GOP: Diabetic kids can wait. Millionaires need tax cuts now.


Too busy trying to repeal Obamacare and passing tax cuts for the super rich, Republicans refuse to fund critical research to help sick children.

It's bad enough that nine million low-income children may soon have their health insurance taken away because the Republican-controlled Congress has refused to fund a critical support program for them.

Now we can add diabetes patients to the list of victims of GOP indifference.

The Special Diabetes Program (SDP) is an initiative dedicated to funding critical breakthroughs in research. It has previously enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress and was originally championed by Newt Gingrich in 1997.

But today, with the Republican Congress spending virtually all of its time trying to repeal Obamacare and now passing a tax bill for the wealthy, SDP's future is in doubt — despite the fact that the program's budget is a relatively modest $150 million.

"Advocates were shocked to see Congress had not reauthorized the SDP when its funding ran out in September," reports the Daily Beast. "Currently, there are 75 senators who have signed a letter supporting its funding alongside 356 House members."

Unfortunately for the SDP and the people who would benefit from its work, the dysfunctional Republican Congress has trouble keeping the government operating. Indeed, a government shutdown looms at the end of the week, with no signs that a bipartisan deal is in the works to avert it.

A two-year extension for SDP funding is currently included in a bill being considered by the House. But as the Daily Beast notes, it's part of the larger funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — the program serving nine million children that the GOP let lapse months ago.

Rather than show the leadership his title would seem to imply, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell oddly decreed that "Congress" needed to renew funding for CHIP, leaving out any mention of the SDP or any acknowledgment that he is ... in Congress.

This attack on diabetes research comes as the Republican Party rams through its corporate-friendly tax scam bill that raises taxes on the middle class, give massive handouts to billionaires and corporations, and virtually guarantees deep cuts to essential social service programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, in years to come.

Helping millions of people living with chronic illness is evidently not a priority for the Republican Party.