So here's a toast to federal checks, hetero sex, unaffordable medical debts, huh
September 15, 2011 12:54 AM   Subscribe

Ron Paul on hypothetical 30-year olds dying without insurance: "That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks". Kent Snyder, Ron Paul's 2008 campaign manager, died in 2008 of pneumonia. He was uninsured due to a pre-existing medical condition, leaving his family with $400000 in unpaid medical bills.
posted by benzenedream (70 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Seriously, if there's a good post someone wants to make about the conflicts between a Libertarian philosophy of minimal government social services and the practical challenges of actually attaining care in dire straits, they can make that, but TAKE THAT, THING THAT GOT SAID AT A DEBATE is really a lousy way to frame a post. -- cortex



 
Land of the Free™ (void where restricted, may not apply to all parties)
posted by edgeways at 1:01 AM on September 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


...and now here they are! The most daredevil group of daffy presidential candidates to ever whirl their wheels in the WACKY RACES. Competing for the title of worlds wackiest presidential racer ever. The cars are approaching the starting line, and an explosion? What just went wrong? Who just crashed? Why it was none other than those behind the wheels of that Mean Machine. Those two libertarian do-away-with-government, down-with-taxes, free-trade-rascals Ron Paul and his sidekick, Muttley. Drat and double drat is right! They weren't insured for that uh oh. With those two are out of the race. What mischief are the rest of our republican candidates up to?
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:02 AM on September 15, 2011 [36 favorites]


We kind of just did this. It did not wendell.

(Though the two threads combined might make an interesting talking point.)

I really wish they had let Ron Paul come to the logical conclusion of his own sentences, instead of cheering death. He was espousing having churches step in, but then briefly veered to a tale of when, as a young doctor, he worked at a hospital before Medicare and Medicaid, "in the sixties, and we wouldn't turn people away."

Uh-huh... who's picking up that tab, then?
posted by disillusioned at 1:03 AM on September 15, 2011


There's also an existing MeTa, for those who might need one.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:06 AM on September 15, 2011


This confuses me, deeply, because you can't generally inherit debts. They can eat the whole estate, maybe, but they don't usually get passed on to the family members.

Not that it isn't tragic all around, and I'm very sympathetic to their loss because I lost a family member to euphemistic pneumonia myself, but... I always find something a bit fishy about this kind of thing. Especially when it's a matter of people using that as a basis for trying to raise money.
posted by gracedissolved at 1:07 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty suspicious too. My immediate guess is that Ron Paul is not intended by the party to be a real candidate so they went and solved the problem. My second guess is the one I made above. The republican candidacy is nonsense.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:15 AM on September 15, 2011


You may not be able to inherit debts, but if you have guaranteed the debt ("Just sign here as a guarantor for the medical expenses") then you will be liable.

I've seen contracts written to guarantee a relatively minor debt that had a clause making the guarantor notionally liable for all the debts incurred by the borrower, not only the present one but past and future debts as well. It would be very, very easy for a relative to sign one of these things at 3 AM when seeking an emergency admission without realising what that clause implied.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:25 AM on September 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Surely he died for what he believed in?
posted by biffa at 1:29 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]




TwelveTwo: I love Wacky Races! Hopefully, they'll be renewed for another season, so in 2016 we'll get to see who wins THE QUADRILLION-DOLLAR PRIZE.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:31 AM on September 15, 2011


Maybe this was just Snyder's way of sticking it to the man.
People who have worked hard to build wealth simply cannot stand to see government take a big chunk of their assets when they die, so they do anything they can — even economically harmful things — to prevent it. This is what supporters of the estate tax cannot seem to understand.
posted by Knappster at 1:31 AM on September 15, 2011




PAUL: No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.

I call bullshit on this, just as would with his other assertions about the lack of necessity for the Civil Rights Act. Paul genuinely believes the early 60s were some sort of idyll till Big Government stepped in. Very sad.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 1:41 AM on September 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Besides, putting it into the hands of doctors' largesse would mostly play to the desire on the part of people like this to play God: "I approve of you, so you get treatment. I disapprove of you, so you can die in a ditch."

We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.

He's lying and/or delusional, two qualities which the right seems to demand from their politicians these days.
posted by Grangousier at 1:47 AM on September 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


So I had better get religion if I want to live? But I thought the whole point of a religion was to rewarded after you've died. I'm an atheist because I'm not smart enough to understand.
posted by maxwelton at 2:02 AM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I tried to post on this yesterday, and it was deleted. I actually think this FPP is less potentially inflammatory than mine, and I hope it stays, because I think it's an important story.

I am a little concerned that someone already flagged this for editorializing. Is Ron Paul He Who Must Not Be Mentioned In Anything Resembling A Negative Context? I think Ron Paul's statements in a GOP debate on health care and their implications - not to mention the audience reaction - are completely legitimate areas of discussion, and shouldn't be held to a higher standard than what's normal around here just because Ron Paul's name is mentioned. If someone wants to call bullshit and dissect the whole thing, great - that's part of why Metafilter's here. It would make a great thread. But shutting down discussion entirely because it's Ron Paul doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
posted by jhandey at 2:07 AM on September 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


PAUL: There's no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing. And we should actually legalize alternative health care, allow people to practice what they want.

Ah yes, let us go down to the barber for some colloidal silver, some leeches, and a good bleeding! Follow it up with a big dose of homeopathic water as a chaser. All are completely the same level of medical efficacy.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:10 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul believes that a society in which large numbers of people die from smallpox is superior to a society that has mandatory smallpox inoculation.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:15 AM on September 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


AndrewKemendo: I'm not sure. He says "No", but then reading his explanation it appears that this is one of those rare cases where no really *does* mean yes.
posted by DRMacIver at 2:16 AM on September 15, 2011


And we should actually legalize alternative health care...

What types of alternative health care are illegal?
Last time I looked, alternative treatments, such as homeopathy, Chinese alternative medicine and, yes, even leeches were very much legal. Possibly precisely because they don't have any effect.
I mean he couldn't possibly be advocating that insurances also take over the costs for alternative treatments, could he?

The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy.

Yeah, this must be the reason why the costs for the patient are multiple times higher than in countries with more or less decent health insurance, such as Europe or Japan.
posted by sour cream at 2:22 AM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Except not...

Many people seem to feel "society" is represented by the federal, state or municipal governments. In practice that is never the case, as these organizations rarely capture the consolidated feelings of their constituents. So at least for me when someone asks: "Should society do X..." they are setting up a non-sequitur.

A better question in my opinion should have been: If person 1 cannot afford heath care should person 2 who can afford it be forced by law to pay for person 1's care?

To which the correct answer would be: No they shouldn't be forced to, but if they don't want to maybe they are not someone I want to be around.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 2:26 AM on September 15, 2011


Why shouldn't they be forced to? The whole point of having a civilized society is to provide people with incentives to behave in the correct way despite their inclinations to the contrary.
posted by DRMacIver at 2:29 AM on September 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Third world problems.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:35 AM on September 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


You can't force people to wan't certain things; nor would I argue is it normatively ethical.

You can make the case to them, you can teach them and demonstrate why this or that is optimal, but forcing someone to do something will lead to the proverbial blow back and either finding a way around or violently rejecting it. The human mind will not allow it.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 2:39 AM on September 15, 2011


We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.

Ron Paul is such a lying sack of shit.

EMTALA was passed to combat the practice of "patient dumping", i.e., refusal to treat people because of inability to pay or insufficient insurance, or transferring or discharging emergency patients on the basis of high anticipated diagnosis and treatment costs. The law applies when an individual with a medical emergency "comes to the emergency department," regardless of whether the condition is visible to others, or is simply stated by the patient with no external evidence.
posted by cmonkey at 2:48 AM on September 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


What you say is true, AndrewKemendo, but it seems like you're trying to defend Paul, and I don't see how your arguments accomplish that.

To which the correct answer would be: No they shouldn't be forced to, but if they don't want to maybe they are not someone I want to be around.

So... you think there should be large medical charities, perhaps? So that, y'know, since only BAD people would fail to contribute, we'd get everybody adequate health care that way?

forcing someone to do something will lead to the proverbial blow back and either finding a way around or violently rejecting it.

Sweden seems to make out pretty well.

Do you pay your taxes? Do you rely on any federal services?
posted by LogicalDash at 2:52 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


To head off "freedom" arguments, four of the six top-ranked countries on the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom provide a stronger medical safety net to their citizens than the US: Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Canada. The US is ranked 9th, behind Denmark, leaving no correlation between political or economic freedom and government provision of public health services whatsoever. Ron Paul's principles are sincere, consistent, and profoundly inhumane.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 2:54 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, I find that the best way to deal with burglars and rapists and fraudsters is to persuade them that what they are doing is sub-optimal. It works a treat.

It is utterly disingenuous to pretend that there is any kind of moral equivalennce between enslaving someone, beating them up and making everyone take a vaccine as a child so as to control the spread of a disease. If you cannot see that these three things are morally distinct then I would suggest that at best you have not thought about these issues carefully enough. The libertarian idea of a society in which individuals are never subject to the use of "force" (very nebulously defined) is not only profoundly impractical but in practise dishonest - it discourages people from working together to solve problems that cause genuine suffering in favour of thinking themselves very innovative and just for essentially supporting the status quo.

Nevertheless, I hope that this FPP stays. At the moment, America appears to be tearing itself apart. From the outside, it is like watching a country commit suicide in slow motion. This is an important historical event. The debates that occur here are fascinating to watch. Despite what conservative Mefites tend to say when they are losing arguments, there is a real diversity of political opinion on Metafilter and many regular and intelligent conservative commentators. It would be a shame if discussion of these important issues, which affect the course of the most powerful country on Earth, were silenced to avoid some cutesy and suffocating neologism like "GRAR". Sometimes things are not okay, some debates need to be had and avoiding that runs the risk of fiddling while Rome burns...
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:56 AM on September 15, 2011 [25 favorites]


AndrewKemendo: I'm not interested in forcing people to want to behave in an ethically correct manner. I'm interested in forcing them to behave in an ethically correct manner. It's a very important distinction.

Trying to change human nature is a fool's game (albeit one I often have to resist playing). The objective is designing things so that when people act in accordance with human nature everyone benefits. Unfortunately this occasionally means saying "Yes, I know you don't wanna, but if you don't do what I say I will take away your toys"
posted by DRMacIver at 2:58 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


If someone wants to call bullshit and dissect the whole thing, great

Bullshit.

The narrative could also be Mr. Snyder died because he wasn't allowed to purchase health insurance across state lines.

Or we outrage at the peculiarities of how his mother got tagged with his medical bills.

Or we could discuss the points raised here of how both private and government insurance practices have raised costs, very much in line with the points Dr. Paul raised, or otherwise discuss why treating pneumonia would cost $400,000.

But instead we get zombified thread of "OHMIGOD!!!! RON PAUL KILLZ STAFFER!!!elven!!!!

Bullshit.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 2:59 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


My experience has been that "hypothetical 30-year olds" are easy to ignore. Once you have a real one, it's much more serious.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:02 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


it seems like you're trying to defend Paul, and I don't see how your arguments accomplish that.

I'm not defending anyone - I am simply pointing out that the way the information presented is slanted.

The problem with comparing america to smaller more homogeneous countries which have a significantly longer history and are not steeped in pseudo-anarchist doctrine, is that it is comparing apples and oranges. Not to get into the cognitive science of it but it really does come down to citizens saying "I don't want my money to go to those people."

I don't agree that this is where we should be as a human race, but the reality is that is where we are. Denying it, wishing it away or forcing people through threat of violence (Yep, people still go to to jail for not paying taxes) to do those things does not actually in the long run work out well and history has proven that.

Given that I work for the federal government it would behoove me to pay taxes and yes everyone uses public works - that is not in fact an argument for them, it simply means you are intrinsically reliant on them.

I try not to get into these discussions because there is so much more nuance to the true anarchist argument that it can rarely be discussed intellectually without a whole lot of background. I could go many different directions with this but the bottom line though is that until all but a few outlying groups of humans care about the welfare and outcomes of the others and scarcity is eliminated there will never be allocation of resources both efficiently and ethically distributed so that both needs and wants of the population are met. Without those conditions, no acts of force will sufficiently meet the egalitarian goals of equal access and equal outcome in the long or short run.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 3:13 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not interested in forcing people to want to behave in an ethically correct manner. I'm interested in forcing them to behave in an ethically correct manner. It's a very important distinction.

Right and your assertion is untenable. Just look at it individually. Unless you have 100% control over someone, you will inevitably not be able to control their behavior to the ends that you have ostensibly determined are optimal. This is especially true if the case is that their desires are antithetical to yours. This becomes compounded when your model moves away from negative rights to positive rights - in which case you are attempting to force someone to do something to an end that they do not want. Such a case is no ethically different from the slavery that is so rampant in the middle east and south pacific (workers come to work but get their passports confiscated until they meet certain work goals - while being paid penance.)

You simply think your goals (whatever they may be) are objectively more optimal and that is obviously not the majority opinion otherwise we would all be on the same page.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 3:23 AM on September 15, 2011


The problem with comparing america to smaller more homogeneous countries which have a significantly longer history and are not steeped in pseudo-anarchist doctrine, is that it is comparing apples and oranges.

But surely you can compare America to Canada, right? Because.... yeah. You also seem to be conflating "anarchism" with "i got mine," which is... incorrect, to say the least. Anarchism has nothing to do with laissez faire libertarianism.
posted by mek at 3:24 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Unless you have 100% control over someone, you will inevitably not be able to control their behavior to the ends that you have ostensibly determined are optimal.

That's what the state is - total control. You can disagree with that morally, but technically speaking, that's how it functions. If the state decides it is going to tax you x% and spend that on public healthcare, that's what happens. It doesn't have to convince you it's the right thing to do, it just does it. That's where we are right now, no? When we advocate for policy we are saying "this is sufficiently important that we should all be forced to act in this manner, regardless of our personal opinions." Welcome to the social contract.
posted by mek at 3:27 AM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


The only tricky point this scenario poses for RP comes from the desperation of the media to make Libertarians look like monsters ("holy shit, Ron actually has a chance this year! Quick, get out the tar, guys!").

1) An otherwise healthy middle-aged man with a high enough income to afford insurance, chose to go without it.

2) This man, without insurance, still received treatment. No hospital clerk asked for his insurance card and on hearing he didn't have one, wheeled him into a back alley to die.

And the (biggest) reporting flaw,

3) As others have already pointed out, you don't inherit debts, though they may well reduce your otherwise-inheritance to zero.


Sorry, but this does not make the best "hah-hAH, gotcha Ron!" scenario, for those pissing and moaning about the poor dying for want of basic medical treatment.
posted by pla at 3:29 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul is such a lying sack of shit.

EMTALA was passed to combat the practice of "patient dumping"....


And he knows he's lying. There was an uproar in Houston over an incident so ironic and terrible that it pushed for this legislation to ultimately be passed. A man went to a hospital in the Texas Medical Center, with a deadly condition. They would not provide care for him because he could not pay and did not have insurance. He went outside the hospital and sat on a park bench -- and died on the park bench outside the hospital. This got a lot of coverage in the local press. Ron Paul was in Brazoria County, which is just outside Houston. I'm sure he remembers this story. It's one of the reasons we have EMTALA today.
posted by Houstonian at 3:30 AM on September 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


AndrewKemendo: You seem to be setting up a straw man here. There's a world of difference between "I want everyone to behave in a manner which is 100% compliant with my ethics" and "a society should promote certain ethical behaviours with which it may reasonably force its members to comply".

I have not suggested and would not suggest doing the former. Why? Because even if I thought it was ethical (it's not), and even if I thought it was practical (it's not), it would still be a really stupid idea. For the overwhelming majority of my ethical opinions, the cost-benefit trade off of enforcing them just isn't there.

I am however much more comfortable with enforcing specifically chosen ethical principles like "Killing people is bad" (hopefully this is uncontroversial) on society. "Letting people who can't afford healthcare die or become bankrupt is bad" is another one I'm totally in favour of enforcing.

(incidentally, where I am that is a majority opinion. I'm in the UK, and for all its flaws we <3 our universal healthcare thanks).
posted by DRMacIver at 3:37 AM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


If person 1 cannot afford heath care should person 2 who can afford it be forced by law to pay for person 1's care?

The way it works in almost all other developed countries is that person 1 and person 2 both get overall government-run medical insurance that will ensure they do not have to do without vital medical care, and are not left with staggering debts if they do become ill.

And in many of those countries person 2 can then also buy additional private medical insurance from a third party which will allow him to take advantage of more services through private providers.

The problem with comparing america to smaller more homogeneous countries which have a significantly longer history and are not steeped in pseudo-anarchist doctrine, is that it is comparing apples and oranges.

I've seen people say this "oh yeah, but those countries are all smaller than the US" - I still fail to see how that is an issue. There is nothing about socialised medicine that seems likely to be unable to scale up. Quite possibly it's not practical to build a proper universal healthcare system on top of the US government's existing heathcare system, but then why couldn't it be started fresh?
posted by sycophant at 3:39 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing that gets me about the political timidity over healthcare is that everyone is afraid of a bogeyman. I've worked with many Americans (and met many more) who've spent time living in one part of Europe or another and experienced the reality of socialised healthcare. Every single one of them, without exception, said it was vastly preferable to the US system. Interestingly, though, many of them found it to be much better than they expected, which is perhaps a reflection of the misleading rhetoric (in fact, downright lies) on the subject in the US. Perhaps the former ex-pats should form a PAC to describe the reality as experienced first-hand and reverse-Swift Boat the lying toads who distort the truth for the benefit of themselves and their paymasters.
posted by Jakey at 3:39 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.

The idea that someone running for President can say this on national TV and not get challenged on it - or that any of his followers would actually *believe* it - is mind-boggling.
posted by mediareport at 3:42 AM on September 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


sycophant: If anything, I'd expect universal healthcare to scale up beautifully. Economies of scale (it may be cheaper to airlift to a specialist unit than it is to build two specialist units), larger system having less volatility, etc.

Not that this is based on actual knowledge of how to run a healthcare system. Just speculation.
posted by DRMacIver at 3:42 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


mek : That's what the state is - total control.

What the state wants does not equal what the state "is", or even "can be".


If the state decides it is going to tax you x% and spend that on public healthcare, that's what happens. It doesn't have to convince you it's the right thing to do, it just does it.

False, for exactly the reason Obama handed the Republicans the House in 2010. "Hey, let's ignore the economy, and instead force an unpopular mandate to buy something from a hated third party through the system! What can they do about it?".

As for whether or not that crappy compromised-to-uselessness of a healthcare law ever manages to go into full effect, time will tell. I wouldn't bet on it, given the mass sweep of Dems we'll see next November. I just pray to FSM that we don't end up with Perry or Bachman or worse.


More importantly, though, you totally missed AndrewKemendo point. Yes, the government can try to shove whatever they want down our throats. But at the end of the day, I can still go home, spark up a long-illegal bowl of herbal relief, eat a high salt, high saturated fat steak, and refuse to watch TV all night like a good brainwashed Citizen would.

The government can't actually control us. The harder you squeeze a handful of water, the more of it runs through your fingers.
posted by pla at 3:43 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Last time I looked, alternative treatments, such as homeopathy, Chinese alternative medicine and, yes, even leeches were very much legal. Possibly precisely because they don't have any effect.

Look, if you're going to address this, at least get your facts straight. Leeches very much have an effect and are used often in modern medicine for certain things.
posted by hippybear at 4:19 AM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd take Paul over Perry despite his delusions. I so wished Huntsman or Romney would win though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:21 AM on September 15, 2011


One question to pose to Ron Paul. If a man chooses not to purchase (drastically inflated in price) health insurance, then should a five day stay in the hospital in a land where hospital costs are also drastically inflated bankrupt him? (CNN link, presentation is overblown for cable news. Point still stands.)

I understand his intent is to simply remove government from the equation at any point possible, or permit individual states to legislate insurance programs on their own. This does not work and we have seen the effects of this for decades. If he wants it to be strictly according to the Constitution, push an amendment expressly permitting this system. As I said in the previous thread, better health means better productivity. Better productivity gives us economic strength that benefits the wealthiest to the poorest. Somehow I think the only reason the Republicans continue to oppose the idea is because they said they don't like it. Changing their mind on that looks weak, which seems to be a cardinal sin for the GOP.

Ron Paul's greatest strength is his absolute conviction in his principles. Ron Paul's greatest weakness is his absolute conviction in his principles. I'll believe him when he says he doesn't want people dying for not being insured, but I suspect he'd have no problem leaving someone with a lifetime of debt for it.
posted by Saydur at 4:42 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brilliant Strategist Behind Ron Paul’s Online Tactics

Wow, I wonder how long it took him to come up with the slogan: Google Ron Paul!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:43 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


1) An otherwise healthy middle-aged man with a high enough income to afford insurance, chose to go without it.

2) This man, without insurance, still received treatment. No hospital clerk asked for his insurance card and on hearing he didn't have one, wheeled him into a back alley to die.

Sorry, but this does not make the best "hah-hAH, gotcha Ron!" scenario, for those pissing and moaning about the poor dying for want of basic medical treatment.


Well, I don't know ALL the facts in this case, but it's pretty well known that people without insurance, whether they can afford it or not, tend to put off medical care until very late in the course of their illness. This leads to increased medical expenses as opposed to if they receive early treatment when the issue is less serious and easier to treat. It also means that a lot of people without health insurance end up dying because they put off treatment until it was clear that something was really really wrong and it wasn't going to go away on its own.

Yes, this man without insurance received treatment. But if he had insurance, could his life have been saved, because he would have gone in to see a doctor when he had a nagging cough instead of being so sick he required emergency room treatment? If he had gone in early, would his medical bills still have totaled $400K?

There are questions and issues in this whole scenario which should be examined which are getting lost because of the gotcha impulse, but which have deep implications for our health care system.
posted by hippybear at 4:47 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow, seriously, fuck Ron Paul.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:53 AM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


The idea that someone running for President can say this on national TV and not get challenged on it - or that any of his followers would actually *believe* it - is mind-boggling.

Wolf Blitzer is a hack who couldn't challenge anyone to actually substantiate their bullshit to save his life. But then he's from a network of hacks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:12 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do not understand this small-minded, ignorant bigot's appeal to so many young people, no matter how addled they are by Ayn Randian bullshit. He is a mean, nasty, snide prick. He's patently rather stupid. His facts are addled. Leftists are too easily fooled by his "anti-war" stance into thinking he's opposed to violence. He's just opposed to paying for it.
posted by spitbull at 5:12 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I meant Ron Paul, but if the shoe fits, WOLF BLITZER, you too.
posted by spitbull at 5:13 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow and fuck is right. A lot of the time when people know libertarians who they disagree with on some issues but not others -- like me and Ron Paul -- they think in regards to the issues they disagree on "That's great in theory, but if that person was ever confronted with a situation in reality,* effecting someone close to them, they'd re-think their position and show some compassion." But guess that isn't the case here. Fuck that asshole.


* Though I guess we already knew based on Ron Paul's comments and actions on civil rights (race-related or gay) or economic theory fir that matter that a grip on reality isn't Dr. Paul's strong suit.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:17 AM on September 15, 2011


hippybear : Yes, this man without insurance received treatment. But if he had insurance, could his life have been saved

And he chose - CHOSE - not to, and died.

I have no problem with that.
posted by pla at 5:24 AM on September 15, 2011


But instead we get zombified thread of "OHMIGOD!!!! RON PAUL KILLZ STAFFER!!!elven!!!!

No one has, in fact, said this. Admittedly libertarian logic is frequently dictated by kneejerk outrage but that you've concluded your rant with this gives a pretty good insight into how genuine the rest of your arguments are.

Or we outrage at the peculiarities of how his mother got tagged with his medical bills.

You, in fact, did not attempt to do this. In fact, the entire point of your comment was to sidestep this issue, which is sad given it's sort of the point of the FPP- that a real-life example of Paul's fantastical and cynical belief that a guaranteed, collectively-supported healthcare system is horrifically worse that simply "shopping around" for the best deal on medical care fell flat in the face of the wonders of the private health care market.

You give shit one about how the guy's mother got tagged with medical bills. You are, instead, defending Ron Paul's theoretical right to not be tagged with any part of them. That is what is important to you here, and that is goddamn sad.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:27 AM on September 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


And he chose - CHOSE - not to, and died.

Did his mother get to choose to inherit $400,000 in medical bills?

This is an amazing insight into Libertarian thought. That's really the secret to how it works- I should be allowed to do whatever I want, make all the bad choices I desire, and all I have to do is not give a shit about anyone else who might be affected by my bad decisions, because fuck 'em, I'll be dead by then. Winning!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:28 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


PAUL: And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that's the reason the cost is so high.

Indeed, hence why you don't have Universal Health care, even though, it seems, lots of people want it because they want to have their neighbours, their friends, themselves, taken care of and don't mind contributing to that.
posted by juiceCake at 5:33 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul is such a lying sack of shit.

In fairness to Ron Paul (although I disagree with him, and strongly support a single-payer system), he was talking about his personal experiences. Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio is affiliated with the Catholic Church, isn't it? I think it's entirely possible that Santa Rosa did not, in fact, turn away people who couldn't pay.

Which, of course, says nothing about hospitals as a whole. But Paul's problem has always been wearing blinders to the larger picture and not outright dishonesty.
posted by tyllwin at 5:38 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Representing an unwillingness to inform oneself about the reality of a situation that one wishes to control as wisdom and understanding is outright dishonesty.
posted by Grangousier at 5:40 AM on September 15, 2011


pla: "And he chose - CHOSE - not to, and died.

I have no problem with that.
"

Most people who "choose" not to buy insurance do so because they can't afford it. It's not like there are people choosing between health insurance and a second BMW, they're choosing to buy food and pay rent and gas. So basically you're saying that it's OK that working poor people die off because they chose not to make enough money to buy insurance.
posted by octothorpe at 6:01 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR-

There is a deleted thread and even a metatalk that proceeds. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the contents.

And beyond any of your attempts to presuppose my intents or even my political ideology, that in no way changes that the tenor of both threads reeks of a hatch job, libertarian or no.

I mean I suppose I could make a post about the 919,967 deaths, and lay them at the feet of everyone who didn't support Paul or Kucinich.

But that would be facile, much like your comment.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 6:09 AM on September 15, 2011


Wow, I wonder how long it took him to come up with the slogan: Google Ron Paul!

Google 'Google Ron Paul!'!
posted by zippy at 6:18 AM on September 15, 2011


Google "Christ, what an asshole."
posted by Deathalicious at 6:21 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


pla and others who are talking about Snyder choosing to go uninsured, the articles a few links in make it clear that due to a pre-existing condition, Snyder could not afford the insurance premiums.
posted by FrereKhan at 6:32 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


...and anyway, Ron Paul's defence seemed to hinge on "charity will provide", which funded... less than 10% of the bill.
posted by FrereKhan at 6:41 AM on September 15, 2011


Jeez, it was all magically taken care of by the churches, eh? Ron Paul never knew any actual poor people, people who needed help but couldn't get it, only the people in his social networks/support groups. Also, there's nothing stopping the churches and all those magical charities to do it now, so why aren't they?

These guys believe in charity so much, but everytime you talk to an actual libertarian, they don't really put their money where their mouth is. Most of the "charity" they donate to is going to be political tax-free donations to things like AFP.

I could half-way take them seriously if the other part of their message wasn't "the poor deserve to be poor so fuck 'em". If they didn't have such a hate on for poor people, and believed in helping others, then that would be one thing (in fact, when I was a libertarian, I bought that bullshit, hook line and sinker...) Then I grew up, met some actual libertarians and realized "WTF is this shit?" and slowly evolved to a proper socialist like Jesus would have wanted.
posted by symbioid at 6:42 AM on September 15, 2011


Uninsured treatment isn't powered by fairy dust, it's powered by hospital tax write-offs. Taxpayers are still paying for universal healthcare, just in the least efficient way possible.

Single-payer insurance would not only be the most efficient way to pay for healthcare, it would eliminate profit from the death of you and/or your family members.
posted by pashdown at 6:42 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh oh oh ... and this "he chose not to" isn't what happened, AFAICT. He was denied even the ability to purchase health care because of a pre-existing condition.

That's another thing. You only have much choice as the marketplace dictates, and if the marketplace dictates that you can't, then you can't get the insurance you need, period. As much as I am distrustful of "obamacare" in the sense it forces me to give over money to corporations, at least there's limits on their ability to deny pre-existing (in time, at least). OK, off to work.
posted by symbioid at 6:45 AM on September 15, 2011


Fuck, "Google Ron Paul" was brilliant. Appeals to the strongest core value of his base: "Goddammit I'm an independent voter. I'm not an easy mark like the rest of you. I don't pay attention to ads and soundbites — I think for myself!"

Writing a slogan for a bunch of people who pride themselves on hating slogans — that is not easy. Dude did a good job.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:48 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The other thing about "Google Ron Paul" is that a lot of people don't just Google everything they're curious about. It just doesn't occur to them to do it.
posted by delmoi at 6:53 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


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