David McKalip, the Florida doctor and health-care-reform opponent who apologized this summer after sending a racist picture of President Obama as a witch-doctor, is trying to cozy up to some of the most extreme Republican reform foes in Congress. But even they want little to do with him, it seems.
Yesterday, McKalip sent an email invitation, obtained by TPMmuckraker, announcing that Doctors for Patient Freedom, the anti-reform group he runs, plans to honor Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for their work in fighting to preserve “the freedom patients deserve” in health care. According to the invitation, the ceremony is set to take place November 7th, in conjunction with the upcoming American Medical Association meeting in Houston.
The email notes:
Senator Tom Coburn and Congressman Price are likely to be busy with their congressional duties. The awards will be accepted by representatives of their offices on their behalf.
Coburn and Price, both of whom are doctors, have been outspoken in their opposition to reform. Still, the award doesn’t seem to have been welcomed by the lawmakers.
A spokesman for Coburn told us via email: “Dr. Coburn is not attending nor does he plan on sending a representative.”
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Price declined to say definitively whether the office would indeed send a representative, as McKalip announced. But he pointed out that “Price already has his schedule set for that day,” and added: “We typically don’t send people in his place for awards.”
In an email to TPMmuckraker, McKalip himself ignored our inquiry as to whether Coburn’s and Price’s offices had actually told him they’d send representatives, and did not respond to a followup.
McKalip did, however, address the fact that he’s lately resumed his public role in the fight against health-care reform, after pledging to withdraw from the spotlight in the wake of the racist email flap. He noted that he had “committed only to drop out of the health reform debate ‘at this time’ (in July).”
And he added:
I continue to alert the American People about mandated purchase of insurance since it will drive up their insurance costs and give insurance companies even more rationing powers. That is not what Americans want -especially those who are more progressive.
McKalip also stepped down this summer as a Florida delegate to the AMA, citing the email brouhaha.
McKalip’s entire email announcing the awards follows:
It is with great pleasure that the Steering Committee of Doctors for Patient Freedom announces the 2009 recipients of the Ed Annis Medical Freedom awards. The awards dinner will be Saturday 11/7/2009 in Houston in conjunction with the AMA meeting. Please feel free to forward to interested parties.
You Are Cordially Invited to the 3rd Annual Edward Annis Medical Freedom Awards Dinner
Hosted by Doctors for Patient Freedom
Dr. Joseph P. Bailey, M.D.
Chair, Georgia Delegation to AMA
Congressman Tom Price, M.D.
Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.
At AMA 2009 Interim Meeting
Charivari Restaurant, Houston, Texas
2521 Bagby at McGowen
Reception 6-7 pm
Dinner and Program 7-9 pm
Short Cab Ride from AMA MeetingPAGE: 2
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