When I first thought about writing up the diabetes research hearing testimony on the Senate Aging Committee website, I thought the witnesses would be talking mainly about the kind of diabetes fat people get — Type 2 diabetes.
Then I read further and found that most of the witnesses were talking about the other kind of diabetes — Type 1 diabetes. Juvenile diabetes. The kind of diabetes that anyone with an immune system that starts attacking the pancreas can get.
The Type 1 diabetes research conversation relates to aging and long-term care insurance in a roundabout way because Type 1 diabetes seems — like Alzheimer’s, and like Parkinson’s — to be an autoimmune disorder.
There are some researchers who speculate that conditions like Type 1 diabetes and Alzheimer’s could have some kind of interesting connection.
But we don’t know, because we barely know how Alzheimer’s actually works, let alone what causes either Alzheimer’s or Type 1 diabetes.
The LTCI industry is in state analogous to the state the consumers are in.
The consumers are scrambling to scrape up enough money to meet day-to-day expenses and too tired and addled to act on the idea that they could pay for a solid private LTCI policy, even with the rate increases, by giving up one latte per day.
The insurance industry is scrambling to scrape up quick sales of whatever short-ter products can do OK in Ben Bernanke’s World of Ultra-Low Interest Rates.