(UPI) -- Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe said on Sunday that if he was insured under Obamacare, he wouldn’t have been granted his recent emergency quadruple bypass heart surgery and he “probably wouldn’t be here.”
Inhofe, 79, went in for a routine colonoscopy and doctors discovered that he needed immediate heart surgery for clogged arteries.
"You are talking to someone right now who probably wouldn’t be here if we had socialized medicine in America," Inhofe said in a WABC radio interview with Aaron Klein.
“A person can find out, here in the United States, that he has this emergency situation where he has got to have immediate heart surgery. And if you are in a country other than the United States, a lot of them, you can’t get it done. In my case, with my age, that would have been about a six-month wait. Because I hadn’t had a heart attack.”
Not everyone agrees with what Inhofe had to say.
"It's preposterous and couldn't be further from the truth," said Ethan Rome, the executive director of non-profit organization Healthcare for America. "When people in authority say such ridiculous things, it's a dangerous thing because people will take him seriously."
"Under the Affordable Care Act, you get to see the doctor of your choice and get the care that you need when you need it," says Rome. "The experience [Inhofe] had is an experience that more people will have because of the law."
Timothy Jost, a health law scholar at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, said that most countries with "socialized medicine" would be "perfectly capable" of dealing with Inhofe’s clogged arteries. "I've lived in a lot of countries with public health care systems," Jost said. "They do a really good job with emergency care."