Diabetes Docket: Legal Advocacy eNews

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Supreme Court to Decide Two Cases Affecting People with Diabetes

Blood Pressure

This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing two important cases that matter to people with diabetes. On March 4th, the Court heard the case of King v. Burwell, a challenge to President Obama’s health care law (the Affordable Care Act). The Court will decide if an Internal Revenue Service rule that offers tax credits to millions of Americans is legal. These tax credits help them afford health insurance. If the Supreme Court decides that the tax credits are not legal, nearly 10 million people in 34 states will not be able to afford to buy health insurance. That includes millions of people who have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes.

On March 23rd, the Court heard the case of Sheehan v. City and County of San Francisco, about the actions of police officers who responded to a call involving a woman with a mental disability. The case is important for people who have diabetes and other disabilities. That is because the Court will decide how the Americans with Disabilities Act covers situations where police come into contact with people who have disabilities. 

The American Diabetes Association filed legal briefs at the Supreme Court in both of these cases. Decisions are expected in June, and we will provide updates in a future issue of Diabetes Docket.

New and Noteworthy

Safe at School Web Page

Keeping Your Child with Diabetes Safe at School:
A New Web Page Has the Information You Need

Federal law gives students the right to receive the diabetes care they need to be safe and take part in school activities, just like other children. But each state has its own laws and policies that affect how students with diabetes get that care. Do you know what the laws are in your state?

Find the answers on our new state law page, including answers to these questions:

  1. Does my state allow school staff members who are not health care professionals to administer insulin?
  2. Does my state allow school staff members who are not health care professionals to administer glucagon?
  3. Does my state allow students to self-manage diabetes care at school, anytime and anywhere?

You will find a summary of each state’s rules, links to laws of each state, training materials and other  information to help you get fair treatment for your child at school. If you need more help, or have other questions, our Legal Advocates are always here to help. Call 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) or write askADA@diabetes.org. We want to hear from you!

Parents Corner

Safe at School

Supporting California Students with Diabetes:
A Joint Statement by the American Diabetes Association and Key Nursing Organizations

Recently, the American Diabetes Association, along with the American Nurses Association, American Nurses Association/California and California School Nurses Organization, issued a joint statement that supports the medical needs of students with diabetes in California schools. It stresses the need to provide timely access to insulin, glucagon and other diabetes care. It also supports training school staff members (who volunteer) to provide this care, when the school nurse is not available.

This joint statement is another positive step in the effort to make sure that students with diabetes in California have access to the care that they need in school. A huge victory occurred in August 2013 when the California Supreme Court ruled that, when a school nurse is not available, trained school staff members can provide insulin to students who cannot do it themselves.

The American Diabetes Association, through its Safe at School® campaign, supports the rights of all students who have diabetes. If you know of a student who is not receiving the proper diabetes care in school, contact the Association for help at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) or askADA@diabetes.org.

Diabetes on the Job

Putting Out Fires with Diabetes

Severe heat, tough hours, hard physical activity—all part of a day’s work for firefighters. Fighting fires is hard enough as it is. But firefighters who have diabetes, just like people with diabetes who have other jobs that involve safety issues, must pay closer attention to their blood glucose levels and manage their diabetes with care.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that medical reviews for people with diabetes need to be fair—and they need to be based on the most current medical facts. Organizations like the National Fire Protection Agency have comprehensive standards for firefighters with diabetes. But, many local fire departments also have their own policies, and sometimes they are too strict because employers do not fully understand diabetes or diabetes care.

Problems in medical reviews that may affect a firefighter with diabetes can include: 

  • Too much focus on high A1C levels
  • Unnecessary requests for years of medical data 
  • Total bans on people who use insulin serving in such jobs
  • Removal from duty immediately after diagnosis of diabetes

The good news is that, when firefighters with diabetes know their rights, they can often fight these medical reviews. Given a fair review, and with strict attention to diabetes care, firefighters with diabetes should be able to focus on battling fires, and not fighting useless red tape during the medical review process. Firefighters with diabetes who need information or help should contact the Association at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) or askADA@diabetes.org.

Cameron Nicholas

How to Get Help

Having type 1 diabetes almost stopped Cameron Nicholas from becoming a firefighter. He faced challenges during the approval process and then got help from the American Diabetes Association.  Cameron is now a firefighter with the Prichard, Alabama Fire Department and loves his job. Read Cameron’s Story. If you are treated unfairly because of diabetes and need help, contact the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) or askADA@diabetes.org.

Spread the Word!

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FCF - Firefighters or Police Officers
Mito y Realidad

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Nearly 30 million people in the United States live with diabetes; 86 million more have prediabetes. Diabetes and prediabetes costs our country $322 billion dollars each year! Help Stop Diabetes® and improve the lives of everyone affected. Sign this petition and tell Congress to Stop Diabetes!

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