Ron Paul on debate's health care moment
September 14th, 2011
12:23 PM ET
7 years ago

Ron Paul on debate's health care moment

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Ron Paul was at the center of one of the most memorable moments of Monday night's "CNN-Tea Party Republican Debate" when a member of the audience shouted "Yeah!" in response to a question asking whether a critically ill person without health insurance should be left to die.

In an interview Wednesday the Texas congressman, who was being asked the question when the outburst happened, responded to critics who said his response lacked compassion.

"You know, it's so overly simplified to explain a full philosophy on how you care for people in 30 or 60 seconds," Paul said Wednesday on CNN Newsroom.

Paul continued, "The freer the system, the better the health care. For somebody to turn around and say there's one individual who didn't have this care, you know, all of a sudden you hate people and you're going to let them die? I spent a lifetime in medicine. To turn that around like that is foolish."

Paul went on to say that of all the Republican presidential contenders, he was uniquely positioned to speak out on the government's role in providing medical care. Paul is a licensed medical doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.

"I understand it differently," Paul said. "I want the maximum medical care and the maximum prosperity for everybody, and it doesn't come from the big government welfare and bankruptcies that we have now."

He continued, "Nobody can compete with me about compassion because I know and understand how free markets and sound money and a sensible foreign policy are the most compassionate systems ever known to mankind."

soundoff (450 Responses)
  1. Mike from MN


    If you don't buy health-care or if your health-care coverage is lacking, then you will not receive any care whatsoever if you land in the emergency room of a hospital – heck, no ambulance will come check on you either. If your injuries are life threatening, tough luck ... you will be left to die out on the streets.

    So folks, you better buy health-care or else!

    September 14, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Just more of the despicable leftwing scare tactics and name calling the American people are rejecting in every election. Democrats and the leftists controlling the party just don't get it. They are simply blinded to reality by their far left ideology. Hopefully the country will fix the problem in 2012.

    September 14, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Nobody turned anything around. The question was asked whether we shoudl let uninsured people die in their hospital beds for want of medical treatment. The answer from the Teatroll crowd was a resounding YES and mindlessly fervent applause and cheering in support of that kind of mysanthropic, anti-altruism, social darwinism. That's all we need to know about them. Period.

    What Rondroid said really doesn't matter because he's not getting the nomination...and if his statements above about his own level of compassion are true, he shouldn't even want to be nominated by such despicable people. They're disgusting and constitute an unadulterated mark of shame on this country and this generation.

    September 14, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "You know, it's so overly simplified to explain a full philosophy on how you care for people in 30 or 60 seconds," Paul said Wednesday on CNN Newsroom.
    He was asked a "Yes or No" question. "Would you let him die?" Someone in the audience spoke up quickly, "Yes!" Rep. Paul could have simply said, "No. I'm a doctor who has sworn the oath."

    September 14, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Go back play all debates tapes moderated by Wolf Blitzer we will have lot of great moments. This is one of those
    Like balloon boy best journalism audience will get the truth
    Past two years we expressing our view that some tea party members out of control again that is true

    September 14, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. George Washington

    Go Ron Paul! Go America! Go Constitution! Go Job Creation! Go Economic Growth! Go Peace! Go Balanced Budget! Go Responsible Washington!

    Bring our Troops home NOW!
    God Bless America. God Bless Our Troops!
    Ron Paul 2012

    September 14, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Dr. W.

    Rep. Paul, sound money in the US? Ask Bernie Madoff or the sleazy mortgage lenders. Sensible foreign policy? Find Dubya's WMDs in Iraq, or see how all of southeast Asia fell "domino" style when Vietnam went communist. Compassion is having 56 million people in the US without health insurance? Health care in the US is no longer compassionate individual practitioners like you. Rather it's Big Pharma and Big Biz teamed up so that people's health is profit-oriented, not people-oriented. Hardly Christian either, it is?

    September 14, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Jeff

    I finally convinced my parents to vote for Ron Paul!

    It took a while, but in the end, common sense prevailed.

    Ron Paul for President

    September 14, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Nobody can compete with me about compassion because I know and understand how free markets and sound money and a sensible foreign policy are the most compassionate systems ever known to mankind."

    Hmm. I have no doubt Mr. Paul BELIEVES himself to be compassionate ... as do the other candidates. Problem is, compassion is not a suit you dress yourself in to please the crowds. Either you have it, or you don't. The very idea of BEING compassionate is proving a very difficult task for these folks to address. Speaks volumes, and none of it to their benefit. A compassionate person would have immediately addressed the inappropriate cheering (as did Brian Williams) ... not waited to give after debate damage control talking points.

    September 14, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Jasper

    Here's how I would have answered the question during the debate:
    Of course the hypothetical 30 year old man should receive care. After all, we as a society value each individual life. Unfortunately for this hypothetical person, since he doesn't have health insurance, he'll be personally liable for the financial cost associated with his treatment. The moral of the story – prepare for the unexpected and buy insurance (health, homeowner/renter, car, etc.)

    September 14, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. closetiguana

    Truth is America is not going to let people just die. So then who's going to pay for it? Ron Paul answer was churches and the community and family members. Keep dreaming Ron and ignore what really happens. It'll end up the tax-payers problem as it always has. This is why letting people not be covered is not an efficient way of dealing with health-care.

    September 14, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. babs

    Anyone who would name his kid after Ayn Rand should be prohibited from running for elected office.

    September 14, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    Just another crazy statement by Paul.

    Even though I am much of a moderate as I believe in God, prayer in the school systems and I am AGAINST gay marriage, I still vote democratic because Rs have no compassion and after the way our president has been treated, I could never vote to place any of them in as POTUS. All they care about are rich white people. Never to help those less fortunate and by no fault of their own are living in poverty I agree people should not depend on the government for their needs and I also agree the gov't has made too many people dependent – which leads to higher crime rates and laziness.

    Why in a country as blessed as we are should we let out citizens die while we continuously start unnecessary wars and send billions of dollars to aid foreign countries? Until Rs realize you can make people LESS dependent on gov't and at the same time help the elderly, less fortunate and middle-class – they will NEVER be seen as a credible party. Never.

    September 14, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. MichaelK

    I understand what he is saying – he expects libertarian policies to lead to a libertarian utopia – a very cool thing. But the most likely outcome of libertarian policies will be a corporate autocracy. Doctors will not be able to choose to do pro bono work because their time will be owned by corporations and controlled by their policies.

    I wish a libertarian utopia was possible from this point forward. I think it is not.

    September 14, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Pam

    This clearly embodies the Tea Party philosophy – they would rather watch a person die than allow them to have medical care! How despicable!

    September 14, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Liam

    Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Ron Paul is a shill for sophomoric knuckledraggers.

    September 14, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Boytjie

    "The freer the system, the better the health care"

    Can Rep. Paul please give us examples of places that have such better health care?

    September 14, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. carly

    Paul is delusional. In an unregulated system the motive will be to maximize profit and the medical care will suffer. Corporations are too greedy and uncaring to be let to their own devices.

    September 14, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. pd123

    Ron Paul has not defense on healthcare. He has it in his nice little world but his vision of the country does not include these things. His is pretty much every man for himself.

    September 14, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. George

    Even Paul can't understand the difference between health-care and health-insurance. A government health insurance program is not providing the health care, that is still up to doctors and hospitals.
    Although insurance companies are a necessary evil, they suck billions of dollars out of our health care system in the form of profits for insurance companies bloated management salaries and benefits.....

    September 14, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Ken

    RonPo's problem is he is dumb enough to say what the others believe but won't. That is why he won't ever get elected no matter how what he says and no matter how some on the lunatic fringe may cheer at some of this nonsense. Even if you look at the facts and history you find some most of his arguements don't hold water, and to try and hold up his doctorate to give it legitimacy is even worse. No away with all laws, social aide and security and let the free markets rule. Than all of our problems will go away because in the free markets mercy thay will help all those who need help (aaaah not! those people will just starve or die of exposure and decrease the surplus population because the wealthy generally look after themselves first. If weren't the case they would be already hiring people instead of hoarding cash). Wake up people!!

    September 14, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |

    I find it funny how ron paul gets this bogus hypothetical question, and answers it w realism. Then, Bachman gets same question, ignores it and answers some other question wout WOLF BLITZER all over her dick. BIAS! BIAS! Ron Paul is third place or above in all polls! Give this man more time and more questions that can be answered. Loaded questions like this is a good example of CNN's forte: mock-news!

    September 14, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. coy4one

    When most of the healthcare government programs started there were not so many millionaire doctors around. Now, most doctors are part of corporate systems. They may run an independent office, but many sit on the boards of hospital systems, or manage government-sponsored research, or deeply involved with mega-pharmaceutical corporations. Medicine is money! These is why many don’t want the Obamacare programs, because they interfere with profit margins, and regulate who and how much care is acceptable. It's not about the fight against Obamacare, and not about jobs or patient coverage. It is about profits! Anyone who believes that more profits mean more jobs is a very naive person.

    September 14, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. enough of lies

    Obama, We THe People are Coming For You! New York is an example, you are a burdensome waste to America, your job killing policies have cost Americans enough. Your change has been change for the worse and we are going to take your job. You have been targeted as you targeted America for destruction. We have you in our cross hairs and you shall be removed and America shall grow again. Soon you will feel the pain that you caused and you will be UNEMPLOYED. We The People are Coming and you cannot stop us nor can you intimidate us, We The People are the Intimidators Now.

    September 14, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. jcheng

    Of course, what's been left unsaid is how anyone in the Tea Party debate would pay for the care of the uninsured.

    Perhaps an unfunded government mandate? "You MUST take care of them, but we have the right NOT to pay for it"...

    September 14, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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