Show: CNN American Morning
Date: July 22, 2009
Kiran Chetry: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. President Obama is getting ready to push his healthcare reform plan in prime time tonight. He’s hoping to win over the American people as well as members of Congress who are skeptical about the plan. Congressman Ron Paul who has been a very vocal critic and he’s with us this morning from Washington. Congressman Paul, it’s always great to have you with us.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Kiran Chetry: I wish to point out that you’re a physician as well and I’m sure that you have a lot of thoughts on this issue as we debate healthcare and you oppose President Obama’s reform plan. You favor giving Americans control of their healthcare, but does it all just boil down to two different philosophies about who should get healthcare coverage? Do you believe that not everyone can expect free or low-cost healthcare?
Ron Paul: Yeah, I think there’s a lot to that, but I come from the viewpoint that the most important thing we do is preserve the doctor-patient relationship, which we do not. For the past 30 years or so, we’ve had a lot of government involved. We have veteran’s care. We have Medicare. We have Medicaid and we also have a lot of people getting private insurance and the people who have private insurance, they are not all that unhappy.
So what are we doing now, or at least Obama is proposing, that we turn the people that have service on insurance and make them join the governmental programs that everybody is unhappy about, so it doesn’t make any sense. It’s a total failure to run anything by bureaucracy. It always costs more and the services are always less favorable, so for us to pursue government solutions to a problem the government created is sort of reminds me of the TARP bailouts and you know what we do financially. So medical bailouts by more government when government created our managed care system of 35 years will only make things much worse.
Kiran Chetry: One of the things that we’ve talked about is whether or not independence or backing this. There seems to be some eroding support because of concerns about whether or not we can afford it, whether or not the timing is right. Even though there is that apprehension right now about whether or not we can afford it, most do agree that we need to do something about healthcare. Is there a Republican alternative then out there that makes more sense, in your opinion?
Ron Paul: Oh, yeah, I think so. I think we should pursue the idea that the patient get control through the medical savings accounts and deductions, so that you can deduct everything. The biggest problem is the misunderstanding about insurance. They talk about, “we need to give everybody insurance.” Well, you can’t give people insurance. You don’t expect from your car insurance to be able to buy gasoline and do all your repair bills and that’s not insurance and this is not insurance either. Insurance would be major medical to take care of the big problems.
So that is one of the basic problems and as far as cost goes, they estimate it at $1 trillion or $1.5 trillion in the midst of this crisis. No wonder people are starting to wake up a little bit because the money just isn’t there. And the one thing for sure is if you look at every other previous program by government, if they propose that, say, the prescription drug program would cost $49 billion, well, it might turn out to be $150 billion. It’s always much more, so if they’re saying $1.5 trillion for this, be sure that it’s going to cost two or three times that much.
Kiran Chetry: You know, what we do though about this problem with uninsured children, many people are uninsured, the millions… your state, by the way, according to the United Health Foundation survey ranks 46 out of 50 in terms of overall health and one of the biggest challenges for your state right now is that there’s a high percentage of children in poverty and a big uninsured population.
Ron Paul: Right.
Kiran Chetry: So there you are opposing this. Your state seems to be in dire straits when it comes to this situation. What’s the solution for Texas?
Ron Paul: Well, one think you have to do is say why do people come up short and why is the cost so high and it’s inflation and it’s the government management of the healthcare system that is at fault. But even though I have my ideal system, I would like to see the government out completely because that would be a much better system.
It’s not going to happen. I’m realistic, but one thing that we shouldn’t do is pay for it with money created out of thin air. So what I would do in the transition and I’ve talked about this a whole lot is cut spending somewhere and take care of the very people you’re talking about. Because you don’t want to cut under these conditions, medical care from poor people who have been dependent, or the elderly. But I would cut from overseas spending. I would cut from these trillions and trillions of dollars that we have spent over the years and bring our troops home, so that we can finance it.
A first, a very, very minor step was done yesterday by cutting the F-22 and I applaud Obama for that, but we don’t need one system removed. We need to change our foreign policy, then we could afford the healthcare that is necessary to tide us over until we have come to our senses and believe that freedom can deliver medical care much better than our bureaucracy in government, but you have to deal with the problem of inflation as well because that’s why people find that medical care costs too much.
Kiran Chetry: All right, before we go, I have to ask you about this. Our producers came across this today. You know that there’s a website called RonPaulSingles.com? They call it the fastest growing relationship site on the Web where like-minded libertarians get together. It’s a singles site, but with you as their inspiration. What is this about?
Ron Paul: I don’t know a whole lot. I haven’t looked at it. I’ve been told about it and my immediate response to that was well, I guess, that sort of fits a famous slogan once before that I sort of like, it’s this “make love, not war.” So maybe that’s what they’re thinking about doing. But, you know, it can’t hurt anything and people find it amusing, so I guess the people shouldn’t complain about it.
Kiran Chetry: All right. Well, so here we go. So, you guys have to tackle healthcare. In the meantime, you’re helping people find love all across the country, Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: Right. That’s good. That’s what we need more of.
Kiran Chetry: All right, maybe…
Ron Paul: Less war.
Kiran Chetry: Maybe. It’s always great to have you on the show, Congressman. Thank you so much.
Ron Paul: Thank you.