Tuesday, 19 March 2019

MacArthur, savager of health care, trumpets the fight against diabetes | Editorial

For someone whose kid is living with a life-threatening illness, it must come as no small relief that an embattled congressman who tried to make health care prohibitively expensive for people with pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, just joined the “Congressional Diabetes Caucus.”
Thanks for your leadership, Rep. Tom MacArthur.
This caucus, made up of a few hundred members of Congress, helps to raise awareness about the disease. We applaud that. But MacArthur’s “proud” promotion of this on Twitter last week reminds us of his eagerness to flaunt his so-called bipartisanship with the flounder bill, about how many fish you can bring home at the Shore.

Tom MacArthur is trying to fool you. He’s a partisan warrior. | Moran
Now, he’s tweeting about diabetics, and the need “to keep people healthy and safe until we find a cure.” One way to do this, of course, is not to take away their health coverage.
And make no mistake: This is what countless medical professionals and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said MacArthur would have done.
The Republican voted to repeal Obamacare last year, a partisan war on health care that didn’t win a single Democratic vote. It would have stripped coverage from 23 million Americans, doubling the number of uninsured in his own district.
When that effort failed, MacArthur revived it, by making it even more brutal. He was the author of an infamous amendment that would have allowed states to opt out of crucial protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Diabetes, needless to say, fits in that category.
Yet to this day, he is still insisting to everyone’s faces that his proposal would have covered these people.
Please. The CBO said that under his amendment, those with pre-existing conditions “would be unable to purchase comprehensive coverage with premiums close to those under current law and might not be able to purchase coverage at all.”
The head of the American Medical Association, Dr. James Madara, used the word “illusory” to describe MacArthur’s assurances that his plan would protect people with preexisting conditions.

In effect, Madara told Congress, coverage could be “completely unaffordable to people with pre-existing conditions.”
Yet MacArthur told the same old lie last week, when we asked his spokesman if he sees any irony here.
The photo MacArthur tweeted was from a grip-and-greet for kids living with Type 1 diabetes, who asked him to continue to support a biannual appropriation for diabetes research that Congress has renewed since 1997. Nice, but not controversial.
By contrast, the national headquarters of their advocacy group, called JDRF, put out statements last year saying it was “deeply upset” about the repeal effort, noting that MacArthur’s amendment is “likely to lead to significantly higher, often unaffordable insurance costs for those with complex and chronic conditions.”
Some diabetics spend an average of $750 a month on insulin alone. And what happens if your kid passes out and lands in the emergency room, and you can’t afford insurance?
As a spokesman for MacArthur’s Democratic challenger, Andy Kim, noted last week, “Now MacArthur is trying to use the exact people his legislation would hurt most to cover up his record and manipulate voters.” Apparently so.
The advocates MacArthur met with were right to push their cause with him. But they would be better served if we replaced this congressman.

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Source: https://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/08/macarthur_savager_of_health_care_trumpets_the_figh.html

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