Advocates and supporters of the Affordable Care Act had a tough day today, wincing as they watched Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, apologize for the failure of the Obamacare website and promise that it would be fixed.
You might expect the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal to pit its own expert against the Obama administration, seizing on this opportunity to argue for the dismantling of the program. And it did: Its blog The Experts delivered a blistering guest post by an "expert" on health care: Suzanne Somers, the developer of the Suzanne Somers Toning System with ThighMaster Gold and ButtMaster, and the former Chrissy Snow of the sitcom Three's Company.
The Affordable Care Act, she wrote, "is a socialist Ponzi scheme."
Try not to think about that too much. A Ponzi scheme repays investors with other people's money. Socialist health care would, presumably, be delivered by a socialist government, not private insurance companies paying private hospitals and doctors, as in Obamacare. As I say, try not to think about. Take it as a noble expression of outrage from this Journal-certified health care expert.
And try to overlook these corrections (c'mon, anyone can mistake a horse for a dog):
An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.
Also, the cover of a Maclean’s magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse.
The Somers commentary is appalling. But that's not our concern.
The issue is that a distinguished news organization has risked its reputation by calling this the work of an expert. With the publication of this piece, the Journal is a little less distinguished than it was the day before.