This man took 250 bee pollen pills because some dude told him to.
When Ted Kennedy passed, his position as head of the incredibly powerful Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (or HELP, though it’s often just referred to as the Health committee) went to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Harkin is a Good Liberal. He is also, unlike Kennedy, a complete moron.
In the early 1990s, Harkin came to believe that taking 250 bee pollen pills cured his allergies. And so he used his clout to force the National Institute of Health to begin studying alternative medicine. Millions of dollars and multiple congresses later, they have discovered that ginger is good for nausea but all the rest of it is pretty much bunk.
Harkin believes that every American should have access to quality affordable health care, which is good, but he thinks “quality” health care includes unscientific nonsense like “mind-body healing.”
And it is his new position as chairman of the HELP committee that explains why Arianna Huffington’s favorite snake oil salesmen (Andrew Weil! Mark Hyman!) have been invited to testify before the Senate.
Harkin is hopeful that comprehensive health care reform will pass. But this statement on the bill’s progress should worry anyone who understands modern medicine:
Harkin says all of the bills share several common traits.
“Number one, all would ban insurance company abuses, such as denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, dropping policy holders who get sick,” Harkin says. “Secondly, all would insure quality health insurance for every American while providing subsidies for those who can’t afford it. Third, something I have strongly championed, all of the bills include a sharp, new emphasis on wellness and prevention.”
“Wellness” is code for “bullshit.” Harkin is careful not to specifically mention the specific treatments his version of the bill will legitimize despite all scientific evidence, but it basically means that the government will allow your local homeopath to act like a real-life doctor. Maybe they can sit in on the death panels too!