New legislation could limit patient access to unbiased diabetes advice. Action Alert!
A bill before Congress called the Access to Quality Diabetes Education Act of 2015 (HR 1726, S 1345) and state efforts by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) will make it more difficult for Medicare patients with diabetes to get the help they need to overcome the disease.
The AADE—a private association—offers certification programs that diabetes educators can voluntarily pursue. These programs require an investment of thousands of dollars and a tremendous number of hours.
The so-called Access to Quality Diabetes Education Act (which opponents are appropriately calling the #DiabetesMiseducation Act) and other state legislative efforts would turn this currently voluntary certification into a legal requirement under Medicare—a costly, unnecessary obstacle for thousands of healthcare workers which, if passed, would leave countless diabetic patients without access to important, life-altering services.
There is something else you need to know about AADE. It does not strike us as an independent, objective organization; in fact, it receives large sums of money from Big Pharma. The organization’s 2014 annual report shows that its top two corporate donors were pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk, with Eli Lilly not far behind.
So here we go again. Why compete for customers with the best products or services when you can sew them up in a government-enforced monopoly?
We’ve seen similar attempts at the state level on the part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) to create monopolies for registered dieticians to the detriment of other nutrition professionals. The AND works to pass free speech-gagging legislation which prevents qualified nutrition experts, even some with PhDs in nutrition, from practicing. The result is that consumers are prevented from seeing the nutritionist of their choice. Following recent legal victories and a Supreme Court case, ANH-USA is working to reverse these monopolistic scope-of-practice laws.
Like the AND, the AADE has attempted to create mandatory certification requirements at the state level, but has been almost completely unsuccessful—only Kentucky has enacted the legislation. Now the AADE seems to be trying its luck on the federal level.
Diabetes is a rampant, ever-worsening health problem: one recent study found that half of adults in the US have diabetes or is pre-diabetic. Diabetes is often, but not always, the result of obesity, poor diet, and lack of exercise. The standard American diet tends to create insulin resistance. New studies have emerged showing that consuming highly processed starches is akin to eating sugar, causing rapid glucose spikes that may over time induce insulin resistance and, eventually, type 2 diabetes.
As we mentioned above, diabetes requires a complete overhaul of one’s life and habits. As ANH-Europe’s executive and scientific director Dr. Robert Verkerk notes,
Critical to resolving our type 2 diabetes “epidemic” is the issue not only of how much we eat, and how much starch we eat, but when we eat. Calorie restriction and intermittent fasting are absolutely key to dealing with the present diabetes crisis, alongside getting in more genuinely whole, unprocessed food and fiber.
As conventional doctors often lack the resources to provide such support to diabetic patients—or, as we’ve reported previously, provide seriously misguided information on how to manage or reverse the disease—health coaches and diabetes educators become particularly important. In fact, one study showed that nearly twice as many coached patients were able to successfully control their diabetes as those with no coach.
And what about those drugs for diabetes that the donors to AADE want to sell? They can be extremely dangerous. And there are natural substances that can be very useful such as the herb berberine.
Action Alert! Write to your legislators and urge them to oppose HR 1726/S 1345, the Access to Qualified Diabetes Education Act. Please send your message immediately