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JDF Washington Report
Vol. II, No. 9
April 27, 1999

JDF International Chairman of the Board John McDonough and Daughter Allison Testify before Congress and Meet with Members of Congress

JDF International Chairman of the Board John McDonough accompanied by his daughter Allison, JDF Chicago Chapter Board Member, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. Mr.McDonough, who has been insulin dependent for 56 years, discussed his experiences with diabetes and his role with JDF International. Allison, who has been insulin dependent for 16 years spoke of their family's fear of more cases of diabetes in their family and the trauma surrounding her father's recent leg amputation due to diabetes complications. Mr. McDonough reinforced JDF's support for the Diabetes Research Working Group report recommendation of $827 million in diabetes research funding through the National Institutes of Health; the second installment in the effort to attempt to double the NIH budget over five years. Mississippi Representative Roger Wicker (R-MS) commented on the subcommittee's collective commitment to diabetes research funding and how his own niece battles with type 1 diabetes. The McDonoughs, who live in the Chicago area, conducted a series of visits with Members of Congress including Congressional Diabetes Caucus Chairs Congressman George Nethercutt, Jr. (R-WA), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Senate Diabetes Caucus Chair Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Subcommittee Chairman Congressman John Edward Porter (R-IL). To read the full text of the McDonough's testimony, please visit our web site at

Senate Letter Signed by 36 and Goes to Senate Appropriators

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Senator Sue Collins (R-ME) authored a letter singed by 36 of their Senate colleagues supporting the DRWG recommendation of $827 million for diabetes research funding to Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Ranking Minority Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). The Congressional Diabetes Caucus in the House sent a similar letter: The Senators expressed their support of the funding request and urged the Subcommittee leaders to make funding diabetes research a priority. The letter states in part: Over the past year, the Diabetes Research Working Group (DRWG), a panel of diabetes experts established by Congress in the fiscal year 1998 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill, has put forward a comprehensive plan for diabetes research at NIH and has identified hundreds of extraordinary opportunities in the field. The DRWG has recommended an $827 million budget in fiscal year 2000 for diabetes research at the NIH. We strongly support the DRWG's recommendation for an $827 million budget for diabetes research at NIH in fiscal year 2000, and we ask that sufficient resources be made available to NIH to fully fund diabetes research opportunities as identified in the DRWG plan.

Senators who signed the letter include:

Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Frank Murkowski (R-AK
Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Jesse Helms (R-NC)
Thad Cochran(R-MS)
Connie Mack (R-FL)
Pete Domenici (R-NM)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Strom Thurmond (R-SC)
James Inhoffe (R-OK)
John Warner (R-VA)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Spence Abraham (R-MI)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Tom Daschle (D-SD)
Barbara Milkulski (D-MD)
Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Robert Toricelli (D-NJ)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Max Cleland (D-GA)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Patty Murrary (D-OR)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
John Breaux (D-LA)
John Edwards (D-NC)
Byron Dorgan (D-NC)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Bob Graham (D-FL)
Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
Chuck Robb (D-VA)

Many thanks to all the JDF volunteer advocates and JDF state leaders who helped to make this effort a success. If your Senator is one of the cosigners, please send him/her a thank you letter. Address the letter to:

The Honorable ____________ (Senator's name)
US Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999 and JDF Meet with Members on Capitol Hill

JDF and Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, made a successful round of visits on Monday, April 19, to key members of the House and Senate. Nicole and JDF staff met with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), House Appropriations Chairman Bill Young (R-FL) and Senator Spence Abraham (R-MI). Nicole discussed the $827 million DRWG request and discussed the new Senate Diabetes Caucus. She also discussed her involvement with the 1999 JDF Children's Congress, which Senator Reid is co-chairing along with Senator Arlen Specter. She urged the Senate members to sign onto the Grassley-Leahy letter discussed in the previous Washington Report story. Nicole has been instrumental in building strong support for increased diabetes research funding on Capitol Hill. To learn more about her platform on diabetes and her work on behalf of diabetes advocacy, go to Nicole will return to Washington regularly to conduct visits on Capitol Hill and to participate in the upcoming JDF Children's Congress in June, 1999 - go to to learn more about the Children's Congress.

Pancreas Transplants Covered by Medicare According to Health Care Finance Administration and the NIH

The Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA), the agency that oversees Medicare reimbursement, issued a program memorandum that outlines billing instructions for contractor use in processing claims for pancreas transplantation. According to the memorandum released on April 16, pancreas transplants will be covered under Medicare beginning July 1, 1999. "Medicare will cover pancreas transplantation when it is performed simultaneously with or after a Medicare covered kidney transplant procedure...." Further clarification to the wording of the coverage instructions may be made in the near future. JDF wishes to congratulate Deb Butterfield of Insulin Free World who has worked closely with JDF on this issue. Coverage by Medicare is very important because many private insurers subsequently follow Medicare coverage patterns. To read the program memorandum, go to

JDF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore Participates in Newt Gingrich Salute; JDF Receives part of the Proceeds

JDF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore was a guest of honor at a recent salute to former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich in Washington, DC. Approximately one thousand people attended the event to raise money for a new political action committee and for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, one of Mr. Gingrich's favorite charities. After introductions by his wife and daughters, Gingrich was introduced by Mary Tyler Moore, recognizing him for his deep commitment to JDF and to finding a cure for diabetes. Ms. Moore and husband S.

Robert Levine, MD, JDF International Board Member and Chair of the Communications Committee sat with the former speaker at the head table and listened to presentations by House Republican Conference Chair JC Watts (R-OK) and Emcee Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R-WA). JDF International will receive part of the proceeds from the evening to help fund diabetes research.

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - Government Relations
1400 I Street, NW #500
Washington, DC 20005
1-800-JDF-1VOTE ex. 5 (800-533-1868)

Posted 2 May 1999

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