Sen. Dorgan hopes to renew Indian diabetes program this year
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held an oversight hearing on diabetes on Wednesday.

The hearing did not focus on a bill but witnesses praised the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, a program created by Congress. They said it has helped tribes develop programs to fit their communities.

The program expires in September 2011. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) has introduced S.3058 to reauthorize it from 2012 through 2016.

“Diabetes has become a nationwide health care crisis, and the crisis has struck particularly hard in our Native American communities,” Dorgan said. “The outdated and underfunded health care system on Indian lands hinders the ability of Native Americans with diabetes to get necessary treatment. We need to improve the diabetes prevention and treatment programs in Indian Country.”

Dorgan's bill has 60 co-sponsors, which would appear to be enough to assure passage in the Senate. But it comes at a cost -- $200 million a year in grants -- and spending bills have been controversial this year.

The House version is H.R.3668. It has 280 co-sponsors.

Get the Story:
Senators from Dakotas put spotlight on diabetes among Native Americans (The Rapid City Journal 7/1)

Committee Notice :
OVERSIGHT HEARING on A Way Out of the Diabetes Crisis in Indian Country and Beyond (June 30, 2010)

Related Stories:
Audio for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on diabetes (6/30)
Agenda for Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting (6/29)
Witness list for Indian Affairs Committee hearing on diabetes (6/28)
Series: Bad River Band suffers from very high rate of diabetes (6/25)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee meeting, hearing on June 30 (06/24)
Indian Country takes aim at alarming rate of Type 2 diabetes (6/24)