Unless you’re a horny, middle-aged or older male wanting improved thighs, you’re not likely to consider Suzanne Somers as the go-to health and wellness expert. Yet this is the facade she presents in a column in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal. Ms. Somers assures us that because she has written “24 books mostly on health and wellness and by using [her] celebrity to get to the best and brightest doctors, scientists and medical professionals in the alternative and integrative health-care world” she is somehow qualified to debase the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as – wait for it – “socialized medicine”.
Based on her husband’s family and the experience she claims they have had with the “socialized medicine” there, Ms. Somers feels she is an expert on how effective the Canadian health care delivery system is compared to what she feels Americans will endure under Obamacare.
Outside the bogus claims she made about Lenin, Churchill and a dog’s care under Canadian law, all of which were later “corrected” by the WSJ, Ms. Somers’ understanding of what Canadians have and what the ACA delivers is not surprisingly off the mark. In Canada the health care delivery system there doesn’t work with the private sector in supplying health insurance for its citizens. It IS the health care insurer. The ACA helps subsidize small businesses and low-income earners to purchase private insurance which is a far stretch from actually being the government controlled health care she claims it is.
But the absurdity of all this lies in Ms. Somers’ opening statement about how her ability to pay for the costly health care services that we have in this country is somehow equivalent to all other Americans’ ability to receive such exclusive care. Like Mitt Romney and other people who are the wealthiest 2% in this country, Ms. Somers has no understanding of what it’s like to live on a low to middle-income wage job and pay for insurance whose premiums “for a family of four is already over one-third of the median household income of $50,000” and with deductibles that will actually cost consumers thousands out of their own pocket before their health care coverage even kicks in.
People like Ms. Somers need to quit fooling themselves about the alleged evils of socialized medicine that other advanced societies have established. They also need to to come to grips with the fact that their own personal experiences are not the defining measure of what does and doesn’t work in critical areas like health care. Only then can we have an intelligent and engaging dialogue on how best to alleviate the shame of the world’s wealthiest economy in how it treats most of its people as hangers-on for simply wanting what they have a right to but has been put out of reach for them by a failure in our economic system.