On April 17, a group of Endocrine Society members walked the halls of Congress to meet with their elected representatives and advocate for our priorities related to funding for biomedical research and treatment and prevention of diabetes.
Our asks were timely and important; we urged Congress to support an overall funding level of $51 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year (FY) 2024, or an increase of 7.3% applied equally towards all institutes and centers. For diabetes-related programs, we had two important requests:
- We advocated for legislation to make insulin affordable for those who rely on it by providing a cap on out-of-pocket costs for the private insurance market.
- We urged Congress to provide a long-term reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) before it expires on September 30.
Our timing was particularly appropriate. The Hill Day occurred while Congress was in the process of establishing overall funding levels for the coming fiscal year, which will affect funding for the NIH and other public health programs. Additionally, the Senate Diabetes Caucus was hoping to find additional co-sponsors for legislation it hopes to introduce known as the INSULIN Act, comprehensive legislation to lower the cost of insulin and was looking for support for reauthorization of the SDP.
While all these issues have historically been bipartisan priorities, Congress is dealing with numerous issues amidst an uncertain budgetary environment. Advocacy by Society members remains critically important to ensure that all Representatives and Senators are aware of our priorities and that they will support them.
As a result of our Diabetes Hill Day, we were able to educate many congressional offices about our priorities. Our members were able to establish relationships with the representatives and senators and serve as resources to them. We encouraged several additional congressional offices to join the Diabetes Caucus, making it the largest bipartisan caucus in the Congress. We also were able to encourage several senators to become co-sponsors of the INSULIN Act and several House and Senate members to share support for the SDP.