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Collins: People Don’t Die from Prostate, Breast Cancers Anymore (UPDATED)

3 Jul

On June 24th, The Batavian published an interview with Republican nominee Chris Collins (R-Spaulding Lake).  Among the topics discussed was Obamacare, which Collins, “clearly dislikes”. 

The healthcare reforms Collins said he would push would be tort reform and open up competition in insurance by allowing policies across state lines.

Collins also argued that modern healthcare is expensive for a reason.

People now don’t die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things,” Collins said. “The fact of the matter is, our healthcare today is so much better,  we’re living so much longer, because of innovations in drug development, surgical procedures, stents, implantable cardiac defibrillators, neural stimulators — they didn’t exist 10 years ago. The increase in cost is not because doctors are making a lot more money. It’s what you can get for healthcare, extending your life and curing diseases.” [Emphasis added].

So, if you know someone who has recently died from prostate or breast cancer, that’s a lie.  Put away your pink ribbons, Komen! No need to raise awareness of the importance of PSA screenings, fellas! People just don’t die from these anymore, says a purportedly serious person with no medical training whatsoever, who is running for federal office!

Also, the implantable cardiac defibrillator and neural stimulators, or TENS devices, were both invented and patented in the late 60s or early 70s; therefore, they existed “10 years ago”. 

GLOW-area Democratic activist Adama Brown already did the research, so I’ll quote his results

National Cancer Institute figures show a very different story: Breast cancer kills about 40,000 women a year in the US. Prostate cancer kills about 30,000 men. Five year mortality rates are 23% for breast cancer, 26% for prostate cancer. Only colorectal cancer and lung cancer kill more Americans.

That means that if you get one of these two cancers, even with complete modern medical treatment, drugs, therapies, etcetera, your average odds of being dead within five years after diagnosis are about one in four.

That’s a higher chance of death than you would have with an average gunshot wound–only 22% of gunshot wounds are fatal. And a gunshot can’t come out of remission and kill you years later even if you survive the first time.

Asserting that the 70,000 people per year who die from breast and prostate cancers, “now don’t die” isn’t the only blatantly misinformed lie that Collins passed off as “fact”. 

What Obamacare does is produce $500 billion in savings over 10 years, and slowing spending is something Republicans are supposed to favor. Collins is lying because he thinks you’re stupid.  He’s lying because he’s parroting talking points from right-wing lobbyist groups with whom he hopes to do business

He said Obama wants to cut $500 billion from Medicare, which, he said, would decimate Medicare Advantage.

Also, he said, Obama would trim $350 million from reimbursements to doctors, which Collins believes will encourage doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients.

“They don’t have to take Medicare patients. So in the supply-and-demand world, if you’re busy what do you do? You usually elminate your least profitable customer,” Collins said. “So the thought that the federal government can set the reimbursement rates for doctors and cut 30 percent out their income and nothing’s going to change is just nonsense. Right there and then you’ve got to get rid of Obamacare.”

First of all, Obamacare doesn’t “cut $500 billion from Medicare”, an assertion Politifact has called, “mostly false”.  What Obamacare does is slow the growth of Medicare spending by $500 billion over 10 years – Medicare spending will continue to grow during that period. It also closes the “donut hole” for prescription medication coverage, and places a greater emphasis on proactive preventative treatment.  The rest of it is just Heritage Foundation fearmongering, most of which has already been judged “pants on fire”, designed to scare seniors into supporting Collins and the Republican plan to voucherize Medicare. 

Collins wants a flat tax, so that he pays the same rate on millions in income as you do on thousands. It should be noted that Collins hasn’t released his tax returns, and it’s widely speculated that the reason for his reluctance to do so is that he probably makes much of his money through investments, which are taxed at around a 15% rate. 

On trade, Collions wants the U.S. to stand up to China.

“The key words there are China cheats,” Collins said. “They cheat by manipulating their currency, which gives them, I believe, a 30-percent cost advantage over the American manufacturer. They steal our intellectual property.  And they don’t open their own markets to our manufacturers.”

The response, Collins said, is tarriffs until China capitulates and trades as an equal partner with the U.S.

“I believe China needs us more than we need them,” Collins said. “They need our consumers. Quite frankly, we don’t need them.” 

Remember that story about Collins ripping off a bunch of local investors in a neighbor’s invention, and how he illegally held the meeting telling them to go ahead and sue him in the County Executive’s office? They make the Balance Buddy in China

So many lies, all concentrated into one interview in one article. I don’t know how this was overlooked prior to the Republican primary on the 26th, but you can bet it’s going to come up a lot during the general election campaign.  A tip of the hat to Batavia political activist Dan Jones for drawing attention to it. 

UPDATED:  See the press release issued today by Erie County Health CommissionerDr. Gale Burstein,

Also, Kathy Hochul responds: 


 “Chris Collins has demonstrated a stunning lack of sensitivity by saying, ‘people now don’t die from prostate cancer, breast cancer, and some of the other things.’ Tragically, nearly 70,000 people will die this year from these two types of cancer alone.  We can disagree about public policy without making these kinds of outrageous and offensive statements.”