Tester: Too many Native American families know the struggle of living with diabetes

Senator helps pass bill to fight diabetes in Indian Country

(U.S. SENATE)-Senator Jon Tester, Vice-Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after voting to pass the two-year authorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).

“Too many Native American families know firsthand the struggle of living with and treating diabetes and nearly everyone in Indian Country has a loved one or knows a friend affected by this terrible disease,” Tester said. “This is a step forward, but our fight isn’t over until we permanently fund this initiative.”

Last year Tester introduced legislation to permanently fund SDPI, which supports treatment efforts to help those already diagnosed with the disease and helps fund prevention programs to stop the growth of this epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, Native Americans are two times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than the rest of the nation.

The SDPI reauthorization was included in a bill that prevents a cut to Medicare reimbursement rates.