JAMESTOWN – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) was in Jamestown Wednesday at UPMC Chautauqua WCA’s Diabetes Education Center to a hold roundtable discussion on diabetes.
Reed joined healthcare professionals from WCA, the county, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, as well as local individuals and families who’ve been impacted by both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Reed said he was able to gain some valuable insight as a result of the discussion.
“Obviously being the parent of a Type 1 diabetic. Walking this walk with these folks, it’s just always invigorating to stand here, see these families and individuals fighting diabetes. It reminds me every day of why we chair the diabetes caucus and why we fight for a cure, for treatment, and for access to treatment to help these folks and keep moving in the right direction,” Reed told WRFA following the meeting.
Among the issues that was discussed was the status of the federal Special Diabetes Program, which provides millions of dollars in research for the National Institute of Health. Reed also addressed the recent spike in insulin prices, saying Congress has been looking – and will continue to look – into the matter.
“Obviously a lot of our healthcare dollars at the federal level come out of our Medicare and Medicaid programs. How these prices are set is deep within the bureaucracy and marketplace that is out there, that is not really subject to the transparency, in my opinion, that it needs to be…. raising the questions has caused the insulin prices to go back in the right direction, and that is down,” Reed said.
As part of the conversation, the issue of working to better educate the public about the causes of Type 2 diabetes and working to steer more people away from diets high in sugar was also brought up.
The appearance was part of Reed’s effort to provide an update on the work he is doing in Washington to focus on diabetes, such as the Special Diabetes Program, new insulin device coverage, and insulin cost control.
Reed is the co-chair of the house Diabetes Caucus and has a son diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.