WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act of 2017 to help curb America’s diabetes epidemic. This bill will allow Medicare coverage of Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) services for people with prediabetes and other risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes.

“The rate of diabetes is skyrocketing in America, particularly among our senior populations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 11 million seniors in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, with another half of those ages 65 and older classified with prediabetes,” said Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. “Medicare covers nutritional therapy services for seniors with type 2 diabetes, but individuals with prediabetes or similar risk factors cannot access this nutritional care and counseling to prevent further progress of the disease.”

“Stopping this disease in its tracks will make a significant difference for our nation’s fiscal health and the physical health of our seniors,” Congresswoman Jenkins continued. “That’s why I joined Congresswoman Diana DeGette to introduce the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act, which will make Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) services available to seniors with prediabetes through Medicare. Providing our seniors with health and nutrition assistance is crucial, and I look forward to working with Rep. DeGette on this bipartisan legislation to change the health and lives of millions of Americans.”

“People at risk of Type 2 diabetes, including the many with prediabetes, need support to avoid developing this disease,” Congresswoman DeGette said. “Older adults served by Medicare are disproportionately affected by prediabetes and diabetes itself. It just makes sense to ensure that seniors on Medicare who face these risks have coverage for MNT services.

“As the mother of a child with Type 1 diabetes, I understand the long-term benefits of effective prevention and management. By helping older people with prediabetes manage their condition, Medicare will avoid paying for more costly treatments in the future, saving money and increasing overall well-being for many people.”