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. NoTags

    Ron Paul is no different than the rest of the group. He's been feeding from the public trough since 1997. He was a failure in is run as a Libertarian and he'll be a failure in his run as a Republican.

    September 14, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. w l jones

    I hate to be personal on this post but when it come to health care!! when I were born we had two Doctor in this town mutter had had problem and the midwife sermon a doctor he did not wait on certain people my Mutter ask the midwife seek him anyway so he said that he would cash up $3.00 my father only made $.50 a day so he and everybody else went all over town collecting pennies. He only charge $2.50cent for a White birth, then had the nerve to say I were a White younger because of my blue eyes and red hair. Bless.

    September 14, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Sean Russell

    Ron Paul's position: If you're rich- you get whatever you want. If you're not- you're screwed, unless some rich guy decides to throw you some scraps.

    Doesn't sound like liberty to me. Sounds like enslavement.

    September 14, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. usualone

    What is interesting about the Republicans is that they wanted that woman in FL to live forever (I don't remember her name) despite what her husband and the doctors stated. Those GOPers stuck their nose in that family's personal business; but they didn't pay the bills and the woman's future was sadly hopeless. They talk out both sides of their mouths.

    September 14, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Beverly - NYC

    The more I watch the Republican debates the more I ear for this country. Wild applause for the death penalty and death for the uninsured. They're all for it as long as it's happening to other people, let it happen to their love ones and it's another story. So Chriistian of the values crowd.

    September 14, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Aeromechanic

    So he avoided the question. Plain and simple. Typical politician............Dem or Rep.

    September 14, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. A Floridian

    Are you kidding me .. free markets the most compassionate system ever know to mankind? I would suggest he go back and study his history of this country and see how things were before we passed child labor laws, work place safety laws, food safety laws, etc., etc.

    We had much more unbridled free markets during the time of Carnegie and Rockfeller and the free markets back then did not provide the nirvana that Mr. Paul thinks they would if left to themselves. It was actually a pretty horrible time for a lot of people where it was not only "buyer be ware" but also "worker beware."

    September 14, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Alan Hopkins

    The intellectual dishonesty of the media in this country is lmost as limitless as the ignorance of those who line up to swallow it whole.

    September 14, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. ak

    I understood the question little differently, what if a 30 year decided not to buy insurance, and take risk even when he can afford? He/she just want channel their money, and taking risk on health insurance. Should tax payers pay his medical bills, while he is enjoying his own money for luxurious life style?

    September 14, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. eric

    I wonder if he has government paid health care? If he does, Ron Paul should be forced to forfeit it.

    September 14, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Californian for Ron Paul

    Ron did not say he would let the person die. If you watched his entire response he said he has never refused a patient ever. But this idea of planning ahead for troubles, like paying for health or life insurance, is a smart intelegent thing to do. People should not be left to die if they don't have coverage, but that comes with costs that the person is obviously responsible for. Personal responsibilty is the issue. We can not pay to treat people who live beyond their means or wont budget appropriately for accidents. Similarly we can not bail people out that purchased homes that they could not afford. The govt can not afford to bail people out when they live beyond their means. It also teaches people that they have no accountability and do not need to be smart and save for retirement or pay for health insurance. Its a part of life. Its part of growing up and becoming responsible and setting an example for future generations to be self reliant and work hard. It shows that you are rewarded for being a good responsible & productive citizen.

    I commend Dr Paul and fully support him for Presidenet in 2012!

    September 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. sammieb51

    He can try to talk his way out of this all he wants .... the answer is on record. He could care less about the people of this country. and for the idiots who applauded this, they are the first ones in line when they need the benefits!!

    September 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    I guess a guy who favors legalizing marijuana doesn't know what "Just Say No" means.

    September 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Tony in Maine

    And that, Ron Paul, is what most people call horse pucky.

    September 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Texan

    Did I miss something ?? Or did he just skirt the answer?????? ---- And Yes is what many "silent" Teabaggers were thinking just not speaking.-- Why don`t the Teabaggers just call themselves the Me Party ????

    September 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. sammieb51

    Oh, and what about those "death panels" the 'bags were touting last year to scare everyone. Be very afraid of their view on healthcare!

    September 14, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. John

    Ron's " the freeer the healthcare the better" is only true in the mind of a repulican. No where in the real world is this the case. Facts are always "flexible" to the GOP. Ron's idea of healthcare does not work and has NEVER worked anywhere it has been tried. Ever.

    September 14, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Carolina

    Ron Paul displays not only his eejit sensibility (hard to believe that this man was a physician...hasn't practiced for decades, though, has he? Could he even hack it now? Doubtful) but his lack of empathy. Big Business doesn't provide "the best" healthcare. Profit-driven health insurance companies only make a profit by DENYING care...care that people have already paid for with the exorbitant premiums they charge. My health insurance premium for my family is larger than my mortgage payment!

    September 14, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Cody

    That simple "Yes" or "No" question was answered. He answered "No". Why is it that no one can discredit Ron Paul without taking what he said WAY out of context, flat out lying, or saying "What Rondroid said really doesn't matter" in an attempt to ignore him. The fact that no one can simply means that he is correct. Wh is he an isloationist because he dosen't want to police 130 other countries? People say "What would he have done about Hitler? Just stood there and watched?" YES! That is exactly what WE DID when it happened. We didn't go intervene. We stood there and watched, and minded our own business. Only getting involved when we were attacked. That is what a country is supposed to do. Take care of itself and keep trade flowing freely. Not being in countries that hate us for being there, and causing the rough state their in to begin with. (Please do not attack my spelling or grammer as this shows you have nothing better to say.)

    September 14, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Lynne

    I remember when Sarah Palin put the fear of Death Panels in to everyone in regards to Obama's health care reforms. Now it seems "SOME" Tea Party members want to do away with death panels and just let people die! If these are the new leaders of the Republican party, then we are going to Hell in a hand basket as my grandmother use to say!

    September 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Chad

    We have a choice to make an we have to make it soon, Government does everything for everybody, which will not viably happen anyway, or people start accepting personal responsiblity for themselves. Healthcare used to work just fine until Gov. got involved then the costs became astronomical due to the fact that the fraud waste and abuse by the gov. drives up the cost of everything they touch.
    Look at tuition, before gov. you could work your way through college now you have to get loans because of gov. mandates. Universities jack tuition up every year because they know students are dumb enough to keep getting thousands in student loans to get a degree they want even get a job with when that graduate.

    September 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. badcyclist

    Just look at the great health care everyone had the last time that the forces of capitalism were unchained to create jobs and wealth for everyone– say, in Victorian England or America during the Robber Barons era. Good times...

    September 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. russ

    As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country........

    You are such a naive idiot. The Republican right has you and all the rest of the red necks in this country totally brainwashed. Do you ever wonder why the top Republicans are rich and you're not?

    September 14, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. Julia

    We still have EMTALA Thank you Ronald Reagan, there isn't a republican today that has any morality whatsoever. Just let them die in the streets, like a third world country, Yep that what the USA is now, not a democracy, just another third world country , that let's human beings die in the street of illness and starvation, Oh I forgot, but wait! aren't we all good Christians, Ha ha ha ha ha , goin' to church on Sunday, raisin' our hands toward the sky, Praise The Lord, Halleujah, Monday morning, "let them die in the streets," Sickening country, that's what is becoming. If you get sick go to the Emergency Room, even if you don't have insurance, I couldn't believe Wolf let that one go, Oh well, CNN ya certainly got so prayin ta do on Sunday.
    EMTALAt requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. As a result of the act, patients needing emergency treatment can be discharged only under their own informed consent or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.

    September 14, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Heather, WA

    It is too bad because I would have like to hear the GOP's answer for this. Currently now we do have a law that hospitals MUST attempt to save and treat anyone who walks through their door regardless of the ability to pay. There are many people who choose not to get insurance because they are young and seemingly in good health. I have known several people who have made this choice and then have gotten really sick and have required hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in medical care. Since there is an obligation to treat them by law there care is covered by government assistance or absorbed by the hospital in way of charging other patients increased rates for service. So essentially the rest of us are stuck with the burden. The only way to prevent this from continuing to happen is to to move forward with the mandatory insurance law or as some of the audience applauded to, let the uninsured person die. I could never in good consious support any person or law that would allow a person to just die. I have heard many from the GOP tout personal responsibility and freedom but I have never heard a plausible answer to address this type of very real situation.

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