Repeal Obamacare or Die!

That’s the actual headline on the latest bit of stupid from Roger Hedgecock and the Worldnutdaily. It begins with this:

My uncle once told me in a low voice, “Never let them take you to a hospital. You’ll never come out.” In his 90s and near death, he was rushed to a hospital and died. Now comes a study documenting that hospital privacy curtains are full of bacteria, including the antibiotic resistant strains. Hospitals full of sick people are where the germs are.

Your uncle was an idiot. You are too. Do you think your 90 year old near-death uncle would not have died if he hadn’t gone into the hospital?

Presidential candidate and cancer survivor Herman Cain, debating in Florida this week, declared that if Obamacare had been in effect when he needed treatment, he would be dead.

Well yes, that’s the kind of crazy that Herman Cain specializes in. Did he present any evidence to support that claim? Did he offer even a minimally coherent argument on what specific changes were part of health care reform that would have led to him dying? Of course not. He made a bare, illogical assertion that had nothing to back it up but did confirm the beliefs his followers already had. And that’s all that matters — to him and to them.

Look, I don’t know very much about the economics of health care. I don’t even pretend to. I have no idea whether the bill that was passed is actually going to do a lot of good. I frankly suspect that while it will obviously boost the number of people with health insurance, it will probably cause all kinds of other problems. I can safely make this prediction because the bill was written not to be coherent and rational but to appease a thousand different constituencies with the money and power to buy influence. That’s pretty much the inevitable result of how our screwed up system of government operates.

But I do know that the ridiculous scare-mongering from the right is so over the top as to be appalling. They keep calling it “socialized medicine,” which it clearly isn’t — it’s subsidized private insurance, pretty much the opposite of socialized medicine. Sarah Palin and her death panels, Glenn Beck and his routine claims that health care reform is the second coming of Adolf Hitler — this is monumentally idiotic.

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  • Paul Neubauer

    Herman Cain’s claim sounds reminiscent of the claim from [mumble]some business magazine[/mumble] of a couple of years ago to the effect that a system like the UK’s would kill Stephen Hawkings. To which, Stephen Hawkings responded that he was/is a Brit, had extensive experience with the UK system and was not dead yet.


  • lynxreign

    So his dying uncle was Baron Munchausen? In the movie from years ago, that was his claim about doctors.

    He’s right though. I live in MA and since Obamacare is just like Romneycare, we’ve had it for longer than the rest of the country. I’ve died three times since it was implemented! Just about everyone in the state has died at least once.

  • Randomfactor

    if Obamacare had been in effect when he needed treatment, he would be dead.

    Sounds like a reason to speed up implementation.

  • anandine

    Roger Hedgecock is a right-wing ideologue, and his anecdote is not evidence, but there is evidence of something like 100,000 iatrogenic deaths a year (some say a million), from a combination of mistakes and the fact that hospitals are awash with bacteria.

  • Aliasalpha

    Wasn’t there also some lunatic a while back that said stephen hawking would be dead IF he’d been british because the NHS is evil?

  • cptdoom

    @4 anandine –

    Well, that is true and is a reason to stay out of the hospital, because they have the nastiest bugs. Interestingly a side benefit of good health care coverage and a pro-active medical team is, in fact, reduced hospitalization.

  • sebloom

    In a chat room last night someone was railing against Obama calling him an idiot and dangerous…he also indicated that “Obamacare” was one of the reasons he hated the President so much. Then he said that if Obama was reelected he was going to move to Canada.

    I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to respond.

  • gshelley

    It continually amazes me that people somehow think that they (or granny) would be worse of with the healthcare they are now able to get subsidised by the government than they would have been with no healthcare. Even if everything they said was true that the government would interfere heavily in the decisions about what to pay for, it still wouldn’t decrease anyone’s coverage.

  • eric

    @5: Yes, that was an editorial in the Investor’s Business Daily that said that, back around the beginning of August 2009. Just for amusement value, here’s the money quote:

    People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

    The Editorial was titled “How House Bill Runs Over Grandma.” IBD quickly changed the article to remove all mention of Hawking, so you won’t find that quote in it any more.

  • When my elderly father’s kidneys failed the NHS over there in Britain kept him alive (and in pretty-good condition) for another 8 years, at a cost to him and my Mum of approximately …nothing. (Of course he did pay into the system when he was working, at a rate that’s about half what he would have paid over here in the States)

  • chilidog99

    The nastiest placed to find germs are those little flip down child seats in grocery carts.

    the last person to use that cart put his dripping package of chicken on it. Before that, some little brat in a leaky diaper sat there.

  • Yes, it would be a real travesty to have the government decide which treatments the government will pay for with government dollars. We need to get the government out of healthcare so that it will pay for none of your treatments equally.

    Seriously, I’m not sure what’s worse. The fact that their arguments are a complete lie, or the fact that their arguments are utterly stupid.

  • Crommunist

    Dollars to donuts, Herman Cain’s pizzas have killed more people than Obamacare ever will.

  • Anri

    By the same argument, one should avoid graveyards, as they are substantially populated with dead people.

  • Brain Hertz

    I think the best response I saw to the Stephen Hawking argument was that it was obviously his accent that confused them…

  • MikeMa

    Two of my kids continued to have healthcare under the ahc provision which raised their eligible age. That was a big deal for me if not them.

  • So the secret of immortality is: never go to the hospital! Because, as we all know, nobody ever died before hospitals started taking in terminally ill patients. Or something.

    ~David D.G.