As we all have been hearing (and hearing, and hearing) the Obamacare health care exchanges are set to open up next month. So the continuing onslaught of lies about and against the bill are really starting to pile up. Again. Since the House of Representatives have now voted 41 times to repeal or de-fund Obamacare, I guess they need to try something else. Although I think they should do it once more. After all, 42 is the answer to everything. That brings us to those bastions of fair reporting at the New York Post.
I know what you're thinking: Why bother? Why do a conspiracy post on the NY Post? Well, I'm glad you asked. As a New Yorker, the Post is just one of those things that one learns to live with, a farcical mashup of the worst available appeals to ignorance and callousness. For the uninitiated, picture a publication that's as celebrity obsessed as the National Enquirer with the social conscience of Fox News' Sean Hannity and a reading level that can never quite break through Grade 3, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what its articles are like. (In fairness, the upshot of this mix of reptile-brain politics and juvenile crassness are the headlines, which are often either intentionally or unintentionally hilarious).
With reporting at this low-level, it takes a special level of factual inaccuracy and brash carelessness to get an anti-Obama smear piece exiled to the Opinion page in this rag. What makes one recent Opinion piece so remarkable, though is that this time is that they got actual medical professionals to sign on with a thoroughly discredited hack. The onslaught of lies starts immediately:
Are you sexually active? If so, with one partner, multiple partners or same-sex partners?”Oh boy. Apparently, no one at the NY Post has been to a doctor before. Because if they did, they would have realized that questions about sexual history are commonplace. This isn't some secret plot enacted by the Affordable Care Act. You can thank Obamacare for many new things, including private premiums going down, not being kicked off of your insurance for having a pre-existing condition, and your kids being able to remain on your health coverage until they're twenty-six among others. But asking about your sex life has been a part of a thorough medical history since forever. The Centers for Disease Control certainly seem to think it's OK. In fact the American Medical Association recommends that you begin taking sexual histories as early as age 11. But why listen to professionals whose job it is to fight the spread of disease and the largest association of doctors in America when you can listen to Betsy McCaughey.
Be ready to answer those questions and more the next time you go to the doctor, whether it’s the dermatologist or the cardiologist, and no matter if the questions are unrelated to why you’re seeking medical help. And you can thank the Obama health law.
If Ms. McCaughey's name sounds familiar, that's because in terms of the conspiracy theory about the so-called death panels, she's patient zero. Ms. McCaughey went all over the country and penned many articles about this bizarre figment of the conservative imagination that never actually existed in the health care bill. But whatever, right? It's Betsy McCaughey. She's a shill for the insurance industry and the New York Post is the perfect soapbox for her to ply her wares on the rubes. The real problem is that they got honest to goodness doctors to sign off on this nonsense as well. Like this genius, who seems to have gotten his medical degree from a cracker jack box in the Caribbean:
“This is nasty business,” says New York cardiologist Dr. Adam Budzikowski. He called the sex questions “insensitive, stupid and very intrusive.” He couldn’t think of an occasion when a cardiologist would need such information — but he knows he’ll be pushed to ask for it.And here with Mensa candidate #2:
Dr. Richard Amerling, a nephrologist and associate professor at Albert Einstein Medical College, explains that your medical record should be “a story created by you and your doctor solely for your treatment and benefit.” But the new requirements are turning it “into an interrogation, and the data will not be confidential.”I want everyone who ever seen either of these doctors to seek a second opinion immediately. I'm not a cardiologist but apparently, I can think of a few reasons that an understanding of a patient's sexual history would be meaningful were I a doctor. You know what's really "insensitive, stupid and intrusive?" Cardiovascular syphilis. You know, a disease that's directly affected by your sexual history. Also, certain types of HPV that have been linked to heart disease in women for years. And I'm barely even trying here. We haven't even gotten to medications or whether you're healthy enough to engage in sex at all. Sounds like this doctor is either too embarrassed or lazy to do a thorough history, and is therefore putting his patient at risk.
Now as for Dr. Amerling, I'm not sure what school he went to but what I do know is that educational organization should be embarrassed. To say that medical records are being turned into an "interrogation" is laughable. Doctors will do the same history that they've always done (or in these doctors' cases, should have been doing all along.) There is no change. Even the electronic medical record complaint is silly. There are no large academic medical centers in New York City that aren't already using electronic medical records. Montefiore Medical Center, where Dr. Amerling has been practicing, has had an EMR going back to at least 2001. That would be the better part of a decade before Obama was even elected, nine years before the Affordable Care Act, was signed into law, and at least 12 years before it will be fully implemented -- because that, unlike EMRs, has not actually happened yet. Essentially they are complaining about the very idea of asking questions which they were already supposed be asking in the course of their differential, and documenting their findings in the electronic medical record that they have been using for years. OH THE HORRORS! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!
Good job New York Post. Every time I think you can't sink any lower, you manage to drain a little more out of the cesspool. But no, crazy people, Dirty Sexy Obamacare doesn't actually care about your sex life. At least no more than medical providers are supposed to care. Of course with this type of sustained disinformation campaign, it's no wonder people are down on the bill. So I guess the BS conspiracy theory of the week is actually good for something.