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. Positive

    He said "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"


    Yes, destroy the EPA. We all know how compassionate all the companies are and will just gladly spend more money to do the right thing and not destroy the air and water. Also, no insurance company would ever deny reasonable care just to improve the bottom line.

    Who believes this?!?!?!

    September 14, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. mfhpr

    Okay, so if the crazies on the right say "let him die" if he has no insurance to cover intensive care, what would be their stance on an infant in the same condition – with no insurance? A child they forced a poor woman to have after limiting or eliminating abortion rights. A poor woman that was raped. Conflicted with what "god" tells you to do, people? Please explain this one away for me...

    September 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. She

    In europe they reward doctors who improve the health of their patients.. adn doctors are public servants such as firefighters or police men. In their world, they would have fireman doctors and police be paid for their services and if you cant afford public servants well you are out of luck.. They are so insane.

    September 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Keef

    "sound money" + "foreign policy" = "compassionate system."

    Say what ya like about these (Libertarians)–ya gotta love their "ethical math."

    September 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Eric H

    Rudy NYC - The first word out of his mouth when he answered was "No".

    September 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Mike from Tennessee

    "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."

    Wow. Just... wow. Having worked for nearly a decade in a biotechnology firm, let me tell you that NOTHING about that industry would be compassionate if it were not heavily regulated. Ron Paul may be a licensed gynecologist and obstetrician, but he has no clue how predatory/greedy pharmaceutical and medical device companies really are.

    September 14, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. HappyDaze

    “A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for FOOD, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he GETS HUNGRY. Who’s going to pay if he begins to STARVE TO DEATH, for example? Who pays for that? Are you saying society should just let him starve?"

    September 14, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Liberty

    The audience is hand picked and Ron was setup for that question, these people in the audience were told to cheer. They're paid actors in a political game.

    September 14, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. pastorspet

    I agree with those who say that with Ron Paul's and the republican way is as follows: If you cannot afford to pay for your healthcare you do not get any help. If you have cancer and cannot afford the treatments, you get no treatments. Ron Paul is saying that we are to let the disabled, the poor and the needy die horrible deaths because they cannot afford what the almighty market says is necessary. He appears to me to be so sure of himself that NO ONE WHO THINKS DIFFERENTLY THAN HIM SHOULD BE GIVEN ANY AIDE AT ALL!!!

    September 14, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. BABS

    I have been wondering why the middle class has to take the cuts in services to reduce the deficit. Why are we lending money to other countries, when we cannot afford to pay our own bills? It amazes me how foreign policy does not play into our deficit problem.

    September 14, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Clifton T

    The question was would you tell a man, WHO CHOSE NOT TO PAY FOR THE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE. He COULD have chosen to buy coverage, but he chose to save the "200-300" dollars a month. He took a risk, and it flopped on him. If they are going to talk about the question, they should at least post it like it was asked..... Ron Paul 2012

    September 14, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Wow, people should just die, huh? The real problem in our country is not political, it's moral and metaphysical. We have a a bunch of screeching, whining, liars locked in fear and then we have compassionate people who don't wet themselves everytime there's a loud noise. GOBPbaggers and conservatives tend to be made up of cowards, and the liberals and progressives have courage and compassion. Independents and moderates are split.

    And for the teatards reading this, please spare us your nonsense about "personal responsibility." The GOBP and its cult of corrupt corporatism has refused to accept responsibility for anything bad over the last 50 years, despite bearing the bulk of the blame.

    September 14, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |

    So we shouldn't regulate and inspect nursing homes, for example, but just let the free market take care of it? Don't providers have an incentive to cut corners to make more profit? And isn't government there to protect people from ripoffs?

    September 14, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. JoeSeattle

    If you want compassion, start a friendhip.
    If you want a hand-out, start a one-sided friendship.
    If you want liberty, get a gov't that doesn't choose friends.

    September 14, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Logan

    What I want to know is why hasn't CNN identified the 1-3 people who shouted "yeah" to that bogus strawman question?

    They had camera trained on that crowd of people all night. You telling me none of that footage was saved?

    They sure haven't had any problems in the past catching hecklers in the various town hall meetings over the past few years.

    What's the problem now? Why are they not identifying and interviewing these people?

    Maybe it's because they are employees of CNN?

    September 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. SUSAN

    i still don't know what the plan is for the uninsured or underinsured. someone please tell me.

    September 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    he wont get the nomination so it doesnt matter

    September 14, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Jeff's Mom

    Sorry Jeff, we only agreed because you were being a bit over the top. In the end, we'll make our own decision thanks hunny.

    September 14, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Donkey Party

    As a doctor, I would hope Ron Paul understands he's clinically insane.

    September 14, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. CBR

    Those who shout during debates, speeches before Congress, Town Meetings are like children who are impatient and just interrupt their parents or other adults. It just may be that these people need to be heard and so they revert too childish behavior.

    I am not in Ron Paul's corner but I do believe the moderator should have said something to the person. I do not feel that would be a compelling moment during any debate. But the the media have their own views of what the salient points would be. That being said, this all borders on the ridiculous because Ron Paul's views are very well known.l He is very forthcoming. He should not be beat up because of this.

    September 14, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Joe

    Ron Paul once told a college age student at a town hall that instead of Goverment backed student loans which Paul was againest, you could work a summer job (like he did when he went to school) to pay for your tuition. Unless the student is slinging rock, you will not be able to earn enough money to pay for tuition even if you can find a job. That is his mindset that I feel is stuck back in the 50s... Wake up Ron, we are back to the future NOW

    September 14, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Larry L

    I would have ask Ron Paul to list those countries with excellent health care who do not have some form of government-assisted medical insurance. This was an easy question to answer – yes or no. If a person answering this question answers "no" that person is required to provide some means of paying for the health care. Ron needs to pony-up to the actual reality of his position. Yes... or "no"?

    September 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. kkelly

    In his response he stated that there is too much regulation in the medical arena. So why not relax the rules for licensing phyysicians!!! Then we will have quacks everywhere. Ron Paul thinks that people will do the right thing without government oversight....he is out of his mind. Look at the countries where there is no real/unified you want to live in Somalia where every tribal lord makes up his own rules. Is that what we want here? Every state makes the rules up for health care, education, etc.? Yeah, let's go back to 400 years ago when the land owners made the rules. MY GOD PEOPLE...WAKE UP!!!! Our government may not be perfect but I sleep well at night because I know the faa is keeping planes from crashing into each other, law enforcement keeping the violence down, knowing my kids are going to a school with good teachers. I knew that when hurricane Irene came through that our gov't would be there to step in where insurance might not. That whole debate was like listening to a bunch of neanderthals...maybe they sure doesn't look like they evolved!

    September 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. CAL USA

    Let us suppose that the person actually has health insurance, but has an accident while visiting a foreign country where the insurance coverage is not valid. What would we think if the doctors and hospitals there decided no pay no service; let him die? Is this the country we want to be?

    September 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. mfhpr

    So it does sound as if the teabaggers are all for mandatory insurance, eh? Mandatory or you'll that sense, right?

    September 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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