Coburn, Price Not Rushing To Embrace Award From Doctor Who Sent Racist Obama Pic

ZUMA Press/Newscom

David McKalip, the Florida doctor and health-care-reform opponent who apologized this summer after sending a racist picture of President Obama as a witch-doctor, is trying to cozy up to some of the most extreme Republican reform foes in Congress. But even they want little to do with him, it seems.

Yesterday, McKalip sent an email invitation, obtained by TPMmuckraker, announcing that Doctors for Patient Freedom, the anti-reform group he runs, plans to honor Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for their work in fighting to preserve “the freedom patients deserve” in health care. According to the invitation, the ceremony is set to take place November 7th, in conjunction with the upcoming American Medical Association meeting in Houston.The email notes:

Senator Tom Coburn and Congressman Price are likely to be busy with their congressional duties. The awards will be accepted by representatives of their offices on their behalf.

Coburn and Price, both of whom are doctors, have been outspoken in their opposition to reform. Still, the award doesn’t seem to have been welcomed by the lawmakers.

A spokesman for Coburn told us via email: “Dr. Coburn is not attending nor does he plan on sending a representative.”

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Price declined to say definitively whether the office would indeed send a representative, as McKalip announced. But he pointed out that “Price already has his schedule set for that day,” and added: “We typically don’t send people in his place for awards.”

In an email to TPMmuckraker, McKalip himself ignored our inquiry as to whether Coburn’s and Price’s offices had actually told him they’d send representatives, and did not respond to a followup.

McKalip did, however, address the fact that he’s lately resumed his public role in the fight against health-care reform, after pledging to withdraw from the spotlight in the wake of the racist email flap. He noted that he had “committed only to drop out of the health reform debate ‘at this time’ (in July).”

And he added:

I continue to alert the American People about mandated purchase of insurance since it will drive up their insurance costs and give insurance companies even more rationing powers. That is not what Americans want -especially those who are more progressive.

McKalip also stepped down this summer as a Florida delegate to the AMA, citing the email brouhaha.

McKalip’s entire email announcing the awards follows:

It is with great pleasure that the Steering Committee of Doctors for Patient Freedom announces the 2009 recipients of the Ed Annis Medical Freedom awards. The awards dinner will be Saturday 11/7/2009 in Houston in conjunction with the AMA meeting. Please feel free to forward to interested parties.

You Are Cordially Invited to the 3rd Annual Edward Annis Medical Freedom Awards Dinner

Hosted by Doctors for Patient Freedom


Dr. Joseph P. Bailey, M.D.
Chair, Georgia Delegation to AMA

Congressman Tom Price, M.D.

Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.

At AMA 2009 Interim Meeting

Charivari Restaurant, Houston, Texas
2521 Bagby at McGowen
Saturday, 11/7/2009
Reception 6-7 pm
Dinner and Program 7-9 pm

Short Cab Ride from AMA Meeting

Reservations limited to 100 guests

Senator Tom Coburn and Congressman Price are likely to be busy with their congressional duties. The awards will be accepted by representatives of their offices on their behalf.

Doctors for Patient Freedom is an organization of physicians dedicated to ensure that patients receive high quality medical care in their best interest, are empowered financially to manage health care spending on their own behalf and enjoy the constitutional freedoms American patients deserve. 2007 Award recipients: Donald Palmisano, M.D., Stormy Johnson, M.D.; 2008: William G. Plested, M.D., Greg Scandlen.

Edward R. Annis, M.D. is a legendary figure within American Medicine who has fought to preserve the freedoms patients deserve for decades. Elected AMA president from the Floor of the AMA House of Delegates, in a 1962 Madison Square Garden speech he worked to spread the message about the government “…defining services, setting standards, establishing committees, calling for reports, deciding who gets in and who gets out [of hospitals]-what they [patients] get and what they don’t” And how government could “…stand between patients and their doctors and serve as the forerunner of a different system of medicine for all Americans.” His landmark Book “Code Blue” exposed the many problems with government and corporate control of medical practice and abuse of the tort system in 1993.

RSVP by email to Dr. David McKalip at [REDACTED]

Include “RSVP” in the Subject field of the email

___YES, I plan to attend ($100 per person)