Ron Paul on debate's health care moment
September 14th, 2011
12:23 PM ET
3 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. PubliusK

    These are not scare tactics by the left, the left is simply pointing out the truth. The conservatives accused Obama et al of planning death commissions. Yet, the truth is that the first death commissions have been activated by conservatives in Arizona. I believe several have been decreed fit to die so far.

    September 14, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Max

    I have never seen such a bunch of uncaring people in my whole life. I am upset that people care more about money, than human life. I am hurt, and the tea party can't be the ones to fix anything, because they take a blind eye to it all! Money is all they care about, and themselves, of course.

    Their not worried about their children/g.children! Let the children take care of themselves, and quit worrying about what they inherit or don't inherit. The children can do what so many middle class Americans are trying to do, WORK for a living; and I mean a living wage! Most people are just glad to be alive!

    GOP/TP – Prolife, ya right!

    Again, it really hurt me to hear such awful, awful comments, and they try to defend them as well! These are the same people that are lifers. It seems to me that is ok coming in to the world, but, once you get here, your on your own.

    Sad really, very very sad.

    September 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Julia

    One more thought, Ron Paul should lose his medical license for those remarks, and not responding to the Yes, let them die from the audience. Some Dr. He needs to change his name to Dr. Death.

    September 14, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. LMB

    At what point in history did our only two options become: 1) let the federal government pay for everything or 2) die. These aren't our only choices. It's a false dichotomy.

    There are so many options available between these two ridiculous extremes. Yet we seem to have one side falling into the "let the federal government pay for everything­" trap and those who cheered for the man to die falling into the "just go ahead and die already" trap.

    I would argue that NEITHER are good public policy and there IS a middle ground. I think Ron Paul answered that question very well - that there are IN FACT options between the two extremes for us to investigat­e and consider as a society.

    September 14, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. ready

    "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."

    Perfectly describes Republican mentality

    September 14, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Ron Paul is a nut job just like his followers.

    September 14, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Bill744

    Now he's had more than 30 seconds and still has not made himself clear. A lot of unsubstantiated claims here. Do free markets make everybody wealthier and are they the most compassionate? I think he makes a mistake that some economists make when they assume that people are economic automatons who make economic decisions based only on economic factors. There are many factors that free markets do not account for – the jargon is "externalities." If you don't account for externalities, there will be a lot of unintended consequences.

    September 14, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Julia

    Whats the difrerence between Dr. Jack Kevorkian, and Ron "Let them die," Paul. Well one wants to be president so he can pass his death bills for healthcare, and the other one just wants to rest in peace.

    September 14, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Lucullus NYC

    How can they say it lacked compassion. He's a conservative. The very definition of conservative is a lack of compassion. Remember, if you get sick and go bankrupt paying your medical bills that's just TS for you. If you're unemployed TS, find a job even if there are none. If you're collecting unemployment, you're lazy and enjoying the good life on Uncle Sam's money. If you're hungry and homeless, who cares? These and many other examples are what conservatives are all about. Why is anyone surprised by the audience responce

    September 14, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. liz

    Is that why the USA is one of the remaining OECD countries to not have somesort of universal/single payer system. That counother countries are coveri8ng all their citizen and even immigrants with better incoimes that the USA and all for considerably less $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Cuba is even has a lower infant mortality rate than the USA

    September 14, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    @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
    _____________________________________

    So, getting ready to euthanize your parents when they become sick?

    Paul's answers are a series of babbling statements, all designed to absolve people of the very thing he claims is in short supply: responsibility. We have obligations in our lives to help people in need. Before any Paul supporters start, I regard Kucinich, Paul, Bachmann and all ideologues with the contempt they deserve. None of them are really interested in solutions, just talk. If you want to make a difference, roll up your sleeves and start with your neighborhoods and towns.

    September 14, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. steven harnack

    Nobody asked for a philosophical discussion about comparative economic systems. He was asked a direct question dealing with one specific case and by now everyone has heard the tea party response. You CAN'T spin THAT into anything positive.

    September 14, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Joe

    What a silly question. Based on the pretense of a hypothetical that is generically washed so that you can insert any image of any one you care about into it, then get fired up when the answer puts that cut-out-shape to death. You can't save everyone. You won't be able to save those that refuse to save themselves. And you will die trying to. The welfare state makes the need for welfare greater. The sooner people get that... the better. Some people will suffer. Some people will die. And they will do that in a welfare utopia too. Be real.

    September 14, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Joe

    What a silly question. Based on the pretense of a hypothetical that is generically washed so that you can insert any image of any one you care about into it, then get fired up when the answer puts that cut-out-shape to death. You can't save everyone. You won't be able to save those that refuse to save themselves. And you will die trying to. The welfare state makes the need for welfare greater. The sooner people get that... the better. Some people will suffer. Some people will die. And they will do that in a welfare utopia too. Be real.

    September 14, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Thomas Grand

    I had a stroke May 2011. NO INS.

    The hospital treated wonderfully. I got released in 14 days. Paid them $46,000 of my own money. I take my own risks and pay my own bills. .... oh yes. If i'm am in a coma for 6mos. PLEASE KILL ME.

    NOW .. . lets stop wars and lets stop killing people. Ron Paul sounds real to me. Obama already lied about ending the wars and did nothing once he got elected. Obama is a bold faced LIAR.

    September 14, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Teddy

    How do these tea party people address the gouging that goes on the health care system and insurance providers ? They are only interested in blaming the victims of it.

    September 14, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. John in NY

    Ron Paul is the ONLY choice worthwhile. He gets it! The others are nothing more than TV actors and special interest puppets. We need a president who can LEAD in the battle against our #1 enemy the debt. Our empire is crumbling fast!

    September 14, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. bmax58

    He was given health care. How else could he run up such a debt? But now we're left to pay for it. Great health care program, don't get insurence- get care-die and let someone else foot the bill.

    September 14, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. rick

    To "AS GM Goes.."
    Left wing scare tactics?! Are you kidding?! Scare Tactics is the Republican Doctrine. Educate yourself before you open your mouth. The fact is that, with few exceptions, the economy, an the American people, thrive during Democrat administrations, and tanks during Republican administrations. And the current group of Republicans is the worst ever. They don't care about the country or its citizens. They are Republicans first and Americans second. They have no interest in the economy improving because if it does, they have no shot in 2012. Great patriots those Republicans!!!

    September 14, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Dr. A

    The resounding "YES!" to allow a person without health insurance to die is but one step away from "he needed killing" And these are the same people who want to protect life in the womb??? I am ashamed of where our country has come that only the people who can afford health insurance deserve to live if a car accident, a serious genetic disorder, or cancer comes into their lives. Health insurance comes primarily from an employer who opts to offer it and if it is affordable. If a person is self-employed, a family farmer, a logger, a very small business person, or a main street mom and pop business, how can they afford the monthly premiums???!!! If a person works at low wages, can they afford to pay a week's worth of take-home pay per month for a family policy? The right wing claims the left is trying to create a class warefare, but the "let them die" because they are too poor for insurance is a class warefare of the worst kind.

    September 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Kevin

    @Dr. W., I think you should spend more time reading up on Ron Paul. You may find yourself a big supporter, especially from what you're implying in your post.

    September 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. CoJo

    doesn't that make the tea baggers the infamous Palin's panel of killers?

    September 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Ma Deuce

    Ironic how the pro-life crowd would want someone to die.

    September 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Olderbutwiser

    I pray Ron Paul is nominated for President 2012.

    September 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Laila

    Ron Paul is too smart for Republicans and tea party people to vote for him...they relate more to someone like Sarah Palin...smart people don't get votes in America...only the ones with big mouth and tell u what u want to hear gets to win,,exception Obama but he is democrat...I am talking about republicans.

    September 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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