Business leaders will make diabetes funding an election issue

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Despite their convincing arguments, their failure shows that in budgetary matters, the statute can facilitate access but not necessarily influence.

“Sometimes you can’t get what you want, but you can never give up logic,” says Jeff Browne, who has two adult children with T1D who each spend up to $10,000 a year on their technology.

“T1D is a killer with the potential to kill thousands of people every year, and the technology is available to avoid this drastic risk. But the funding usually stops when people reach adulthood, and the cost then becomes prohibitive for most.

It’s a matter of fairness, says Richard Goyder Getty Images

“An annual investment of $100 million would repay itself up to 10 times, as a credit against the current $2.9 billion per year that T1D and its complications currently cost the government; it is obvious. »

Richard Goyder, former president of JDRF, says technology allows people to live longer, healthier lives. “The difference in life expectancy between a child diagnosed with T1D and a child without is around 15 years.

He thinks a means-tested government co-pay system would be fair, because everyone who needs the technology should have access to it.

“It’s a matter of fairness. We are a wealthy country and we care for the hearing and visually impaired as well as people with cancer and other serious illnesses. T1D is a chronic, autoimmune disease and a silent killer. We have to do something about it.

It’s not marginal, it’s life-saving technology, says JDRF President Ian Narev Photo: James Alcock

T1D should not be confused with type 2 diabetes, which usually occurs later in life and is often a lifestyle disease.

Although deflated by the budget, he says Health Minister Greg Hunt was a strong advocate for this and did his best, but there were many legitimate competing claims.

“We will put a lot of effort into it in the coming weeks,” says Ian Narev. “The unique aspect is that it combines social benefits with basic demonstrable economic sense. We’re going to make sure that the economic logic and the equity logic are well understood, on both sides of politics.

“This is life-changing technology for people with T1D. It’s not marginal, it makes a huge difference in the quality of their lives. We don’t want anyone to be deprived of technology because they can’t afford it.

“It’s not a social grant. The underlying modeling shows a return on investment, not tomorrow, but starting quickly and increasing rapidly over several years.

Eligibility for subsidized pumps is generally lost at age 18 and at age 21 for instructors. With the average household income of recipients around $55,000, an average $8,500 pump (under warranty for four years) is barely affordable. Private health insurance covers them, but many cannot afford it either.

Monitors can cost between $4,000 and $5,000 a year and are not covered by health insurance.

“Coming of age should be a time of celebration, not an arbitrary decision by government that makes managing health more difficult,” said JDRF.

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