I’m not a health care expert, I just play one in real life

The Wall Street Journal publishes an editorial by Suzanne Somers, actress, labeling her a “health and wellness” expert. Wow, that REALLY IS bottom of the barrel. She spouts a lot of nonsense. Expert? They have an odd interpretation of that word. [Thanks to Jeb Card for the tip] 

Suzanne Somers: The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme – The Experts – WSJ.

As a writer of 24 books mostly on health and wellness and by using my celebrity to get to the best and brightest doctors, scientists and medical professionals in the alternative and integrative health-care world, I have come to the following conclusions:

First of all, let’s call affordable health care what it really is: It’s socialized medicine.

She goes on to give us personal horror stories about her interactions with Canadian health care through her family. Then she asks “Really, is this what we want?”

Then she offers “expertise” about how this benefits citizens or not.

Affordable care will allow for pre-existing conditions. That’s the good part for retirees. But, let’s get down and dirty; the word “affordable” is a misnomer. So far, all you are hearing on the news is how everyone’s premiums are doubling and tripling and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that the whole thing is a big mess. Plus, even after Obamacare is fully implemented, there still will be tens of millions of people not covered. So what’s the point? Medical care will be degraded, the costs will skyrocket, and most frightening of all, your most intimate and personal information is now up for grabs.

Retirees who are on Medicare will suffer the consequences of 700 billions of Medicare dollars instead being used to cover the skyrocketing cost of Obamacare. In essence, less dollars for seniors, means less service. Not fair. The Boomers are going to take the “hit.” In Obamacare, “too old” has limitations of service.

Boomers are smart. They see the train wreck coming… most I speak with think the Affordable Care Act is a greater Ponzi scheme than that pulled off by Bernie Madoff.

Boomers, if they are smart, would not take advice from an actress who has no experience or professional training in healthcare, public health police, insurance, or economics. What in the WORLD prompted WSJ to allow this platform? It’s absurd! They had to make several corrections to the piece due to her errors. The piece also misrepresents the program and give no useful information. The editorial needs an editor, me thinks. But people have noticed that this is rather silly. Yet, the comments are polarized and mixed. People are saying she has a point due to her experiences (actually mean nothing), and others are appalled by her ignorance and the paper’s choice to allow this to be posted.

This Salon piece asks: “Are there any actresses over 40 who believe in medical science?” They have noticed a trend. It’s a hazardous one.

There’s Jenny McCarthy, the current “View” cohost, whose activism against vaccines (she believes they cause autism) has given rise to a website tracking just how many have died due to vaccine-preventable illnesses. Mariel Hemingway, of “Manhattan,” has, per a recent New York Times Magazine, devoted her life to health-food-store pursuits of filling her body with organic food and balancing her alkalinity, and has left acting behind in order to serve as a lifestyle guru for others (many of her tips, to be fair, seem completely manageable). Mary Steenburgen, promoting her movie “Last Vegas,” told a journalist a recent surgery left her with the ability to play the accordion.

And, most infamously, there’s Suzanne Somers, the author of some 24 books largely on the topic of wellness; her concept of wellness involves filling the body with hormones in order to fool the body into thinking it is not experiencing menopause. As shown on “Oprah,” Somers takes 60 pills a day, as well as injecting hormones into her vagina and rubbing them into her skin. The one-time “Three’s Company” actress has questioned the efficacy of chemotherapy as she promotes medical treatments not subject to the strict scientific method evaluation as, say, traditional medicine.

Salon makes a sly suggestion that her lack of acting parts has caused her to capitalize on this new niche. But they also note that she has a key female demographic in which to promote quackery and that is DANGEROUS.

But Somers’ and McCarthy’s statements have real human cost: as Salon wrote in 2009, Somers takes her information from sources “many of whom are neither experts in women’s health or endocrinology, nor board-certified physicians, nor experienced researchers.” McCarthy’s anti-vaccine rhetoric, which has helped to erode the sort of herd immunity that prevents disease outbreak, is based on a discredited medical study retracted by medical journal the Lancet; the talk show host has alleged a coordinated media campaign by vaccine manufactures. Somers’ Wiley Protocol was designed by a self-styled “molecular biologist” who only holds a B.A. in anthropology and has been criticized by medical doctors for lack of proof of efficacy.

Sadly, they get attention. They capitalize on distrust of government, fear, and conspiracy. For some bizarre reason, they are popular.

The celebrity’s belief he or she is right about everything by dint of being charming on a 1970s sitcom or a 1990s dating show is the very essence of the American myth of self-creation; they’re on TV, so they must have something substantial to teach us!

I don’t get my health information from a complete non-expert promoting nonsense. We strongly recommend you don’t either. And, HELLO, WSJ, what are you thinking? You’re killing your reputation with this crap.

Suzanne Somers on Oprah Winfrey show

Suzanne Somers on Oprah Winfrey show

LA Times piece

8 places that do health care better than the US | GlobalPost.

  11 comments for “I’m not a health care expert, I just play one in real life

  1. spookyparadigm
    October 30, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    “What in the WORLD prompted WSJ to allow this platform? It’s absurd!”

    In years past, the WSJ was clearly biased towards the business elite in its coverage (I mean, it’s in the name), and it did pretend to a certain level of sophistication (see their trademark little stipple portraits rather than photos). So it was kind of like an elitist, more thought-out but still biased Faux News.Very George Will.

    And then it got bought by Rupert Murdoch. And one of the very first stories to run in the WSJ after Rupert Murdoch bought it was a smear piece against Dennis Kucinich about UFOs, as I discuss here.

    http://spookyparadigm.blogspot.com/2008/01/ufo-as-political-smear.html

    Remember, Murdoch made billions off of UFOs in the 1990s, Fox was the go-to for such things as the Alien Autopsy, and of course there was the X-Files, Independence Day, and so on.

    So yeah, the WSJ is now pretty much Fox News, print edition. Suzanne Somers would fit right in on the channel.

  2. Chris Howard
    October 30, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    That’s so weird! I’m not an actor either, but I, also, play one on TV.

  3. Kathy Moyd
    October 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    I am a “rocket scientist” (37 years at JPL) and I do not “recognize that the whole thing is a big mess.”

    I do recognize that when schedule is the most important driver, integration and testing are frequently the first victims when delays occur. In the case of planetary spacecraft, there are often short launch windows separated by years. For example, to get to Mars without having to carry a huge amount of propellant, there is a one-month launch window every two years. In the case of the ACA, the driver was the legislated start date of January 1, 2014.

  4. Chris Howard
    October 30, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    So the ACA IS as difficult as rocket surgery! ;-)

    @ Kathy

    Thanks for all you do, and can I get ion thrusters for my Honda? :-)

  5. terrythecensor
    October 30, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    > [Somers] goes on to give us personal horror stories about her interactions with Canadian health care through her family. Then she asks “Really, is this what we want?”

    The experts Somers failed to consult were pollsters. They have found that up here in Canada, we would never ever give up our health care system — ever.

    Wikipedia has a good summary:

    Canadians strongly support the health system’s public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported “public solutions to make our public health care stronger.” A Strategic Counsel survey found 91% of Canadians prefer their healthcare system instead of a U.S. style system. Plus 70% of Canadians rated their system as working either “well” or “very well”.

    A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S.

    A 2003 Gallup poll found 25% of Americans are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with “the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation”, versus 50% of those in the UK and 57% of Canadians. Those “very dissatisfied” made up 44% of Americans, 25% of respondents of Britons, and 17% of Canadians. Regarding quality, 48% of Americans, 52% of Canadians, and 42% of Britons say they are satisfied.

  6. terrythecensor
    October 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Somers: “let’s call affordable health care what it really is: It’s socialized medicine.”

    Other socialised enterprises: law enforcement, firefighting, the military, education…all with public funding or government-regulated service mandates.

    Somers: “Canadian medical students have no incentive to become doctors to humans because they can’t make any money. Instead, there is a great surge of Canadian students becoming veterinarians.”

    National Post: “Over the past 15 years, first-year medical school enrollments in Canada have almost doubled, from 1,575 in 1997-98 to about 3,000 in 2012-13, during which time the population increased by less than 25%. The number of foreign medical graduates entering practice in Canada annually has also more than doubled since the year 2000. Over that same period, the number of Canadians who obtained their medical degrees internationally and entered practice in Canada annually has increased 250%. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports released this week indicate that between 2008 and 2012 the number of physicians rose three times faster than the growth of the overall population, and for the sixth year in a row, the number of physicians per population has reached a new peak and is continuing to rise.”

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/10/08/barer-evans-what-doctor-shortage/

    Somers: “My sister-in-law had to wait two months to get a General Practitioner. During this period she spent her days in bed vomiting continuously, unable to get any food or drink down because she couldn’t get an appointment with the doctor.”

    As a Canadian, I can tell you with certainty that when I’ve been sick, I have walked into an emergency room, without appointment, and been treated by a doctor, a visit which included receiving an EKG. I have also taken a child to a neighbouthood walk-in clinic, without appointment, and he was treated by a doctor within the hour. I don’t know what Somers’ relative did in trying to receive treatment, but I can tell you she did it wrong.

    Somers: “My 75-year-old Canadian girlfriend was denied treatment because she was too old.”

    Please note that Somers gives no medical details about this woman’s actual medical complaint (unless Somers thinks that being 75 years old is reversible). Is it possible denial of treatment was based on sound medical and not bureaucratic decisions? Somers gives us no way to falsify her empty claim.

    Somers: “after Obamacare is fully implemented, there still will be tens of millions of people not covered”

    Which tells me that Obamacare doesn’t go far enough. Whose fault is that, I wonder? Surely no public servants of a certain political party opposed comprehensive medical coverage for their constituents!

    I have to wonder what is the true basis of Somers’ complaint. Does she fear Obamacare will not cover alternative medical treatments? That is, if low-income patients are mandated by government to put their money into scientifically valid medical practices, they can’t CHOOSE to waste their money on medical hokum?

  7. October 30, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    I appreciate terrythecensor’s comments. I moved from boston to montreal and I have many less complaints about health insurance than I did in the USA. It’s easy for rich celebrities to diss a system that works for normal people who don’t get special treatment because of their money and fame. We certainly have our issues, but worrying about healthcare isn’t really a problem.

  8. One Eyed Jack
    October 30, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    I always chuckle inside when I hear someone use “socialized” akin to “devil worshiping baby eaters”. In the US we have socialized roads, military, water, sewage, education, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, research, space exploration, and of course social security. Yes the ACA is a form of socialized medicine, but it’s not like it’s a first in the US.

    “Socialism is the devil.” – Mama Boucher (OK, not really, but you can imagine her saying it)

  9. One Eyed Jack
    October 30, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Oh, almost forgot. I’m not taking advice from Chrissy Snow and the Thigh Master.

  10. Chris Howard
    October 31, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Yeah, most people in the US can’t tell you what socialism (or communism for that matter) is, much less how it works.

    All they know is that they hates it with a small furry passion, because the right-wing man on the radio, who shills for Snapple, told them that it was “Eeeville”.

  11. ryckpen
    December 4, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    I know I’m late to the game but needed to add something here. The #1 cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills. In Canada no one declares bankruptcy over medical bills. I really think that says it all. No one I know has ever been refused medical care for any reason.

Comments are closed.