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Friday, March 22, 2013

Michele Bachmann Lies About Socialized Medicine

Michele Bachmann is an IDiot but I try to avoid commenting on the fact that she's a duly-elected congresswoman from Minnesota. If Americans want to elect someone like her to run their country then that's up to them.

People in the civilized world outside of the USA are puzzled by some of the things she says—they wonder how she can get away with such statements and still be elected. Her recent speech on "Obamacare" in Congress is a case in point. You can see it in the video below. This is the speech where she says, ""Repeal this failure [Obamacare] before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens."

Later on her spokesman, Dan Kotman, issued the following statement.
Obamacare is forcing doctors into the employ of cost-cutting hospitals, gives government the authority to determine services that will and will not be covered, has a board independent of Congress that can cut payments for care, and allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to force all health plans to eliminate any doctor that doesn't practice medicine the government's way. The history of government-run health care systems around the world is a history of denial, delay and sadly even death.
It's one thing to attack "Obamacare" but when she attacks healthcare in Canada and all other civilized countries, that's a different issue.

Let me remind you that there's tons of data showing that people live longer in other countries and they survive cancer better. Infant mortality is lower in other countries. And this success is achieved at lower cost than health care in the USA. In other words, Michele Bachmann is dead wrong when she says that socialized medicine is a "history of death."

As I was preparing this post I stumbled across a video of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama defending American health care in the Senate of the United States Congress. Are Americans embarrassed by speeches like this or is this typical of Americans who have been elected to the Senate? Is it the best that Alabama has to offer?


  1. Send Michelle on a tour of Scandinavia! We enjoy 'socialized medicine' and I ain't dead yet, at 83. I've had several Dupyutren's contracture operations, a meniscus operation and even $2000 worth of hearing aid at virtually no cost.

  2. It's a bit easy for us as Canadians to feel smug about the nature of politics here. We don't seem to have any politicians of note who are as delusional and ignorant as Bachmann. However, I suspect this is more a result of our different systems of gov't than a reflection of the quality of our politicians. Under the Canadian parliamentary system, the governing party can only remain in power if it can win majority votes in Parliament, which means MP's are subjected to a greater degree of discipline. Every now and then one of the Conservative backbenchers says something stupid about abortion or homosexuality or some other hot-button issue, but Harper immediately clubs them over the head (metaphorically) and they fall back into line. There's no similar mechanism to prevent Bachmann from repeatedly embarassing her party by opening her mouth and letting the lies and absurdities spew out.

    1. Yes that's true.

      But there also seems to be a more fundamental difference as well. I've noticed that in the U.S. to get elected one must usually talk about, and make a show of, their faith in god while in Canada that would be the surest path to not getting elected. Its a reflection of the differing levels of fundamentalism in the two countries I guess.

  3. A couple of things to note: in the US, a Senator represents a state, not the whole country. Sessions probably accurately represents Alabama, just as Inhofe (about the dumbest carbon-based lifeform that I can think of) accurately represents Oklahoma.

    The House is even worse, because the representatives represent even smaller Congressional districts. In Illinois, the southern part of the state is represented by John Shimkus who once said that we didn't have to worry about climate change because God was in charge...and he said that in an official House committee meeting!

    In certain parts of the United States, coming across as educated is all but certain political death.

  4. Yes, Americans are embarrassed by people like Bachmann and Sessions. Trouble is, I don't live in their congressional or senate districts so there isn't much I can do about them. I can't even (with my one vote) rid my own districts of the idiots we've got here! Some of the insane gyrations you're seeing Republicans go through these days are the dying throes of an irrelevant creature. History is going to prove these idiots wrong but they're not going down without a fight, however stupid and laughable their arguments.

  5. Bug Eyes Bachmann is really delusional. Back in 2005 she was caught crouching in the bushes, hiding so that she could observe a gay rights rally at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

    A while later two of her constituents followed her into a ladies' room in the capitol building to express their opinions, and she began screaming, "I'm being held against my will!" and ran out of the bathroom screaming-- making out that butch lesbians were kidnapping her. The police talked to them, and dropped the case.

    She's one person who's so completely in a world of her own imagination that she really could be a fascist. I'm serious. Fascism requires this level of self-deception.

    And she has a creepy fixation on gays that mimics Hitler's obsession with Jews. Of course her husband is obviously gay, and her sister-in-law out of the closet, but she built her career on attacking them.

    As for Obamacare, back in 2009 (I think?) she was famous for googling her giant bug eyes into the camera and saying, "Grandma is not shovel ready!"

    Anybody remember Sarah Palin and her "Death Panels" in the Obamacare legislation? "Death Panels" are back.

    She stands there and says medicine is 100% under the control of the government. Pathological liar.

    Every driver in the USA is required to have car insurance. Is that 100% government control of where you drive or what you do with your car?

    This is why it's important to have Obamacare: to prove that these fascists are delusional, the same way they were proven wrong about Medicare (which back in 1961 Ronald Reagan called socialism, and said Medicare would mean the end of American freedom forever.)

    Of course, no Republicans today remember about how Ronald Reagan, their hero, lied about Medicare in 1961. Just like 15 years from now, they won't remember about how Bug Eyes lied about Obamacare.

    1. And of course Obamacare is basically the Heritage Foundation plan that Senator Dole presented to President Clinton as a compromise offer....Obamacare is a Republican plan.

    2. Sadly true, Harriet. Also of interest is the whole 'death panels' thing - it is as if these people think that every - EVERY - health insurance company does NOT have groups of people that determine whether or not certain procedures will be covered and if so, how much they will cover. They rely on the gullibility and ignorance of their constituents and target audience, and sadly, such folk seem to deliver on a regular basis.

  6. What should really be of concern to Americans is the takeover of US hospitals by the Catholic church with the concomitant loss of reproductive and end of life (several US states have end of life legislation allowing for personal end of life choices) rights.

    Catholic institutions across the nation are merging with secular hospitals, clinics, and even small private practices at an unprecedented rate. Optimists explain that the consolidation and shared infrastructure help reduce costs. Pessimists point out that the aggressive mergers come at a time when Catholic bishops are exerting and expanding their authority. "I see it as a conscious effort to achieve through the private market what they failed to achieve through the courts or at the ballot box," says Monica Harrington, a San Juan Island resident who's spent the last year fighting a Catholic hospital in her town.

    Three of the largest health-care systems in the Northwest—PeaceHealth, Providence Health & Services, and Franciscan Health System—are Catholic entities, and they're busy making new deals in our state. According to MergerWatch, a nonprofit that tracks Catholic hospital mergers across the nation, there was a record-breaking 10 mergers announced in Washington State in 2012.

    1. What should really be of concern to Americans is the takeover of US hospitals by the Catholic church

      Really, Steve? Is this really what should be of concern to Americans?

      And is the word "takeover" appropriate here? Is "takeover" appropriate when "merger" is correct?

    2. It is a fact the US Catholic church is acquiring US hospitals and is imposing catholic dogma on those forced to use their services, and I do mean forced in the sense that quite often there are no viable non catholic health care alternatives in the vicinity and/or catholic dogma is forced on patients without their knowledge by withholding information on the religiously mandated policies of the hospital.

      What this translates to in real life, for example, is women being denied abortions until fetal heartbeat cessation, assuming they can get an abortion at all, putting the women at much greater risk.

      I don't mean to imply that Americans should not be concerned about attempts to subvert a US national health coverage system, but those concerned about so called "Obamacare death panels" would be better off investing their concern on real threats to their health and not faux threats as fantasized by delusional and evil idiots like Bachmann.

      As for takeover versus merger, I agree that this was a rhetorical ploy on my part to cast the catholic church worst possible light, not that they need my help in this matter.

    3. I wasn't aware of this... Most hospitals are becoming part of bigger hospital systems for a better regional presence and effective alignment for ACO's as part of the Meaningful Use guidelines.

    4. Steve is right.
      In my nearest big town there was an attempt to merge the Catholic hospital with the non-affiliated hospital. When the public found out what restictions on treatment options (birth control, abortion, vasectcomy, hysterectomy, end of life) the Catholic board was imposing on the secular hospital, merger talks ceased.

      I feel we missed the bullet.

    5. several US states have end of life legislation allowing for personal end of life choices

      Which is a good thing. I suspect that you are not aware of how much pain and suffering people on terminal care frequently have to go through without those.

    6. @DK

      For a valuable resource in the battle against religious intrusions into end of life choices I suggest Eric MacDonald's fine blog - Choice in Dying - Arguing for the right to die and against the religious obstruction of that right.

  7. It was only about 175,000 Americans who did the dirty deed last time and, trust me, people in the civilized parts of the USA are equally puzzled by some of the things she says.

  8. I had a sinus operation last year in a Sisters of Charity Catholic hospital = not my choice, but it was what was available. In the pre-op room as I was captive in my gurney with various things attached me, an oldish Sister went around praying over everyone, including me. I wanted to ask, "I'm just here for a routine sinus operation - is there something about this place that I should know?" But it wouldn't have been polite, in their house. Basically, it just added another layer of bureaucracy to an already-bureaucratic system. And oh yes, Sisters of Charity or not, I did get a substantial bill, as well as onto their mailing list for donations. (Fair enough, I suppose.)

    Bachmann, Sessions, and their ilk - what can I say, except the average IQ of the human race is only 100, and even the smart ones are good at fooling themselves. In fact, I think the main method most of us learn things is by making mistakes. That works in endeavors like computer-programming, engineering, science and education because someone or something (e.g., your computer, in the case of computer programming) will show you that mistakes have been made, but in some other fields the mistakes aren't acknowledged so the learning doesn't happen.

  9. IDiot barry arrington worked (maybe still does?) for bachman:

    They make a lovely IDiot couple, don't they?

    1. On June 3, 2010, Short established C&M Strategies in Colorado. Records on file with the Colorado secretary of state list Short as the "registered agent" of the firm; the incorporator was Colorado certified public accountant Barry Arrington.

      Arrington is a crooked CPA? I thought he was a crooked lawyer.

    2. In response to an FEC inquiry, MICHELEPAC Treasurer Barry Arrington acknowledged in a letter today that the PAC “erroneously omitted credit card contributions” that should have appeared on its monthly disclosure report in February. (The PAC has filed an amended report including nearly $52,000 in missing contributions.)

      The FEC, in a July 7 letter, dinged MICHELEPAC for what it says is incomplete employer or occupation information for some of its donors. “You must provide the missing information, or if you are unable to do so, you must demonstrate that ‘best efforts’ have been used to obtain the information,” FEC Senior Campaign Finance Analyst Edward Ryan wrote.

      Arrington wrote back today to say that information about several donations have been amended, and that in general, MICHELEPAC has made “best efforts” to obtain identifying information.

      That's the honest citizen who banned me from UD! Creationist criminals.

  10. The best quote I've read recently.

    She really would like to impose some sort of libertarian theocracy, where the government has not authority to regulate anything beyond the stoning of abortionists and homosexuals.-Alex Pareene.

  11. It amazes me that anyone would vote for such a loon:

    1. Trying reading the forum pages of Free Republic (as I do every few days, to get my fill of crazy) and you will meet the people who actually think the Palins and Bachmanns of this world are the real heroes, are presidential material and, at least in the case of Palin, will indeed be president one day.

      Its tough to believe these people actually exist. But also throw in a bunch of constituents who vote only by name recognition and there you go!

    2. True story: we had a Canadian postdoc in the lab at some point. I once asked him which medical setup he likes better. His answer: "For regular stuff, I like Canada's system better but if I ever have cancer, I'd much prefer to be treated in the US"

    3. @DK,

      I wonder why he said that? Is it because he would enjoy paying several hundred thousand dollars to Americans for the same result he could get in Canada for free? Or is it because there are so many cancer quacks in the USA who aren't allowed to practice in Canada and he wants to try non-scientific medicine?

      As far as I know, there's no evidence that the average cancer patient gets better treatment in the USA than in Canada or several dozen other countries.

    4. I can only add anecdotal and personal evidence, when my mother was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour (benign but causing excess production of growth hormone resulting in acromeglia) she went down to Buffalo (from the Toronto area) for a fancy, new (at the time) multi radiation beam treatment that used lower power and allowed the tumour to be more precisely targeted and thus providing a better outcome than other treatments. My understanding was that this was not available in Canada at the time.

      I would also add that many of our Canadian politicians seem to have a preference for treatment in the US, based on (objective and accurate I'm sure) media coverage.

      But I think in general the system works quite well and it probably makes sense for the Canadian system to use excess or unavailable medical resources in the US when the situation calls for it.

    5. Quite a few Americans also come to Canada for certain highly specialized experimental treatments.

      Rich Canadians (i.e. some politicians) often go to the USA for elective surgery because they can get it done faster than in Canada. They can also check in to luxury resort hospitals that protect your privacy. Our public health care system doesn't offer an all expense paid luxury option for rich people.

      Switzerland is also popular.

    6. When I was in LA I often walked past a couple of hotels near the UCLA hospital. They were full of Arab families with women in burqas. I presumed that they were rich families from the Gulf with a sick member who wanted American treatment.

      There seems to be a belief that you'll get better treatment in America if you're

      1. very sick and
      2. very rich.

      In the absence of 1 or 2, I dunno.

      Once I had a bronchial infection in China. The hospitals there are dives, even in Beijing, but service is comparatively fast. They X-rayed my lungs lickety split. Not a digital CCD, old-fashioned X-ray film. I think they charged me about the equivalent of $5, and gave me the X-ray film. I still have it.

      As in many developing countries, they had out the most advanced antibiotics like they're sugar pills. Despite being atheists, they don't get the whole "evolvution of antibiotic resistance" idea.

    7. @ Larry:
      I wonder why he said that?

      To be honest, I have no idea. Didn't really pursue the subject. Anyhow, his dad is a doctor in London, Ontario, so maybe he knows something you and I don't?

    8. @ Diogenes:
      Not a digital CCD, old-fashioned X-ray film. I think they charged me about the equivalent of $5, and gave me the X-ray film. I still have it

      Probably a good thing! Thus far, every CCD-based instrumentation for imaging ECL-based Westerns I used/tested blows in comparison to the good old X-ray films. (But I haven't seen the highest end machines which would probably end up 10OX the price of an automatic film developer).


    1. Its a liberal plot to discredit her, because she is a real american and a true patriot.

    2. Yeah... she's probably going to be sued by the conservative home-schooling advocate whose list of home-schoolers she stole.

      Creationist criminals.