Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said in a radio interview that he wouldn't be alive today if the Affordable Care Act had been in place.
The 79-year-old Republican senator is recovering from a recent quadruple bypass heart surgery after doctors found multiple clogged arteries during a routine colonoscopy. Sen. Inhofe said Sunday night that if had been in a part of the world with “socialized medicine like Obama is trying to impose upon America,” the operation would have never happened due to the long wait time.
“A person can find out, here in the U.S., that he has this emergency situation where he has got to have immediate heart surgery," Inhofe told WABC radio host Aaron Klein. "And if you are in a country other than the U.S., a lot of them, you can’t get it done. In my case, with my age, that would have been about a six-month wait. Because I hadn’t had a heart attack."
In his interview, Inhofe also suggested that Obamacare is "socialized medicine."
“It’s amazing. The people in any of these countries that have socialized medicine like Obama’s trying to impose upon America – the single pay, and we know that’s what he’s trying to do – should listen carefully,” he said.
“Let’s hold on to what we’ve got here. You’re talking to someone right now who probably wouldn’t be here if we had socialized medicine in America," said Inhoffe.
The United States has implemented some "socialized" health care systems including Medicare and the Veterans Administration, but the senator seems to be under the impression that the Affordable Care Act is modeled after health care systems in countries with "socialized medicine" like Canada. However, Obamacare expands private health care insurance coverage for Americans and expands Medicaid in the states that opt for it.
Senator Inhofe also accused the Affordable Care Act for extending wait times and restricting the level of care for patients, but the law does not limit the care patients seek, including emergency bypass surgery. In fact, the law will cover preventative care such as Inhofe's routine colonoscopy or mammograms, and will expand coverage to millions of Americans. The president has repeatedly pointed out that including routine check-ups and preventative care was a key component of the health care law.