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Dr. Obama's Swamp Root Snake Oil

By Carter Clews

Tough break for Barack Obama. Just when he is merrily rolling along peddling his socialized stealthcare as it were the most potent elixir since Violet Blossom's Swamp Root snake oil, along comes NY Times with a decidedly sordid tale about government medicine gone awry.

And since ABC (Always Barack Channel) wasn't about to interrupt its infomercial to reveal the full facts of the matter, let's take a quick look behind the Barakathon.

Those who can't wait to turn their lives and limbs over to Big Government's pseudo-sawbones need first to pay a visit to the government-run Veterans Administration hospital in Philadelphia, PA. But, first, a word of warning: if you're a guy, leave the family jewels at home. Because, if you think the Liberty Bell is irreparably damaged … well, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

One of the most popular (if I can use that word) procedures for treating prostate cancer is the implantation of dozens of radioactive seeds to attack and destroy the cancerous cells. True, it's drastic. But, it sure beats a long-drawn, painful death. Unless, of course, they plant the radioactive cells in the wrong organ. Which is exactly what Dr. Gary D. Kao did at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, citadel of socialized medicine. Obama should be proud. In fact, he should have covered it in his ABC infomercial – perhaps while waving his arms and shouting, “But, wait, there's more!”

You see, Dr. Kao implanted the 40 radioactive seeds not in the patient's ailing prostate, but in his perfectly healthy bladder. So much for Tenet One of the Hippocratic Oath – “First, do no harm.”

But, wait, there's more!

Of course, the ever vigilant federal bureaucrats in charge of VA stealthcare (coming soon to a hospital near you) knew that this probably wasn't a good idea. So they investigated—and promptly allowed the doctor to doctor his report to match the number of seeds in the prostate.

This, naturally, did little for the patient. So, like any conscientious government employee, Dr. Kao decided to cover his tracks by doing over what he hadn't done right—whereupon he planted the seeds in the patient's rectum.

Which, apparently for the good doctor was “close enough for government work”—since this time, he didn't even bother filing a report.

But, wait, there's even more! With the eager acquiescence of his government overlords, Dr. Kao was on a roll.

Two years later, Dr. Kao rewrote another surgical plan after once again putting half the seeds in the wrong organ. And, once again, the socialized stealthcare regulators did not object. Perhaps the reason they did not object is that they had long since become past masters at doing well what bureaucrats do best—absolutely nothing. As the NY Times story reveals:

“Had the government responded more aggressively, it might have uncovered a rogue cancer unit at the hospital, one that operated with virtually no outside scrutiny and botched 92 of 116 cancer treatments over a span of more than six years -- and then kept quiet about it, according to interviews with investigators, government officials and public records.

“The team continued implants for a year even though the equipment that measured whether patients received the proper radiation dose was broken. The radiation safety committee at the Veterans Affairs hospital knew of this problem but took no action, records show.”

I have a distinct feeling that any guy reading this piece is by now already squirming around in his chair, praying diligently that the Avodart, Cipro, Doryx, or Floxin works well if his prostate ever needs it. Because, clearly, Obama's socialized stealthcare won't. And for the women: let's just say that if you have even the remotest idea of remaining sexually active with your hubby in your Golden Years, pray equally hard that Dr. Obama gets his license lifted.

Here's the bottom line: socialized medicine doesn't work. Whenever and wherever it rears its malignant head, it is poorly conceived, pathetically organized, and callously administered. If the VA is the microcosm (or the MVA, Amtrak, or the U.S. Congress, for that matter), imagine the horror of the macrocosm.

It was said that Violet Blossom was the Queen of Pitch Doctors.” Barack Obama may be the “King of Pitch Presidents.” But if the American people end up catching what he's pitching, the result may be the most deadly medical crisis since the flu epidemic of 1918. And all the ABC snake oil in the world isn't going to cure that devastating blight.

Carter Clews is the Executive Editor of ALG News Bureau.


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