Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) questioned Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Wednesday over Medicaid cuts in the 2018 budget during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. The exchange turned a bit tense when Lee asked Mulvaney if he was a doctor and the OMB Director replied, “I am not a doctor, are you?”
Rep. Lee began by citing a remark by Mulvaney in which he said “that doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home and eats poorly and gets diabetes.” Lee asked if that meant he supported a health plan that “made distinctions between the deserving ill and the undeserving ill in deciding who can get in federal support and how much?”
Mulvaney replied, “I was speaking at a health care conference and what I was trying to do was to draw a distinction between Type I and Type II…I’m trying to put my comments into context ma’am.”
“But you’re not a doctor,” Jackson Lee interrupted.
“I am not a doctor. Are you?” He replied.
“I know diabetes, it’s in my family and it’s in my community,” Lee replied, “and it’s particularly impacts African Americans and we will be devastated by this budget along with working American, working families.”
Mulvaney’s comment last week outraged some, including the American Diabetes Association that replied in a statement emphasizing that “a primary cause” of the condition is genetics and claiming his comments “perpetuate the stigma that one chooses to have diabetes based on his/her lifestyle.”
The organization’s website, however, does list eating well and staying active as key steps to lower the risk of Type II diabetes.