Friday, 07 August 2009 05:00

Ron Paul’s Straight Talk on Health Reform

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Ron PaulWith Congress on recess, America is momentarily in the eye of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform storm. Now is the perfect time to get a second opinion to the president’s diagnosis, and who better to give one than a real doctor: Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas).

Dr. Paul has practiced medicine since the 1960s. His website says that, “as a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies!” He has served in Congress for varying lengths of time since the 1970s, and through it all he has remained true to the principles of our Founding Fathers as embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Dr. Paul writes a weekly column called “Texas Straight Talk,” and several of these have recently dealt with healthcare reform. Looking to a doctor who has practiced medicine for decades seems like a wise course of action that will help determine whether or not President Obama’s prescription for America is the correct one.

On July 20, Dr. Paul wrote “Healthcare is a Good, Not a Right.” He explains the difference between rights and goods: “Natural law states that people have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A good is something you work for and earn.” A good may be a “need,” like food or employment or medicine, but confusing the two, as Dr. Paul says, “has troubling consequences.”

No one has to pay for someone else to exercise their right to life or liberty, for example, though we have enacted laws to criminalize murder and to protect free speech. But someone always has to pay for a good, be it healthcare or food or a clothing. As Dr. Paul says, “If there is a ‘right’ to healthcare, you must force the providers of those goods, or others, to serve you.”

Now, “obviously, if healthcare providers were suddenly considered outright slaves to healthcare consumers, our medical schools would quickly empty.” But President Obama is graciously volunteering to have government step in, pay for the goods, and referee this kind of servitude. Medicare, Social Security, and the U.S. Postal Service are all going broke, yet Obama claims the cost of “Medicare for Everyone” will somehow be covered. Dr. Paul describes it like this:

The government will be paying the bills, forcing doctors and hospitals to dance more and more to the government’s tune. Having to subject our health to this bureaucratic insanity and mismanagement is possibly the biggest danger we face. The great irony is that in turning the good of healthcare into a right, your life and liberty are put in jeopardy.

The answer is to “return to a true free market in healthcare, one that empowers individuals, not bureaucrats, with control of healthcare dollars.” Dr. Paul’s Comprehensive Healthcare Reform Act (H.R. 1495, click here for bill text) would do that by providing specially designed tax credits and medical savings accounts.

Dr. Paul next dealt with “The Immorality of Taxpayer Funded Abortion” on July 27. Recognizing that “the administration has already removed many longstanding restrictions on abortion,” now it “is unwilling to provide straight answers to questions regarding the public funding of abortion in their plan” for reform. Dr. Paul is clear: “Forcing pro-life taxpayers to subsidize abortion is evil and tyrannical.” No wonder the Democrats don’t want to come right out and say that their reform will do this.

“The most basic function of government is to protect life. It is unconscionable that government would enable the taking of it.” Yet once government steps outside of its very limited constitutional bounds, this sort of thing is bound to happen. When government becomes un-limited, “it cannot help but advance the moral agenda of whoever is in power at the time, at the expense of the rights of others.” And, “even if you agree with the morality of the current politicians and think their ideas should be advanced, someday different people will inherit that power and use it for their own agendas. The wisdom of the Constitution is that it keeps government out of these issues altogether.”

Dr. Paul has introduced the Taxpayer’s Freedom of Conscience Act (H.R. 1233, click here for bill text), “which forbids the use of any taxpayer funds for abortion, both here and overseas.” He concludes: “The fact that the national healthcare overhaul could force taxpayers to subsidize abortions and may even force private insurers to cover abortions is more reason that this bill and the ideas behind it, are neither constitutional, moral, nor in the American people’s best interest.”

Finally, on August 3, Dr. Paul brought healthcare reformers back to reality by pointing out that they have a “Healthcare Plan Based on Economic Fantasy.” No matter what the president claims, “the government simply does not have the money for a new, expansive, public healthcare plan. The country is in a deep recession that will deepen even further with the coming collapse of the commercial real estate market. The last thing we need is for government to increase and expand taxes to pay for another damaging, wasteful program.” Dr. Paul diagnoses the problem with those who think more government is always the answer:

The leadership in Washington persists in a fantasy world of unlimited money to spend on unlimited programs and wars to garner unlimited control. But there is a fast-approaching limit to our ability to borrow, steal, and print. Acknowledging this reality is not mean-spirited or cruel. On the contrary, it could be the only thing that saves us from complete and total economic meltdown.

Now that is straight talk. In addition to the links for Dr. Paul’s columns embedded in the text above, they are repeated below. Each of his relatively brief articles deserves to read in its entirety. The reader will not regret being able to make a more informed choice on healthcare reform after getting a second opinion from Dr. Paul.

Healthcare is a Good, Not a Right

The Immorality of Taxpayer Funded Abortion

Healthcare Plan Based on Economic Fantasy

 

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