Actress and health and wellness advocate Suzanne Somers penned a Wall Street Journal opinion blog on Monday calling the new Affordable Care Act a “socialist Ponzi scheme.”
Somers, who owns a home in Palm Springs, drew on comparisons between the ACA and the Canadian health care system, a publicly funded system which offers mostly free health care to all its legal residents. Her experiences with health care in our neighbor to the north stem mostly from her Canadian husband’s family, she said. All of his cousins are doctors, several of whom moved to the U.S. because they wanted to make some money after many years of training.
She used anecdotes from a Canadian friend who died at 75 after being denied treatment, other than palliative care, because she was too old. She also pointed to a magazine article in Canada that she’d seen titled, “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” The article focused on how there was a surge in education for young vets, rather than doctors, because “that’s where the money is.”
The ACA will allow for pre-existing conditions, a plus for retirees, she said.
“But, let’s get down and dirty; the word “affordable” is a misnomer,” she wrote. “So far, all you are hearing on the news is how everyone’s premiums are doubling and tripling and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that the whole thing is a big mess.”
Somers went on to say that millions will still remain without coverage even after the law takes full effect, so “what’s the point” of reducing the quality of medical care and raising costs.
“Perhaps over time, it might work if you don’t get too old and you don’t get too sick, and you don’t live too long,” she said. “But frankly, the economic ramifications with our already swollen debt load don’t add up.”
‘Boomers’ will take the hit, as Medicare dollars go instead to cover the millions of newly insured under the ACA, she said.
“In essence, less dollars for seniors, means less service,” she wrote.
Somers is the most recent in a long line of celebrities — and others from all walks of life — chiming in their two cents on the hugely controversial, and little understood, law, although her position seems to stray from the pack in Hollywood.
The ACA aims to sign everyone up for health coverage through an individual mandate requiring it for almost everyone, online health insurance marketplaces that include essential benefits and federal subsidies, and an expansion of the Medicaid program. Many of its key provisions will go into effect Jan. 1.
Update: The WSJ later published a few corrections/clarifications to Somers’ essay including two quotes mistakenly attributed to Vladimir Lenin and Winston Churchill.