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By Kat Giantis
When Suzanne Somers isn't having sex twice a day, she's thinking about health care reform. In Monday's Wall Street Journal, the former "Three's Company" blonde and Thighmaster proponent shares her opinion on what the Affordable Care Act means for retirees, and much like Jack Tripper getting a surprise visit from Mr. Roper, she really doesn't like it.
In fact, the self-appointed (and controversial) health expert calls it a "Socialist Ponzi Scheme." Somers, 67, whose 2006 book, "Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones," has been knocked by some doctors as "scientifically unproven and dangerous," has this to say about the ACA and its supposed impact on the 65-and-older set:
"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 [the] affordable health care what it really is: It's socialized medicine," rails Suzanne, who goes on to provide a lot of anecdotal information, much of which is based on the experiences of her husband's Canadian family.
Problem is, a chunk of her Canadian argument isn't factually sound. She also references a provocative 2008 Maclean's magazine cover that featured, as she describes it, "a picture of a horse lying on an MRI table with the headline, 'In Canada a horse gets better treatment than you.'" Turns out, that cover actually featured a dog. The WSJ has issued a correction. (In Suzanne's defense, the quick turnaround time on the horse's MRI was part of the article.)
Somers then drags a couple of historical figures into her argument as a way to underline how she believes the ACA is sure to subjugate the will of the people.
"And then there is another consideration: It's the dark underbelly of the Affordable Care Act reminiscent of what Lenin and Churchill both said. Lenin: 'Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.' Churchill: 'Control your citizens' health care and you control your citizens.'"
Problem is, both those quotations are fake, with the Lenin line presumably plucked from Fox News contributor Dr. Ben Carson (Somers has also appeared on Fox News). The WSJ issued a correction-slash-amplification.
Meanwhile, the paper offers the flip side to Somers' argument by asking the same question ("What will the Affordable Care Act mean for retirees?") of another expert.
"The Affordable Care Act will have no impact on those 65 and over as they have Medicare," succinctly explains Alicia Munnell, the director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and a former exec at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (among other things).
Whatever your opinion on the ACA, keep in mind that Suzanne is not a doctor, nor does she play one on TV.
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