From Hot Dish Politics at the Star Tribune:
Speaking to a crowd in Rochester yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann warned that Democratic health reform proposals could eventually prompt the government to use health care as a tool to limit people’s free speech.
The Post-Bulletin has a video and story of Bachmann’s address to about 200 people.
She explained that a man recently approached her to say that in Japan, which “had the government takeover of health care,” the government puts people who criticize the health system on “a list” and denies them treatment.
Is that what the man really said? Maybe what he really said was just…
Did you lose your Japanese to Batshit Babble Dictionary, Michele?
“And so people are afraid. They’re afraid to speak back to government,” Bachmann said. “They’re afraid to say anything. Is that what we want for our future? That takes us to gangster government at that point and absolute abject corruption. We’re not that kind of country. That’s not who we are.”
This, she said, is something “people don’t know,” adding,”a government takeover of health care is the crown jewel of socialism.”
Rochester is a long way from Bachmann’s suburban Twin Cities district, but she was stumping for Allan Quist, a Republican candidate in the First Congressional District.”
From THINK PROGRESS:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) painted an Orwellian vision of health care reform yesterday, claiming that critics of the Democrats’ plan could be denied coverage.
BACHMANN:He said that in Japan, to wait and get health care is almost impossible. You get on a list and you wait and you wait and you wait. But he said this is something people don’t know: in Japan, people have stopped voicing their opinion on health care. There are things that are wrong with Japanese health care, but people are afraid of voicing. ‘Well why is that,’ I asked. [He said], ‘Because they know that would get on a list and they wouldn’t get health care. They wouldn’t get in. They wouldn’t get seen. And so people are afraid. They’re afraid to speak back to government. They’re afraid to say anything.’ Is that what we want for our future? That takes us to gangster government at that point!
Other than one individual’s account, Bachmann provides no evidence to support her slur of Japan’s health care system, let alone any evidence to suggest that the same thing would transpire in the U.S.
Japan’s universal system has been able to keep health care costs far lower than those in the U.S., despite an aging population, allowing Japanese to visit a doctor nearly 14 times a year. Bachmann is also wrong when she claims that wait times make it “almost impossible” to receive care in Japan. As ABC News noted, “waiting lists are not a major problem” in Japan, and patients can even “go to a doctor without an appointment, but may have to sit for a long time in the waiting room.”
The Republican National Committee made a similar false accusation last August when it mailed a fundraising appeal that suggested that Democrats might use an overhaul of the health care system to deny medical treatment to Republicans.
(Videos available at both links)
(Click here if you’d like to know more about Japanese beetles. 😆 It’s the first thing that caught my eye when I googled Japanese beetle.)