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Michael J. Fox Talks Parkinson's Policy Priorities with POLITICO

Michael J. Fox Talks Parkinson's Policy Priorities with POLITICO

Before meeting with bipartisan members of the House of Representatives as part of last week's 2017 Parkinson's Policy Forum, Michael J. Fox sat down with POLITICO reporter Daniel Lippman to discuss the Foundation's policy priorities and why they matter to people with PD.

The interview appears in today's POLITICO Playbook and highlights some key messages that Michael and the 200 individuals living with Parkinson's and caregivers advocated for on the Hill last Tuesday.

He addressed pressing policy issues influencing medical research funding and why maintaining access to high-quality, affordable care is critical for people living with Parkinson's:

"It's an investment in avoiding being bowled over by a baby-boomer population facing these issues like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's or other neurological conditions that are going to become more pressing as ever soon. I think of health first as infrastructure. It's essential. It's non-partisan. It's essential we have healthy citizens who are not a burden on the government later on."

On urging lawmakers to listen to the patient voice and consider the individuals directly impacted by the issues at stake:

"It's empathy and compassion and a willingness to take each person as a person, as a human that has a life, that has a history and a future and has hopes and aspirations and maybe they align with where our ideal is, maybe they don't. But that process should happen."

On the need for lawmakers to better understand the perspective of those living with Parkinson's as it relates to pre-existing conditions:

"People with Parkinson's have a unique situation because when they're diagnosed, 80 percent of your dopamine-producing cells are already gone. That's a pre-existing condition. You don't even know."

To read more from the interview, head over to

You can hear more from Michael and MJFF co-founder Debi Brooks on why the patient voice matters as well as other parts of the Forum program recorded live and made available on MJFF's Facebook page.

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