Bill to help diabetes program signed with budget agreement

Bill to help diabetes program signed with budget agreement
(Shutterstock) Federal funding was passed for the Indian Health Service Special Diabetes Program for Indian through H.R. 3917.

“I was glad to see my bill, H.R. 3917, which extends funding for the Indian Health Service’s Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for two years, included as one of these top health priorities,” – U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)

Funding extended for two years

Darren DeLaune/Reporter

WASHINGTON — In October 2017, U.S. Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) introduced a bill to extend funding for the Indian Health Service’s Special Diabetes Program for Indians called H.R. 3917.

According to a press release on Mullin’s website, the bill will fund the successful grant program at $150 million per year for two years.

“Native Country as a whole is affected by a higher rate of diabetes than any other population,” Mullin said in the release.  “Over the years, SDPI has proven to be effective in curbing the rate of diabetes in our native population and reducing potentially costly treatments paid by Medicare later on.”

He also said prevention is the key to staying healthy and that he is grateful for the men and women who operate SDPI grant programs.

Congress established SDPI in 1997, in order to specifically address the diabetes epidemic in the Native American population.

Through his Feb. 9 press release, Mullin announced that his bill passed as a part of the budget agreement signed into law by President Donald Trump.

“Today, the House passed legislation to keep the government open, fully fund our nation’s military, and extend funding for several important health programs for our citizens,” Mullin said.

Mullin said he was glad to see that his bill was a part of the budget agreement that Trump signed.

“I was glad to see my bill, H.R. 3917, which extends funding for the Indian Health Service’s Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for two years, included as one of these top health priorities,” he said. “SDPI serves over 780,000 patients each year, including so many in Oklahoma’s own Indian Country.

He also said that while the budget agreement was imperfect, he was proud to vote in favor of extending SDPI funding to help Native Americans continue to have access to programs they will need to live healthier lives.

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