Trump’s Budget Director Thinks People Choose to Have Diabetes, Don’t Deserve Health Care


President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, specifically called out people with diabetes as a group of Americans who do not deserve health care.

ShareBlue reports, “Mulvaney weighed in on the issue at the Light Forum at Stanford University. He was asked if families should be denied medical care because they can’t afford it, a standard Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) had termed “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” after the late night comedian’s recent emotional call for improved health care.

Mulvaney said he believed in helping to provide “a safety net so that if you get cancer you don’t end up broke,” but separated those situations from others he termed “ordinary healthcare,” what he described as the heart of the debate.

He continued, “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.””

Almost immediately after Mulvaney’s comment, the American Diabetes Association issued a statement:

On behalf of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association 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. 

Huffington Post’s Jonathan Cohn, pointed out that it’s not the first time a Republican has said something along the lines of Mulvaney’s comments. A few weeks ago Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said that the AHCA would benefit people who “have done the things to keep their bodies healthy … who have done things the right way.”

I’ve already written about the topic of pre-existing conditions, which is at the heart of the current congressional health care debate. The latest change to the GOP’s bill, called the MacArthur amendment after its author, Republican House member Tom MacArthur, would allow states to opt out of several key Obamacare insurance regulations that protect people with pre-existing conditions. 

In my daughter’s case (she got type 1 diabetes when she was six years old), at least, Republicans have a valid point. The first five years her life were filled with boozing, smoking, street fights, back alley dice games, some cock fighting and gosh knows what else. So no wonder she’s been saddled with type 1 diabetes since early childhood.

A pre-existing condition is rarely a result of negligent behavior. And even if it is, that’s not a reason to deny a person health care. Humans make mistakes. As a society it is our job to help people heal, not cause more suffering.

And as the American Diabetes Association’s statement said, All of the scientific evidence indicates that diabetes develops from a diverse set of risk factors, genetics being a primary cause. People with diabetes need access to affordable health care in order to effectively manage their disease and prevent dangerous and costly complications. Nobody should be denied coverage or charged more based on their health status.

So, tell me, Republicans, does my daughter not deserve affordable insulin? What about people with pre diabetes? Should we be helping them? And will there be a BMI Over 20 Don’t Save ‘Em Policy in your bill? It’s a relief to me to know that Mulvaney considers Jimmy Kimmel’s infant son deserving of health care. That should be extended to all Americans. No one chooses illness.

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12 Comments on "Trump’s Budget Director Thinks People Choose to Have Diabetes, Don’t Deserve Health Care"

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Chris Woods
And to Judith; I agree with you on the highly processed foods and the sugary stuff, but my daughter is a Type I diabetic. She is also a very active teenager and a multisport athlete. She, along with our whole family, do follow a low carb (ketogenic) diet and do many right things to take care of our bodies. But, she still developed Type I diabetes due to no fault of her own. So, what is the answer? Health care costs are outrageous. I totally agree on that point and I have worked for over 20 years in healthcare, so… Read more »
And to the mother, Moira, if you’re following the T1D basic treatment theory, stop. Look up Dr. Richard K. Bernstein on YouTube and find out WHY the correct diet for T1D is NOT the ADA sugar-loaded garbage but the low carb high protein diet he uses and recommends successfully to his patients. If you look into that, you will find your child can be very successfully treated on low carb with significantly LESS insulin required to cover the high carbs you are most likely feeding now. You will prolong your child’s life if you change the diet to his because… Read more »
While I’m sorry the author has a family member with diabetes, MOST of the diabetes in this country is self-inflicted as well as the other inflammation-caused diseases that are high sugar or glycation-based. The ADA accept $$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ from the sugar industry and has what I call the Dumb Diabetic Diet (DDD) that keeps people diabetic rather than teaching them how to eat to get rid of diabetes which is easier done in the first 4 years of the diagnosis. I followed that diet for 23 years and gained 90 pounds on the high carb of that bad plan. On 6-3-2013,… Read more »
ok so it was my choice to be a diabetic, just like my father, and grandfather and great grandfather, on both sides of my family for a lot of years, what a piece of sh*t you are, you are the just another dumb A** who did not do any research before you opened your mouth people do not choose to be diabetic or take falls or to sick in any matter, what do you think people fall down and become unable to do anything because that fall severed their spine, or a ball got thrown at a football or basketball… Read more »
Paula Rigney

It’s inherited you dumb a&#.

Roger Bird

I agree with him, depending upon whether the story is true or not. The news media these days are so dishonest, especially in matters of health. It also depends upon what we consider healthy. That is very controversial. But I took full responsibility for my health and I healed myself.

Jaws 320

I am an athletic, almost 50 y.o. woman. I have never been a pop drinker, etc. and eat a whole foods, very low carb diet. I am not the least bit over weight, and yet, I am pre-diabetic. It runs in my family. If you start out as an overweight couch potato, and change your lifestyle that’s one thing, but what about those of us who do all the right things, and still end up fighting diabetes?

rick phillips

Shows what he knows. Mickey Mouse chose me, I was there for tomorrow land


He made a bonehead statement, but people don’t realize that the US has an out-of-control debt problem. If we don’t curtail spending soon, then a Venezuela-style disaster is headed our way. The government cannot create wealth. Anything it spends is taken out of the private economy which curtails growth and hurts everyone.

The only way to get health insurance costs and health care spending under control is to introduce market measures. Government involvement in insurance and care causes costs to skyrocket and quality, access, and innovation to decline.


It is now known that statin drug users are 50% more likely to develop diabetes, no matter the diet or lifestyle. Maybe they should start there with stopping the wholesale prescribing of these destructive drugs that have little or no benefits for 95% of us.
Maybe doctors who prescribe them should be denied health care if THEY develop diabetes?

So, I’m getting that you are ok with people being denied healthcare ? It’s ok to deny healthcare and let people die ?? If you are elderly and on Medicare, it’s ok to deny you medicine or access or ration it ? It’s ok for the government to ration healthcare, but not rein in the costs of drugs and hospitals, Dr’s, etc. It is a complex situation and part of the problem is that insurance companies and lobbyists have too much to say or benefit. Take the insane profits and CEO salaries/compensation out of healthcare. The MacArthur amendment makes it… Read more »

They already ration how many tests a person can use in a day and get reimbursed by insurance.
People wind up looking for lower priced products so they can do the testing they require and frequently find that costs them less than they paid with insurance anyway.

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