The most dangerous doctors in America
Some of the most dangerous people in America are right wing doctors. In fact, I think I'm going to have to ask for political affiliation before I allow one to treat me since any doctor who believes crapola of the kind we've been hearing from Rand Paul about vaccines is likely to kill you. And surely you'll recall the famous case of Senate majority leader Dr. Bill Frist committing medical malpractice on the floor of the Senate by misdiagnosing a woman in a coma via videotape for political reasons.
I wrote about yet another one for Salon this morning:
It was startling to see physician and Senator Rand Paul claim the other day that people on disability were faking bad backs and anxiety to get on the dole and cheat the taxpayers. These are real ailments, sometimes totally debilitating, as anyone who has suffered from either can tell you. Severe back pain can make it impossible to work at any job, even those which only require sitting. Anxiety disorder is a terrible condition that can even make some people unable to even leave their house. What kind of medical doctor would deny such a thing? (If you answered, “one who will willingly trade his professional integrity for political points” you’d be right.)
Read on for more... In fact, most people on disability are mired in poverty barely able to survive and would go to work in a minute if they could. This is just more "welfare queen" calumny. It never ends with these people.
But this is actually part of the GOP’s ongoing quest to degrade “entitlements” and make America’s health care system the worst in the world for anyone who isn’t wealthy. Their ongoing attack on Obamacare opened up a window to their underlying philosophy about affordable health care. (They’re not for it.) And now they are taking legislative aim at the Supplemental Security Income portion of the Social Security System. This is the program that makes it possible for people with disabilities to live without begging on the streets. Despite the fact that the congress has always routinely pushed money back and forth between the retirement and disability portions of the program as the need occurred, the Republicans in congress have decided that they no longer support doing such a thing. The result, if they have their way, would be to cut the meager stipends of millions of disable Americans within the next year.
They claim that the program is rife with fraud and that far too many people are able bodied and just refuse to work. (They haven’t used the term “disability queen” queen in public yet, but you can be sure they’ve thought it.) Representative Tom Price, another erstwhile medical professional committed to proving that trusting a Republican doctor to treat you is like asking a convicted robber to house sit, said:
“There are a number of studies that demonstrate that a lot of people who are on the program are no longer eligible. People get well, people do other things and other opportunities become available from a medical standpoint to treating whatever disability they have to make it so that they can contribute to a greater degree.”
That’s a convenient story but it’s just not true