Mick Mulvaney

Will Trumpcare Cover People with Obesity and Diabetes?

It’s the key sticking point for repealing the Affordable Care Act. Will people with pre-existing conditions still get affordable health coverage? In a forum Friday at Stanford University, Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, provided an answer. He described pre-existing conditions that Trumpcare should cover and shouldn’t cover.

The Jimmy Kimmel Test

Mulvaney attempted to answer a simple question. “Do you subscribe to the Jimmy Kimmel Test?” His answer was surprisingly clear:

Everybody agrees that if your kid is born with one of those conditions, we will come together as a community to make sure we can take care of that.

But that doesn’t mean that we want to take care of the person, or should be required to care of the person, who sits at home, drinks sugary drinks, and doesn’t exercise, and eats poorly and gets diabetes.

Who Deserves Compassion?

Perhaps without intending to do it, Mulvaney went straight to the heart of the problem with repealing the ACA. Who deserves access to healthcare? Innocent babies? Innocent babies from poor families? Adults with a rare, catastrophic disease? Adults with diabetes and obesity?

If healthcare is a privilege – Miss USA thinks so – how do you earn it? Wealth is the simplest way to earn it right now. Even under the ACA, people with wealth get better healthcare and live longer. Zip code predicts how long a child will live.

Mulvaney seemed to  suggest that we might earn healthcare by staying out of our seats, swearing off sugar, exercising, and eating well. The problem comes with proving we’ve done all those things. Shall we all wear activity trackers and body cams to prove our virtue?

An alternative might be to simply equate health with virtue. Thus, only people who don’t need healthcare are the ones who deserve it. The fittest will survive. Problem solved.

Except…a little problem with morality weaves through most cultures and religions. We hear these nagging echoes about loving our neighbors and doing unto others. Can we?

Click here for more from Fortune. For some sound thinking on health as a virtue, click here.

Mick Mulvaney, photograph © Gage Skidmore / flickr

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May 16, 2017

One Response to “Will Trumpcare Cover People with Obesity and Diabetes?”

  1. May 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm, Allen Browne said:

    Mr. Mulvaney also exposed his ignorance of the physiology and biochemistry of obesity and his bias against people suffering from this disease.

    Much work to do when people like this are making important decisions.