Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2010

Obama’s First Presidential Health Checkup (Updated x2)

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 2:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama had a physical today. He’s in excellent health with only one medical issue:

“President Barack Obama is using nicotine replacement therapy to help himself quit smoking, according to the results of his physical exam released Sunday.

Navy Capt. Dr. Jeff Kuhlman examined Obama at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland Sunday morning and recommended that the president “continue smoking cessation efforts.”

The American Cancer Society explains why it’s so hard to quit smoking.

– DRJ

UPDATE: The U.S. stop-smoking website Smokefree.gov indicates the maximum duration for an NRT patch is 6 weeks and in President Obama’s home state of Illinois, government services only approve nicotine replacement therapy for 6-12 weeks:

The Department will first implement this edit with nicotine replacement patches. According to guidelines published by the American Psychiatric Association, the recommended duration of therapy for nicotine replacement is six to twelve weeks. Longer durations of nicotine replacement therapy have not been found to be more effective. Therefore, the duration of therapy for nicotine replacement patches will be limited to 90 days within a 365-day period.

Reports suggest Obama may have been on NRT gum or a patch since at least 2007, and he used the gum 6 months longer than recommendations allowed. Maybe the health care time limits don’t apply to him the way they would to others, especially those receiving government health care … or maybe he keeps falling off the wagon.

UPDATE 2: Here is the physician’s report.

51 Responses to “Obama’s First Presidential Health Checkup (Updated x2)”

  1. I thought about his cigarettes when he was babbling at his little summit thingy about how people can’t work on health care policy 7-8 hours a day. He meant without smoking i think.

    happyfeet (7bdaad)

  2. “He meant without smoking i think.”

    I thought he meant they had other work to do.

    imdw (017d51)

  3. Comment by imdw — 2/28/2010 @ 2:19 pm

    Well, by all the attention paid to this issue, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, you would think there wasn’t other work to do.

    Jeff Weimer (952d52)

  4. this is his #1 priority though cause without health care reform we can’t have economic recovery he says

    happyfeet (7bdaad)

  5. what he actually said was “if we have health care reform we won’t have an economic recovery…”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  6. “Well, by all the attention paid to this issue, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, you would think there wasn’t other work to do.”

    Where are you looking that you’re not finding other things happening?

    “this is his #1 priority though cause without health care reform we can’t have economic recovery he says”

    He’s just following Palin’s lead. As we know she has said:

    “Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy”

    imdw (9af31a)

  7. I’ve updated the post with more on smoking cessation therapy.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  8. I was surprised the doctors didn’t comment on Big Zero’s swollen regard for himself, but then remembered this was a medical exam, not a psychiatric evaluation.

    GeneralMalaise (c58b20)

  9. Hey, this government health care thing might not be so bad after all. It looks like we will be able to get a full 1 1/2 hour exam by a government doctor on a Sunday so we don’t have to miss work.

    Huey (efe02b)

  10. Didn’t Reuters report a link between lower IQ and smoking awhile back?

    iconoclast (e235f2)

  11. Maybe we should start a “Smokes For Obama” drive?

    BT (74cbec)

  12. It is obvious that he has a serious case of addiction.
    What must be done to get this monkey off of his back?

    Re-hab???
    Can we afford to have Sloe-Joe sitting in the Oval Office for 30-45 days?

    And, aren’t government buildings supposed to be “smoke-free environements”?
    What psychological stresses are being introduced into the decision-making process in the West Wing?

    Curious minds want to know.

    AD - RtR/OS! (dbf36d)

  13. I’d say he ought to keep smoking while president. Get the wingnuts to take on tobacco.

    imdw (ead3fa)

  14. “I’d say he ought to keep smoking while president.”

    Not a very caring or charitable position from a moonbat…

    GeneralMalaise (c58b20)

  15. as a conservative, i think smoking is an individual choice that people should be allowed to make of their own free will, without government coercion.

    as a health care professional, i recognize that smokers, as a group, actually use up fewer resources in the long run. sure, they may get cancer, or COPD and other problems, but they traditionally die much sooner than non-smokers, and the additional savings from not having to fund 10, 20, or even 30 years of nursing home care more than offset that initial cost.

    besides, if everyone stops smoking, how are the lieberals going to fund all those “absolutely necessary” programs so near and dear to their heart that are paid for out of tobacco taxes?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  16. Maybe Bill Clinton will give him some cigars. Unused ones of course.

    Huey (efe02b)

  17. In the spirit of international friendship, he’ll get some from the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team.

    AD - RtR/OS! (dbf36d)

  18. God help us, I’m beginning to believe Biden’s the smart one.

    corwin (214d12)

  19. Doesn’t say much for the “Progressive” wing of the Dem Party, does it.
    And, watching the talking heads this AM, it seems that the long-knives in DC (and in particular, the WH) are being sharpened as we speak.
    Perhaps Rahm will go back to Chi-town and run for Congress again, after all?

    AD - RtR/OS! (dbf36d)

  20. I absolutely hate smoking, having lost my mother to COPD, and having a best friend practically crippled by it. But I’d rather that President Obama just smoked than put himself in a condition of decreased alertness or questionable temperament just because he’s craving a cigarette.

    The Dana who has worked on a tobacco farm (474dfc)

  21. tangent:

    As a long time smoker who has quit smoking on as many as 20 different occasions (sigh), I can attest to how hard it is to quit and to stay quit. It has been in my mind even more of late. Thinking about work, and the fact I rarely eat during my lunch breaks (and haven’t eaten during lunch for the past 3 months), I have wondered what I would do during breaks and lunch if I were to quit smoking. Be a bored clock-watcher?

    John Hitchcock (1efe81)

  22. I agree, Dana. The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and the side effects from relapses include a variety of mental problems that a President doesn’t need.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  23. At least he’s not a coke head!

    Who would I be referring to with that quip?
    Who?
    Wh
    W

    Intelliology (00d844)

  24. Oh.

    O.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  25. I’d say he ought to keep smoking while president. Get the wingnuts to take on tobacco.

    Comment by imdw — 2/28/2010 @ 3:45 pm

    How about get Michelle to take on tobacco – she seems to be really, really concerned about people’s bad health choices and what better place to start than with her own husband? Of course it might be easier for her embarrass her children and discuss their weight issues in public I s’pose than the POTUS. But still, wouldn’t it be a righteous cause – in the name of good health, and saving money on potential health complications?

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  26. “But still, wouldn’t it be a righteous cause – in the name of good health, and saving money on potential health complications?”

    Probably. But I think we’re a bit beyond smoking. Better just stoke the wingnuts on it.

    imdw (cf562d)

  27. On behalf of the country, I am concerned about the mental health of a president who can’t publicly admit that he smokes, and who instead continues to lie to and mislead the country about his smoking. I’m concerned about the message he implicitly sends to his staffers and subordinates who have to participate in the continuous manipulation of his image to obliterate any hints that he’s still a smoker. But I’m more concerned about the probability that his rationalizations for this deception may lead him to rationalize other, much greater ones.

    His supporters have called me petty for focusing on such a “small lie” about a “purely personal habit.” Some even have argued that it’s a “good lie,” a falsehood that’s better for our children. That’s certainly nonsense. I’ll stand by what I wrote in April 2008, during the campaign:

    If the more truthful current description of Obama would be “an occasional smoker who’s still trying to quit” than “an ex-smoker who suffers occasional relapses,” then Obama and his campaign should use the more accurate description.

    Given other, far more serious vices to which he’s admitted indulging in his youth but claims to have overcome, the current deception is particularly troublesome. I’m also a willing customer for the “When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible” line of apology and explanation. But in general, episodes of falling off the wagon become progressively less forgivable, and the pattern of concealment and cover-up that people use to hide one bad habit not infrequently hides more than one. When the concealment generally works, it encourages continued concealment, and sometimes (see, e.g., Eliot Spitzer, Larry Craig, Gary Hart, Barney Frank, etc.) it encourages even more recklessness.

    This president has a very serious problem — a problem of greater-even-than-Nixonian proportions — with thinking that ordinary rules don’t apply to him. That dislocation from reality concerns me far more than the likelihood of his developing acute health problems directly associated with smoking.

    Beldar (7f313b)

  28. It’s February 28th and there’s a full moon out.

    Do you know where your moonbat is?

    GeneralMalaise (c58b20)

  29. “This president has a very serious problem — a problem of greater-even-than-Nixonian proportions — with thinking that ordinary rules don’t apply to him. That dislocation from reality concerns me far more than the likelihood of his developing acute health problems directly associated with smoking.”

    He’s the president… he doesn’t have to count his cigarettes…

    GeneralMalaise (c58b20)

  30. imdw,

    I don’t care if Obama smokes or not but I worry a little that he’s trying to stop smoking while serving as POTUS. (I don’t worry much because I suspect he’s only on the stop-smoking kick when it comes time for a medical checkup.)

    But I am curious what your position is, other than craving wingnut implosion?

    DRJ (daa62a)

  31. How about get Michelle to take on tobacco

    I guess it’s not exactly applicable to say that “limousine liberalism” applies to the couple in the White House even when it comes to things like their two-faced approach to tobacco and good health. (And, BTW, in today’s era a lot more liberals than conservatives have become scolds about the existence of cigarettes, smoking and tobacco.) Or, for that matter, feigning populistic leftism on one hand, while on the other hand taking an all-expense-paid quickie weekend to New York City awhile back. But I sure as hell am going to apply “limousine liberal” to them when it comes to things like this…

    online.wsj.com, November 2008:

    Michelle and Barack Obama have settled on a Washington, D.C., school for their daughters, and you will not be surprised to learn it is not a public institution. Malia, age 10, and seven-year-old Sasha will attend the Sidwell Friends School, the private academy that educates the children of much of Washington’s elite.

    Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s grandchildren attend Sidwell — as did Chelsea Clinton — where tuition is close to $30,000 a year. The Obama girls have been students at the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where tuition runs above $21,000. “A number of great schools were considered,” said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Obama. “In the end, the Obamas selected the school that was the best fit for what their daughters need right now.”

    Note the word “selected,” as in made a choice. The Obamas are fortunate to have the means to send their daughters to private school, and no one begrudges them that choice given that Washington’s public schools are among the worst in America.

    Most D.C. parents would also love to be able to choose a better school for their child, but they lack the financial means to do so. The Washington Opportunity Scholarship Program each year offers up to $7,500 to some 1,900 kids to attend private schools, but Democrats in Congress want to kill it. Average family income for kids in the voucher program is about $22,000.

    Mr. Obama says he opposes such vouchers, because “although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you’re going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom.” The example of his own children refutes that: The current system offers plenty of choice to kids “at the top” while abandoning those at the bottom.

    ^ The phoniness and idiocy of the left never ceases to amaze.

    Mark (411533)

  32. “I don’t care if Obama smokes or not but I worry a little that he’s trying to stop smoking while serving as POTUS”

    Me too. I think we’re better off with presidents that smoke, get beej, and get to enjoy good music and nice food.

    imdw (de7003)

  33. Nicotine addiction isn’t any different than any other, it’s a metabolic disorder affecting the limbic system. It does have the advantage of not degrading mental acuity as severely as other addictions, but in its normal route of administration (via smoking) can cause severe physical degradation.

    It may be that the O!ne isn’t “smoking,” it sounds as though he may have actually substituted the NRT patches for cigarettes.

    A certain amount of self-deception is present in any addict, I’m not sure I am as concerned about that aspect of his mental health as Beldar is. But I certainly am of the opinion that his mental health shows derangement in other areas: particularly in areas affecting public policy, and I think that was evident even before he was elected.

    Having recently developed Type 1 diabetes, and confronting the need to stop smoking myself, I must say I have absolutely no sympathy for him.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  34. Probably. But I think we’re a bit beyond smoking. Better just stoke the wingnuts on it.

    Comment by imdw — 2/28/2010 @ 6:42 pm

    Hm, imdw, so you don’t think Michelle could handle taking on tobacco? Funny cuz she doesn’t seem to have a problem lecturing adults on what their children should be eating. I’d think her hubby would be a cakewalk. Sugar free, of course.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  35. “Hm, imdw, so you don’t think Michelle could handle taking on tobacco?”

    It’s just that being anti-tobacco is sooo last decade.

    “Funny cuz she doesn’t seem to have a problem lecturing adults on what their children should be eating.”

    I saw a bit of this. There’s politics involved, of course, but I’d prefer if they took on the media messages our parents and kids get about food, body image, and respect, rather than sending on more of these messages. Not gonna happen though.

    imdw (79b436)

  36. I’m not particularly concerned if Obama is lying about quitting. He lies about smoking, he lies about a lot of stuff, old news.

    While I do hope he will finally be able to quit, I am more concerned about what nicotine depravation could do to his judgment. He’s the one getting the 3 am phone call. We need him in the best possible mental health.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  37. #15, red:

    besides, if everyone stops smoking, how are the lieberals going to fund all those “absolutely necessary” programs so near and dear to their heart that are paid for out of tobacco taxes?

    Why, your and my paychecks, of course!

    rtrski (c69273)

  38. Interesting that the ever-vigilant press has never managed to catch a picture of Teh One smoking.

    JD (158a7b)

  39. I don’t care what he does as long as they leave my cigars alone.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  40. “Interesting that the ever-vigilant press has never managed to catch a picture of Teh One smoking.”

    I saw at least one during the campaign. And not the black and white college ones.

    imdw (de7003)

  41. Note also the doctors recommend “moderation of alcohol intake.” What does that mean? Is he being immoderate in alcohol intake?

    Does he get drunk a lot? Alcohol abuse and tobacco addiction are highly correlated.

    I cannot believe that is just boilerplate — they put that recommendation in there for a reason. What is it?

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  42. Let’s have a beer summit and get to the bottom of this.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  43. #41 Kevin Murphy:

    I cannot believe that is just boilerplate —

    That is a rather unusual recommendation for a Presidential health checkup, isn’t it.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  44. One that I expect the White House would have argued against.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  45. Imdw – I would be interested in seeing those. Do you have any links for said pictures?

    JD (7320ea)

  46. In fairness, the report recommends that Obama “[c]ontinue … moderation in alcohol intake,” rather than stating that he needs to initiate a program of greater moderation. I think that’s a pretty significant difference.

    This report, in other words, could reasonably be read as Obama reporting to the physician, for example, “Last year I averaged 24 to 28 beverages/week, but this year I’m trying to cut back to between 10 to 15/week” — a bit of self-moderation that the physician wished to encourage. That doesn’t necessarily imply strong disapproval of the prior amount of drinking, from which Obama is presumably trying to self-moderate down. And if he were drinking to the point that it is adversely affecting his overall health, I’d expect to see objective findings of that elsewhere in the report.

    Beldar (577494)

  47. “Imdw – I would be interested in seeing those. Do you have any links for said pictures?”

    Googling, it turns out the one I had seen — open jacket, cigarette dangling — was a hoax. But that also landed me another one, of him buttoning his jacket while having a cigarette with some dude. I don’t know when it was from.

    imdw (7edd72)

  48. I mean, tie-less open shirt, not open jacket.

    imdw (8f8ead)

  49. Interesting that the ever-vigilant press has never managed to catch a picture of Teh One smoking.

    JD — yeah, even the tabloids seem unable to get those. One would think such pictures would be worth quite a bit since the MSM as gone to such lengths not to report it.

    Quitting tobacco is hard and certainly the President will employ his usual winning strategy: blame Bush,blame Global Warming, blame the insurance companies, blame the “unclear” message… . Oh, and tell Honduras to stop growing tobacco.

    Ideas and ethics like that…one can see why he is soooo successful.

    Pons Asinorum (95faa4)

  50. If Obama doesn’t want his doctor to know how much and that he is still smoking, saying he’s using nicorette gum and nicotine patches is a clever old dodge.

    That way, when Obama’s blood tests positive for nicotine, the doc can blame the patch or gum.

    Obama is a closet smoker, and drinks too much as well. He tries to hide it just like he tries to hide his ideology.

    marybel (425fd1)

  51. Isn’t smoking banned in Federal Buildings? Isn’t WH a Federal Building? Does Obama go outside to smoke? Enquiring Minds want to know…

    Go Dad (6ed79d)


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