Today on the House floor Todd Akin made the dubious claim: "I just hit 62, and I was just reading that in Canada [if] I got a bad hip I wouldn't be able to get that hip replacement that [Rep. Dan Lungren] got, because I'm too old!"
As chairman of the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group, Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, knows a thing or two about health care. But some of what he knows just isn’t true.
“I’m 59,” Mr. Blunt said last week during a meeting with Post-Dispatch reporters and editors. “In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced.”
We fact-checked that. At least 63 percent of hip replacements performed in Canada last year and two-thirds of those done in England were on patients age 65 or older. More than 1,200 in Canada were done on people older than 85.
“I didn’t just pull that number out of thin air,” Mr. Blunt said in a subsequent interview. It came, he said, from testimony before the House Subcommittee on Health by “some people who are supposed to be experts on Canadian health care.”
“I had been given that example. I was told that 59 is the cutoff,” he said. “I’m glad you pointed that out to me. I won’t use that example any more.”
PolitiFact also reviewed Blunt's claim, and awarded it their lowest honor - "Pants On Fire"
Public officials have a duty not to get things wrong, especially when it has the potential to frighten people. (You may recall we gave Vice President Joe Biden a Pants on Fire for saying during the swine flu scare that when you sneeze, it travels through the whole plane.) Likewise, this claim could scare many senior citizens. So we have to set the meter ablaze and give Blunt a Pants on Fire!
For Akin, there ought to be a super-special award for repeating the false claim after it was so thoroughly debunked weeks ago by multiple sources -- including his hometown paper.