|Wolf Blitzer: You're a physician, Ron Paul, you're a doctor. You know something about this subject. Let me ask you this hypothetical question. A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides I'm not going to spend 200 or $300 a month because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who will pay if he goes into a coma, who pays for that?|
|Ron Paul: In a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him.|
|Blitzer: What do you want?|
|Paul: What he should do is whatever he wants to do and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would have a major medical policy.|
|Blitzer: He doesn't have that and he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?|
|Paul: That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody --|
|Blitzer: But congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?|
|Audience: [shouts of "yeah!"]|
|Paul: I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid in the early 1960s when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospital. And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea -- that's the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests, it kowtows to the special interests and the drug company, then on top of that you have the inflation, the inflation devalues the dollar. We have lack of competition. There's no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing. We should legalize alternative health care. Allow people to practice what they want."|
Now you can read the following story in context.
At CNN's Tea Party-indulging debate on Monday, Ron Paul, a medical doctor, faced a pointed line of questioning from Wolf Blitzer regarding the case of an uninsured young man who suddenly found himself in dire need of intensive health care. Should the state pay his bills?
Paul responded, "That's what freedom is all about: taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody—"
He never quite finished that point, letting the audience's loud applause finish it for him. So Blitzer pressed on, asking if he meant that "society should just let him die," which earned a chilling round of approving hoots from the crowd.
Paul would not concede that much outright, instead responding with a personal anecdote, the upshot being that in such a case, it was up to churches to care for the dying young man.
Back in 2008, Kent Snyder —Ron Paul's former campaign chairman —died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer's example, the 49-year-old Snyder was relatively young and seemingly healthy when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder's surviving mother (pictured, left), who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.
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