Actress and Thighmaster spokeswoman Suzanne Somers penned a 535-word op-ed for the Wall Street Journal yesterday, dubbing Obamacare "socialized medicine" and "a greater Ponzi scheme than that pulled off by Bernie Madoff." One day later and the piece already has more than 100 words worth of "corrections and amplifications":
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.
Setting those corrections aside, the rest of the op-ed is nearly as flimsy. Somers, best known for her role as Chrissy on Three's Company, builds her argument on a shaky foundation that is based largely on questionable anecdotes from her husband's side of the family and things she's seen on TV or read in old magazines. A sampling of her main evidence that Obamacare is a socialist Ponzi scheme:
- a five-year-old magazine article about education trends of would-be Canadian doctors and vets;
- an anecdote about how "several" of her Canadian husband's cousins who are doctors have moved to the United States to make more money, a meme that has been largedly debunked and, even if it true, would seem to contradict her concern for what Americans pay for their healthcare;
- a vague anecdote about how her Canadian sister-in-law had to wait more than two months to get "a pill" that finally stopped her from "vomiting continuously";
- and how "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."
Now's a good time to point out that Somers' column runs in the Journal's "The Experts" section, which describes itself as "an exclusive group of industry, academic and cultural thought leaders who weigh in on the latest debates."