for preventative treatments, the group says more individuals with type 2 diabetes would end up in emergency rooms, which drives up the cost of care for everyone.

Currently, a group of 12 congressmen is working to identify measures to reduce the long-term deficit. Its proposal is expected by the end of November, and may include suggestions to cut Medicaid funding.