You know how Suzanne Somers was famous for playing the flakiest blonde on TV ever? Well, as it turns out, it still isn’t a fantastic idea to get information from stars based on their celebrity — as her hastily corrected anti-Obamacare Wall Street Journal effort proves.
While Somers herself is clearly a frequent recipient of doctors’ services, she seems to base her entire rant — titled “Suzanne Somers: The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme” — on comments from World Net Daily.
Somers is passionate, committed… and so, so wrong in much of what she initially claimed in her op-ed.
As Gawker points out, Somers wrote her Obamacare article for the Wall Street Journal‘s “The Experts” section, billed as “an exclusive group of industry, academic and cultural thought leaders who weigh in on the latest debates.” As it turns out, not so much with the expertise… but if you’re looking for unsourced and apocryphal confirmation bias, totally read the WSJ’s “The Experts” section, because apparently it’s brimming with that sort of thing.
Somers, whose eerily aging-free face appears atop her fact-free screed, uses the power of anecdata to make her claim about Obamacare. In the piece, she begins with horror stories of how she’s heard single payer may work in Canada… anecdotes that, in the unlikely circumstance are true, bear no resemblance to the private insurer based Obamacare plan.
“I’ve had an opportunity to watch the Canadian version of affordable health care in action with all its limitations with my Canadian husband’s family… 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. When she finally did, the doctor said, ‘Oh you don’t need me, you need a specialist.’ That took another two weeks until she got a pill that corrected the problem… Really, is this what we want?”
Today we learned that in Canada, there are no emergency rooms. Or perhaps that Somers should ethically check her facts before stepping upon a platform and telling Americans frightening and likely untrue things about Canadian healthcare… and we’re leaning toward the latter given some corrections later applied to the piece.
Gawker quotes one:
“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.”
While Suzanne Somers is entitled to her own opinions and beliefs about Obamacare, it’s pretty irresponsible to make such claims on a public, very high-profile site under the auspices of being an expert without checking some basic facts. Did you read Somers’ Obamacare piece?