Odd as this may sound, it turns out that Pres. Obama and I have something in common beyond both of us being obligate aerobes. It seems we have both been published in JAMA.
The L.A. Times is ripping JAMA for publishing an Obama op-ed, and styling it as a scientific article. Just reading the abstract, styled like a “real” JAMA paper, would be satire straight from The Onion were it not so vomit-inducing. It is signed “Barack Obama, JD”, as though his law degree has any relevance. (The methodology used by this one-time constitutional law scholar to pass the ACA shows the Dear Leader to have as little respect for actual law as he does for actual science).
Under “Evidence”, Obama cites: “Analysis of publicly available data, data obtained from government agencies, and published research findings. The period examined extends from 1963 to early 2016.” You can read his data for yourself, but the sentence I particularly enjoyed was: “For most Americans in most places, the Marketplaces are working.” Obama writes what is an obviously political essay, merely formatted as a scientific article, and then agrees with his own self-congratulations.
The L.A. Times writers Berezow and Hartsfield provide a true service by pulling the mask off of this farce: “It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find another paper in any scientific journal in which a politician was allowed to subjectively analyze his own policy and declare it a success. This is a textbook definition of conflict of interest.”
And that conclusion is the truly scary part. We can eviscerate Obama’s ACA till the socialists come home, and it won’t matter to its benumbed, benighted, and bemused supporters. The overwhelming majority of those who have private insurance are seeing ridiculous premium/deductible increases with no commensurate increase in service, and we’re told by all the ACA drones that things are better, contrary to our own discounted experiences. But now a purportedly scientific journal has given itself over to being a mouthpiece for the administration: “Obviously, JAMA held the president to a different, lower standard than it would an academic scientist. In fact, JAMA editor-in-chief Howard Bauchner admitted as much. In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, he said that Obama’s article was peer reviewed, but that he was allowed “a bit more flexibility because of who he is.” He also acknowledged that, “we don’t fact-check every fact.”
So the article was peer-reviewed…except that it wasn’t. That is the duplicitous cowardice exhibited by Chief Justice Roberts’ linguistic gymnastics in upholding the ACA by declaring a non-tax a tax.
Twenty-two years ago, I wrote a short story that depicted a dystopian health care environment based more on mistrust and fear than actual care. It was originally printed in the Journal of the Florida Medical Assoc. and subsequently picked up by JAMA. So gunga, gunga-la-gunga. I’ve got that going for me. My piece was obviously opinion, written as cautionary fiction (which has already largely come true, I’m sad to say).
The L.A.Times writers end by saying that JAMA should stay out of politics. That is too fine a point.
Whether they agree with Obama’s agenda, or are getting favorable tax treatment, running a presidential op-ed, which is arguably fiction, as a “scientific” paper makes JAMA a willing instrument of propaganda. JAMA is corrupt.