Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that impacts the way in which the body processes glucose in the blood. Insulin, the hormone that lowers blood glucose, is either not made at all by the body (type 1 diabetes) or not regulated appropriately (type 2 diabetes).
The rates of diabetes in the United States are increasing as more and more adults are diagnosed with the disease. Lifestyle changes in diet and exercise are the most commons diabetes management techniques. Limited treatment options exist for diabetes, however, there are some medications that can help lower glucose levels in the blood. Diabetes medication, especially insulin, can be extremely expensive and the cost of insulin has sky-rocketed over the years. Many people cannot afford their medication or must ration their insulin until they are able to buy more. Many times, lack of medication is the outcome of being uninsured or under-insured.
Insurance through Medicaid can assist in helping diabetes treatment and make medication more affordable for many people. By expanding Medicaid, states can see an increase in prescriptions for effective diabetes treatments. Between 2014 and 2015 states that expanded Medicaid per the Affordable Care Act saw a 40% increase in prescriptions of insulin and other diabetes medications. States that did not expand Medicaid did not see similar increases in prescriptions.
Insurance through Medicaid makes diabetes medications more affordable for those who would otherwise struggle to get the medicine they need. Expanding Medicaid will lead to increased access to proper health care. In the case of diabetes, those with insurance through Medicaid are more likely to seek treatment and can therefore treat the chronic disease early or prevent it altogether. Preventing complications from diabetes, not only saves lives, it also saves money.
Florida is one of 12 states left that have not expanded Medicaid.
McDermott J. (2020). Medicaid Expansion: What Is It, and How Does It Impact Diabetes Care? The diaTribe Foundation. Retrieved from: https://diatribe.org/foundation/about-us/dialogue/medicaid-expansion-what-it-and-how-does-it-impact-diabetes-care#:~:text=Researchers%20observed%20that%20the%20number,not%20to%20expand%20Medicaid%20coverage.
Wood M. (2018). Medicaid Expansion Leads to Greater Access to Diabetes Medications. University of Chicago Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/patient-care-articles/medicaid-expansion-leads-to-greater-access-to-diabetes-medications