Miss MASH: Dr. Michael E. DeBakey Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison sends over missives on a pretty regular basis - Senator Kay did this, Senator Kay did that. They are usually pretty boring. Today’s press release details the fact that Senator Kay presented Dr. Michael E. DeBakey with the signed bill she pushed through Congress awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal.

Nothing too unusual about that. The 99-year-old DeBakey has been racking up medals and awards for most of the last 50 years for his ground breaking cardiovascular surgery techniques.

Then, close to the end of the release, one line stands out: “Sen. Hutchison's legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. DeBakey was first introduced in 2004, again in 2005 and once more on February 1, 2007. The Senate passed this legislation on March 27 and the House of Representatives passed it on October 2.”

What the hell? Senator Kay had to submit the bill three times before it became law?

Houstonians might be pretty casual about DeBakey’s accomplishments, we hear about him all the time, after all. But the rest of the world thinks DeBakey is a big, big deal. He helped to develop the MASH units for the Korean and Vietnam wars, he revolutionized cardiovascular surgery and invented bunches of medical devices. He’s been an advisor to every American president since Kennedy. He’s big time.

And it took Congress three times before they awarded him a Congressional Medal of Honor? Once again, our elected representatives prove that the opposite of PRO-gress is CON-gress. Sheesh.

Oh, by the way, congratulations Dr. DeBakey. - Olivia Flores Alvarez

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