Fox News Medical A-Team member Dr. Marc Siegel suggested to the hosts of Fox & Friends on Thursday that Barack Obama should not push to cure cancer because he was the “wrong commander-in-chief” for the job.
During President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, he announced that Vice President Joe Biden would lead a “moon shot” to find a cure for cancer.
On Thursday’s edition of Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy argued that there was nothing special about Obama’s proposal because Republican President Richard Nixon had also “waged a war” on cancer.
“Some people when they saw this said, ‘Wait a minute, isn’t President Obama’s Obamacare kind of stifling innovation with all the penalties and taxes and regulations?'” Doocy opined.
“Absolutely,” Siegel agreed. “He’s the wrong commander-in-chief in the war on cancer.”
The doctor said that Nixon had “put his money where his mouth is” by budgeting an extra $100 million to cure cancer.
However, Siegel argued that Obama was actually hurting cancer research by insuring more Americans with the Affordable Care Act.
“Guess what won’t cover this stuff? Obamacare,” Siegel griped. “Because Obamacare is one size fits all. Obamacare is not going to say, ‘Hey, this cancer that you have that no one else has, we’re going to get insurance to cover it.'”
“Obamacare is narrow networks of doctors,” he continued. “It doesn’t include most of these major medical centers, the cancer institutes. It won’t include these treatments that are $100,000 per year. And not only that, as you just said, it stifles innovation.”
Doocy doubted that Obama was serious about curing cancer, and wondered if the idea was just an “homage to Joe” instead of an “actual effort” because the vice president’s son had recently died of cancer.
“It’s a very nice sentiment for Joe Biden,” Siegel agreed, adding that Obama was just “glomming on” to the effort so he could take credit for an eventual cancer cure.
“He wants to take a bow here,” he quipped. But he’s not really delivering.”
Media Matters pointed out that conservative media outlets had “distorted” an Associated Press report which found that only four of 19 cancer centers surveyed said that all health insurance plans had access to all treatments.
“Nothing in the AP report says that any of the cancer treatment facilities are excluded from all of the exchange plans in a given state, like the New York Post and Fox suggest,” Media Matters noted. “The truth is that a hospital being included in a particular plan’s network is a decision that’s made between the provider and the insurance company, and the choice to restrict access to certain providers, especially high-cost providers, is one that insurance companies have been making for decades.”
A press release from the White House this week revealed that President Barack Obama had budgeted a $215 million investment “to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.”
The statement said that the effort would include “the design and testing of effective, tailored treatments for cancer by expanding genetically based clinical cancer trials, exploring fundamental aspects of cancer biology, and establishing a national “cancer knowledge network” that will generate and share new knowledge to fuel scientific discovery and guide treatment decisions.”
Watch the video below, uploaded by Media Matters.