Press release

American Diabetes Association Unveils #HealthEquityNow Platform to Ignite Action

August 6, 2020 | Arlington, Virginia

As COVID-19 puts people with diabetes and minorities in the crosshairs, ADA calls for a Health Equity Bill of Rights to address systemic health inequities

The American Diabetes Association® (ADA), the nation’s leading organization for all people living with diabetes, announced today the launch of #HealthEquityNow, a national platform to ensure that all people living with diabetes, and the millions of underserved Americans who are at greatest risk for diabetes, have access to health resources that are too often unavailable to them.  

The ADA calls on businesses, policymakers, philanthropies and other leaders across the nation to take immediate steps to address systemic inequities in cost, care, cure, community and cuisine faced particularly by people of color and economically disadvantaged citizens.

“Quality, affordable health care should not be a privilege, but a right for all Americans,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. “It is time to tear down the systemic barriers that separate us based on zip code, income level, education, color and gender, and it’s time that we demand health equity now.”

The ADA crafted a Health Equity Bill of Rights as guidance to address these inequities. Ten fundamental rights are outlined in the Health Equity Bill of Rights, including the right to be able to afford the cost of prescribed drugs, access quality health insurance, avoid preventable amputations and access to the innovations needed to manage diabetes. 

Brown noted that the need to assert these rights has become even more stark during the COVID-19 pandemic, where nearly 40 percent of U.S. fatalities have been people with diabetes, and during which people of color have paid an excessive and disproportionate price. “COVID-19 didn’t create these health inequities,” Brown said. “It confirmed what we knew: that in American health care, there are two classes of people, and one of them – those with lesser incomes, those of color and so many of those with prediabetes – are far more likely to end up with diabetes and equally as unlikely to have the access to the care they need to prevent and treat the disease.”  

The true cost of these inequities falls not only on individuals who are most in the crosshairs, but also on the nation as a whole, given that diagnosed diabetes costs the nation $327 billion each year, before even taking into consideration the impact COVID-19 has had on the diabetes community.

Today, 122 million people in this country live with diabetes and prediabetes. Not only are diabetes rates inversely related to income, but people of color represent more than 75 percent of low-income Americans. Members and allies of the diabetes community are encouraged to visit the new online #HealthEquityNow platform, promote the Health Equity Bill of Rights and urge policymakers to act now to eliminate barriers impacting access to quality health care which have limited the health of our citizens for far too long. Enough is enough.

Leaders interested in partnering to advance #HealthEquityNow are encouraged to reach out to the ADA at

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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).