From the WSJ dealing with an op-ed they commissioned from – no, I’m not kidding – Suzanne Somers:
An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.
Also, the cover of a Maclean’s magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse.
It was not a long article. Update from a reader:
You mock the Wall Street Journal for publishing Suzanne Somers’ silly, error-filled piece on Obamacare. But the Journal’s action was far more insidious than you give on, and goes well beyond a few fabricated quotes:
Suzanne Somers is one of the most destructive celebrity voices doling out healthcare advice. She has promoted the theory that chemotherapy and effective anti-cancer drugs such as Tamoxifen are frauds, and that quackery such as vitamin supplements and coffee enemas are the way to treat the disease (see here and here). That she is given a wide audience on various celebrity talk shows for these dangerous (and if followed, fatal) doctrines is bad enough. That the Journal would raise Somers stature as a health policy “expert” by giving her valuable space in its pages is truly a disgrace. It is the equivalent of deeming Jenny McCarthy competent to opine on such matters because of the nonsense she dispenses about a supposed link between vaccines and autism.
Suzanne Somers’s “article” was problematic, quite obviously, in several ways. But as a Canadian I’d like to point out how absolutely sick and tired I am of having right-wing Americans misuse us and our healthcare system as some sort of punching bag in their bullshitty ongoing quest to deprive fellow citizens of affordable medical care.
I’m in my mid-30s, consider myself conservative, and yet there is no chance in hell that I would ever choose the American system over the Canadian one. Nor would, oh I’d say, 99.9% of my fellow Canadians. We know that our system isn’t perfect. It could be run far more efficiently, long wait times are an ongoing scandal, and it can be brutally hard to find a family doctor in some provinces. But you know doesn’t happen? People don’t cling to jobs for dear life for fear of losing health insurance. No one goes bankrupt simply because they get cancer. No one has to fight with an insurance company just to get reimbursed for expenses that are supposed to be insured.
Canadians pride themselves quite deeply on our system. We believe that helping the sick is the responsibility of all. And we are terrified of anything even closely resembling the current American system. To even speak of introducing just the slightest bit of privatized medical care can be political poison for a federal politician. In the 2000 election, the leader of the right-wing Canadian Alliance party (which is now the ruling Conservative Party of Canada), Stockwell Day, was painted as someone who would introduce American-style healthcare, a charge that he had a hard time battling. He even went so far as to hold up this sign during the leaders’ debate [see right].
Canadians are perfectly happy with our system. We may fiddle with it in the margins, but socialized medicine is here to stay and that’s how we like it. So could Ms. Somers and her idiot fellow travelers please start coming up with their own fact-based arguments and stop lying about Canada?