In July, TPMmuckraker’s Zachary Roth reported that, on a listserv associated with the tea party movement, Florida neurosurgeon Dr. David McKalip, the founder of anti-reform group Doctors For Patient Freedom, sent out a racist picture of President Obama dressed as a witch doctor. McKalip eventually apologized, claiming that the image had “nothing to do with my feelings or thoughts on any race or culture.” Roth reports today that McKalip is still helping to lead the anti-reform fight, telling a fellow conservative that he had recently met with “freedom fighters for health system reform” like Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), and Betsy McCaughey. Apparently, McKalip’s meeting with McCaughey had an impact on her since she quoted him in her anti-reform New York Post column today:
The law establishing Medicare in 1965 barred the federal government from interfering in doctors’ treatment decisions. Slowly, Medicare regulations have begun unraveling that protection. Now the Cantwell amendment finishes the job.
This is the most extreme change to Medicare ever. Dr. David McKalip, a Florida neurosurgeon and a board member of the Florida Medical Association, predicts: “The only doctors left in Medicare will be those willing to ration care and practice cookbook medicine.”
McKalip’s influence with anti-reform conservatives is widespread. Greg Scandlen, a senior fellow at the conservative Heartland Institute, recently defended him against criticism over the racist image. “Dr. McKalip is a rock solid patriot,” wrote Scandlen. “I for one encouraged him to get back in the battle. And he has.”