The Congressional Diabetes Caucus was formed in 1996 and has grown to be the largest caucus in Congress with close to 350 members in the 113th Congress. The mission of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus is to educate members of Congress and their staff about diabetes and to support legislative activities that would improve diabetes research, education and treatment. Our achievements have been significant. We were successful in obtaining $1.5 billion for the Special Diabetes Program, a program that funds juvenile diabetes research and Native American treatment and prevention programs through the Indian Health Service.
We played a key role in helping to enact legislation to provide Medicare coverage for blood testing strips, glucose monitors and diabetes self-management education. We successfully urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide coverage for insulin infusion pumps. The Postal Service unveiled a diabetes awareness stamp - a measure we actively supported.
While we continue to advocate for the funding recommendations put forth by the Diabetes Research Working Group, increases in research dollars at the CDC and NIH have begun to show results. Islet transplantation trials show promise for curing type 1 (juvenile) diabetes in the near future. Our efforts will continue on type 2 (adult onset) diabetes, which is now beginning to strike individuals in their youth.