Trump Official Says Diabetes a Preexisting Condition Not Worthy of Coverage

Mick Mulvaney, OMB director, is the latest Republican official whose rhetoric in support of the AHCA has drawn condemnation.



Editor’s Note – 5/18/2017 – Since this article was published, we have found video with the full quote from Director Mulvaney. It is somewhat different than the condensed quote attributed to him by the Washington Examiner. You can read the full quote here: http://insulinnation.com/living/trumps-omb-director-wasnt-alone-in-denigrating-diabetes/

Republicans have continued to struggle with their messaging in defense of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), particularly when it comes to the provisions of the legislation that weakens protections for people with preexisting conditions.

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Trump administration, was the latest to utter a remark quickly deemed insensitive to people with preexisting conditions, and he managed to use the “D” word while doing so.

Read more: Congressman Says Your Preexisting Condition is Probably Your Fault

According to a report in the Washington Examiner, Mr. Mulvaney attempted to differentiate between preexisting conditions which deserve coverage and those which don’t. While doing so, he is reported to have said, “That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes. Is that the same thing as Jimmy Kimmel’s kid? I don’t think that it is.”

His statement was quickly condemned by many in the diabetes community, including the American Diabetes Association. The ADA put out a statement saying it “is extremely disappointed by the misinformed statement of Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, as reported by The Washington Examiner. Mr. Mulvaney’s comments perpetuate the stigma that one chooses to have diabetes based on his/her lifestyle. We are also deeply troubled by his assertion that access to health care should be rationed or denied to anyone.”

Mulvaney’s statement was just one of a string of wince-worthy comments made by Republicans as they have attempted to justify the AHCA, which in its current form would allow states to choose whether people with preexisting conditions could be charged more for insurance coverage; it also would give states the power to allow insurance companies to refuse to pay for services connected with preexisting conditions.

Read more: What the MacArthur Amendment Means for People with Diabetes

After the AHCA passed the house, Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) was caught on video at a town hall meeting saying, “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

And before the bill passed, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), said the AHCA “will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher healthcare costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

Republicans continue to face strong opposition from constituents after the AHCA passed the House, and a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found that only 38 percent of respondents approved of the bill. The AHCA is now in the hands of the Senate, where Republican lawmakers there have indicated they will rewrite the bill.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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Craig Idlebrook is chief editor for Insulin Nation and Información Sobre Diabetes, and was founding editor for Type 2 Nation. You can reach him at cidlebrook@selfrx.com.