Montana’s top opponent of the women’s medical privacy and the Affordable Healthcare Act, Tea Partier Annie Bukacek, appears to have delivered false testimony before the Montana Legislature.
On January 21, 2011, Bukacek testified before the state Senate Public Health Committee in favor of SB-161, a bill to nullify federal health care laws, and cited “statistics from a 2010 Investor’s Business Daily article based on a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization.” She then read a list of statistics that supposedly indicate how people in countries with universal health care are dying at a greater rate than Americans. Here’s a copy of her written testimony, and here’s a video clip.
The supposed study she cites is a fraud. It does not even exist, actually, nor does the organization she cites. In fact, this non-existent study is one that right wing activists have been citing across America, in hearings, in articles, on websites. It’s become an internet meme. But it’s a big canard, according to the Center for Public Integrity. There is neither a study nor even a group called the UNIHO.
Sadly, Ms. Bukacek is a licensed physician in the state of Montana, albeit with a religious twist–her clinic, which closed down, was called “Hosanna Healthcare.” She was also investigated for Medicaid fraud, but she claims it was because she prayed with patients.
She also penned a guest editorial in the June 14 edition of the Flathead Daily Interlake (see page 4 of this PDF) extolling the dangers of vaccination, a favorite topic among black helicopter conspiracy theorists.
Ms. Bukacek’s anti-vaccination claims prompted a rebuke from a far right Republican who sits on the Flathead City-County Health Board, Dr. P. David Myerowitz, who moved to Columbia Falls after retiring from a professorship in surgery at a major university in Ohio. Dr. Myerowitz called Bukacek’s assertions “disturbing,” as well as “misguided, inaccurate and dangerous.” (You can download a PDF of his response here, see page 8.)
In general, you ascribe very little credibility to any data offered up by the Tea Party. It’s usually nonsense.