Ron Paul Unable to Answer Simple Question

Posted by | Filed under Healthcare | Sep 22, 2011 | Tags: , , |
Ron Paul

"And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves."

In the CNN Tea Party Republican Debate in Tampa, Fla on 9/12/11, Ron Paul was asked a hypothetical question about a healthy 30 year old man who decides he does not want health insurance, but something terrible happens and he goes into a coma. Should society just let him die? Paul could not give a straight answer.

Ron Paul asserted that the hypothetical man should be allowed to do whatever he wants, but to accept responsibility for those actions. Wolf Blitzer pushed back, asking: “But congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?” This line was met with applause, and a couple emphatic “Yeahs!” from the audience[1].

Firstly, it is absolutely appalling how the audience responded. The fact that only some of the people in the entire crowed cheered about the hypothetical man’s preventable death says a lot about the Tea Party, and the state of discourse in the United States. That only a few people applauded a man’s ability to reap the consequences of his own actions speaks volumes about how much Americans value personal responsibility.

Even Ron Paul himself suffers from the mentality that an organization must come in and hold the hand of someone who made an informed decision, using his own free will, to gamble with his life. Ron Paul said “No,” that churches would take on the burden, and before Medicaid they never turned anybody away.

Although there is no clear data on the exact percentages of Americans with or without health insurance prior to the implementation of Medicaid/Medicare, it is safe to assume that no one was ever denied coverage before Medicare, as Ron Paul asserted.

The problem with Ron Paul’s thesis is that he expects churches, or charity to pick up the slack. To slightly modify Dr. Paul’s words against him “he expects the [churches] to take care of him but what he should do is whatever he wants to do and assume responsibility for himself.”

If we are to work within the framework that we do not want Americans to die of easily preventable illnesses due to insufficient medical coverage (not a given), then Ron Paul is correct. The answer is not a government run organization that taxes everyone and provides universal coverage to all.

A preferable system would be a religious run organization that collects donations from everyone and provides coverage at their discretion. This system ensures that not only is nobody forced to pay for someone else’s preventable illness, but that not everyone will get coverage. Those that do get coverage will be selected based on the churches’ own private guidelines, rather than just give health care out willy-nilly to anyone who wants health care.

The main point of contention here is that democrats and socialists believe that health care is a right. They could not be farther from the truth. Health care should be a privilege only afforded to those that have played by the rules, and made enough money to earn health care. Is a CEO’s life worth more than a homeless man’s? Absolutely. How about someone who inherited their money? Is their life worth more than a janitor’s? Of course. Someone who won the lotto – is their life more valuable than someone who just got laid off when the company they worked for went under? Most certainly. Why did he not plan ahead?

What the Obama administration does not understand is that not everyone prioritizes health care. It should be an individual’s decision whether or not they would like to die of preventable illness. As Rick Santorum said during the debate, we do not need a “one-size-fits-all health care” solution in the United States.

Color TV

Eighty-nine percent of poor households own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.

One-size-fits-all health care just does not make any sense. Some people need better health care than others. Some people deserve less health care. You cannot just have a single system that provides health care to people that do not deserve health care. Some people do not want a lot of heath care. Others do want a lot of health care. A one-size-fits-all health care plan completely overlooks the different size requirements and desires of health care per individual.

Perhaps some do not want science-based health care. As Ron Paul stated: “And we should actually legalize alternative health care, allow people to practice what they want.” Let the free market decide. Allow the consumer to figure out what is best for them. Currently, to practice medicine in the U.S., one is required to have a MD from an accredited institution (among several other bureaucratic hurdles.) In order for doctors to recoup the costs of medical school, they have to increase the prices they charge for service. If we instead allowed consumers to decide whether they want a doctor who went to school, or one who is self-taught, we could eliminate much of the costs associated with our current system. At least allow us the freedom to choose.

Currently 45.7 million[2] people do not prioritize health care in the United States. They have chosen not to purchase health insurance. That is their right to choose. Before anyone argues that many of them did not choose – that they just cannot afford it. Remember that they chose their position in life, their level of education, and their career. They chose not to be able to afford it, directly or indirectly. Note that “Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.”[3] – a color television.

The next time you hear about someone dying from a toothache because they can’t afford health insurance[4], ask them if they have a color television.

[1] http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1109/12/se.06.html
[2] http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2009/Americas-Uninsured-Crisis-Consequences-for-Health-and-Health-Care.aspx
[3] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2007/08/How-Poor-Are-Americas-Poor-Examining-the-Plague-of-Poverty-in-America
[4] http://abcnews.go.com/Health/insurance-24-year-dies-toothache/story?id=14438171

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