This Wednesday afternoon, Ron Paul joined Rand Paul, Daniel Hannan, Peter Schiff, Lew Rockwell, David Aitken and Judge Andrew Napolitano to discuss healthcare, as well as other political and economic developments.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7FIoVk36PE (Ron Paul)
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spI4Aetab3w (Ron Paul)
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkBMe_7sRFw
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkB4ZDWEOLA
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcXTDoba-48
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdJRDSTnaWw
Channel: Fox News Strategy Room
Show: Freedom Watch
Host: Judge Andrew Napolitano
Transcript of Ron Paul’s appearance
Judge Andrew Napolitano: It’s my pleasure now as always to begin the show with one of America’s great defenders of freedom and liberty in Congress today. Congressman Ron Paul joins us on the phone from his congressional office in the Lone Star State of Texas. Congressman Paul, always a pleasure, welcome back to Freedom Watch.
Ron Paul: Thank you very much, Judge. It’s good to be with you.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Thank you. Have you been getting an earful from your constituents as much as many of your colleagues have? You’ve probably seen on Fox and other networks, people are angry and deeply concerned about the direction the Congress is taking with their ability to make private free choices.
Ron Paul: Yes, I am hearing it. I thought I might be exempt because I’ve been on their side for so long, but there is so much anger out there and they don’t know exactly which way to go and I hope I can help them out, but the people who are complaining are just sort of agreeing with what I’ve been complaining about for so long; too much government, too much spending.
Obama can’t solve these problems, but there is a lot of anger out there. As a matter of fact, I think in the last 30 days, I’ve seen more just in my own district than I’ve seen in 10 years.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: I think there’s also a lot of fear, Congressman Paul, and some of the questions that I heard asked, which were based on the 1,100-page piece of legislation that Mrs. Pelosi predicts that the House will pass and then will go over to the Senate. Things like, the federal government may send counselors to you when you’re 80 years old to talk to you about suicide? The federal government may have a menu of things that your doctor can make available to you and a list of procedures that he can’t make available to you depending upon your age and your degree of the illness?
Aren’t people legitimately concerned that some of these proposals, at least for example, this healthcare one, will inject the federal government and federal bureaucrats into what everybody has always accepted and what the Supreme Court has held as a uniquely private relationship, that between the patient and the physician?
Ron Paul: Yes, and people are pretty upset about this and their response, whether it’s the administration or even some liberal talk show hosts, they want to make fun and ridicule and say, “Oh, yeah. Those right-wing constitutionalists are saying that the government is lining up there to kill all the people over 75.” And that’s not what they’re saying.
I think you said it quite correctly that it’s going to be an option and we do know that in some states already they do have active euthanasia. You can ask and be assisted and have assisted suicide.
To me, as a physician and as a protector of liberty, that’s a big leap from having the permission given to your doctors to withhold extraordinary care. I think that’s an accepted medical position where you don’t need tubes and whistles and bells to be kept alive and that’s what they claimed this is all about.
But I think there is reason for the American people to be concerned because there is a move and traditionally, when governments pay the bills, then they want to interfere with how that money is going to be spent. You notice this when people argue that you should have a helmet on when you ride a motorcycle. It’s not that they’re so worried about the person or your liberties, they’re worried about, “Oh, if you get hurt, we have to pay your bills.”
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Right.
Ron Paul: So you lose freedoms. So once the government gets involved and they talk about who gets the kidneys and who gets to stay alive because, you know, when you’re 80 years old, you know your life is not as valuable. The 60 year old has to get it, so they allocate medical care like they’re allocating oranges.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: In every state in the union now, you have the right to direct your healthcare provider to use or not to use extraordinary means of keeping you alive.
Ron Paul: Right.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: You’re uniquely qualified to talk about this, of course, as a member of Congress, as an expert on the federal government and as a practicing physician. You have the right to direct your family and your healthcare providers. If I go into a coma, let the good Lord take me or if I go into a coma, I want this, this, this, and this done to try and bring me back to a state of consciousness.
Do you suspect and do you fear that should President Obama’s healthcare program become law that those decisions either could not be made by an individual and would be made by the Federal government, or could only be made in conjunction with the consent of some clerk or agent from the federal government?
Ron Paul: Well, we’re moving in that direction. I wouldn’t say the day that is passed that the bureaucrat is going to make that final decision, but we’re moving in that direction, and just the fact that we do know that in the states where this is legal, sometimes people who are more depressed than anything else end up committing suicide and having assisted suicide. So this is the reason you don’t even want to move in that direction. Besides, the government, the federal government, shouldn’t be involved in medical care and medical decisions, so it’s a very, very bad direction to be going in.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Moving into another area of your expertise, you recently wrote in LewRockwell.com, my favorite website and probably your favorite website as well, that the total federal future entitlements to obligation is now reaching $100 trillion. How did we get to another to a number like that? And I don’t even think you can write that number out on a normal sized piece of writing paper.
Ron Paul: Yeah, and I’d hate to prove that it’s not 99 or 110 because it varies from year to year. It varies with inflation. It varies from whether you’re going out 20 years or 30 years or 40 years, but it is huge and growing exponentially and, of course, the revenues are going down with it.
With a weak economy, revenues do go down and that’s why the deficit is expanding and further pressure is being put on the Fed, not only for their shenanigans that they do to bail out their buddies, but now there will be a lot more pressure put on the Fed to literally monetize this debt that we’re running up.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Paul, we’re joined now by Daniel Hannan, whom I think you know, the wonderful British member of the European Parliament who startled and educated the world by a speech that he gave on the floor of the British Parliament in the presence and to the face of Chancellor Gordon Brown. Daniel Hannan, welcome back to Freedom Watch.
Daniel Hannan: Thank you for having me back on, Judge.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: One of your favorite American hero as Congressman Paul is here with us, speaking from his Congressional office in Texas, because you are standing where he usually stands in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building. We’re just talking about healthcare. You have lived and grown to adulthood under the British National Health Service. Would you wish that on a free market like we have in the United States, Mr. Hannan?
Daniel Hannan: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. We have a system where the most salient facts of it are you get huge waiting lists, you have bad survival rates, you much farther fall ill in the US than in the UK, you know, if you get cancer, if you get heart disease, you get stroke. Five years on, the chances are here you are going to be healthy. In the UK, you’re not. Why do we stick to it in the UK? Because there is such a huge vested interest. There are so many people now who depend on it.
We have 1.4 million employees in the NHS in the United Kingdom. It’s the third biggest employer in the world after the Chinese Red Army and the Indian National Railways and that means that electorally, it’s almost impossible to get rid of the thing, even though most of those employees are administrators and are bureaucrats rather than doctors and nurses, and even though the people in the system, the people working for it, are ruthlessly exploited because there is a monopoly employer and they are very badly paid.
But there is such a big conservative block in the sense of being resistant to change that it’s something you almost can’t politically get rid of and that’s why, you know, don’t believe, if you’re watching this program, don’t think that you can experiment with one of these things and then reverse it if it doesn’t work out. That’s not how it happens.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Paul, when you went to law school and even the generation afterwards, it’s like the brightest kids in the class… excuse me, when you went to medical school, the brightest kids in the class became doctors. Well, do you think we’ll have a shortage of doctors? Do you think they’ll be an incentive to enter the medical profession if the federal government tells you how to practice medicine? If the federal government rations medical care and if the federal government limits what your income can be as a physician under some new centrally managed and planned healthcare system like they have in Great Britain?
Ron Paul: I don’t think that would be first reaction. I think the quality of the person that goes into medicine will go down and that will not benefit the patient. But eventually, there will be a shortage. In a way, we already have shortages. It’s hard to get a doctor to work full time in a Veterans Hospital, a purely government hospital and it’s very hard to get… people who are getting Medicare right now, even with members of my own family say they are having trouble getting a family physician because they just don’t want to mess with the bureaucracy of the Medicare system.
So, no, it’s moving in the wrong direction. It’s going to be more difficult to find the doctors.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Mr. Hannan, do the best and the brightest become physicians in Great Britain? Is there a shortage of physicians as a consequence of either you work for the government or you get another job?
Daniel Hannan: Some people will become physicians just out of a calling, and I don’t want to imply that because we have a system it doesn’t contain good people. A lot of very generous, very patriotic people become doctors, even though they are working in a system that doesn’t maximize their utility because they have a calling to help other people and so that’s going to happen. And because that thing really becomes an argument for the system because people come out of a basically bad experience with the NHS and they say, “Oh, the nurses couldn’t have been kinder, the doctors couldn’t have been a more professional.”
And so that is something exceptional rather than what you could expect, if you see what I mean. But no, as a matter of simple, statistical fact, we have many fewer GPs per head of population than you have in North America or indeed than they have in the insurance-based systems in Continental Europe. We have had an emigration of physicians from the UK to the US, as I understand there has been from Canada to the US because people want to be in a system where they are valued and where their skills are put to maximum use.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Paul, do you think the American people would ever tolerate the type of rationing that would probably occur with the central planning of healthcare? I was watching a piece by our mutual friend, John Stossel, on ABC the other night. Actually, John sent it over here and I saw it before it was broadcast. That there are large sections in Canada where there is such a paucity of healthcare that the town clerk actually has to pull [...] out of a hat, so that when a visiting physician comes by once a month, whoever is named, he or she pulls out of the hat, gets to see the doctor and everybody else waits until the next month’s lottery. Could you imagine anything like that happening here and the American people accepting it?
Ron Paul: Well, you know, it’s hard to say. I think some will. Others are going to go to the underground economy, but let’s hope is anger that we’re experiencing right now and how upset the American people are, if we can think and take that energy in the type of people that you’ve talked to recently in the large crowd, we have to channel that energy to convince them that a free market system is quite capable of taking care of their needs, not only doing an adequate job, but better than anything the government can do. That to me is where the bottom line is in what we have to decide.
But if we institute a whole new system and the American people get really, really angry and fussed up about it, you know, in ten years from now, then it’s much more difficult to change things. That’s why we do have a critical thing going on right now politically and hopefully we sort it out and not make this thing so much worse.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Paul, before I let you go, there is a young man sitting next to me who looks like a younger, handsomer version of you.
Ron Paul: Thanks a lot.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: He’s beaming and you’re saying thanks a lot. I think he’s going to make some national announcement on the Fox News Channel in a couple of hours. I’m not sure what it is. Is there anything you want to say to this good-looking guy who is also a physician?
Ron Paul: No. The only thing I told him, make sure he knows what he’s doing because he has a perfectly good medical practice and he’s a good physician. So I don’t tell him what to do. He is his own man, but whatever he’s doing, I’m sure he’s going to do a good job.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Paul, thanks very much for joining us. Until next week at Freedom Watch.
Ron Paul: Thank you.