My Dear Kelly,

Nice work with #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes!

Here’s my 2¢:

I wish that people knew that diabetes policy advocacy is like a Continuous Glucose Monitor (and can be for a CGM!).

Gary Scheiner calls CGM diabetes rumble strips. It hums along quietly unless you venture across the borders of the straight and narrow highway – then, well, it rumbles. When it does that rumbling is a sign to do something.

If things are too low well you add some energy and bring them back up. If they are consistently high, maybe it is time for a change in your approach. I suggest there is a similar tool for advocacy.

It is the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) Scorecard. Like a CGM, it shows bills that just are not getting attention and are too low. It also shows the work in Congress that has a high level of attention.

OK my CGM analogy is a bit weak because we want attention but hey, I got to try right?

Maybe there is a point there still, because where we have high attention maybe it is time for a change and a stronger push – because high attention may mean we are getting closer to making things happen.

We the people matter. We bring urgency. A great review of HIV activism as a case study in health advocacy, Back to Basics, at one point, says this:

We are suggesting that a new level of urgency is needed to make decision makers understand the consequences of inaction or of accepting the status quo. The message needs to be delivered not by the organizational executives or the cadre of scientists. Their message has to be delivered by the informed stakeholder or patient.

The problem has been that knowing what, when, to who and lots more is difficult. When you are managing a 24/7/365 condition who has the extra time? So DPAC will make it easy. So the scorecard rumbles to tells us where there may be the possibility of action by Congress. When bills start seeing the number of cosponsors reach the level of passing, they have a better chance of getting a committee hearing, getting out of that hearing and being passed.

So let look at the scorecard. The top bill there is the Medicare CGM Coverage Bill 140 House cosponsors and 28 in the Senate. Maybe it is time for some more action. DPAC makes that easy too.

  1. Go here: ACT NOW
  2. Fill in your Name and address
  3. Click Submit to draft CGM emails
  4. DPAC will write “Thank You” email to existing cosponsors and an ask to those who have yet to cosponsor the bill. – automatically
  5. BONUS POINTS! Add your diabetes story to the top of the emails
  6. Click Submit to send

If this is you first DPAC action click remember me. We will set a cookie so next time you don’t have to type in your information. (Hey it is good enough to make Amazon and Netflix easier, why not diabetes advocacy?)

Already done it? Do it again. There is nothing wrong with a lot of repetition.

My friend Bennet Dunlap is one of the founders of Diabetes PAC. “DPAC is a non-partisan organization amplifying the diabetes patient voice to U.S. decision makers. DPAC focuses on safety, quality, and access to care.”
Bennet is a father of four children, including two with t1, is also the creator & primary voice of reason of the diabetes blog, YDMV.

Bennet can be found on twitter at: @badshoe @DiabetesPAC

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