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May 12, 2011 11:55 AM   Subscribe

"With regard to the idea of whether or not you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies... It means you believe in slavery." Senator Rand Paul weighs in on the notion of human rights at a Senate subcommittee hearing yesterday, equating the right to health care, as well as the right to water and food, as tantamount to a belief in slavery.
posted by Rykey (223 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. From the text above, I thought that it meant that somehow having health care means being enslaved. But he's talking about the enslavement of medical professionals. Wow. "The right to someone's services."

Wow wow wow.

Poor doctors!
posted by entropone at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2011 [15 favorites]


Thanks Rykey. This post had me worried we might be catching you up in the batshit stakes but now I see you are still in a whole other league.
posted by londonmark at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


John Galt jumps the shark.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2011 [22 favorites]


I guess "I'm a physician" sounds better than "I'm a self-certified ophthalmologist."
posted by Bromius at 11:59 AM on May 12, 2011 [14 favorites]


This is the same guy who thinks private businesses should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race.

And he wants to tell doctors what to do when it comes to abortion, but I guess that's not "slavery."
posted by rtha at 11:59 AM on May 12, 2011 [27 favorites]


GOOGLE MY DAD
posted by shakespeherian at 11:59 AM on May 12, 2011 [43 favorites]


I wonder how the fire department copes with the crushing burdens of its enslavement, apart from with wages, benefits, the freedom to seek other employment, public approval, and the satisfaction of contributing to the public good. It must be hard to balance that against all the harsh floggings.
posted by RogerB at 11:59 AM on May 12, 2011 [123 favorites]


That's like saying requiring white doctors to treat black people is slavery.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


That's an interesting logical disconnect. He's really homing in on the 'free' part there, assuming that the burden for the cost of care will be borne by the caregivers (when instead, it's borne by the entire populace).

The same argument can be (and has been) made against property-tax-supported education spending as well; the common refutation of that argument applies here as well. Health for all is a net good for all, even the (previously) healthy, in the same way that an educated populace is a benefit for all.
posted by Fraxas at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Don't tell him about the sixth amendment.
posted by condour75 at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ironmouth-
As rtha said Rand Paul believes that is actually true.
posted by Uncle at 12:02 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


AHHAHAHHAHAHA!

Oh. Wait. He's serious. I'm not sure which is more disturbing--his belittling of actual slavery, or his obsessive fear that someone, somewhere might get health care they DON'T DESERVE!!!!
posted by Go Banana at 12:02 PM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Rykey: "...as tantamount to a belief in slavery."

Well, to be absolutely clear:
Paul argued that if you believe people should have a right to health care, you believe in enslaving doctors, nurses, and hospital janitors:
PAUL: With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.

Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you’re basically saying you believe in slavery.

I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.

posted by zarq at 12:03 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


LET MY RAND PAUL GOOOOOOO!!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:03 PM on May 12, 2011 [17 favorites]


Is there an equivalent to Godwin's law for slavery? I feel like it would save me a lot of typing.
posted by almostmanda at 12:04 PM on May 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


He wasn't elected because he made sense.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:04 PM on May 12, 2011 [22 favorites]


This is fairly standard (and sillym stupid) randian and other quasilibertarian rhetoric. I'm surprised if it's never shown up in senate proceedings before.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:04 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.

What a fucking asshole.
posted by odinsdream at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [41 favorites]


Who's forcing him to be a doctor?
posted by sciencejock at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


Civilization is keepin' me down, man.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [28 favorites]


Reminds me of the inverse of something Chomsky once said (paraphrased) - "Libertarians have this strange idea that you're not free unless you have the ability to sell yourself into slavery."
posted by MillMan at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [40 favorites]


We keep having this argument up here in Sovient Canuckistan, and I always end it the same way. If a Doctor believes in the free market and wants to open a private care facility they totally can. However they don't; what they want is taxpayer dollars AND the right to let people with money jump the queue.

Usually ends the discussion.

From what I can tell that is the system you all got down there in Jesusland. Doctors get taxpayer money AND HMO/Insurance money and get the set their prices as they like... truly the best of both worlds (unless you don't have private health care on hand, then it is teh suck)

I suspect the hundreds of doctors that are clamoring to take part in the Canadian system are in fact masochists.

(Source on that last claim: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/988563--ontario-gives-green-light-to-record-number-of-foreign-doctors?bn=1)
posted by NiteMayr at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [19 favorites]


Rand Paul gets more and more like a comic book villain every time I look up. It would be hugely entertaining if it weren't happening in real life.
posted by honeydew at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Likewise, believing that human beings have certain unalienable Rights, among them Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, actually implies a belief in Happiness Slaves. That's what baristas are. Who knew?
posted by vorfeed at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder how the fire department copes with the crushing burdens of its enslavement,

...

That's like saying requiring white doctors to treat black people is slavery.


This being Ron Paul's son, I imagine he does in fact regard both of these as slavery. Maybe move to Somalia? No trafficing in humans there.
posted by DU at 12:07 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


[Long thread talking about how completely crazy the US right-wing is, without anybody offering solutions beyond volunteering for political parties and writing one's representatives]
posted by dunkadunc at 12:07 PM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


FFS. Why do assclowns like this get elected in the first place? Well done Kentucky.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:07 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sen. Paul, who works for the government, is already a slave, according to his own logic. He ran for the position of slave and he has successfully achieved being enslaved. He also uses a government-run, slave-driven health care system filled with top-notch enslaved doctors.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:09 PM on May 12, 2011 [64 favorites]


FFS. Why do assclowns like this get elected in the first place? Well done Kentucky.
So true.
posted by NiteMayr at 12:09 PM on May 12, 2011


Christ, what an asshole!
posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Though this may at first appear like he is crazy, on further examination it seems that HE IS CRAZY.
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on May 12, 2011 [23 favorites]


This is fairly standard (and sillym stupid) randian and other quasilibertarian rhetoric. I'm surprised if it's never shown up in senate proceedings before.

Previously.
posted by Rykey at 12:11 PM on May 12, 2011


With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you’re basically saying you believe in slavery.

Do you have a right to police protection? Do you have a right to firefighters if your house is on fire? Do you have a right to breathe air? Do you have a right to walk down the street? Do you have a right to take a shit? All very non-abstract questions.

He [Rand Paul] founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, which provides eye surgery and exams for those who otherwise couldn't afford proper care.

SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!!!!
posted by blucevalo at 12:12 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


This logic is so wacky, it might just work...
posted by Theta States at 12:12 PM on May 12, 2011


Is this sort of how like we have a government, and we have a right to expect our elected officials to work by a set of laws and charters, so we're really enslaving the politicians?

Is this the Charlie Sheen school of poli-sci, here?
posted by yeloson at 12:12 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


As with other Rand Paul Senate Hearing videos, the expression on the person sitting behind him is priceless.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:13 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


D'oh. Stitcherbeast beat me to it.
posted by yeloson at 12:13 PM on May 12, 2011


Mister Fabulous: "FFS. Why do assclowns like this get elected in the first place? Well done Kentucky."

The voters were led to believe he was the only candidate who did not support changing the state song to My Enslaved Kentucky Home.
posted by gilrain at 12:13 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


...right. Having a right to health care means that anyone who can administer it would be a slave. Just like how having a right to free speech has resulted in the enslavement of megaphone manufacturers.
posted by clockzero at 12:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


This being Ron Paul's son, I imagine he does in fact regard both of these as slavery

Yes, I imagine so. But the point of this kind of reductio ad even-more-absurdum is not to convince Paul himself, since he's obviously solidly committed to his nutso principles. Rather, it's that most sane Americans are used to accepting the compulsory provision of certain public services at public expense as a contribution to the collective good — the analogy to something totally conventional that we're all comfortable with helps to make clear that what we're talking about in the case of adding another such service is not some totally new form of evil commie socialist totalitarianism or whatever unless you also think the existing ones are.
posted by RogerB at 12:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rand Paul should indeed be enslaved, for as long as it takes him to complete a freshman political science course.
posted by facetious at 12:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


An implied right to healthcare is minimally necessary to any right to life. It's not like you can enjoy a right to life without it, since the terminal state of poor health is death. Life and health are part and parcel of the same right, not unrelated things.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, BTW, Gingrich is also on record as having once supported socialist medical care for the masses.
posted by blucevalo at 12:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


See...This is why I could never survive as a politician. If I was on that committee, and heard Paul spout this stuff, I seriously doubt I could constrain myself from declaring him a complete, fucking nutjob. Or worse.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:16 PM on May 12, 2011 [17 favorites]


I support the right of children to have a free public education. I guess that means I'm in favor of teacher slavery.
posted by notme at 12:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


I teach in a public school in a mandatory, "free" education system, so I guess I'm a slave, too. Except that I get paid fairly well, get lots of time off, can quit if I want to, call in sick if I need to, have never had anyone beat down my door and demand an education.... hm.
posted by Huck500 at 12:18 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thorzdad: "See...This is why I could never survive as a politician. If I was on that committee, and heard Paul spout this stuff, I seriously doubt I could constrain myself from declaring him a complete, fucking nutjob. Or worse"

You mean taking out your walking stick and beating him within an inch of his life?
posted by dunkadunc at 12:19 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Keeping it Feudal one desperate, blatant lie at a time.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:19 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


At first glance, I thought Rand Paul was saying that if you didn't believe in the right to things like accessible and affordable medical care, food and water for all citizens, you believed in slavery. And I did a double take, because that made sense and I'm past expecting sense from the Republican party members.
posted by orange swan at 12:19 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is slightly off-topic, but what the hell is wrong with American politicians? Yes, I know every country has its share of nutjobs, but there doesn't seem to be a single political issue in the entire country that somebody won't go absolutely insane over.

What amazes me even more is that these people actually have some sort of audience.
posted by anaximander at 12:23 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


John Galt jumps the shark.

It's pretty much straight Rand, for sure.
“I quit when medicine was placed under State control some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything—except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, but ‘to serve.’ That a man’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards—never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness at which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind—yet what is it they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in the operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.”
posted by Trurl at 12:24 PM on May 12, 2011 [14 favorites]


All this talk about Kentucky is making me want some fried chicken.

That said, I mean of course this is totally ridiculous. When people say "the right to health-care" what they mean is the right to have your health-care paid for, not the enslavement of doctors.

In theory the phrase "the right to healthcare" could be interpreted as enslavement of doctors but it's an interpretation that most rational people would discard if they thought it about it for 30 seconds. Or 30 milliseconds.
posted by delmoi at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2011


"Is this sort of how like we have a government, and we have a right to expect our elected officials to work by a set of laws and charters, so we're really enslaving the politicians?"

Well, yes. But the politicians have gotten around that by putting themselves on the market anyway. You just can't keep freedom down!

What I don't understand is why the janitors are slaves too. It's not like their profession ties them to the health care system. If a janitor gets a better offer, he can leave the hospital and do his thing at the spiffy investment bank down the street.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2011


Do you have a right to police protection? Do you have a right to firefighters if your house is on fire? Do you have a right to breathe air? Do you have a right to walk down the street? Do you have a right to take a shit? All very non-abstract questions.

Precisely. Does the right to a fair trial enslave judges and public defenders? The idea that other rights don't involve money and services is pretty bogus.
posted by naoko at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wouldn't, though, the correct libertarian response to Paul be that the doctors can freely accept being slaves or seek alternative employment?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:28 PM on May 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


So, basically, anything that people have a 'right' to, makes the providers of that service a slave?

This guy is some sort of grade A dipshit, wot?
posted by dirtdirt at 12:31 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


My beloved, benighted state of Kentucky has the two worst senators, no question.
posted by Zerowensboring at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, if you don't have health care, you are enslaved to, in my case, migraines, chronic pain, and lack of mobility.
Take that Rand Paul.
Oh wait he's still crazy.
It seems it would be time for him to take his medicine, but then he'd be helping out THE MAN
posted by angrycat at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Doctors are required to treat the sick in an emergency situation; by the same "logic" how is that not slavery?
posted by Challahtronix at 12:35 PM on May 12, 2011


He's just going on experience. Last week, someone broke into his house, dragged him down to the capitol and forced him to draft legislation re-naming a local post office.
posted by mikepop at 12:36 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Doctors are required to treat the sick in an emergency situation; by the same "logic" how is that not slavery?

By the same token, many anti-universal health care people I know use that as a primary reason we don't need universal healthcare legislation.
"We already have universal healthcare!!! Walk into any ER and you must be treated!"
posted by jmd82 at 12:38 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Doctors are required to treat the sick in an emergency situation; by the same "logic" how is that not slavery?

Well, people like Rand Paul and Newt Gingrich believe that it's immoral for there to be a requirement that hospitals provide free emergency treatment -- while out of the other side of their mouths spouting the exact line that jmd82 describes.
posted by blucevalo at 12:39 PM on May 12, 2011


Don't worry. Digg is onto Rand Paul this time around.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:39 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


By the same token, many anti-universal health care people I know use that as a primary reason we don't need universal healthcare legislation.
"We already have universal healthcare!!! Walk into any ER and you must be treated!"


Yeah, I can remember at least a few conversations with family and friends where this gets trotted out... "Well you know Sally is completely broke and she just showed up at the hospital and had her babies for free..."

It's infuriating.
posted by odinsdream at 12:43 PM on May 12, 2011


The multiple meanings of the word "right" confuses this somewhat. It is difficult to see how one could have a "right" to health care in the same sense that one has a right to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech or the press, peaceable assembly, and the like.

The idea behind these "rights" is that they enumerate things which you may do, and establishes the fact that the U.S. government cannot prevent you from doing those things without breaking its own rules and thereby violating the foundation of its own authority.

Nothing in the definition of these rights obligates any other person to do any other thing. You have the right to assemble peaceably, but it is up to you to actually go do the assembling, and to remain peaceful while you do it. You have the right to exercise your religion, but nobody is obligated to provide you with the symbols and facilities for your religious practices; it is up to you to create or obtain them and to take the time to perform your particular religious rituals.

It is difficult to see how one could possibly have a "right to health care" in this sense, and I think this is what Paul must be talking about. He is focused on "rights" in the sense of the Bill of Rights, and he probably thinks about them as moral absolutes; irreducible principles in the foundation of government. A government which failed to protect such rights would be unworthy of respect.

In this sense, no, the government really cannot establish a fundamental right to health care without enslaving people, because it cannot create an absolute guarantee that you will be able to receive health care without also creating an absolute guarantee that someone else will provide it to you. The government can offer money, but what if they don't offer enough, or what if the existing doctors are too overworked already? The only way the government can fulfil its absolute requirement to give you health care is to force someone to do it. This is the slavery Paul is talking about.

Of course most of the "rights" we talk about are not actually rights at all, in this sense. They are in fact simply centralized services which the government has decided, through some nominally democratic process, that it ought to offer its citizens. You have a "right" to such a service only in the sense that we generally expect the government to offer the same package of services to all of its citizens, impartially. Sort of.

Talking about such government services using the language of "rights" may help get them through Congress by borrowing the moral force we associate with the Bill of Rights, but it falsely implies that such services are fundamental and indispensable, and makes it more difficult to have a rational conversation about the pros and cons of different arrangements.

Do we have a "right" to a retirement fund? Well, in the sense that the government provides one to all of its citizens, yes we do. But this retirement program is nothing more than a practical solution to a practical problem, and as such we ought to be able to talk about practical changes we might consider making to it if changes in our circumstances occur. It's very hard to have such a conversation if we talk about this retirement program as a right, as though it is somehow on a par with the right to free speech. Sure, it is a right in the sense that you are entitled to it the same as anyone else is - but it is not a right in the sense that we cannot imagine a functioning democratic society without it.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:43 PM on May 12, 2011 [16 favorites]


Every time you hear a Republican say something like this, a Democrat just got his wings.
posted by localroger at 12:43 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What amazes me even more is that these people actually have some sort of audience.

Say you favor lower taxes, less business regulation, and that you love Jesus (optional if the tax cuts are really big), and, as we've seen, you can get elected no matter what else. That's how it works here in Kentucky, anyhow.
posted by Rykey at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2011


WTF does conjole mean??
posted by nzero at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2011


Kentucky has the two worst senators? Hmm. You're probably right, but 'no question'? I think one could make a case for Oklahoma or South Carolina, and probably some others I'm forgetting.
posted by box at 12:45 PM on May 12, 2011


blucevalo: He [Rand Paul] founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, which provides eye surgery and exams for those who otherwise couldn't afford proper care.

SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!!!!


He likes the public flogging:
In recognition of his outstanding and sustained efforts to provide vision care to Kentuckians in need, Lions Clubs International has awarded Rand many of its highest commendations
posted by filthy light thief at 12:46 PM on May 12, 2011


Rand Paul impresses the fuck out of me. Just when I think he's become as utterly crazy as he can possibly be, he finds a way to raise the crazy-bar. Kudos, sir, for your dedication and unwillingness to rest on your crazy-laurels.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:47 PM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


nzero: WTF does conjole mean??

Con-jole: Spanish for "With jole"
posted by filthy light thief at 12:49 PM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


...so we're really enslaving the politicians..

YES WE CAN!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


[Long thread talking about how completely crazy the US right-wing is, without anybody offering solutions beyond volunteering for political parties and writing one's representatives]

Hey, when more people actually are doing that and it still doesn't work, then we can complain it's not a valid solution.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:55 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


And still, I would not be at all surprised to see Rand Paul become a first-tier 2016 presidential contender.

In fact, I would not have been surprised had he jumped into the 2012 race.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2011


"In this sense, no, the government really cannot establish a fundamental right to health care without enslaving people, because it cannot create an absolute guarantee that you will be able to receive health care without also creating an absolute guarantee that someone else will provide it to you. The government can offer money, but what if they don't offer enough, or what if the existing doctors are too overworked already? The only way the government can fulfil its absolute requirement to give you health care is to force someone to do it. This is the slavery Paul is talking about."

Sorry, but I don't follow this at all. If there was a right to health care in your constitution, it could simply say that the government must provide adequate funding, both for the existing medical system and the medical schools training new doctors and nurses. If there aren't enough existing doctors, offer inducements for students who go into medicine. No enslavement is required.

I think what Paul is going on about is the way that government run services would pay less than services operating in a completely free market. We see this as a necessary sacrifice, but for him it's slavery to earn less than the top rate that the market will bear.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Challahtronix: Doctors are required to treat the sick in an emergency situation; by the same "logic" how is that not slavery?

I'm not sure how tight those shackles of requirement are, but I think the gist of it is that doctors are trained to heal the sick, and per the Hippocratic Oath or something similar, they should their best to use their skills to help.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2011


Sure, it is a right in the sense that you are entitled to it the same as anyone else is - but it is not a right in the sense that we cannot imagine a functioning democratic society without it.

You're making an argument about the definition of rights -- whether rights that we commonly think of as basic (right to life, liberty, fair trial, etc.) should be expanded to include social and economic rights. Whether you agree that those expanded rights are part of the menu or not, it's certainly a matter of robust argument whether we can imagine a functioning democratic society without those expanded rights, and not a settled debate in the way that you imply.
posted by blucevalo at 12:59 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good thing he's not a real doctor. Might be some problems with that whole "First, do no harm" thing otherwise.
posted by Eideteker at 12:59 PM on May 12, 2011


filthy light thief:
Con-jole: Spanish for "With jole"

He's a hole, all right...
posted by notsnot at 1:01 PM on May 12, 2011


“I quit when medicine was placed under State control some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything—except the desires of the doctors...

Indeed, what about all the doctors who are getting out of medicine, right now in the US, because they are sick of being controlled, abused, and screwed by private insurance companies? What about all the primary care physicians bemoaning how little time they can spend with each patient because of the way they are paid by said insurance companies? I guess that's all cool with the Randians then because it's the free market and all?
posted by zachlipton at 1:02 PM on May 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Rand Paul's belief that socialized medicine is evil apparently does not prevent him from taking tens of thousands of dollars in medicaid payments form his payments each year.

Rand Paul is an asshole.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:03 PM on May 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


Wishful thinking notwithstanding, he is a real medical doctor. The implication that he isn't is not valid, and it simply isn't necessary as a line of attack, since his views provide ample fodder for criticism.
posted by found missing at 1:07 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Doctors are required to treat the sick in an emergency situation; by the same "logic" how is that not slavery?

I'm not sure how tight those shackles of requirement are, but I think the gist of it is that doctors are trained to heal the sick, and per the Hippocratic Oath or something similar, they should their best to use their skills to help.


My understanding from talking to those who work in hospitals is that for the ER at least, is that it's not about the Hippocratic Oath but rather the laws in place can result in fines and massive lawsuits from failure to treat.
See the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.
posted by jmd82 at 1:09 PM on May 12, 2011


I actually do believe in enslaving hospital janitors.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:09 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is exactly why we need health care reform. For decades, the economics of medicine have attracted assholes like this. In the doctor's lounge at my hospital, this sentiment isn't unheard of, mostly because the lounge is full of hyperspecialists with a god complex. I know very few primary care doctors and academicians that fear reform but a whole shit load of dermatologists and gastroenterologists who drive $100,000 cars who really believe this is the end of America.

I just want to grab them and yell "You got rich of this inequitable, failing system, while your patients got sicker and sicker and died!" but then I realize, you know, professionals don't do this kind of thing. Besides, I don't doubt for a minute the AMA will let their members see one cent less.

Anyway, I am hoping that in 8-10 years the pipeline will be producing more young docs who are in it for the right reasons and then we'll see real reform.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:11 PM on May 12, 2011 [17 favorites]


I actually do believe in enslaving hospital janitors.

Honestly, it's an extremely effective form of cost-containment.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:12 PM on May 12, 2011


It's the absolutely ridiculous shit like this that makes me realize that what politics in this country desperately needs; a laugh track.
With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. [laughter] That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. [longer laughter] It means you believe in slavery . [uproarious laughter] It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurse[howling laughter]... etc.
He's a joke, what he's saying borders on absurdest humor, and it should be treated as such.

In all earnestness, I'd love to see this as a protest tactic, I suspect it could absolutely infuriate people who want to be taken seriously.
posted by quin at 1:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [14 favorites]


*beats down Rand Paul's door with the police, escorts him away and forces him to pass legislation for universal health care

"He works for the government, your honor. He says it's my right."

*beats down Judges's door with the police, escorts him away and forces him to find for the defense
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:16 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whether I agree with him or not, I find it fascinating that a major party candidate / insider with quite a bit of name recognition is saying something other than the usual non-committal pablum commonly associated with the species.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The very idea that even the most ambitious single-payer system could entail slavery of health care professionals is so outrageously offensive that it's difficult to take seriously any substantive response to this fuckin asshole which doesn't challenge the metaphor itself.

Especially here in America. We have a history with slavery, and this smarmy, hubristic, disingenuous fuck of a human being is deliberately appealing to white people who have been complaining about how everyone is trying to take their dignity away for generations; that he's done this in a way which also permits such people to feel that humane health care is related in some way to the OMG REVERSE RACISM!1! garbage they've been obsessing over for the past few decades is icing on the cake.
posted by clockzero at 1:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [18 favorites]


If you restrict the ability of individuals to provide medical services - through the creation of prescription-only medicines or laws which punish practicing medicine without a license - then you have created some limited right to health care. Without such laws individuals would be free to receive health care from any willing provider, potentially saving them from death or injury. But restrictions on medical services jeopardize individuals by creating a situation in which such services may be less economically accessible. Hence the creators of such laws have a duty to rescue individuals from the jeopardy into which they've been placed by those laws, which means providing at least the same level of health care as they could have received otherwise.

I'm sure libertarians don't like medical licensing or any such restrictions, but the medical industry can't have it both ways. They either accept that their existence is predicated on potentially jeopardizing the health of individuals and agree to rescue those in need, or they agree to abdicate both that responsibility and their right to be the only providers of health care. You can't run the herbalists and midwives out of town, and then refuse to treat their patients.
posted by Jehan at 1:23 PM on May 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wishful thinking notwithstanding, he is a real medical doctor. The implication that he isn't is not valid, and it simply isn't necessary as a line of attack, since his views provide ample fodder for criticism.

He may have gone to school, graduated and opened a practice, but he is NOT accredited, so not real doctor.
posted by Max Power at 1:24 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's just not true. That's the unnecessary argument I'm talking about.
posted by found missing at 1:25 PM on May 12, 2011


I actually do believe in enslaving hospital janitors.

Well yeah. It's those high paid, union-joining, pension-getting hospital janitors that make health care so expensive. Don't even get me started on the cafeteria workers.
posted by marxchivist at 1:27 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whether you agree that those expanded rights are part of the menu or not, it's certainly a matter of robust argument whether we can imagine a functioning democratic society without those expanded rights, and not a settled debate in the way that you imply.

I'm sorry to have implied otherwise. Paul clearly can imagine such a society, and I would guess that there are people in this thread who cannot. I was posting in reaction to the idea that Paul is necessarily insane for making the quoted claim; I think he is just coming at the debate from an angle unfamiliar to many people commenting here, and his angle depends on the way you look at the notion of a "right".
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:28 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok found missing not board certified.

In 2010 the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Paul, who described himself as a "board-certified" ophthalmologist, was not certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO).[23] In 1995, Paul passed the American Board of Ophthalmology boards earning his certification under the ABO for a term of one decade. In 1997, after a dispute with the American Board of Ophthalmology over recertification requirements,[29] Paul, along with 200 ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology (NBO).[30] A spokesperson for the American Board of Medical Specialties stated: "He [Paul] is not board-certified.
posted by Max Power at 1:31 PM on May 12, 2011


Curious that you didn't post the remainder of that wikipedia section:

Paul's ABO certification lapsed on December 31, 2005, and Paul has since been certified by the NBO.[23] ABO administrator Beth Ann Slembarski says that over 95 percent of the nation’s practicing ophthalmologists have American Board of Ophthalmology certification.[31] Regardless of his additional certifications, Paul has been licensed by the state to practice medicine in Kentucky since 1993, and his license is in good standing with no history of disciplinary action. The Courier-Journal reported: "There is no indication that Paul isn't qualified to practice ophthalmology."[23]
posted by found missing at 1:34 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think he is just coming at the debate from an angle unfamiliar to many people commenting here, and his angle depends on the way you look at the notion of a "right".
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:28 PM


You're new here, aren't you Max?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:35 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


MARS (dammit)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:36 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK then. He's a self-certified asshole.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:37 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


no worries, you're not the first. and... uh... no, i'm actually not at all new here.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:37 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, found missing, I think this argument is necessary. Or at least, it's part of the whole. Rand Paul didn't like the Board, so he made up his own board to certify himself (ok, along with some others). He doesn't like the the real history and meaning of "slavery" so he makes up his own definition that turns the entire notion upside down. It's like saying the sky is yellow because, well, I me 460nm when I say yellow.
posted by notsnot at 1:38 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


no worries, you're not the first. and... uh... no, i'm actually not at all new here.

Hello, Scott!
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:40 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm just saying it's a red herring and unnecessary to claim that he ain't a "real" doctor.
posted by found missing at 1:41 PM on May 12, 2011


His "real doctor" status definitely does matter if he is using that title as a means of asserting a stance of authenticity for his arguments.
posted by wowbobwow at 1:41 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I *mean*.

(I me my mine, muuuuck me.)
posted by notsnot at 1:41 PM on May 12, 2011


But yes, the real crux of the matter is that he's off his knob w/re: his relationship with reality.
posted by wowbobwow at 1:42 PM on May 12, 2011


I happen to know something about the medical profession. I once went to a doctor for a
cut on my arm...Sen Paul is wrong. There.
posted by Postroad at 1:42 PM on May 12, 2011


"With regard to the idea of whether or not you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies... It means you believe in slavery."

Anyone capable of making a statement this viciously stupid and stupidly vicious is not someone who should be given a platform - other than, perhaps, an upturned fish crate on a dirty street corner on the crazy side of town.
posted by Decani at 1:43 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ, he's licensed to practice medicine in his state. He can hang out his shingle and no one is going to arrest him for it. He is a "real" doctor.
posted by found missing at 1:44 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perhaps what he means is that the "slavery" question (however hyperbolic) arises depending on whether the people doing the providing do so voluntarily or involuntarily.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:47 PM on May 12, 2011


[Long thread talking about how completely crazy the US right-wing is, without anybody offering solutions beyond volunteering for political parties and writing one's representatives]
posted by dunkadunc

Well, we could have another Civil War; judging by all those guns, that's where they think we're headed.
posted by jamjam at 1:50 PM on May 12, 2011


My understanding from talking to those who work in hospitals is that for the ER at least, is that it's not about the Hippocratic Oath but rather the laws in place can result in fines and massive lawsuits from failure to treat.

Yeah. As I understand it, any direct obligation on the part of individual physicians is more a matter of medical ethics (which might approach the level of law via the state medical board, but that's really a different situation as it's more akin to professionals regulating themselves) and/or their contractual relationship with the hospital where they practice. The legal obligation really applies more to hospitals, and it comes in the form of a condition of accepting Medicare funds: hospitals must treat patients with emergency medical conditions who come to the emergency department regardless of their ability to pay. Since virtually all hospitals accept Medicare (per the Wiki, the only main exceptions are Shriners (non-profit charity care for children, given without concern for ability to pay), Indian Health Services, and the VA), that condition applies to practically all of the emergency rooms in the country.

This particular part of the system is, in a remote sort of way that doesn't really respect the context of the term, sort of like slavery if you choose to look at it that way. Hospitals are mandated to care for people with emergencies who come through the door and they don't get paid for doing so. I don't think it's such a bad thing all told, but it is a problematic way of running a quality health care system. This isn't a particularly optimal system, because the burden of caring for uninsured patients tends to fall disproportionally on certain hospitals, not to mention the fact that the emergency room is an awfully expensive place to provide care compared to providing preventive care, medications, and health education in order to avoid entirely preventable emergencies in the first place.

Indeed, health care reform is all about trying to reduce this burden by sharing these costs among the entire population, meaning that hospitals won't have as many uninsured patients turning up in their ERs. In other words, making things more fair and less like slavery. Isn't that a Good Thing?
posted by zachlipton at 1:52 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps what he means is that the "slavery" question (however hyperbolic) arises depending on whether the people doing the providing do so voluntarily or involuntarily.

Well, if that's what he wanted to talk about, then that's what he should have talked about. As it stands, no doctors in single-payer countries are doctors because someone kidnapped them, forced them to go to medical school, and chained them up when they are not treating patients. His premise is stupid and offensive.
posted by rtha at 1:53 PM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


While this sound crazy, it's basically libertarianism 101.

Any sort of third-party regulation of an interaction between two "free" individuals is tantamount so slavery. They'r not very nuanced thinkers, libertarians.

But this is really just a tiny, tiny extension of his belief that any form of government regulation is slavery. Laws to prevent me dumping the excess cyanide from my gold mine into nearby streams? Slavery. Laws to prevent usury? Slavery. Social security? Slavery. State-mandated education of children? Slavery.

So this is really not that crazy in the context of his beliefs.
posted by GuyZero at 1:54 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah. At least he doesn't speak in metaphors; God, I hate it when politicians do that.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:54 PM on May 12, 2011


Bernie Sanders humiliating the stupid asshole sitting to the right of him
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:59 PM on May 12, 2011 [15 favorites]


Guys you don't understand Ron Paul - he's been trying to make a life for himself and really live as a reductio ad absurdum of libertarianism.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 1:59 PM on May 12, 2011


THIS IS WHAT LIBERTARIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE
posted by dudekiller at 2:01 PM on May 12, 2011 [17 favorites]


Any sort of third-party regulation of an interaction between two "free" individuals is tantamount so slavery.

Not that we don't already know that this isn't exactly a coherent position, but how much does this guy mind having the 3rd party police department regulating the interaction between him and some whacko who wants to shoot politicians in the face?
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:01 PM on May 12, 2011


So this is really not that crazy in the context of his beliefs.

No offense, GuyZero, but this kind of defense against charges of insanity is not all that convincing. We call people insane when their beliefs are overweeningly wacky, not when their beliefs and words are misaligned. That's just hypocrisy.
posted by clockzero at 2:01 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe Rand Paul does not have the basic human right to not get punched in the mouth. Hard. And repeatedly.
posted by Ruby Stevens at 2:03 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


So this is really not that crazy in the context of his beliefs.
posted by GuyZero at 3:54 PM on May 12


People like him are fractally crazy.
posted by Green With You at 2:04 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not that we don't already know that this isn't exactly a coherent position, but how much does this guy mind having the 3rd party police department regulating the interaction between him and some whacko who wants to shoot politicians in the face?

Uh, so my only job here is to sort of misrepresent libertarianism since I don't really subscribe to the belief, but the police are different. Libertarians think crime is bad, whether it's violent crime or property crime. And someone needs to enforce rules prohibiting crime.

I mean, they basically equate taxes with theft and dislike them equally on a philosophical level.
posted by GuyZero at 2:05 PM on May 12, 2011


But this is really just a tiny, tiny extension of his belief that any form of government regulation is slavery.

He's certainly willing to be all kinds of inconsistent when it comes to abortion and gay marriage. Which is so....nice of him.
posted by rtha at 2:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


And when we are all slaves, no one will need eyeglasses anymore. Because sheeple don't need to see.

Anyway who cares the world is ending on May 21.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:11 PM on May 12, 2011


It is possible to believe in universal healthcare without believing it is a right. There are all sorts of government services and functions we agree on and to, but do not consider them a right.
posted by travis08 at 2:12 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I never saw the usefulness of the MeFi-favorite phrase "not even wrong". Live and learn.
posted by ersatz at 2:13 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Slaving? I don't know, I try to get a prescription filled and it took 2 weeks to get approved due to dosage changes. The nurse told me "I can't call all of you patients personally, I work for TWO busy docs. Call your pharmacist."

Two trips to the ER, both due to the fact stabbing stomach pains didn't warrant a squeeze me in appt with PCP. So now a $6k (plus later imaging bills) bill that was sent through insurance raises the cost all the way around, even for the ER docs who gave me a lidocaine Maloxx mix, wasting their time/money in seeing me. All because PCP wanted to go home on time.

How is that asking a doc to be slaves when I do pay for and have insurance? Seems to me in both cases, docs called the shots.
posted by stormpooper at 2:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm so mad at this kind of idiotic argument that I'm pretty much okay with Rand Paul being stuck in slavery right now. Probably not what he was going for.
posted by theredpen at 2:17 PM on May 12, 2011


It is difficult to see how one could possibly have a "right to health care" in this sense, and I think this is what Paul must be talking about

It's not that hard, really. The idea is the belief that people have a right to not die of easily preventable diseases and receive treatment for medical conditions that cause unnecessary grievous pain and suffering--it's not talking about Botox injections and nose jobs. It's very much the same as the other rights you describe. For their part, the sick have to go to the hospital or doctor's office. The doctors will then be paid to treat them, except by somebody other than the patient. That is not slavery any more than it is slavery to ask the police to protect the life, liberty, and property of law-abiding citizens.
posted by Hoopo at 2:20 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


stormpooper, you should DTMFA. I had a PCP like that, at a big "clinic," and left him for a more-local family practice. Major improvement in all aspects.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:21 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


When no one's looking, I like to fool around with libertarian ideas. And no, I generally don't like governments telling people how they can buy and sell goods and services.

This, though, is just idiotic conflations and half-baked interpretations. This is just as half-baked as any plain-jane conspiracy theory.

No, scratch that. It's not even half-baked. Saying it's half-baked assumes some level of baking time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:23 PM on May 12, 2011


Not that we don't already know that this isn't exactly a coherent position, but how much does this guy mind having the 3rd party police department regulating the interaction between him and some whacko who wants to shoot politicians in the face?

The central tenet to libertarianism is the idea that no one's freedom is to be infringed. And so, the world should be set up such that everyone is as free as possible...And that implies that actions by one agent that infringe upon the freedoms of others are not acceptable. Yeah, in one sense, your freedom is limited by the fact that you are not at liberty to kill me, but this is justified by the fact that what you aren't allowed to do is something that would infringe upon my liberties. The wacko who wants to shoot politicians in the face wants to do something that significantly infringes on the freedom of politicians (assuming the politicians do not consent to this shot-in-the-face plan), and so their actions are not acceptable. Libertarians are cool with the idea that each of us has an obligation to respect others' rights to liberty.

Some libertarians are cool with police departments and even the idea that taxes for police departments are acceptable, given that police help maintain liberty. Other libertarians believe that police forces should be supported through charitable donations. Still other libertarians believe that public police forces should be disbanded and replaced with privatized companies. I don't know where Rand stands, and I won't comment on how reasonable any of these different positions are.
posted by meese at 2:30 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Believing in helping yourself by helping your brothers or sisters in your society is the same as slavery. Amazing! It's as if those who want the "right" to be supportive of others by having their tax money go to a system that helps themselves and others are denied that "right" in favour of those who'd rather the tax money didn't, and that you just died because you don't have the cash to live and in many cases, those who support that don't even have the cash to live should they be stricken by illness or injury.

We have communities that don't pay taxes, and are denied a number of government support programs (i.e. the Mennonites), can't we just have the same for those who want us to die of ailments because we don't have the money?
posted by juiceCake at 2:35 PM on May 12, 2011


Bernie Sanders humiliating the stupid asshole sitting to the right of him

No, that's Bernie Sanders being way nicer than I would have been.
posted by jcreigh at 2:40 PM on May 12, 2011


Um yeah I guess I sort of agree that people don't have a "right" to healthcare. Luckily that's a dumb semantic argument. People don't actually have a right to healthcare. People through their governments and doctors and hospitals through a variety of institutions have negotiated with one another to pay for some healthcare for everyone. We have, through the government processes available to us, decided that it's a good thing to provide a basic level of healthcare to people requiring contribution relative to the amount of service required and the means of payment availble to them. Now maybe this makes you mad. You don't want your money to saving and improving the lives of the very poor and the very sick. I understand completely, for example I don't like my money financing wars of aggression or imprisoning non-violent drug offenders. Different strokes I suppose.
posted by I Foody at 2:40 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is not slavery any more than it is slavery to ask the police to protect the life, liberty, and property of law-abiding citizens.

You are suggesting that you have a right to the existence of police. I think a proper function of government is the organization of a police force, but I do not think I have the right to it.

However, If we do agree to enact a police force then I believe I have the right to it's functions. By the same token, I do not have a right to an amazing park the government may create, but once it does I have the right to it's use.
posted by travis08 at 2:40 PM on May 12, 2011


its dammit!
posted by travis08 at 2:42 PM on May 12, 2011


It's very much the same as the other rights you describe.

This is the core of the question: is it in fact the same as the other rights I described? It really depends on what you mean by "right".

If your point of view is that a "right" is simply a society-wide guarantee instituted by the government, then no, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference. But libertarians, and many Republicans, interpret the word "right" to mean something fundamental and moral: it is a fundamental principle of society, without which democracy is impossible. To a person with this view of "rights", talking about a "right to health care" sounds like totalitarian insanity.

My belief is that talking about the idea of universal health care in terms of "rights" is unhelpful and distracting, precisely because there are such widely varying notions of a "right" involved. I think that one can make a solid case for a society-wide health care program without ever invoking the notion of a "right", simply on the economic merits; I think one can also make a solid case for such a program on moral grounds without calling it a "right".
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:43 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do you have the right to remain silent?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:43 PM on May 12, 2011


Jesus.
Fucking.
Christ.

Will someone tell him to shut the fuck up already?
posted by nushustu at 2:45 PM on May 12, 2011


This is so wrong you can't even see right from where he is.

IF people could march into his office and demand that he treat them for free then he might have a point. Maybe. But that's not how it works. Even with a totally socialistic, mommy-state, freeloadertopia health care system you'd still have to make an appointment with a doctor and they'd still get paid. So, not like slavery.

Even worse, the dude makes money from Medicare and Medicaid in his practice but he doesn't seem to think that that makes him a slave. I mean, seriously? What the hell?

Finally, even if there were the remotest grain of truth in what he was saying, it's still a staggeringly tone deaf, dumbfuck thing to compare this to slavery. Don't compare things to slavery/rape/genocide unless they actually are. I disagree with Ron Paul on just about everything, but I don't think he's an idiot. Rand Paul is just stupid. Either he believes it or he's just pretending to, but either way he's a frigging moron.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:45 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Alright my fellow Americans.
I laughed when I heard The Thong Song. There is no way this is a real song I said.
You loved it.
Then I saw the Snuggie and thought this was the dumbest thing ever.
You bought them in droves
Most recently I saw Pillow Pets and thought who would want that.
You apparently love these too.

Now this.

I do not know you, I will never understand you, and you are starting to scare me.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 2:45 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]




with special guest star Rand Paul as

Dr. Lincoln
posted by clavdivs at 2:46 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is Rand Paul's district in line for any flooding or tornados anytime soon? Because I say we deny that district federal disaster relief funds the next time they ask for them.
posted by hippybear at 2:47 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rand Paul IS a federal disaster.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:49 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bernie Sanders is ten times the man with ten times the intellect of Rand Paul.

Rand Paul is a libertarian. There is no use in trying to make any sense out of his position because it is simply indefensible. Libertarians generally operate, intellectually, at the level of a six year old: ME, MINE, MINE, MINE.

Anyone who subscribes to a philosophy that exalts the individual but gives a giant middle finger to the masses is an asshole and morally bankrupt.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:50 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


But libertarians, and many Republicans, interpret the word "right" to mean something fundamental and moral: it is a fundamental principle of society, without which democracy is impossible. To a person with this view of "rights", talking about a "right to health care" sounds like totalitarian insanity.

So do we that would call it a right. It is not slavery. Health and food are fundamental, as in the rights to life, liberty, and property (in Canada "life, liberty, security of the person"), or what is referred to as "human security." Should the state not be involved in immunization or containing plagues when it has the means to? Should the state not distribute food to the starving during a famine? That's "slavery"? If you want to make a case for government programs that equate to slavery, they can try it with the draft and not with compensating doctors handsomely to do the job they chose to do. It's a ludicrous idea no matter what you believe a "right" is.
posted by Hoopo at 2:57 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


ooooo... i can play this game.

The right to bear arms in the state of Kentucky is equivalent to shooting Rand Paul in the face.
posted by ennui.bz at 2:59 PM on May 12, 2011


I hate that I have to clarify who I'm talking about when I bring up Paul Rand.

Rand Paul, you are irritating in so many ways.
posted by clarenceism at 3:04 PM on May 12, 2011


Sometimes on Metafilter I don't contribute to a topic because I'm afraid I'll say something dumb or misinformed. And then we get this Ron Paul guy and I realize, My God, my standards for Metafilter are higher than at least one US Senator.
posted by yeti at 3:06 PM on May 12, 2011 [19 favorites]


*Rand Paul
posted by yeti at 3:07 PM on May 12, 2011


Not that his dad is Cicero either.
posted by yeti at 3:08 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


true, Cicero had slaves.
posted by clavdivs at 3:10 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Typical neo-confederate blather, particularly when it comes to trivializing slavery.
posted by warbaby at 3:18 PM on May 12, 2011


The national debate is coming down to "what's a society for, anyway?" Somehow it has been spun into detailed nattering against this or that identifiable middle-class group but the wheels are starting to come off. In a way I admire the Republicans for being able to carry forward the idea that it's to protect grabbing rights, but definitely not to provide for the general improvement of everyone's condition. In the same way I admire the Russian kleptocrats - balls that large are uncommon.
posted by jet_silver at 3:51 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]



Yeah. It's not like people in eastern Kentucky would benefit from health care.
posted by notreally at 3:58 PM on May 12, 2011


I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.

Yep - happens all the time up here in the frozen tundra that is Canada.

Why just the other day, I heard on the news that not only did the police grab the poor doc from his home, they had to beat down his wife who was throwing a tantrum...

Last week an entire shift of nurses just coming off-shift was escorted by gunpoint back to the hospital, because there was a big pile-up on the 401.

And the poor, poor radiologists - frog-marched back to work....

Sigh... Please, please don't come up here, it's a real nightmare.
posted by jkaczor at 4:02 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


If your point of view is that a "right" is simply a society-wide guarantee instituted by the government, then no, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference. But libertarians, and many Republicans, interpret the word "right" to mean something fundamental and moral: it is a fundamental principle of society, without which democracy is impossible. To a person with this view of "rights", talking about a "right to health care" sounds like totalitarian insanity.

Would the right to education fall under this category? If so, I can't see how the right to basic health care is any less defensible. If not, I don't see how one can really expect a functioning democracy.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 4:09 PM on May 12, 2011


Why just the other day, I heard on the news that not only did the police grab the poor doc from his home, they had to beat down his wife who was throwing a tantrum...

Yeah, it is kind of amazing that he goes through this bullshit when any Toronto resident will tell you that it's next to impossible to find a decent GP accepting new patients. To say nothing about people who live in really rural parts of the country. We're giving doctors free money to do basic medical work - examining sore throats, not brain surgery - and still no one will take it.

Although if dragging doctors out of bed is a legit option, well, that might make things better...
posted by GuyZero at 4:10 PM on May 12, 2011


Oh, when dem cotton balls* get rotten,
you cain't swab wounds wif dat cotton,
in dem ole hospitals** back home

*sterilized, for clinical use

**otherwise known as "slave quarters"

posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:26 PM on May 12, 2011


He wasn't elected because he made sense.

QFT, man.

Q.F.T.
posted by darkstar at 4:27 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a Licensed Member of a Medical Profession, I would just like to say: Bless Sen. Bernie Sanders. Thanks for the YT link to his response to little Randie's idiocy.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 4:31 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rand Paul gets more and more like a comic book villain every time I look up.

Has anyone bothered to compare Rand Paul with Lex Luthor yet?

It's all about the hair(piece).
posted by hippybear at 4:34 PM on May 12, 2011


Every time one of these idiots opens their mouth, they only reinforce my belief that there is no God. Because if there was a God, (s)he would have zapped these jerks with a bolt out of the blue a long time ago.
posted by jessian at 5:22 PM on May 12, 2011


So this is really not that crazy in the context of his beliefs.
I'm pretty convinced that Gene Ray genuinely believes in "4 corner
separate simultaneous 24 hour Days within 1 Earth rotation" and so forth. What he says is also really not crazy in the context of his beliefs.

The problem, though, is that his beliefs are crazy.
posted by Flunkie at 5:24 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


But Lex Luthor is a genius; Rand Paul, not so much. Paul might make a decent comic book villain's lackey, though.
posted by homunculus at 5:24 PM on May 12, 2011


Me: "Hi Bill, do you want a ride into town?"
Bill: "Sure Salvor, thanks, that would be gre..."
Rand Paul: "NO YOU MAY NOT KILL ME AND USE MY BODY AS A SLED TO DRIVE TO YOUR TOTALITARIAN MEETING!"
Me: "I...what...no...that's not what I..."
Rand Paul: "I KNOW YOU WERE PLANNING ON MAKING A SLED OUT OF MY BODY, DON'T TRY TO HIDE BEHIND THE PUBLIC GOOD!"
Bill: "That's not what we were....who are you, and how did you get in here?"
Rand Paul: *faints*
Me: "We should call an ambulance..."
Rand Paul: [weakly] "not a government-slavery-based one..."
Bill: "Probably better to just let him be..."

FIN

posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:28 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


He's got it the wrong way round - believing that there should be not public provision of healthcare is tantamount to a belief in (wage) slavery.
posted by Dysk at 6:05 PM on May 12, 2011


You don't have a right to healthcare.

Rights aren't something you get.
Rights aren't something bestowed upon you by society.
Rights aren't something that you're elligible to receive, or that you think you deserve.

Rights are basic properties of humanity, those abilities that every single person has -- not because they're a citizen, but because they're human: the ability to believe in whatever gods you may choose, the ability to speak as you see fit, to associate with whomever you please. Rights are those core freedoms, those basic abilities, the protection of which we have enshrined into law.

But healthcare is not a right.

Healthcare is something that a mature, civilized society should work to provide to its members. Healthcare is something that we as a nation should work hard to make available to every man, woman, and child within the borders of our country. Healthcare should be something that we pride ourselves on, that we can show off to the world at large, something which allows us to pay our taxes with a clean conscience, safe and secure in the knowledge that every dollar we give goes towards saving lives, not ending them.

We don't have a right to healthcare. But we damn sure ought to strive to provide it.
posted by -1 at 6:16 PM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


I think there might be some deeper meaning to all of this.
It could just be a tease for a new miniseries. This might be a subtle pitch for Hollywood.

Something like Roots meets ER, with Rand Paul as Abe Lincoln.

(well, you damn well know that FOX would consider it)
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 6:26 PM on May 12, 2011


the government really cannot establish a fundamental right to health care

The government does not establish rights. People have natural rights, some of which are explicitly protected in the Constitution, and "the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people ."

We don't have a right to healthcare. But we damn sure ought to strive to provide it.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:57 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


What an ass.
posted by chance at 7:14 PM on May 12, 2011


Rand Paul, not so much. Paul might make a decent comic book villain's lackey, though.

We'll call the main villain...I dunno...Ron?
posted by nzero at 7:18 PM on May 12, 2011


Hoopo: "For their part, the sick have to go to the hospital or doctor's office. The doctors will then be paid to treat them, except by somebody other than the patient."

Indulge me in a thought experiment: What if the doctor the sick person goes to doesn't want to treat this person? What if this sick person has proven in the past to be highly litigious and no doctor wants to treat him? Do we force a doctor to treat him? If the answer is yes, then yes, we're talking slavery. If the answer is no, then healthcare isn't a right.

This is basically the libertarian view of negative rights: You don't have a right to something that someone else must provide, because that is infringing on their right to not provide it. Instead, rights are inherent to being a person. The classic phrasing is "If you were alone on a deserted island, would you still have right to foo? For foo = free speech, the answer is obviously yes; who will stop you? But health care? That's not going to work very well.

If we want to frame health care as an entitlement, something that the government is mandated to provide, that seems a lot more reasonable to me. But framing it as a right is opening up a whole new can of worms.
posted by renataskyfire at 7:57 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The government does not establish rights. People have natural rights, some of which are explicitly protected in the Constitution

This doesn't make any sense. Rights are social creations. They're obviously social creations--obvious, that is, if you look at other countries at other times and compare them to the rights protected there to those protected by the United States of today.
posted by smorange at 7:58 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This dog whistle might be a bit too loud for even for the Tea Party.
posted by chemoboy at 8:13 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


1) Rights arguments are generally incoherent. Rights are a convenient rhetorical device in American politics, but they're ultimately as empty as the "general will" or "philosopher king." You either have to assume them, justify them by an ultimately tenuous utilitarian argument, or justify them with a tenuous metaphysical argument.

So attempting to say that "rights" clearly include or exclude any given feature is pretty specious.

2) The perverse rebuttal to Paul is to point out that Aristotle thought that democracy essentially required slaves, and that doctors make as good slaves as anyone else.
posted by klangklangston at 8:15 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


This dog whistle might be a bit too loud for even for the Tea Party.

You give them way to much credit. There is no instrument in existence that can measure the depths to which they are willing to sink.
posted by contessa at 8:26 PM on May 12, 2011


Human people, I believe, are slowly becoming more collectively wise and sane. Rand Paul is old. Right now, Rand Paul are here. I am here. But soon, Rand Paul will not be here. Crazy comes and goes, but in a long view, we're getting less crazy (we still have a lot of crazy, and a lot lot of people, and a lot lot lot of destructive power). I would like to speed up this thought progress for ourselves, of course, but especially for all other living and non-living things.

Someone asked what they could do besides volunteer for a political part and write their politician... I would say that they could BECOME the political party or the politician. They could also vigorously engage the world around them. They could also perform stunts and use the following attention to speak their message. They could also just wait. But, it seems better to do something (start at the beginning [thinking], and when you get to the end)
posted by J0 at 8:32 PM on May 12, 2011


Americans have the right to free K-12 education: are teachers slaves?
posted by Neekee at 9:00 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rand Paul are here. I am here. But soon, Rand Paul will not be here.
The Dread Pirate Socialism has come for your souuulllllls!
posted by Flunkie at 9:04 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, I don't do this very often (like, ever) and, since my wife is an overworked general practitioner, he superficially has something like a point about the slavery metaphor and all - assuming it was meant to be a kind of tone deaf metaphor and that he just didn't quite get around to the real point, which is that it's really all the craven, money-grubbing health-insurance industry's fault) BUT what I really want to say is that libertarians simply come off to me as sad, incomplete people. They seem deathly afraid of ever being obliged to anyone else, and hence also must be afraid of ever having to rely onanyone else. These two things are the majority of the human condition, I would say, and I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who is in such a disavowal of how life actually works. Does, just for instance, Senator Paul have any kids? Or parents? He's surely more obligated to them than to his opthamology patients.
posted by newdaddy at 9:39 PM on May 12, 2011


Indulge me in a thought experiment: What if the doctor the sick person goes to doesn't want to treat this person? What if this sick person has proven in the past to be highly litigious and no doctor wants to treat him? Do we force a doctor to treat him? If the answer is yes, then yes, we're talking slavery. If the answer is no, then healthcare isn't a right.

Why should the right to healtcare necessarily mean that I can pick any doctor at any time to help me? The right to get married doesn't mean that I can pick whoever I want to marry without their consent or demand that any particular person officiate the wedding.

I have health insurance. I think that most people would say that the health insurance gives me the right to health care. If your thought experiment says that it doesn't give me a right so much as access then whatever. No one cares. Rand Paul is arguing a point that no-one is interested in. No one, literally no one, is planning on passing a law that says that doctors get no say in the patients that they treat, that they must treat anyone at anytime regardless of the person's right to pay. So what's his point? That this situation that will never happen would be bad? Yes, it would be bad. Unrelated to anything being discussed, but bad.

If he really wanted to turn this into a seminar on the nature of rights and to what extent access to health care impacts a doctor's right to choose their patients then he did a horrible job of it.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:42 PM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Americans have the right to free K-12 education: are teachers slaves?


Wisconsin is working on that.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:27 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Indulge me in a thought experiment: What if this sick person has proven in the past to be highly litigious and no doctor wants to treat him? Do we force a doctor to treat him? If the answer is yes, then yes, we're talking slavery.

Force the doctor how? Shackles, flogging, rape, death? Stripping him/her of the right to earn money, learn to read, vote, travel, use his/her given name, be considered a person...?

The doctor in your thought experiment can quit his/her job if he/she feels so strongly about it. It's not slavery. WTF.
posted by desuetude at 11:20 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rand Paul is like a distillation of all that is negative in Ron Paul, excising anything even remotely positive.
posted by 6550 at 1:46 AM on May 13, 2011


Seems to me that U.S. political discourse, and the Enlightenment in general, uses "rights" in a very specific way, and to use the word "rights" for things like "right to work" or "right to healthcare" really muddies the water and can lead to false debates like the one to whichSenator Rand latched himself.

So can we just ditch the phrase "right to healthcare" and instead ask the question, "Should we all pitch in as a nation to make sure that as many of us as possible are healthy? And if so, how?"

There seems to be a lot of digital ink spilled over the misuse of a word....
posted by imneuromancer at 2:03 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do we pay attention to this child? Is it because he's a senator? Why is this the moment we choose to watch C-SPAN?

Ignore him. He's bait for the hopped-up-on-goofballs side of the Overton window. You'll be happier.

The Federal Reserve? Secret Nazis, brought in by Paperclip. French gold coins Ohio never ratifiied, illegal IRS! Google! GOOGLE! Wow. I just now realized how much these guys read like a Dr. Bronner's bottle, filled with fear instead of peppermint oil.
posted by Vetinari at 2:15 AM on May 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


The doctor in your thought experiment can quit his/her job if he/she feels so strongly about it. It's not slavery. WTF.

Hmmm. The problem with this is that it's all hypothetical. If only there were countries in the world with universal healthcare so we could observe the outcome.
posted by Summer at 2:57 AM on May 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


This guy is fucking crazy and makes no sense whatsoever.

You would think that in a 'democracy' it would be pretty easy to solve the healthcare issue in the USA. REFERENDUM!

You would think a clear majority would be for universal health care right? - You woudl also think that AV versus FPTP was a sure thing in the UK. but no.. in the end it comes down to retarded fucking misinformation campaigns financed by who? the wealthy to maintain their minority control over the UK

- the scary thing is that in the USA I imagine a referendum on the issue would probably end up worse as the 1% of people who 'own' the USA would somehow convince the masses that Public Health Care is bad.
posted by mary8nne at 3:17 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


renataskyfire -

Indulge me in a thought experiment: What if the policeman the assault victim goes to doesn't want to assist this person? What if this assault victim has proven in the past to be highly litigious and no policeman wants to protect him? Do we force a policeman to protect him? If the answer is yes, then yes, we're talking slavery. If the answer is no, then police protection isn't a right.

OTOH, I assume as a libertarian, the answer is that you should be paying your militia fees and/or practicing self-defence, not running to the nanny state.
posted by vanar sena at 3:19 AM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why do we pay attention to this child? Is it because he's a senator? Why is this the moment we choose to watch C-SPAN?

Ignore him.


I wish I could. Instead, because too many people in my state didn't ignore him, he (and another nutjob who actually seems sane compared to him) represents me in my federal government.
posted by Rykey at 4:29 AM on May 13, 2011


Depending on how the poll was worded, I think the vast majority of Americans would NOT agree that medical care was a right, mostly because of the association with money, and money as we know determines everything in America. Ask the guy on the street, "Do you think everyone in America has the right to health care?" and instantly he starts thinking about illegal babies born in county hospitals, fat people buying scooters because they've lost the will to walk, baby boomers getting old and sucking up all the goodies, goldbrickers faking back pain so they don't have to work, and every other god damn meme invented to prove that Americans are lazy, shiftless hypochondriacs who would love nothing better than to while away their time sitting in waiting rooms on somebody else's dime.

However, start pinning your hypothetical man down to specific cases and he will probably answer differently. A woman out of work who finds a lump in her breast....a young boy who accidentally cuts off his thumb...a teenage girl who goes into labor far from her family...a father who falls off the ladder while fixing his gutters. Should these people get pain relief? Should they be seen by someone with a medical degree? What if they don't have any money? Do we tell them, "Tough. Suck it up"?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:14 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish I had a time machine so I could go back to the 1970s and be all like, "Dudes, let Nixon be. I know he seems like an asshole but you have no idea how crazy things are now. He is seriously to the left of most Democrats now." There's little doubt in my mind that a full second four-year term for Nixon would mean no Reagan, probably not Bush Sr, definitely not Bush the Junior, and then would we have all these crazies running around? Probably not.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:14 AM on May 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


- the scary thing is that in the USA I imagine a referendum on the issue would probably end up worse as the 1% of people who 'own' the USA would somehow convince the masses that Public Health Care is bad.

That pretty much nails it.
It's sad that, in a media-saturated age as ours, the vast bulk of society are, effectively, media illiterate and incapable of sussing-out when they are being manipulated. The groups that control and disseminate information are vastly more sophisticated and literate than the crowds they target as to make the "conversation" completely one-sided and more akin to indoctrination. We truly are reaping the benefits of decades of the continual kneecapping of public education in the US.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:59 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


guess who's daddy is running for president?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:19 AM on May 13, 2011


Here's a 4 minute Youtube clip of Bernie Sanders pushing back against Rand Paul's idiotic slavery analogy.

Want to see something interesting? Watch Rand Paul's reaction as Bernie does his thing. Rand Paul is ls stifling laughter as Bernie makes fun of the slavery thing. Paul is laughing because he knows that the slavery analogy is pure idiocy and he is cracking up like everyone else as Bernie makes fun of it. He's not angry , he's chortling.

Earlier in this thread I said that Rand Paul was an asshole. But it's worse than that. He's is a sociopath. He will lie. He will cheat. He will hurt you. He will do whatever it takes for him to get what he wants. At your expense. And he was elected.

Until people wise up and stop electing these sociopaths to office, this country will continue it's fast decline. Rand Paul is just the kind of elected official that the Kentucky electorate deserves
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:53 AM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Indulge me in a thought experiment: What if the doctor the sick person goes to doesn't want to treat this person? What if this sick person has proven in the past to be highly litigious and no doctor wants to treat him? Do we force a doctor to treat him? If the answer is yes, then yes, we're talking slavery. If the answer is no, then healthcare isn't a right."

Except that a more fundamental right is already enshrined and is not, in fact, slavery — the right to counsel. That's a positive right that the state provides, and is not slavery for lawyers.

Frankly, the whole suggestion is so fundamentally stupid that Paul's a moron to trot it out, and people that agree with him are also morons. We've suffered these fools long enough.
posted by klangklangston at 7:08 AM on May 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also from Rand: "as Christians, we should obey the Hippocratic Oath."

Oh ho ho. Maybe government providing historical education wouldn't be a bad idea.
posted by jaduncan at 7:27 AM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish I could. Instead, because too many people in my state didn't ignore him, he (and another nutjob who actually seems sane compared to him) represents me in my federal government.

Adopt the sane nutjob as your personal senator, then. Got me through the Santorum/Specter years...
posted by Vetinari at 7:27 AM on May 13, 2011


It is possible to believe in universal healthcare without believing it is a right. There are all sorts of government services and functions we agree on and to, but do not consider them a right.

This, I think, is what Paul is trying to avoid acknowledging by framing his argument in terms of whether health care is a "right" per se. The idiocy of comparing health care to slavery aside, it's easier to draw the false dichotomy of "right/not a right" than to address the more compelling question of whether we as a nation should, regardless of our "right" to health care, provide it to all citizens for other good reasons.

I realize the Pauls and other libertarians would say no to that question too, but framing the two parties to the argument as "nanny staters who think everything they want is THEIR RIGHT LOLZ" versus "hardworking people who would be TURNED INTO SLAVES OMG" is much more digestible for the mouthbreathers.

It's the same kind of semantic douchebaggery he pulled in this session about the concept of choice.
posted by Rykey at 9:13 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also,

Adopt the sane nutjob as your personal senator, then. Got me through the Santorum/Specter years...

Not sure exactly what that would entail, but you can't just ignore somebody as powerful as a United States Senator. They have the power to do shit that affects everybody else.
posted by Rykey at 9:20 AM on May 13, 2011


This guy deserves no publicity. He's phony, any way you look. He takes Medicare payments like no tomorrow. He likes to quack like a libertarian, but he isn't even that.
posted by Goofyy at 10:13 AM on May 13, 2011


So can we just ditch the phrase "right to healthcare" and instead ask the question, "Should we all pitch in as a nation to make sure that as many of us as possible are healthy? And if so, how?"

Yes, exactly. Thanks for putting this so clearly.

It seems like a lot of people who believe that universal health care would be a good idea casually describe it as a "right to health care" without realizing that framing it this way is guaranteed to rile up the libertarians and libertarian-leaning Republicans. They think about "rights" differently, as I tried to explain above, and describing "health care" as a right sounds just as crazy to them as Rand Paul's "slavery" comment does to many people in this thread.

Maybe you really do believe that Rand Paul is, in fact, clinically insane, or criminally mendacious; but there are millions of people in America who think about rights in similar terms, and talking about a "right to health care" is never, ever, ever going to get you anywhere with them. This being a democracy and all, you can't simply ignore them. You may never get them on your side, but can't you at least refrain from antagonizing them?

There are plenty of good arguments to be made in favor of a universal health care, and plenty of interesting discussions to be had about the best ways of designing and instituting such a system. All of this can be done without talking about "rights".
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:28 AM on May 13, 2011


The very idea that even the most ambitious single-payer system could entail slavery of health care professionals is so outrageously offensive that it's difficult to take seriously any substantive response to this fuckin asshole which doesn't challenge the metaphor itself.

Well said.

I'm not sure which is more disturbing--his belittling of actual slavery, or his obsessive fear that someone, somewhere might get health care they DON'T DESERVE!!!!

So, I swear there is a Jesus/Christian parable where workers who show up at the end of the day get paid as much as those who've worked all day, and when the second group complains Jesus says "you've been paid. why should you care what I pay them?"

Did I dream it? I swear in the parable, I heard, the workers were orange pickers (which probably makes no sense), but I've never been able to find any reference to it ...

THIS IS WHAT LIBERTARIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE

Not all of us.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:46 AM on May 13, 2011


You would think that in a 'democracy' it would be pretty easy to solve the healthcare issue in the USA. REFERENDUM!

What's a federal referendum? You mean a Constitutional Amendment?!

I paid shit attention in civics class, but I think that Amendments can only be introduced by Congress or in the event of a Constitutional Convention? (which requires a 2/3 vote of state legislatures to convene and which has never happened since the original convention)?

So what is this referendum you speak of?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:49 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, I swear there is a Jesus/Christian parable where workers who show up at the end of the day get paid as much as those who've worked all day, and when the second group complains Jesus says "you've been paid. why should you care what I pay them?"

This parable is the acorn to my blind pig, biblically speaking.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:54 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Grapes sure make a hell of a lot more sense ... thanks.

Some commentators have used the parable to justify the principle of a "living wage," though generally conceding that this is not the main point of the parable.

Uh, yep, though I'm not sure I even conceded that wasn't the point ... ;)

I mean, part of the reason the employer pays the late workers a full day's pay is b/c he knows they need it, right?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:30 PM on May 13, 2011


Rand Paul is such a self-made man, he actually fertilized his mother's egg, himself. Rand Paul is such a Libertarian, he refuses to walk on water that isn't privately owned.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:40 PM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy cow. seriously, Holy-fucking-cow. I will tell my (free NHS) doctor this the next time I see her. Slavery? Has he got a fucking clue?
posted by marienbad at 2:14 PM on May 13, 2011


Is your doctor locked up safely in your basement?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:25 PM on May 13, 2011


Actually free market capitalism means there are big winners and there are big losers who are like slaves. Like SLAVES, man.
posted by JJ86 at 2:28 PM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks to whomever it was upthread that posted the link to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Wow, that was passed in 86, under Reagan!

Interestingly, it says: "The cost of emergency care required by EMTALA is not directly covered by the federal government. Because of this, the law has been criticized by some as an unfunded mandate.[5] Similarly, it has attracted controversy for its impacts on hospitals, and in particular, for its possible contributions to an emergency medical system that is "overburdened, underfunded and highly fragmented."[6] More than half of all emergency room care in the U.S. now goes uncompensated[citation needed]. Hospitals write off such care as charity or bad debt for tax purposes. Increasing financial pressures on hospitals in the period since EMTALA's passage have caused consolidations and closures, so the number of emergency rooms is decreasing despite increasing demand for emergency care"

So the hospitals have just closed the ERs? Wow, so maybe expect to see that one repealled sometime soon?

(and I thought we were bad).

Alseo: re doctor - no, it is her turn on the flogging post today.
posted by marienbad at 3:05 PM on May 13, 2011


you can't just ignore somebody as powerful as a United States Senator. They have the power to do shit that affects everybody else.

When they get together with at least thirty-nine other Senators, they can prevent legislation from being presented to the President for a signature. When they get together with at least fifty-nine other Senators, they can cause legislation to be presented to the President, assuming the legislation has passed or will pass the lower chamber. Similar but unequal numbers are necessary for confirming certain federal government appointees. They are necessary to enter into binding international treaties. They can theoretically declare war, but due to constitutional ambiguity this doesn't really matter anymore.

They have a cable channel which must by law broadcast them for some number of hours a week while in session, but nobody watches it. Hm... Quite a lot of them are rich, but so are a lot of other people who say silly things; having more money than sense is in any case certainly not unique to the Senate.

None of that means you have to listen to them any more closely that the guy in the subway warning you the world will end next week. Get worried when little Ayn Paul rams through a constitutional amendment applying the fourteenth to protect doctors from having to work in the medicine mines. Not. Gonna. Happen.

And that, sir, is how you ignore a United States Senator.
posted by Vetinari at 5:06 PM on May 13, 2011


None of that means you have to listen to them any more closely that the guy in the subway warning you the world will end next week.

I'm sorry, but that strikes me as really obtuse. I'm aware that I can ignore a senator (or anybody else), and I don't obsessively monitor the media for Rand Paul's every word, but to imply that the Senate and its members don't wield significant influence seems awfully naive. They don't work their asses off to get elected to not have any influence.

These people have hijacked American politics because people fail to pay attention. I have two fucktards in the Senate (and another one in the House) representing me in national government. That means more people showed up on election day who believe in their bullshit than those who don't. That is significant, and has real, tangible repercussions. Every election cycle the "goofball" end of the Overton window moves a notch closer to the "policy" end.

So yeah, it's easy to ignore these guys, but it's not so easy to ignore the effects they have on the country.
posted by Rykey at 5:33 AM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Coming from a state where we have John McCain, Jon Kyl, Ben Quayle, Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce and Sheriff Arpaio as elected officials/representatives, being able to ignore these folks every now and then is simply a survival skill. But I totally agree with Rykey...despite how much I'd love to just tune them out (it would make life so much less irritating), I just can't do it.
posted by darkstar at 12:05 PM on May 14, 2011


(Case in point: we worked really hard to get that asshole JD Hayworth booted a few years back. I consider that one of my greatest shared successes in political involvement/campaigning.)
posted by darkstar at 12:07 PM on May 14, 2011


I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.

Nope, that's still illegal under tort law. Care to try again?
posted by lunit at 9:03 AM on May 15, 2011


Like Father; Like Son.

Like Son; Like Father: Ron Paul Calls Social Security and Medicare Unconstitutional, Compares Them to ‘Slavery’.
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on May 15, 2011


The weird thing is, I get the impression that actual enslavement of people would get their vote of approval as long as it was done with sufficient libertarian language to justify it.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


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