According to ThinkProgress
, Chris Collins is the GOP nominee opposing Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) in New York’s 27th congressional district. In an interview with The Batavian
last month, the New York Republican said that Americans don't need government mandated insurance and that healthcare is expensive in the US only because "People now don’t die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things." He said "The fact of the matter is, our healthcare today is so much better, we’re living so much longer, because of innovations in drug development, surgical procedures, stents, implantable cardiac defibrillators, neural stimulators—they didn’t exist 10 years ago. The increase in cost is not because doctors are making a lot more money."
The Batavian may not have noted the error, but it was picked up immediately by his Democratic opponent, Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul who, according to Buffalo News
, said Collins showed what she described as “a stunning lack of sensitivity." Hochul said:“Tragically, nearly 70,000 people will die this year from these two types of cancer alone. We can disagree about public policy without making these kinds of outrageous and offensive statements.”
According to The Inquistr
, Collins has reacted to the criticism from his Democratic opponent, saying: “As the brother of a breast cancer survivor, I am grateful for the medical advances that saved my sister’s life, which would not have been possible a generation ago.”
Collins said he was running for Congress partly to “put a stop to the Hochul/Obama plan to put government bureaucrats in between doctors and patients like my sister.” But according to The Huffington Post
, Collins response may be less than appropriate because a lot of people still die from breast cancer even in the US, one of the most advanced countries in the world. The Inquisitr
reports that the American Cancer Society said about 577,190 people will die from cancer in 2012 with 39,920 from breast cancer and 28,170 from prostate cancer.
reports that in response to Collins's statement that “The fact of the matter is, our healthcare today is so much better, we’re living so much longer, because of innovations in drug development, surgical procedures, stents, implantable cardiac defibrillators, neural stimulators — they didn’t exist 10 years ago," the blog Art Voice
commented that "if the Republican hopeful had bothered to do his research, he would have already known that, 'the implantable cardiac defibrillator and neural stimulators, or TENS devices, were both invented and patented in the late 60s or early 70s; therefore, they existed ’10 years ago.’”
The Huffington Post
also reports that the American Cancer Society
notes that uninsured people are less likely to detect cancer in its early stages making it far more expensive to treat.
According to The Huffington Post
, Hochul acknowledged that the health care law is "imperfect" but said that Congress needs to move on to other pressing issues. She said: "There's a lot of uncertainty about this, but it is now the law of the land and they understand that. And we don't want to take this country backward and re-litigate and re-fight over this. We've got a lot of other issues to deal with. We've got an economy that has to get back on track."
However, in spite of what his critics consider his poor knowledge of medical issues, Collins thinks he is the right man to go to Washington to help fix the "terrible mess" in which America has fallen. The Batavian
reports he said : "The country is at a tipping point. I think we’re headed in the wrong direction. Simply stated, I want to do my part to help restore the promise of the American Dream for our children and grandchildren."