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Oct 10 2013

Dammit Wolf, I’m a Doctor Not a Rational Person

Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, one of the most far-right House members who is now running for the Senate, went on CNN and told Wolf Blitzer that Obamacare would “destroy everything we know as a nation.” And you know he’s right because, dammit Jim, he’s a doctor.

In an interview with CNN, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) told host Wolf Blitzer that he supported the government shutdown if it would help put an end to what he called “the flaw of the land.”

“We need to defund it, we need to delay it, we need to put it on the shelf and stop this implementation because it is destroying our economy,” he opined…

“Well, Obamacare must go,” Broun replied. “It’s destroying America…. Wolf, I want to get the American people the relief that they need from this out-of-control spending, and I’ll do everything that I possibly can do to do that.”

“And Obamacare is going to destroy everything we know as a nation,” he added. “Wolf, I’m a doctor. I’m a medical doctor!”

Which has precisely nothing to do with anything. Being a doctor doesn’t make him an expert on the economics of health care or on the functioning of insurance markets. This is an appeal to irrelevant authority. Broun loves to throw his medical degree around in defense of utterly moronic claims, like when he said that evolution and the big bang theory are “lies from the pit of hell.”

33 comments

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  1. 1
    Brandon

    All I can think is, “I drive a Dodge Stratus!”.

  2. 2
    zero6ix

    Wolf, I have a mouth! A mouth that eats food!

  3. 3
    schism

    “Obamacare [is] destroying America….”

    …by way of the GOP shutting down the government because they don’t like Obamacare. Wheeeee, tautologies!

  4. 4
    unbound

    “It’s destroying America…”

    Which means, in Republican-speak:

    Although it will likely help most Americans, it will cause some small financial losses by the richest 0.01% of the nation. Therefore it is completely evil and must be destroyed.

  5. 5
    Johnny Vector

    Any time someone being interviewed says something about “reigning in out-of-control spending”, the person interviewing him should be allowed to smack him with a chart of actual government spending vs time. Like this one:

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1940_2018USp_15s1li011lcn_F0f

    The trend since 1950 is slightly up, but the trend since 2009 is strongly down. And numbers for 2014 and forward are taken from the OMB budget, so that’s Obama’s proposed budgets for future years, and thus does not include the sequester level of cuts, which he’s already agreed to accept for a CR.

    Out of control my pimply ass.

  6. 6
    daved

    Although it will likely help most Americans, it will cause some small financial losses by the richest 0.01% of the nation. Therefore it is completely evil and must be destroyed.

    It also means (in Republican-speak) “It’s likely to be popular, and will therefore cause GOP losses at the polls, and so it must be destroyed.”

  7. 7
    Trebuchet

    Rand and Ron Paul are also doctors. Ron even founded his own fake medical association, because the AMA was too liberal, or something. Just add doctors to the list of highly educated people, like engineers, who believe in ridiculous things.

  8. 8
    daved

    Rand Paul created his own accrediting organization for ophthalmologists so that he could avoid that annoying requirement to be re-certified every ten years.

  9. 9
    raven

    Most Md’s supported the Affordable Care Act, quite a change from the past.

    They see all the time, the results of being uninsured. People with chronic conditions that should be followed drop out because they can’t afford it or stop taking their medicine because they can’t afford it. Some of those people will just end up dying.

    In large parts of the USA, lifespans are falling for the first time in a century. Oddly enough, among white fundie xian women mostly. No one quite knows why but access to health care is suspected. This is also a Tea Party demographic and will probably end up heavy users of…Obamacare.

  10. 10
    unbound

    @5 – Pfft. Bringing up facts and stuff. That doesn’t work on Republicans. Besides, that chart is GDP, and all the Republicans understand is dollars (percentage calculations are tough don’t ya know)…and we all know that inflation is a liberal lie designed to create a class war (or something like that).

    The other fact that Republicans like to ignore when even reading that chart is that the federal fiscal year runs from October 1 (hence the period of shutdown) to September 30. So the 2009 budget (10/1/08 thru 9/30/09) was developed in spring / summer of 2008. So the 2009 spike was actually a parting gift from Bush II and that congress.

  11. 11
    keithb

    Was this the guy who said he read in Forbes that the xchanges had signed up less than 10 people?

    Staphanie Miller played the maroons audio this morning.

  12. 12
    raven

    Broun is a real crackpot creationist who hates science. Especially biology, physics, and embryology. No one quite knows why he hates embryology though. He might not even know what it is.

    Georgia Rep. Paul Broun calls evolution lie from ‘pit of hell … – Politico
    www .politico. com › Congress‎

    Oct 6, 2012 – ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight …

  13. 13
    Johnny Vector

    @Unbound:

    So the 2009 spike was actually a parting gift from Bush II and that congress.

    I. e. the first bailout. Although in fact it’s a damn good thing he did that, or we’d be in much worse shape. I shudder to think how it would have gone down if the crash had happened with the current crop of yogurt-heads.

    The other amusing thing about that graph is that, for at least the last 40 years, the spending went up under Republican presidents and down under Democrats. Another bit of truth that needs to be flailed into people’s heads when they talk about tax-and-sped Democrats.

  14. 14
    Bronze Dog

    No one quite knows why he hates embryology though. He might not even know what it is.

    If I had to guess, it’s because Haeckel’s ghost is doctoring the modern photographs of embryos.

  15. 15
    raven

    Overwhelming Demand for Obamacare Shows Potential Success …
    www. bloomberg. com/…/obamacare-exchanges-debut-…

    Oct 1, 2013
    Obamacare’s opening day drew millions of consumers to the law’s core … Insurer and hospital shares …

    Interest in Obamacare has been very high.

    So high that many or most state websites have crashed. Some of these websites still aren’t working right and the operators claim they should be up by the end of October. (I’ve heard that one before.)

  16. 16
    raven

    No one quite knows why he hates embryology though. He might not even know what it is.

    If I had to guess, it’s because Haeckel’s ghost is doctoring the modern photographs of embryos.

    It’s not the embryos fault that they look similar and share many features and similarities of development. He should hate Haeckel, not the embyos or embyology.

  17. 17
    eric

    @14: you’re close if not right on the mark. Here’s the quote:

    “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”

    I’d say that the guy is attacking embryology over both Haekel and the fact that the field supports an evolutionary origin for humans.

  18. 18
    eric

    He should hate Haeckel, not the embyos or embyology.

    Not even Haeckel – wouldn’t the current trope be “hate the drawing, not the drawer?”

  19. 19
    cry4turtles

    Yes, yes, equal access to healthcare is the same as world annihilation. Put on your tinfoil hats before the websites are functional.

  20. 20
    cottonnero

    I don’t know about embryology or evolution, but The Big Bang Theory certainly is a television show from the pit of hell.

  21. 21
    Reginald Selkirk

    told host Wolf Blitzer that he supported the government shutdown if it would help put an end to…

    But it won’t. FAIL.

  22. 22
    grumpyoldfart

    We’ve had “Medicare” in Australia since 1975. In the nearly forty years since then I haven’t paid a single cent for a doctor’s visit and never more than $5.00 for a prescription. A few years ago my mother got a hip replacement for about $300. It’s a heavy burden but we’ve learned to live with it.

  23. 23
    Modusoperandi

    daved “Rand Paul created his own accrediting organization for ophthalmologists so that he could avoid that annoying requirement to be re-certified every ten years.”
    Opthamols don’t change, why should their ologists?

    And does his libertarian father know he made a guild?

    Johnny Vector “The other amusing thing about that graph is that, for at least the last 40 years, the spending went up under Republican presidents and down under Democrats. Another bit of truth that needs to be flailed into people’s heads when they talk about tax-and-sped Democrats.”
    Yes, but the Democrats tax & spend. The Republicans only spend. So that’s totally different.

    grumpyoldfart “We’ve had ‘Medicare’ in Australia since 1975. In the nearly forty years since then I haven’t paid a single cent for a doctor’s visit and never more than $5.00 for a prescription. A few years ago my mother got a hip replacement for about $300. It’s a heavy burden but we’ve learned to live with it.”
    Yes, but Australian healthcare is much simpler than normal peoples’ healthcare. Croc bite, dingo bite, spider bite, snail bite, koala bite. It’s all bites down there. Few survive. Australian fauna is a Death Panel.

  24. 24
    alwayscurious

    Some of the most closed-minded, conspiracy-theory laden people I know are doctors. That collection of people just grew a little bigger today.

  25. 25
    eric

    We’ve had “Medicare” in Australia since 1975.

    We’ve had a system with that exact name in the U.S. since 1965, which provides socialized health care for anyone over the age of 65.

    Evidently, for right-wingers, socialized medicine for those above the age of 65 results in puppies eating apple pies and saluting the flag. Give it to people under 65, and the world explodes.

  26. 26
    RickR

    I once had an appointment with my GP where he hit me hard with a pitch for something called “Quixstar” or whatever, which I later learned was just Amway with the serial numbers filed off.

  27. 27
    DaveL

    Evidently, for right-wingers, socialized medicine for those above the age of 65 results in puppies eating apple pies and saluting the flag. Give it to people under 65, and the world explodes.

    Actually, when you think about it, a whole lot of groups that are high-risk or low-profit subjects for health insurance get their coverage, with little controversy, from the government. I’m thinking in particular about soldiers in war zones, disabled veterans, and prisoners.

  28. 28
    mildlymagnificent

    In the nearly forty years since then I haven’t paid a single cent for a doctor’s visit and never more than $5.00 for a prescription. A few years ago my mother got a hip replacement for about $300. It’s a heavy burden but we’ve learned to live with it.

    Yup. My husband had a heart attack and associated brain injury earlier this year. A week of coma in intensive care, a defibrillator implant during another three months in hospital / rehab. Cost us nothing. He’s since had to have endoscopy/colonoscopy treatment as well as additional MRIs because of a residual neurological problem with one hand. Cost us nothing. Did have to pay $100ish a week for a couple of months after leaving hospital for more or less daily physio and occupational therapy visits at home. Today he picked up his usual 5 prescriptions for the month – 30 bucks.

    We can live with it.

  29. 29
    reedcartwright

    Brown isn’t much of a physician. A family member told me that he lost his hospital privileges in Americus, GA and had to move back to Athens (three hours away), where he could only see patients in their own homes.

  30. 30
    M can help you with that.

    Yes, the Affordable Care Act will destroy America — if by “destroy America” you mean “allow me to get my meds.” I’m only barely employed — it’s bad enough that the meds that keep me basically functional cost close to 100% of what I take in over the course of the month (with the remainder, i.e. all of the normal living expenses, currently paid for by family). Under the ACA, I’ll be paying along the lines of $50 a month; that is, less than a tenth of what my meds cost when I have to buy out-of-pocket through a route that doesn’t let me negotiate over price. So, more or less, the ACA means that I’ll be able to afford to go back to school and actually put together a decent career instead of only being able to get by month-to-month with major subsidies from family.

  31. 31
    cptdoom

    Not only does being an MD not make you an expert in economics or healthcare finance, it nearly confirms you won’t be. I’ve spent 25 years as an economist in healthcare and can confirm physicians may be the worst business people in the world. Highly educated to be sure, but totally clue-free as to the business aspect of their industry.

  32. 32
    smrnda

    There’s a wide range of intelligence, competence and sanity among ‘doctors’ the way that I suspect it is in any skilled field. There are people who really understand science who are in medicine, and then there are others who were probably decent at cramming for exams and having their parents pay for their med school tuition. The demand for doctors is so high that a few idiots will get certified just to meet demand.

    Another problem is, people in certain fields (and engineers often do this as well) is that they seem to think they become instant experts on everything.

  33. 33
    Michael Heath

    My U.S. Representative, Dan Benishek, is a medical doctor. He’s also a Tea Bagger who lies about economics, Obamacare, and what climate scientists report. In the latter two he also makes the case that his being a doctor adds additional authority to his idiocy. On economics he just relies on the same talking points Michele Bachmann relies on, “the problem is spending”, where his insight stops there.

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