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Ron Paul was right

Cal Thomas's picture

In the Republican presidential candidates debate last week in Tampa, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer posed a hypothetical question. Normally, a hypothetical question should not be answered, but in this case it revealed something about the questioner and sparked a controversial, but necessary answer from Rep. Ron Paul.

For those watching the two Monday Night Football games, the question was: “A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?”

The question was designed to appeal to the status quo with the federal government picking up the tab, but Paul cut through the question to give a powerful answer: “... what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. ... That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody ...”

Blitzer interrupted: “... are you saying society should just let him die?”

Some in the audience shouted “yes.” They must have come from the previous debate where Gov. Rick Perry’s pride in executing convicted murderers was wildly applauded.

Responded Paul: “... We’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that’s the reason the cost is so high. ... We have lack of competition. There’s no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing.”

What first needs to be said is that federal law prohibits anyone from being turned away from a hospital emergency room, whether in a coma or not. But Paul’s larger point should not be missed.

He is old enough to remember a time when families, neighbors and churches cared for each other. Now, in our two-income households when we buy so much stuff we must rent public storage units for the overflow, we hardly have time for our own families, much less the concerns of others. How many of us know our neighbors?

I was intrigued by a story I read last month in London’s Sunday Times. The story followed street rioting that shocked Britons and caused Prime Minister David Cameron to lament the loss of moral teaching in British schools and society. The headline read “Tory Ministers to ‘Adopt’ Jobless Families.”

Some of the jobless have been without work for several generations. A recent survey found that in many homes, no one had ever worked and had no desire or expectation of employment.

The ministers have pledged to set an example for others to follow by volunteering to become “family champions” to the unemployed. Emma Harrison, who is described by the newspaper as a “social entrepreneur whose company has a 300-million pound contract to help people into meaningful work,” wants the middle classes to follow the ministers’ example.

Why couldn’t this work in the U.S. government? Why can’t President Obama and his family, his cabinet members and agency heads each “adopt” an unemployed family and help them find meaningful employment? What about the Republican presidential candidates? Michele Bachmann and her husband are experienced in adoptions. How about all of those rich congressmen and senators? Warren Buffett and Bill Gates think we should pay more taxes. Can’t they be asked to personally do more to help others? They would be a fine example.

If we want smaller government, we will have to pick up the slack. Helping change another life for the better may be the most satisfying work we do on Earth. It is part of my own ethic and I can testify to the satisfaction it has given me. Make it a fad and it could become a trend. Ron Paul’s answer, which to some sounded crass, might prove itself to be the ultimate in compassion.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at] ©2011 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.


I am not sure what this column is all about. I have always said that every anti-abortionist should adopt a child. If you haven't adopted a child, Don't protest at a clinic and just shut-up. Ron Paul is wrong. After his answer it comes out that his past manager had a disease and died without health insurance. The man did not die because he had no insurance and had in fact ran up a considerable bill which was left for the taxpayer to pick up. I wonder how much was left after the fund raisers on Paul's website? He had this bill because this country has not sunk so low as to deny the sick medical care. Thomas acknowledges & points this out as "federal" law (How dare they).

The health insurance system will not work if the healthiest are allowed to opt out. My 25 y/o son's insurance is less than a $100/mo. My 20 y/o daughter's was $130. Both w/ high deductibles. Regardless of the argument that you choose to drive, WE require car insurance. Most states require motorcyclist to wear helmets. I can debate why children should not be required to ride in car seats, but it is required and few would accept my argument.

This country had no problem spending billions and billions on 1 useless war and plenty more on a mismanaged one. As much as it is cried from the rooftops, This country's healthcare is not the best in the world. Saying it long enough and loud enough does not make it true.

The problem with Obama is that he has not brought about enough change. He has compromised down to what even Richard Nixon proposed.

Ron Paul is right that I should be able to light up a joint and not risk a felony conviction.

I looked into his manager's death a little further & found this telling quote: *The Kansas City Star quoted his sister at the time as saying that a "a pre-existing condition made the premiums too expensive." So if he had had continuing health insurance and seen a doctor regularly would he had died from pneumonia? Would the bill totaled $400,000? Could an enterprise that accomplished:.. And so, what started in February 2007 with one laptop in Snyder's Arlington, Va., apartment, quickly grew into a $35 million campaign employing 250 people. In the fourth quarter of that year, Snyder raised a stunning $19.5 million for Paul — more than any other Republican candidate had raised at the time.... Provided full time staffers health insurance? Could not Doctor Ron Paul found a circle of like minded medical professionals to communally cared for these people, much Thomas wants us to adopt a jobless. Finally have either Rep. Paul or his son Sen. Paul opted out of their federally provided benefits? This country needs to join the rest of the 1st world industrial countries and take care of its citizens. This country needs to recognize that the salary ratios are way outta whack with the rest of the industrial world.

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