Mother Jones takes a close look at the far-right doctor’s group to which David McKalip — the Florida neurosurgeon who sent that racist picture of President Obama as a witch doctor — belongs.
Lately, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has been teaming up with the Tea Partiers to fight health-care reform. But as Mother Jones shows, the group is so far out there it makes its Tea Party allies look like David Broder.
The AAPS statement of principles declares that it is “evil” and “immoral” for physicians to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, and its journal is a repository for quackery. Its website features claims that tobacco taxes harm public health and electronic medical records are a form of “data control” like that employed by the East German secret police. An article on the AAPS website speculated that Barack Obama may have won the presidency by hypnotizing voters, especially cohorts known to be susceptible to “neurolinguistic programming”—that is, according to the writer, young people, educated people, and possibly Jews.
The [AAPS journal’s] archives present a kind of alternate-universe scientific world, in which abortion causes breast cancer and vaccines cause autism, but HIV does not cause AIDS. Cutting carbon emissions represents a grave threat to global health (because environmental regulation would make people poorer and, consequently, sicker). In 2005, the journal erroneously claimed that illegal immigration had caused a leprosy epidemic in the US, a claim that was reported as fact in more mainstream outlets such as Lou Dobbs’ show.
Much like its friends in the tea-party movement, AAPS sees threats to liberty lurking everywhere. The organization opposes some of the most accepted practices in health care, including mandatory vaccine regulations. Peer review, a long-standing hospital practice that helps doctors learn from and prevent errors, is viewed as the source of great injustice by AAPS, which fights attempts to micromanage doctors with such bureaucratic nuisances as medical evidence about what works and what doesn’t. Computers, too, are an ominous threat. The organization has resisted the use of electronic medical records—which, naturally, represents an attempt by the government to acquire masses of private information about American citizens. (AAPS’ executive director claims to keep all her patient notes in longhand.)
Not that any of this has hurt the group’s credibility on the right. AAPS’s president recently appeared with Georgia GOP congressmen Tom Price and Phil Gingrey.
Read the whole thing here.