Someone (sorry, I can’t remember who) recently mentioned that the escalating costs associated with diabetes and the complications of diabetes alone are justification to pass comprehensive healthcare reform. According to a recent study funded by Novo Nordisk, we spent $218 billion on diabetes in 2007. As both a nurse and a diabetic, I am all too well aware of the costs of this disease. The cost of my diabetic testing supplies exceeds $150 per month; my medications are even more. When you factor in the additional Doctor (internist, endocrinologist,ophthalmologist) visits, blood tests, podiatry services, appointments with a dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, the annual costs are staggering. If you factor in the increased cost of foods to accommodate my diabetic diet, the costs are even worse. I estimate that I spend at least $200 more per month at the grocery store than I otherwise would. Fortunately, I have had few complications resulting from my diabetes. However, the costs of even a minor complication (such as the infection I got last summer when I got a small cut on my toe) can be astronomical. That tiny cut ended up costing over $1,000.
Comprehensive healthcare reform is essential if we are going to control these runaway costs and allocate what money is saved to other priorities. If you consider that diabetes in only one of the many diseases that are on the rise and causing our healthcare system to
implode, it is easy to see that healthcare reform can no longer be put off. If we don’t address this NOW, we will bankrupt ourselves
individually and as a nation.