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. jrcarroll

    "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."

    Ron Paul has apparently taken the Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachmann Word Salad 101 course and gotten an A+

    His party has spent a decade bringing Jobs and Health-Care to the citizens of IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN while denying both to American's whenever possible.

    Texas, the State Ron Paul hails from, is a good example of what inadequate government leads to. They have defunded efforts by State government and local regulatory authority to mitigate natural disasters like fires to the point where the entire State is at risk. Having foregone the ounce of prevention and preparation, they now need a pound of the very cure they scorn. All of this is the result of the wrong headed notion that government is a bad thing, getting organized is terrible if you have to fund anything collectively, and that individuals can provide the same forceful response on their own that they can when organized.

    Were that truly the case, people would never organize as societies and form governing bodies at all.
    Are these teabaggers really this STUPID?
    Just wonderin'....

    September 14, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Sylvestor Johnson

    I love that man. While my evil conservative brothers won't nominate him, Ron Paul will be richly rewarded for his teachings to the younger generations.

    September 14, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. bfoto

    Clearly not many of those who posted here took the time to read the article. Somehow Paul's key quote was overlooked by most of the naysayers. He 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."

    September 14, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Martin

    A free market is the most compassionate system known to mankind?

    Sorry Dr. Paul, I'm a strong supporter, but you're out to lunch on this one.

    September 14, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. don

    At least Ron Paul has a soul. The rest of the GOP candidaes are just puppets with talking points. Who cuts the most who deregulates the most and who hates the government the most.

    September 14, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Ferret out the B.S.

    If the majority of citizens could afford health care there would be no issue, the truth is most can't. The system has been gamed by lawyers, hypochondriacs, people who want to have children and can't afford to have them or support them, etc, etc. The drug companies are charging the American people outrageous fees for drugs so they can be supplied free of charge to the third world. The time of affordable health care for the middle class is long gone and no politician is going to get it back. We must have insurance to pay fo medical and everybody must be in the group to make it affordable because of the volume of participation. The reality is, we have no choice or people will die from lack of medical care or everybody will pay into a system that is inconsistant and unregulated. Politicians can talk about socialism and label health care reform socialistic but the reality is that there isn't one republican that can come up with a satisfactory answer using the same old model that was used a hundred years ago. It just doesn't apply anymore.

    September 14, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. us1776

    No libertarian-anarchists !!

    .

    September 14, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Peggy - Tx

    Evil is as evil does.

    I am disappointed that Ron Paul does not repudiate the Tea Party Agenda.

    Tea Partiers may wrap themselves in the American flag and claim to speak for God, but we see their true racist, ignorant, hateful nature, shinning through the careful disguise. The Tea Party agenda is just bad for the stupid middle-class-elderly fools that have taken up the banner of the Tea Party. The GOP is laughing at how clever they are to enlist these middle class folks to act against their own interest using lies and fear mongering.

    The Tea Partiers are worse then Nazis.

    September 14, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Stanley

    @Rudy NYC: That's exactly what Ron Paul's answer was. He said "no" he wouldn't let the person die.

    @ Dr. W: These are great examples of the many things Ron Paul is fighting to change.

    Does anyone commenting here have any idea what they're talking about?

    September 14, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. lgbarn

    Be careful what you wish(vote) for. People who vote for this guy only want Anarchy.

    September 14, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. ja

    ron is to old to to be president, the secret sevice would have to keep all kind of stay woke meds, he undoubtedly is already senile

    September 14, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    We already did the free market thing in the 19th century. It left most people sick, uneducated and in desperate poverty. They were overworked, underpaid, and even kids forced into factories. It didn't have a single iota of compassion.

    September 14, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. scott

    Talk about scary....tea party...now that is scary!!!!! ! !

    September 14, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Jilli

    Ron Paul is completely off his noodle. He'd repeal the last 3 centuries if he had the chance. If he's so unhappy with American government – why spend your life working in it? – and why not just move to Somalia where government may better suit his tastes?

    Thank god he's not a practicing physician any longer. It's hard to tell who is more pathetic – ron paul or the one that responded from the audience.

    September 14, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Tony

    Tea Party...class act all the way.

    September 14, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Saboth

    I used to think that way. Then I married my wife who was born with a serious pre-existing condition. If not for her treatments, she probably would have died long ago, but today lives a happy, healthful life. She busts ass and probably works harder than anyone that would dare post on here. But our medical system needs a big revamping. Simply allowing a "free market" to reign will not work, at all. Just look at banks and mortgages and the meltdown that occurred from that "free reign". You'll have insurance companies denying coverage to everyone that needs it, while demanding high premiums from the healthiest Americans, simply to pad their profits and keep investors happy. The system needs to be scrapped.

    September 14, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. rworthington

    What answer did Ron Paul give that shows he has common sense...man what's wrong with some of you people!

    September 14, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Peter

    A critically ill person without health insurance should be left to die? And a Tea Partier in the audience yells "yeah!".
    So let me get this straight. I work for 30 years for a company that lays me off because they outsource jobs to China where people make a buck an hour. Now, I have no money, I am in debt. I can not afford the maybe 6 or $700 per month (at least) for insurance on the open market. Six months later, the stress gives me a heart attack. At the emergency room, I am denied attention because I have no insurance. As I stumble out to die on the street, a Tea Partier yells "yeah!".

    What the hell happened to our country?

    September 14, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Brian

    It's scary to think that people in this country have no compassion for their oun countrymen. There is a real problem with people being uninsured beacuase it is unethical to turn away wounded or dying patients and someone has to pay for the care. The question asked by Wofle was a very well worded question that any side step would be the wrong answer. This isn't about politics this is about doing what is right and both parties have gotten this wrong. There is not a single answer to cure healthcare. This is a program that has been broken for a very long time. Doing nothing and letting the problem get worst is not a solution and that is what a lot of presidents have done for years. We need someone to stand up and not care about their political career and do what is right for AMERICANS.

    September 14, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. funnyname

    Mr. Paul, if you want to let the guy without insurance face the consequences of his actions and die because he lacks insurance, then you should face the consequences of expressing that position and admit that it sounds cold-blooded and lacks compassion. So what if you are a doctor? You still lack compassion. Take responsibility for your beliefs.

    September 14, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Qi

    God uses natural selection. If you don't have the skills to aquire health insurance, then indded you are at the grace of God. God favors those that help themselves. The high functioning will then inherit the earth, just as God intends. The rest will perish....

    September 14, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. James

    In the end, Americans will come to realize that Healthcare as they know it cannot be sustained. Neither can a system that we have in Canada, although I will opt for ours rather than yours. The answer lies in primary health care and educating our kids about healthy living, backed up with a system that we have in Canada plus some privatization, with strict control.

    September 14, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. AntiFringe

    "I want the maximum medical care and the maximum prosperity for everybody......."

    Maximun medical care for everybody who can afford it? or for everybody that wants it?

    September 14, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Richard

    I remember when Alan Grayson said the rethuglican helath plan was to let the people die. We have seen it from the horses' mouth. And the audience chimed in–Yeaaaa! As Michael Steele said, these are the same people who if it were their family they would be the first ones to get help, even from the government. Typical hypocrites!

    September 14, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. RG

    I enjoyed how lustily Ron Paul was booed when trying to para-phrase reasons on why were attacked on 911. They just didn't want to hear it,the party of ME, ME ME,. No universal healthcare, but don't touch my Medicare, No more welfare handouts and cut SS for everyone under 55, but don't cut MY SS benefits.

    September 14, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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