What would a Romney victory mean for MS patients?
Not good news I believe.
As we’ve sort of, kinda gotten to know the Romney’s as potential President and First Lady, we’ve all learned some interesting things about them. I, for one, do not feel as though I know them very well still.
Like many Americans, I wish I knew more about them. Key facts that most people seem to know about the Romneys is that they are very rich, they are of the Mormon faith, he was governor of MA and ran the Salt Lake City Olympics, he rain Bain Capital, they have money stashed overseas, they have a horse in the Olympics (mainly Mrs. Romney’s), and Mrs. Romney has Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
I’ve blogged before about Mitt Romney including how I thought he’d negative impact the stem cell research field and science more generally as well as what secrets I believe he thinks he needs to keep.
However, I think it is also notable that Mrs. Romney has MS and I admire her for publicly talking about this important disease. She deserves kudos for that.
I’ve wondered, though, what the impact would be on MS patients should Romney be elected president? Apparently, others have wondered the same thing as there is a big article out asking this very question today in Mother Jones magazine.
The take home message from the article is that MS patient advocates generally feel that a Romney presidency would be bad for them.
Of course Mother Jones is a very liberal publication so you might not be surprised about the tone of the article.
However, the piece seems to accurately reflect a divide between the Romney’s and the MS community. For example the author, Stephanie Mencimer, writes:
But there’s a problem: MS advocates say that policies Romney now supports would be detrimental for many MS sufferers, and they are actively opposing these proposals. Which means that Mitt Romney is now at odds with the MS community he and his wife have long supported.
Earlier this year, the Romneys mad a video “Soul Mate” (above) describing Ann’s diagnosis and encouraging folks to contribute to the MS Society.
Sounds good, right?
So what has gone wrong?
The article goes on to say:
“To the degree that Mrs. Romney brings attention to the disease, that’s extremely positive,” says Ted Thompson, the vice president for federal government relations at the National MS Society in Washington. But he acknowledges that her husband’s health care platform is not helpful.
Thompson is later quoted as saying that to repeal the whole plan, as Romney has been fiercely advocating, “would be a real setback” for people with MS.
MS patients need a significant amount of healthcare to help them deal with the disease: up to or beyond $70,000 a year according to the article.
Obama’s health plan is extraordinarily helpful for MS patients and its repeal would be a major calamity for MS patients.
The article ends by nicely summing things up:
…the MS community has good reason to root for the other team. MS advocates could well face the possibility of having to use money the Romneys helped them raise to fight a President Romney’s attempts to kill policies and programs they need to survive.
I would encourage MS patients reading this to support Mr. Obama for President. Nobody is perfect, but when it comes to MS, healthcare more generally, and scientific research, I believe Romney as President would be a disaster.