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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01)

Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) delivered a health care update at virtual town hall hosted by the American Diabetes Association, an organization dedicated to preventing and curing diabetes, as well as improving the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The town hall was held to discuss health care affordability, challenges people living with diabetes face, and ways Congress can better serve those with chronic conditions like diabetes. 

Haaland was joined by American Diabetes Association CEO Tracey D. Brown, and Laura Keller, Director of State Government Affairs & Advocacy for the New Mexico Region. 

“Health care is a human right. Everyone deserves to see the doctor without breaking the bank. No one should have to decide between putting food on the table or being able to afford the medication they need to survive, but right now the cost of insulin is out of control. That’s why I have been working to reduce the cost of healthcare and increasing access to quality health services for everyone,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.

“At this critical time in our nation – when people with diabetes have unique vulnerabilities to COVID-19 and given the many systemic inequities that put so many Americans at risk for diabetes and pre-diabetes – having an active dialogue with policy-makers in Washington is vital,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association.

Today’s virtual town hall is part of Congresswoman Haaland’s ongoing work make healthcare affordable for everyone, including cosponsoring the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which works to ensure that every person living in our country has access to quality health care and comprehensive benefits. 

Last year, Congresswoman Deb Haaland released a Congressional report on the high cost of diabetes medications and its impact on diabetes patients in New Mexico — particularly residents on Medicare and the uninsured in the First Congressional District. The report shows that because Medicare is not allowed to negotiate drug prices, the costs to Medicare are more than six times higher than in the United Kingdom, nearly nine times higher than in Australia, and over four times as high as in Canada. This adversely impacts taxpayers, seniors, and uninsured New Mexicans.

Haaland also introduced the Tribal Nutrition Improvement Act last year, which would increase access to nutritious meals for Native American kids by giving Tribes the authority to directly provide Child Nutrition Programs, and is a lead on the HEAL Act which addresses barriers to healthcare access for immigrants in the United States by removing the five year bar that immigrants must wait before becoming eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), enabling undocumented folks to purchase health insurance plans from the marketplace made available by the Affordable Care Act, and restoring Medicaid eligibility for COFA migrants.