Lol. I know. Honestly, sometimes I can't believe how easily people are influenced by the melodramatic media. And did the person stupid enough to make such a comment not even realise that he's British?!? For the sake of those who missed this though, here is an article from The Australian, explaining it properly.
Hawking cited in healthcare August 14, 2009
Article from: The Australian
PHYSICIST Stephen Hawking has been dragged into the debate over US President Barack Obama's plans to overhaul healthcare with the claim he would have no chance of survival under a public health system.
As Mr Obama presented the US's highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom, to Professor Hawking in a ceremony at the White House yesterday, Investor's Business Daily declared the disabled scientist would not receive treatment under Britain's healthcare system.
The newspaper's editorial claimed Mr Obama's proposal for a government-run health insurance scheme similar to that in Britain would punish the elderly and disabled.
"People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless," it said.
The reference to Professor Hawking, who is paralysed and speaks with a voicebox synthesiser, coincides with claims denied by Mr Obama that he favours "death panels" to help cut costs by determining whether people in his condition should receive treatment.
As debate on the proposals becomes more hysterical, Britain's public health system has been held up as an example of why the US should not embrace a public model for people who cannot afford private insurance.
Professor Hawking, the Cambridge University professor and author of A Brief History of Time, was quick to point out that he was, in fact, British and lived in his home country.
"I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," he said.
"I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived."
The newspaper has issued a correction, noting Professor Hawking does "live in the UK".
But the clarification has done little to stop public anger as debate over Mr Obama's proposals gets sidetracked by the issue of euthanasia.
Mr Obama's early expressed hopes of bipartisan support for health legislation looks unachievable after Republican senator Chuck Grassley repeated a claim dismissed as wild misrepresentation by Mr Obama that he wanted to "pull the plug on grandma".
Senator Grassley said people had every right to fear end-of-life counselling in health legislation.
The elder brother of Mr Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel also became a target yesterday, after critics seized on some of his academic writings suggesting healthcare might be withheld from the elderly and disabled.
Prominent oncologist and ethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, who advises Mr Obama on healthcare, wrote in a 1996 article discussing guaranteed medical services that active people could be favoured over dementia patients.
Dr Emanuel disputed the interpretation, saying he was taken out of context and it was a perversion of everything he had done in caring for hundreds of dying patients.