TULSA, Okla. (CBS DC) — Recovering from emergency quadruple bypass heart surgery, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said in a radio interview which aired Sunday night that “he probably wouldn’t be here” if the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare — had been in place.
The 79-year-old Oklahoma senator and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee was speaking with WABC radio host Aaron Klein about a range of issues involving terrorist detainment and Guantanamo Bay, but Klein asked Inhofe to first tell the story of his emergency surgery for multiple blocked arteries that doctors discovered during a routine colonoscopy.
“It’s amazing. The people in any of these countries that have socialized medicine like Obama’s trying to impose upon America – the single pay, and we know that’s what he’s trying to do – should listen carefully,” said Inhofe.
“Let’s hold on to what we’ve got here. You’re talking to someone right now who probably wouldn’t be here if we had socialized medicine in America.”
Inhofe said that he had never had experienced or felt any type of heart trouble before the routine test at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa showed he had extreme blockage in several arteries.
“A person can find out, here in the U.S., 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 U.S., 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,” he said.
But the senator said his recovery is going well.
“The bottom line is I’m feeling great, I’m working hard, I’m walking two miles at a time, and I’m ready to go.”
Later in the interview, Inhofe continued his criticism of President Barack Obama during his discussion of Guantanamo Bay and other foreign and homeland security issues.
“You’re talking to probably the most serious critic of Obama and everything he does,” said Inhofe. “This is just one small area. I’ve been kind of the protector of Gitmo – that’s Guantanamo Bay – it’s one of the greatest assets we have. We have a perfect place there for combatants. We’re talking about terrorists now, we’re not talking about criminals.”