Suzanne Somers Knows A Lot About Sight Gags and Thighmasters, Nothing About Health Care
Suzanne Somers, retired actress and intercourse advocate, has written an op-ed for a little-read wellness newsletter called the Wall Street Journal in which she soberly accuses the Affordable Care Act of being “a greater Ponzi scheme than that pulled off by Bernie Madoff.” It’s a scathing indictment of the new law, except that, whoops, it’s riddled with fact errors and fake quotes she just made up in her head.
The piece already has three corrections attached:
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.
These aren’t even the only problems with the piece! Somers’ level-headed argument that Obamacare is “socialist” mostly centers around an anecdote about a Canadian relative, which, she knows that Canada’s health care system is not the same as Obamacare right? No? Oh boy. Somers goes on to acknowledge that coverage for pre-existing conditions is a good thing for retirees, but she continues, saying “the word ‘affordable’ is a misnomer.” Somers’ argument is that “everyone’s premiums are doubling and tripling” as “all you are hearing on the news.” Somers, of course, doesn’t bother to quantify that premiums are going up only because many people currently pay no premiums at all, as they can’t get coverage. There’s also a bizarre part claiming that “your most intimate and personal information is now up for grabs.” Unless Congress repealed HIPAA recently and no one noticed, this sentence doesn’t mean anything.
The piece in question appears on WSJ’s The Experts blog, which the Journal describes as “an exclusive group of industry, academic and cultural thought leaders who weigh in on the latest debates.”