Fun New Right-Wing Meme Barely Lasts a DayS

Did you hear that Obama wants to spy on all the doctors to ensure that they're utilizing proper Kenyan medical techniques? No? You must be getting your news from the liberal media establishment, then!

A "secret shopper" initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services, designed to "investigate how difficult it is for Americans to obtain primary care" was launched a few months ago, the idea being that people posing as patients would call doctors to find out how their advice might differ based on different insurance providers. It sounds kind of reasonable to us! But, we are Titoists, and not to be trusted.

Doctors did not like it so much, and so told The New York Times, which reported on the program on Monday. That evening, it had emerged, fully-fledged, in the hands of Rep. Tim Walberg (R - Mich.), as a Stasi intelligence-gathering operation:

He also spoke of a new federal requirement linked to the administration's health care reform program that he compared to spying on doctors. Walberg said President Obama has now authorized an investigation, or in another word, the Congressman termed, spying, on physicians to find out if they're following the plan he referred to as Obamacare.

(Physicians, as Dave Weigel points out, have to follow Obamacare, since it is, you know, the law.) By this morning, Sen. Mark Kirk (R - Ill.) was "circulating a letter to send to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius demanding more information about the program" and the program hours away from a big, all-caps headline on the Drudge Report.

And then, suddenly, this evening, the administration canceled the program. In a statement, the DHHS implied it was concerned about the "recruitment and retention of primary care professionals." But we all know it was really because Obama's plan to spy on doctors with Black Panther thugs was finally uncovered.

[Politico; image, of Obama spying on an Iowa family, via AP]