Diabetes Blog Week: Is Health Care A Right or a Privilege?

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If you haven’t already heard, the other day, in one sentence, Trump’s budget officer Mick Mulvaney dismissed the lives of the 29 million Americans with diabetes. 

I was grateful and relieved, then, that the American Diabetes Association (ADA) immediately issued a statement saying it was disappointed by Mulvaney’s remark. The Association also said it’s “deeply troubled by his [Mulvaney’s] assertion that access to health care should be rationed or denied to anyone.”

This could be the most important thing the Association has ever said. 

I’m usually critical of the ADA because it still thinks a disease of carbohydrate intolerance should be treated by eating carbohydrates, and taking medication to help the body process them. But, the point here isn’t that I disagree with the way the ADA and the majority of medical professionals have been treating diabetes. Today, as we kick off Diabetes Blog Week with the topic, diabetes and the unexpected, I want to say that I am unexpectedly pleased with the American Diabetes Association. Its advocacy on the important issues of affordable insulin (sign their petition) and affordable health care has been spot on. The Association expressed extreme disappointment in the House’s passage of AHCA. And in its response to Mulvaney, it didn’t just focus on people with diabetes. By adding that health care should not be rationed or denied to anyone, the Association took a clear stand on a moral issue: Is health care a right or a privilege?  (This question may be used to determine with 100% accuracy whether or not a person is selfish.)

I hope more good will come from the Association. Maybe they’ll even break up with heart-healthy whole grains and skim milk, and the fine culinary art of putting carbs where they don’t need to be, as in this recipe for no carb salmon topped with roasted grapes (14 grams of carb).  In the meantime, I feel confident in saying that though the ADA may be killing us slowly with its dietary recommendations, its got our backs along the way.

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