March 13th, 2009
04:58 PM ET
13 years ago

Congressman recovering from heart scare

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Pete Olson was outfitted with a pacemaker at a Washington hospital after fainting while working out at the House gym."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Pete Olson was “rushed” from Capitol Hill to the hospital Thursday, and doctors “equipped” him with a “dual chamber pacemaker,” the Texas Republican wrote in an e-mail to political supporters.

“While working out in the House gym, I got quite dizzy and fainted,” Olson said in the note sent Friday by his campaign committee. “After being rushed to George Washington University Hospital, it was determined that I had a condition called bradycardia, which is medical talk for a slow heart beat. Whatever they call it, it wasn't good and I don't recommend it.”

Olson added, “The docs have now equipped me with a dual chamber pacemaker to ensure my ticker doesn't pull such a stunt again. I feel fine and was ready to get back to work yesterday afternoon, but cooler heads have instructed I rest a little more.”

A cardiologist at George Washington University Hospital said that the “procedure went smoothly with no complications.”

“This is a common, often asymptomatic, condition and we expect the Congressman to resume his active lifestyle,” said Allen Solomon, cardiologist at the George Washington University Hospital and professor of Medicine.

The congressman is expected to return to work next week, the hospital said in the statement.

Filed under: Congress • Popular Posts
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. AndyL

    Pluto –

    I have never listened to Rush Limbaugh. It strike me that more democrats actually listen to him than republicans as you are always more aware of what he says than I do. As far as insulting my intelligence (Elvis UfO's etc) apparently you did not have the intelligence to recognize the sarcasm and generalization in my description of democrats. Maybe you are the one that is easily fooled.

    Nevertheless, you should never wish harm on anyone, especially one of your countryman.

    March 13, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Have a universal healthcare like Denmark would have to raise taxes won't it? Their system of governance is different. So what framework does the US have? As it is, drug therapy is complicated.

    March 13, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Rob

    GoOBAMA! March 13th, 2009 3:34 pm ET – Anyone who thinks that healthcare systems in such places like Canada, Britain, or Michael Mooresville (aka Cuba) are better than the US has been doing Obama's leftover coke. If the US is so bad, why are people from these countries and others coming to America for surgical procedures? Maybe if people like your party's 'boy toy' John Edwards didn't make it acceptable to sue doctors for anything under the sun, the costs wouldn't be so high.

    You think healthcare is bad now? You ain't seen nothing yet until Obama's plan gets in. That is unless enough smart people stand up against it.

    March 13, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. joseph chavez

    I'm sure he has great health care that will not leave him in the poorhouse. Hmmm, wonder what his deductibles were????

    March 13, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. mac

    Must be nice to have full-pay medical insurance, if the Congressman was one of the 47 million uninsured americans, he might not be smiling today.

    March 13, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. KansasGirl

    Working Americans don't want universal health care because of the restrictive nature of the beast. Far too many people run to the doctor today for flimsy reasons. Why do you think Medicade is so abused. Now I'm seeing people drive around on those electric scooters, courtesy of the taxpayers. I'm tired of boorish, helpless whiners. With these people it is NEVER enough.

    March 13, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. mac

    Rob needs some medical attention himself if he thinks that a congressman is a "regular" american.

    March 13, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Bubba

    Carl, you think the govt can press charges on someone for hoping some guy in the news dies? Boy, are YOU naive! Remember that time you said you hoped someone would shoot Pelosi? Did they come for you?
    To quote the eminent sage and philsopher John Holbrook Vance, 'a detached attitude towards the problems of others is not illegal.'

    That said, I hope you all live a long time so I can argue with your stupid opinions. Arf, arf, arf, to quote that great philospher Popeye.

    March 13, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. AndyL

    @Retired Army in San Antonio

    I can see how you would think this is a stupid statement, but believe me, I have had immediate family and extended family have to deal with the Canadian healthcare system. My father in law waited 3 years for a hernia operation and when he finally got it, they forgot sponges in him which created and serious infection where they had to operate again. My girlfriend would have had to wait 2 years to get a cancer (yes cancer) screaning test but we went to a private clinic, paid for it and had it done in a week. Although my statement was somewhat over the top, it's not far from the truth.

    March 13, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. linda

    Hope he has his own insurance and us poor tax payers donot have to pay for his health care-and hopes he pays his insurance but you know them republicans or crooks when it comes to money they have to pay look around and the tax payers will have to pay for it quietly,you pay for your own insurance out of pocket-I wonder what kind of health care plan does he have-bet cha now he'll do the right thing-I wish him a speady recovery-I also wonder how many congressman pay for their own health care and not let the tax payers pick up the tab-how would we know anyway? if they don't pay their back taxes what makes us so sure they pay for health care or anything else-that is my ?

    March 13, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Juststeve

    I wish the congressman a speedy recovery.

    March 13, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. TA

    AndyL, ah, I see, according to your tolerant wisdom my telling a Congressman to get his own private health care is now equated with advocating their death, and yet you're the same person who thinks the rest of the country should live this way! A consistent barbarian, to be sure, so long as you are elected–then you can be as socialistic and government health care-draining as you want. Here, I thought you guys supported a more economical government. I guess not.

    March 13, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. pjartco

    I love people who scream "I don't want the government to pay for healthcare because I don't want to pay for other peoples medical bills". Guess what. You already pay it. Anyone who goes to a hospital has to be treated. If they don't have insurance, we end up paying for it. And at a rate set by hospitals and insurance companies. Anyone think those rates are close to fair? My other favorite is "Doctors should make medical decisions, not the government". I agree. Problem is right now medical decisions are made by insurance companies. Yes, they hire doctors to make the decisions. But how long do you think a doctor will be paid by an insurance company if he/she consistently sides with the patients. Does anyone think that it is a great idea to let the people who have to pay the money (insurance companies) make the rules on when they pay. It would be like depositing your money in the bank, and then, before you take it out to buy something, you have to inform the bank what you will buy. Then they decide whether or not to give the money.

    March 13, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Sean

    I hate how there's a story on how a congressman's life was saved and all you "partisan hacks" turn this into a political debate. And then there are you evil partisans who crack jokes like, "Oh, a republican with a heart, who knew?" you people should be ashamed of yourselves.

    March 13, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. TA

    NClaw441, OK, if you don't think the gov't should provide for these things, and since they're obviously not expressly allowed for in our Constitution, be consistent and oppose any government-sponsored health care for people like Rep. Olson. Let them get their own private health insurance plans. Oh, btw, enjoy my roads that I paid for and the dollar that I partially valuate, all done against my will by my government. I am sure you will be consistent yourself and turn down any future Social Security check, since you will be taking back more than you ever contributed before you die (if you live to be in your 70s and 80s).

    March 13, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. Ann

    Glad you are doing well. You are in my prayers.

    I am amazed that the turnaround was quick. I know of many people tht needed pacemakers and wre not treated as quickly. I want his health insurance. I think we should all have his health insurance.

    March 13, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. R Cross

    Of course we wish you a speedy recovery. Do you now have to sit around and worry about bankruptcy? If I get dizzy I have to hope and pray I can make it to work tomorrow, because health care, even with my employer provded plan is too expensive for me even to consider using. I once took a heart stress test, using all of my savings, and then found out it is extra to get the results! my plan is not as good as the taxpayer provides you congress people evidently. Havent been able to come up with the extra money for the results yet. Hope it was good

    March 13, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Ann

    Oh and since this person works for the government we did pay for his healthcare benefits and treatment. I just want the same type of coverage and how fast he was diagnosed and treated. That is all.

    March 13, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. John

    While I am not a republican supporter, I want to wish Congressman Pete Olsen all the best and a quick recovery. May God watch over you you sir and may you soon be back to work.

    A Loyal Democratic Supporter.

    March 13, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Patrick

    I wonder why he didn't turn down the ride from the 'socialized' ambulance?

    March 13, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Rick

    I hope this is not another trick of rep party. They really wanna be relevant you know!

    March 13, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Get Real

    It is very shallow of any person to politicize this incident.

    March 13, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. AnaB

    Most liberals are not as hate-filled and mean as the person who said he should have been left to die because he was a republican. I am a strong democractic supporter and I would never wish anyone harm like that.

    On the topic, I wish him a speedy recovery, he looks pretty young to have such problems.

    March 13, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. patrick

    It's not hateful to point out how the party that demonizes affordable healthcare for everyone as 'socialism' will happily accept governement paid healthcare and a ride from a socialized ambulance service. It's not hateful at all, it's truth, and it's shining a light on hypocracy.

    March 13, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. I Know Who David S. Robbins Is

    David S. Robbins is a republican (my buddy).

    March 13, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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