Doctor in Ron Johnson Anti-Obamacare Story Refutes Senator’s Wild Claim

Innovative procedure Johnson credits first performed in the more socialized health systems of Brazil and France. 


By Jud Lounsbery
Uppity Wisconsin (1/9/14)

Ron Johnson has an extraordinarily compelling story about why he entered politics:   Nearly 30 years ago, his newborn daughter was saved by a talented surgeon named John Foker, who reconfigured her heart with a new procedure that he helped to develop. Johnson has said repeatedly that he believes that if Obamacare had been around at the time, John Foker would have never been around to save his daughter, because Obamacare would have scared Foker and the rest of our best and brightest into other fields of work.  Johnson also asserts  that a “government take-over” of medicine, (aka Obamacare), would have never provided the atmosphere where Foker could have developed his life-saving procedures. 

Invoking Foker’s name at every turn,  Johnson maintains in no uncertain terms that if Obamacare had been around thirty years ago, his daughter wouldn’t be alive today- and that is why we must, must kill Obamacare.

So, I decided to get in touch with Doctor Foker.  Via email, Foker said he is not only “generally supportive” of Obamacare, but thinks it didn’t go far enough, saying, “Unfortunately, it was written by the insurance and drug companies so not great.   Most of the many flaws of American medical care are still present.”  Foker also suggested that Republicans should be happy with what is a Republican-developed, “private-solution,” but they are more interested in obstructionism, saying, “they’re never happy.”

Not quite, the “I never would have gotten into medicine if Obamacare was around way back when!” that Johnson suggests.

In addition, it turns out that that Foker was (and still is) a professor at a public university, the University of Minnesota’s medical school, got most of his training at the U of M, and performed the surgery on Johnson’s daughter at the U of M’s Medical Center.  

And the procedure Foker developed that, in Johnson’s words, “makes the heart operate backwards”?  While Foker perfected and developed the procedure to new heights, Think Progress’ Igor Volsky found that the very such first operations were not even performed in the United States, but in the socialized medicine countries of Brazil and France.  

In other words, Foker was trained by the government, was a government doctor when he did a government-developed procedure in a government hospital, and now says he likes Obamacare, but doesn’t think it has enough government.

That’s the guy that Ron Johnson says he is fighting for in his obsession to kill Obamacare.


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