Carson: Obamacare is 'slavery'
October 11th, 2013
01:36 PM ET
7 years ago

Carson: Obamacare is 'slavery'

(CNN) - Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon enjoying recent popularity in the conservative movement, compared the federal health care law to "slavery" during a speech Friday at the Values Voter Summit, an annual conservative gathering in Washington.

"Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is – in a way, it is slavery, in a way," he said. "Because it is making all of us subservient to the government."

At the heart of his criticism is the law's requirement, beginning next year, for individuals to obtain health insurance or else face a penalty.

A longtime critic of the Affordable Care Act, Carson rose to fame earlier this year when he bashed Democratic policies on taxes and health care as he gave the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama was sitting just feet away while he openly chided some of Obama's positions.

He argued Friday that the president's signature law "was never about health care."

"It was about control," he continued. "That's why when this administration took office it didn't matter that the country was going off the cliff economically. All forces were directed toward getting this legislation passed."

Fact Check: Obamacare

He said the Obama administration was 'neglecting' the Constitution and imposing "their own will" by picking and choosing which provisions of the health care law to enforce.

"When they give businesses exemptions but the common people they say, 'No, you have to do it, you know, that's not America," he said. "That's Russia. That's someplace else. How did we allow that to happen in this nation?"

He was referring to the administration's decision to delay for a year the employer mandate for businesses with more than 50 full-time employees. The individual mandate, however, is still scheduled to take effect in 2014.

As Carson gained more attention for his political views this year, some speculated he could run for public office–an option he hasn't ruled out.

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But he sparked strong backlash in March when he equated homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality during a television interview centered on same-sex marriage. Facing loud opposition, he apologized and withdrew from speaking gigs at Johns Hopkins medical school and an event for the American Academy of Physicians Assistants.

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Filed under: Ben Carson • Health care
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. rs


    October 11, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Dr. Carson. I find your choice of words offensive and I am a white man.

    October 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh dear. Dr. Carson did not get the latest GOPerville memo. Psst. Dr. Carson. Obamacare is OFF the table.
    Well, to be truthful it never was ON the table to be defunded to begin with.
    But, hey. Keep inciting hate and fear. It is all your party has left in its arsenal. Again.

    Tsk - tsk on Mr. Priebus' rebranding. Which to date needs a new rebranding.

    October 11, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    I admire Dr. Carson for his medical abilities (Cuba Gooding Jr.'s portrayal of him in "Gifted Hands" was very moving), but on Obamacare, he is absolutely wrong – and sounding a bit silly.

    Obamacare includes the individual mandate – originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation, championed by the GOP as an alternative to the healthcare reform proposed by Clinton in the 90s and first implemented under Repub gov Romney in Massachusetts (google for the photo of Romney signing with Heritage Foundation folks cheering him on). Obamacare utilizes private companies – health insurance companies – and in fact, by having the individual mandate, creates millions customers FOR those private companies.

    Obamacare supports the free market: Folks will now be able to choose their health plans – and not have to take the only one offered in their area. This will result in health plans and providers being more competitive in their quest to gain and retain customers. It also incentivizes health plans and providers to be more efficient, furthering the work already started by health plans, doctors and hospitals to develop care protocols to not only standardize care, but to better the outcomes of that care.

    Under Obamacare, you can keep your doctor just like before (if they are contracted with the health plan you choose – JUST LIKE BEFORE).

    Carson is simply way off base – and a huge disappointment to me and others who were originally inspired by his story.

    October 11, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Mike

    Basically, you have to agree with everything that anyone believes in or believe in nothing at all. My country is dying right in front of my eyes

    October 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Paula

    Dr. Carson, I am white and I am offended by your comparison of slavery and the new healthcare law. You should be ashamed of yourself. Extremism popularity is fogging your brain.

    October 11, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Oh these poor victims. May God have pity on their souls because their lives are just too much to bear.

    October 11, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    So Doc, you don't like Obamacare? That's fine, but what about the millions of people of color who have no health care and are forced to go to emergency rooms for treatment? What about the high mortality rate for people of color in this country? You have insulted President Obama time and again, yet you were silent when George Bush was implementing his disastrous policies. You appear to be either very naive, or perhaps insane.

    October 11, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. jinx9to88

    Where on earth do the GOP find these guys? LMAO!!! Repubs will never win another presidential election with the likes of these individuals at the helm.

    October 11, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. freedom

    "It was about control," he continued. "That's why when this administration took office it didn't matter that the country was going off the cliff economically. All forces were directed toward getting this legislation passed." And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    October 11, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Lisa P.

    Dr. Ben Carson gives brain surgeons a bad name.

    October 11, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. justasec

    Popular he may be in the "conservative movement" - but no mention of the inconvenient fact that conservatives (The Heritage Foundation) invented the concept of "Obamacare" (especially the mandate for all to purchase insurance) back in the late '80s.
    Note the platform this nonsense was spouted from. Many of the high and mighty at the so called "Values Voter Summit" would be quite happy to see the USA change from a secular democratic republic top a theocracy.
    Jefferson and Madison must be spinning in their graves!

    October 11, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. NameCraig

    Finally someone calling it what it is, Anyone that doesn't get upset when a big company doesn't have to follow the same laws as us, Well you are not what America was designed to be, why don't you leave for Cuba or any socialist country. Obama is wrong and defying the constitution , He should be ashamed , Do you boneheads think he and his family are going through the same hogwash the rest of us are subjected to, I will pay the fines and continue to revolt against this dishonest lying small small small small man

    October 11, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. whatwouldjesusdo

    Dr. Carson, as I understand it, is part of a religion (The Seventh Day Adventist) that promotes a Christian-centric approach to politics and worldly matters. I find it confusing to hear him compare a program aimed at providing care and medical treatment for thousands of poor and sick people to a system that aimed at taking away people's humanity and keeping them as property. I can think of thousands of differences between obamacare or ACA and slavery, but the most important think I would ask Dr. Carson (and all other fake Christians who have forgotten that Jesus' message was about caring for the poor, HEALING the sick, visiting the incarcerated- in essence, LOVE AND GIVE FREELY TO OTHERS ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE) is WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? I wish Dr. Carson would stop pretending to be Christian while truly only caring about his money, prosperity and political gain in this world, because, as a theology major who graduated from one of the Adventist institutions that praised Dr. Carson's achievement, I can tell you that I am confused, displeased and angered by his hypocrisy and Pharisee- like behavior as of late. I can agree, there are problems with the law that need to be fixed, but, what would Jesus say about providing care for the poor Carson? Would he say let's eliminate the very first step that we have taken to resolve it and go back to nothing? Where is your Christian solution to the problem Carson? is it to just blame those who try to resolve it and show little concern for the sick who will benefit from the solution? You Sir, are a fake Christian because "by their fruits you shall know them."

    October 11, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. cumulus

    Koolaid goin down smooth today huh freedom, why is it everyone you agree with is insane?

    October 11, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    Why not we let Pharmacy companies rob on medicines, Doctors rob on Medicare each swan guntz to 500 dollars to charge to Medicare, insurance deny pre-existing condion patients, hospitals deny emergency patients, let kids have no insurance–list goes on, these are all slavery, idiot this doctor. Hospitals cn hire all cheap foreign doctors, so does universities, etc. nonsense talk. Wake up, obamacare is a Law.

    October 11, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. smith

    Ouch, that`s a harsh comparison. However, I still have not been able browse the ACA website. You would figure the govt. would have a better website for such a rollout.

    October 11, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Eugene in Seattle

    Better to have Obama Care than die because you can't afford insurance.

    October 11, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Steve, New York City

    For all of his intelligence, it is a shame that Dr. Carson doesn't have the good sense to realize that using stupid, inflamatory language is dangerous - and in my opinion, one of the biggest threats against Washington today is that elements from both the left AND the right think that it's their duty to demonize the other side.

    October 11, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Keep the crazies coming, GOP! LMAO!

    October 11, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Former Republican

    Poor Dr. Carson, being used as a tool by the right wing.

    October 11, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    The Democratic Party is all about slavery, in every way. They have enslaved the black community for decades, and kept that community entirely dependent on the political party, instead of allowing them to move forward in society.

    Obama simply seeks to take over America in earnest, and have a total dictatorship, by the political party, even if he steps down, at some point in time (who knows when.)

    The only thing standing between Obama and total dictatorship in America, is the House. If the Dems get control of the House, Obama WILL become a total dictator. His control of the media, prevents anything negative about his actions from reaching the majority of the people, because he controls 4 news networks, including this one.

    The majority of the people in America have absolutely no idea, just how close, Obama really is, to becoming a for real, dictator.

    October 11, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Wake up People!

    I don't know what's worse. The fact that an educated man would compare healthcare for millions who need it to slavery or the fact that the GOP thinks someone like this represents intelligent blacks?

    I'm highly offended by this!! My ancestors WERE slaves and if they were around I doubt they'd agree with you.

    I do realize the Tea Party has been running around saying "slavery wasn't as bad as people think", but I would think you would know better. Slavery was probably one of the worst things that happened to blacks in this country. How dare you demean the ACA like that. You might want to refresh your memory on the subject by reading Roots and Birth of a nation.

    Is THIS ok Fox-lite?

    October 11, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Name

    That why he's not going anywhere because people like him make every American hate the Gop,looking at this shit Brian compares health care that going to help American to slavery and he want to be in office, that's a shame

    October 11, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    isn't this the same guy who ran for Governer of Mississippi or Alabama in 2009, and lost big time? Isn't this the guy who blew all of his political connections and capital trying to win a race that a black man just wasn't going to win at the time? Wasn't he upset that the nation's first black POTUS wouldn't actively campaign for him?

    Didn't he ruin in political career in is home state for life by losing in the governor's race? [Generally, you don't start running for lower offices after you lose a race for a higher office.] Didn't he blame his problems on weak fund raising, and felt that he would have done better had the President attended one of his fund raisers? Didn't he make a lot of money renouncing Pres. Obama and move to Virginia where he could start a new political carreer as a Republican?

    Yupper. This is that guy. The one who failed to take responsibility for his own failures. Alabama was not about to elect a black governor a year after a black guy won the White House, and half the people in the state heads exploded.

    October 11, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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