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. Keith ..... in Oregon

    Dr. Carson, I find your words enlightening and right on target. Like Jeff Brown in Jersey, I am also a white man.

    I believe the ACA (wildly mis-named) is indeed about control. It is but one of many ways this administration is trying to wend its way into and control our lives. Much to their dismay many of us believe we know better than they do what is best for us.

    I may disagree with some of what you say but respect your right to have a different opinion than mine. Jeff Brown in Jersey is offended. So what?

    October 11, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Tom

    Whatever. These people are so far off the deep end do their delusional ideas really matter? No amount of reason will ever change their minds. The only solution is to vote all these nuts out of government. Then they can don their tin foil hats and have all the conferences they like and the impact will be negligible.

    October 11, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Go move to another country you teabum fool and don't try to shortchange other Americans of healthcare . They should lift this GOP garbage of America party's medical license!!!!!

    October 11, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. the dude

    Just goes to show that the content of this guys character is as ignorant as any GOP you could hope to find.

    October 11, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Dan5404

    For a man with "Dr." for a title, you seem to have dropped out of the Hippocratic oath. Since you apparently don't give a crap whether millions of Americans finally get much needed healthcare, you are no longer qualified as a true physician. I suspect you may have operated on your own brain and botched it badly.

    October 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Is THIS ok Fox-lite?"

    Not to diminish your comment in its entirety (which was excellent btw) I just wanted to thank you for your end piece.
    It will start off my weekend of raking leaves by putting a big smile on my face. 😉

    October 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Choosing between paying a nominal fine OR purchasing insurance from a private insurance company with the government's assistance doing your comparative shopping and affording it with a subsidy if you qualify = slavery.

    Yeah. OK. Whatever.

    THIS is precisely why we can't have a rational conversation with these people. November 2008 resulted in a GOP/Teatroll exodus from reality. They now live in a tiny echo chamber located on Bigotry Drive in Hyperboleville, State of Paranoia, Nation of Denial.

    October 11, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    @Rudy NYC, aren't you sure you're not confusing him with Artur Davis, the former Democratic rep from Alabama?

    October 11, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    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.
    So says an opponent of minimum living wages, and supporter of paying people slave wages everywhere. Honestly, I cannot fault him too much for the fact that people are paid slave wages, but I can fault him for feeling it is justified.

    This country's economy was built on slave labor, and slave labor has been used on these lands throughout most of its history since being settled by the British more than 400 years ago.. Since the Civil War, the country has always had a segment of society, usually the latest wave of immigrants, willing to work for those slave wages. Our economy has always been built upon a segment of its' workforce laboring at little or no wages. But, it doesn't make it right, though.

    October 11, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. kitkat

    The veil is in place in all those who are blinded by our current government officials. So no matter how much you try to explain to them that our freedoms are slipping away to be completely controlled by our government, they will not see the truth. I hope the Lord has mercy upon all of us and sends his Holy Spirit to enlighten us all. God has already won the victory. To those who accept the mark of the beast, woe is he!

    October 11, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Joe

    It's insane how conservatives are so concerned about the debt, yet the shut down is costing us billions of dollars a day and they seem to ignore the cost of the shut down. The sole argument behind their desire to repeal the ACA is it's cost is too high and we need to be more fiscally responsible. There is nothing more irresponsible than costing the American government billions a day over a law which has been upheld by the supreme court. Furthermore if they really cared about repealing the ACA because of it's cost, they would put a clean bill on the floor, open the government right away and then civilly address their concerns over Obamacare. Yet this is purely a political tactic to cater to the FAR right wing of the party. These republicans have open admitted their number one priority is to make Obama a failed President. How in the world can you work with a party that has already made up their minds and have no desire to work to address healthcare, taxes, economy, jobs...the list goes on.

    October 11, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Fair is fair

    Present day MLK right there!

    October 11, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Dave Scoven

    Scoven: Carsontalk is 'hyperbole.'

    October 11, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. smith


    October 11, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. O'drama ya Mama

    How much money did they have to pay him for him to sell himself out like that?

    October 11, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. NameCraig

    Joe what are you smoking and where can I get some, I would think you could read but Maby not more than what you want to see. It's about socialism a Govn. That tells you what health care you really need. What you should be thinking ect. If you can't think for yourself by all means support the Dems

    October 11, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is fair

    Present day MLK right there
    Not really: since when has he been willing to be arrested and beaten for his beliefs? Has he composed anything insightful from the inside of a jail cell? Does he have an underlying philosophy other than that of Ayn Rand? This is not taking on the racism of a country, he's in the back pocket of a few bored billionaires who need another token.

    October 11, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. joe

    another freak from the right wing nut house. i don't give a damn if he is a doctor. i have seen many doctors interviewed who totally support health care reform and the ACA. these doctors all say that providing affordable health care to more americans actually SAVES LIVES by identifying and treating diseases earlier. what a barbaric concept, right?

    October 11, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. ora pike

    SHOCKED that CNN would print anything against their King--it gets worse. Mcafee himself has stated that every person who signs up on obamacare is subject to getting hacked into and losing all they have. HE ALSO STATED INSTEAD OF $90,000,000 PLUS AND THE MESS THEY HAVE ALREADY WITH THEIR COMPUTER-HE COULD HAVE DONE IT FOR $15,000,000 AND A HAND FULL OF KEY PROGRAMMERS. This is like obama putting our money into the companies he did and losing billions???? He has never run a business except the business of politics. THIS IS GOING TO GET WORSE.

    October 11, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. the hippies were right

    @Rick McDaniel, THEY GAVE YOU THE WRONG MED's! Your warped state of mind has increased, not decreased!

    October 11, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Dori

    I have tremendous respect for Dr. Carson, both as an inspirational person with a compelling story, as well as a physician who saved an incredible number of lives. I only wish he had let this be his legacy, rather than destroying the respect he so well deserved with these fringe ideas.

    Those who are calling him names, please learn a little about what this man has done in his life. I am as left-wing as anyone who has commented, but calling names is NEVER acceptable. I'm deeply sorry Dr. Carson is using his well-deserved fame to promote such off-the-wall theories, as they ae destroying his reputation.

    October 11, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. gretelB

    Dr Ben Carson, what on earth did they promise you to say such a horrid thing? I once thought of you as a hero. Actually, as far as the nation goes, I would put a few other things ahead of Obamacare as the worst thing in America since slavery such as the September 11th attacks, you know, things like that. Shame on you Dr Carson, you have sold out. You get paid no matter what and it's certainly not like you have to worry about money.

    October 11, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. guest

    No. Slavery is not regulating these corporations, and allowing Americans to live in permanent unpayable debt to a system contrived to keep Americans at the whims of Avarice stricken Multi-National Corporations.

    I understand that high paying salaries to attract the best of the best to our health care profession, but what we have in America is so far twisted from that it is sickening. It is time for corporations, especially federally subsidized ones, to clean up their over inflated madness. The working people in this country demand to be heard. You can villify unions, you can put joe consumer into your bureaucratic rat mazes, you can provide criminally substandard services, but you will never eliminate what makes this country great! We stand up to bullies trying to get over on us. And corporations...we are tired of your games, and your facemen and your mouth pieces.

    Stop raping America.

    October 11, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. GA Voter

    Good on neurosugery, not so much on hyperbolic political discussion.

    October 11, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    I'd like to see him make that same speech at Spelman or Morehouse.

    October 11, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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