Practicing the Medicine He Preaches: The Free Market Charity of Ron PaulSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:58
James Williams of Matagorda County, Texas said in a pro-Ron Paul campaign advertisement released December 28 that in the early 1970s he saw "Ron Paul come to my rescue. He just stepped in and went to work with my wife." Williams' wife was pregnant and extremely ill, and until Dr. Ron Paul showed up, nobody at the hospital would care for his wife. Williams suspects the bi-racial family in the deep South may have been a factor (he's black, his wife is white) in the wait to see a doctor. But Ron Paul saw his wife immediately.
"He said, as far as the bill," Williams continued in the RevolutionPAC advertisement, "he would take care of everything. Which he did. I never got a bill from the hospital or anything. And he was a doctor of medicine and that's what he was doing, was practicing medicine. And it didn't matter who, and what, and why. He was doing it because he'd think of one human being just as much as another. He's just an honest man, and that's something we need now in this day and time."
It's a moving advertisement, but it could be argued that any SuperPAC can create an emotional ad for the candidate they back.
In this case, however, the video was an insight into the ordinary way the country doctor-turned-presidential candidate operated for decades in his obstetric practice. The famously free-market doctor was excoriated by leftists after a September 12 debate where moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN asked about a hypothetical 30-year-old man without insurance who needed six months of medical care. Knowing Rep. Paul's opposition to government healthcare, Blitzer asked: "But congressman, are you saying that Society should just let him die?"
Dr. Paul replied:
No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid in the early 1960s when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa hospital in San Antonio. And the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospital. And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves, assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. That's the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because we dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes a special interest, it cow-tows to the insurance companies and then the drug companies.
After the debate, few knew what Rep. Paul was talking about, and an even smaller fraction believed what he was talking about would ever work. Dr. Paul's medical partner, Jack Pruitt, told this writer several years ago that Ron Paul had always opposed government intervention in medical care. "When I walked into his office," Pruitt said, "the first thing he said to me was that there were two things that he and I had to agree upon or else there was no use for us to even talk. He said, 'Number one is, we do not do any abortions.... Number two is, we also don't accept any federal funds. We are going to see Medicare and Medicaid patients for free, and we are going to treat them just like we treat everybody else regardless of what it costs us to do that.'"