Politics

Michael J. Fox: Medicare Cuts Would Cost 'Our Lives'

| by Denise Recalde

Actor Michael J. Fox has attacked President Donald Trump and the Republican Party for trying to cut Medicare and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The beloved Canadian-American actor, who has Parkinson's disease, spoke of how the Republican measures, if successful, would force Parkinson's patients to pay a significantly higher percentage of their income in health care costs. 

"On average, Parkinson's patients in the country spend $12,000 to $17,000 a year out of pocket," he said in an interview with AARP. 

"Eighty per cent of Parkinson's patients are on Medicare."

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The actor clarified what rollbacks in the health care systems would mean for his fellow Parkinson's sufferers. 

"If the Affordable Care Act and even Medicare come under the knife, that's not political," he said, Daily Mail reports. "That's our lives."

The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the star's nonprofit organization, raises millions to research a cure for the brain disease. The foundation has raised 700 million for the medical mission since 2000. 

Fox is also an active campaigner, having lately participated in a 200-member group that visited Washington, D.C., to highlight the issue with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. 

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In the AARP interview, Fox also touched on the impact the disease has had on his acting ability. 

Parkinson's has forced him to become "more in the moment" as an actor because he can't have any expectations. At the same time, he can no longer use "the big bag of tricks" he had been used to using when he was healthier. 

Doing a double-take, for example, on camera is no longer possible, The Associated Press reports. 

The Hollywood star has beaten all expectations of how his life would play out after he was first diagnosed. 

"I was diagnosed 25 years ago, and I was only supposed to work for another 10 years. I was supposed to be pretty much disabled by now. I'm far from it," said Fox, 55, Haute Living reports. "This is as bad as I get and I can still go to the store and go marketing." 

He says he does have more difficult days.

"The diagnosis is not the experience," he said, Fox News reports. "It’s partly about Parkinson’s or all about Parkinson’s or Parkinson’s three days a week, and then you find a place to be by yourself and things to do with your family or something. It’s not a concrete sentence."

The disease does trip him up from time to time, and getting older has not made it easier.

"The biggest problem I have now is balance," he says. "That’s kind of tricky because you fall down a couple of times at 55 and you realize that you’re not 25."

Sources: Daily Mail, AARPHaute Living, AP via Townhall, Fox News / Photo credit: Paul Hudson/Wikimedia Commons

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