Retired Seventh-day Adventist neurosurgeon, Fox News contributor, and Tea Party favorite Dr. Benjamin Carson has teamed up with Newt Gingrich's American Legacy political action committee to spearhead a new initiative called "Save Our Healthcare." In a fundraising letter to those on the American Legacy mailing list, Dr. Carson explained the anti-Obamacare project and his role as its chairman:
Starting today, my friends at American Legacy PAC are launching an important new project called Save our Healthcare - and I will be serving as Chairman. Let me tell you a bit more about what we’ll be doing, and how you can help. When I spoke just feet away from President Obama about the dangers of political correctness at last year’s National Prayer Breakfast, many were surprised. After all, my background is medicine, not politics. But it doesn’t take a brain surgeon like me to see that America is facing serious problems. And right now, the number one problem is Obamacare. Dropped coverage, failing websites, skyrocketing premiums - the list goes on and on. I wish I could snap my fingers and make Obamacare disappear tomorrow, but we both know that won’t happen. That’s why we’re launching Save our Healthcare - a national citizens’ effort to hold Washington accountable, re-center the healthcare debate around doctors and patients, and begin to answer the question of 'What’s next?' - because real reform is absolutely vital.
The letter provides a link a webpage prominently featuring Dr. Carson dressed in scrubs.
Carson, a relative newcomer on the national political stage, rocketed to prominence among conservitives following his February 2013 National Prayer Breakfast address--so much so that an online effort to draft him as U. S. president popped up a few months later. Carson's chairmanship of the "Save Our Healthcare" initiative may be a test of his viability as a political operative or a launching pad for a full-time political career. He has been an increasingly vocal opponent of President Obama's legislative centerpiece, the Affordable Care Act, at a time when the law has been making headlines almost daily. Carson retired from medicine in July, 2013.
The American Legacy PAC, founded and co-chaired by former House Speaker and current CNN Crossfire host Newt Gingrich, purports to provide funding and online training material for conservative candidates seeking office. However, in September, 2013, Mother Jones published an exposee on the PAC revealing that only a small fraction of its funds went to political candidates. The majority, according to the report, went to marketing firms and companies with Gingrich ties.
The "Save Our Healthcare" site urges visitors to sign a petition, though there is no indication of the nature of the petition or to whom it is addressed. The landing page reads in part, "It's clear that Obamacare isn't working for all Americans. It's time to begin crafting a free-market replacement that puts patients first, yielding results we can all be proud of." The page provides a form asking for name, email address and zip code. Once visitors sign the petition, they are taken to a donation page saying, "Together, we can send a new generation of leaders to Washington who will replace Obamacare with free-market reforms to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives, with less cost and more freedom."
In April, 2013, Carson spoke to the Adventist News Network about faith and his foray into the political arena. In the interview, he told ANN staff that God was responsible for his rise to prominence, saying "There’s no question God sets these things up. My whole life I feel has been orchestrated by him. When you’re placed on a platform, you have a definite responsibility to remember who put you there and why." He also offered his views on controversial topics. On origins, he said, "If they want to criticize the fact that I believe in a literal, six-day creation, let’s have at it because I will poke all kinds of holes in what they believe." Carson also discussed abortion: "Abortions that are done on-demand are not within the purview of God’s will. We sit around and criticize ancient pagans for sacrificing babies and saying what heathens they were. But are we really any different if we go around killing babies because they’re inconvenient?"
h/t Rich Hannon
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5782