A Tribute to a GIANT Who Changed Diabetes Insurance Coverage Forever…….Who Has Decided to Step Down.

SweeneyThere is a scene at the end of the smash hit movie, The Devil Wears Prada, when the leading lady’s protégé/assistant has decided to move on.  She sees her in the street after she has left her employment and although she is furious at her leaving, this small smile runs across her face because she knows she is doing exactly what she wants to do……and that is worthy of the leading lady’s respect.

That sort of happened to me last night when I read that NY State Assemblyman Bob Sweeney has decided not to run for re-election.  My inner self, a tad selfish I guess, said “oh no”.   But as a I thought about it, a small smile ran across my face because I knew that if Assemblyman Sweeney says he is done and wants to move on; it is surely deservedly so, and I am glad he will be doing what HE WANTS TO at this point in his life.  He most assuredly has won the respect of everyone in New York.

If you live in NY State, and have diabetes or know someone with diabetes, you must be made aware that there are laws on the books that those of us who know about them in the diabetes community; we call them, in short, the Sweeney Laws.

Assemblymen Sweeney is responsible for some of the toughest laws in the land requiring ‘must carry’ items for insurance companies regarding diabetes supplies, meds, and management tools (including CGMs).  The meaning of the law is that there are certain diabetes supplies that insurance companies MUST cover and the impact was immediate.

And if you have diabetes (or a loved one with diabetes) and live outside of New York State, you need to be aware that other states have emulated these same laws to cover pertinent diabetes supplies.  Assembly Sweeny worked tirelessly at the passing of this bill and also had the genius-of-mind to empower the NY State Commissioner of Health to add anything else in the future that was deemed necessary so another ‘trip to the Capitol’ would not be needed for legislation.  If the Commissioner deems it necessary; done.  That quick; as we saw when the CGMs were added to the list in NY State.

THAT was huge!

Before anyone, it was Assemblyman Sweeney who decided that this was a good bill.  This was a needed bill.  This was a bill that needed to be law.

And it is.

He would be the first to tell you how many others helped; but it is he who was the brains and the strength to make this bill….law.  He has also made sure that there was money in  the budget for many years to help support a day camp for kids with diabetes on Long Island.  And that was only a small sampling of this gentle giant’s work.

The most interesting thing about Assemblyman Sweeny’s year’s in office is that there are many other groups that owe him a huge debt of gratitude as well.  He was a gentleman but his mild manner was never mistaken for a weakness.  When it came to issues that mattered most, he was a lion in getting the job done.  And he did, for many. In fact he sponsored approximately 350 bills that became law    He reached across the ‘aisles-of-political-ness’ and across this state on doing what was right……………………for we, the people.

So at the 26 year mark, Assemblyman Sweeney states it is time to do some other things in his life, and no one could ever blame him for that.  He has served the people of New York well; and for some people with diabetes, I know that he also has saved a few lives along the way.

Thank you Assemblyman Sweeney………….for caring so much to change our world for the better.  Best of luck in the future, if anyone needs to be given the ability to enjoy family and life……it would be you.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

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