Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell discuss Obamacare, Swine Flu and Big Government

Last week Ron Paul sat down with his old friend Lew Rockwell to discuss Obamacare, liberty, the swine flu, and the dangers of big government.

Date: 8/18/2009


Lew Rockwell: Around these days it seems like the hot issue is Obama’s socialized medical bill or do we call it a fascist medical bill or interventionist medical bill? I don’t know, but it involves vastly increasing. There are already horrible amount of government intervention in the medical system. But it looks like there is so much opposition. Is he going to get it through?

Ron Paul: One thing we can agree on it’s not a free market approach to medical care. I don’t think he’ll get the whole thing through. You know, looking back at what has happened with my bit of an experience in Washington is that they never get everything, but they always get a bunch and I imagine he’s going to keep moving this.

But they’ve been doing this for maybe 50 years. Incrementalism, the American people accept incrementalism. But you know, if in the 1940s or 1950s, they would have said, “We want social healthcare,” The American people would have rebelled, and even today they resent being in socialized medicine and they’re rebelling, but they’re going to take a little bit more and they’ll keep moving. So I think they’re going to move in that direction and you know, Republicans are doing a pretty good job in opposing it, but the Democrats have more votes.

But the real tragedy is whether you have the Republicans in charge or the Democrats in charge, you know what happens, it still marches on. I mean, look at what happened under Bush. We had that prescription drug program and it sailed right through and here we go, we’re even looking for a much greater influence from government, so unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to be much benefit to our patients.

Lew Rockwell: And of course, you’re right about both parties having increased government intervention in medicine. As you’ve pointed out that with Hill Burton and starting with the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s, whereas Truman, even at the height of his popularity could not get a socialized medicine bill through.

Ron Paul: Right.

Lew Rockwell: Yet, Eisenhower did it. Of course, LBJ with Medicare and Medicaid. Nixon with the HMOs and Healthcare Financing Administration and Reagan increased intervention in medical care and Clinton and so I guess Obama is going to just continue on that same path.

Ron Paul: So you can understand and empathize with those people who are getting angry, especially that they’ve been introduced to free markets and believe in liberty and believe in the Constitution, let them be angry and I think it’s very justified that people are upset and angry, and hopefully this is a healthy sign that people are starting to realize that the federal government can’t deliver and ultimately, I think that’s what our country is facing; a government that can’t deliver, but that should be a very positive thing for us if we come of it without violence, I think this could be very helpful to us.

Lew Rockwell: I think it’s thrilling. Of course, the government uses only violence, right? I mean, that’s how they get their medical bill through. If you don’t obey, if you don’t pay their taxes, they use violence against you. But the opposition, they’re just arguing against these things.

Ron Paul: Yeah, they have a lot of guns that they use. You know, I argued that we should have gun control on all the federal bureaucrats. I think we have 100,000 federal bureaucrats who carry guns now. When you think of all of the agencies of government, they’re permitted to carry guns and of course, sometimes that one individual American have guns, the left goes nuts, you know, “What, somebody has a gun?”

Lew Rockwell: Because these guys will bring them on planes. They can carry them anywhere. State law doesn’t apply to them. They sail above it.

Ron Paul: That’s right and that’s what should really scare us. What scares me is the use of the gun to take away our liberties. You know, even though they’re not shooting at us, the gun is always behind everything that they do and just the idea of paying for this medical program, where are they going to get the money? It’s all the use of force and guns. They go to the IRS and then, of course, they borrow money and they pay interest on this money, then they use force, a sinister tack like inflation, the Fed prints the money, and then they haven’t talked that much about paying for this bill.

Obama talks about all these good things that are going to come from it, but I don’t even think the conservatives have done a real good job in talking about the real cost of this thing. You know, where does this come from? And what amazes me is we have… we’re living in a period of time now where the national debt has gone up to $2 trillion this year and it doesn’t hardly even faze him to talk about another program they claim is going to be a trillion, but you know that have you ever seen a government program proposed to cost a billion or 2 billion or 10 billion and not being 2 or 3 times more.

So this is not going to cost a trillion dollars because they can’t know. Because costs are always going to go up. You know, so what they’re projecting… I mean, their programs, their computers are telling, “Well, everything is going to cost this much.” Oh, yes, but we’re going to get rid of the waste and fraud and that’s how they’re going to pay for it.

Lew Rockwell: I also like the fact that they claim that they’re going to cut costs. I mean, government loves spending money, they sort of exist to spend money. So when in human history has any government ever cut the cost of anything?

Ron Paul: When you think about how much the bureaucracy costs in lost time and inefficiency with the little cost of paying these people and who thinks for a minute they’ll be less federal bureaucrats involved in this program. You know, the one thing that bothers me is it’s going to involve some bureaucrats and that is this electronic surveillance of all the medical records. You know, the procedures are already in place. They’ve gotten the authority to set up the medical documentation of electronic records.

In this bill, if it pass, has $50 billion in there. So if anybody cares about medical privacy, it’s essentially gone. This HIPAA thing that came up a few years ago, it was designed… it has made everything accessible to the government and to the big insurance companies.

Lew Rockwell: In the name of privacy.

Ron Paul: Yeah, in the name of privacy and now, they’re talking about making it… but what they want to do is monitor every single transaction; everything the patient does, everything the nurse does, everything the doctor does, and how many pills have been prescribed and monitor this and review everything to find out if everybody is doing the right thing and they think they’re going to bring down the costs. It bewilders me to think that anybody could believe this stuff.

Lew Rockwell: And who can doubt that your medical records would be part of your dossier to be accessible to the Department of Homeland Security, maybe every cop on the beat. They’re going to have all that information on you; your financial information, legal information, medical information.

Ron Paul: Yeah, and you know, that under the HIPAA law, they explicitly say that you’re protected, unless the government needs these records for health matters and think about all the hype on this flu… this swine flu and they’re getting ready for that and are we going to have mandatory inoculations and all this and then you’re going to be in a computer, “Oh, Joe Blow, he didn’t get his shot, you know, round him up.” So it’s scary stuff. You know, it looks like it’ll make 1984 look attractive one of these days.

Lew Rockwell: It sure was interesting how disappointed, openly disappointed they were when the swine flu business didn’t bloom into the full-fledged epidemic they were hoping for.

Ron Paul: No, and they’re still sort of hoping for it. You know, they’re trying to do this and all that… and I guess, you do remember a little bit about 1976, when we were worried about […]. You remember Larry McDonald and I voting against that thing.

Lew Rockwell: Yes.

Ron Paul: And more people died from the inoculation than did from the flu. But you know, this isn’t… I never want to belittle the principle of inoculations. I think people get way, way to many and we break down our immune system, but the whole idea, if it’s a shot that’s good or bad, why is it that it has to be massive and why is it that it have to be with everybody? Why is it that it has to be the government? Why can’t the parents make these decisions? Why can’t the doctors make these decisions on whether somebody has to get a flu shot? And you can argue the pros and cons of that, but this idea that there’s going to be a government decision, you know, the Federal government is going to make the decision and of course, drug companies tend to be involved as well. Oh, boy, I guess that is going to be a big customer if I can do a flu shot for everybody in the country.

Lew Rockwell: And of course, this always leaks into foreign policy, it seems too, given the empire. So I remember when the Ford administration used the swine flu virus to attempt to infect all the farm animals in Cuba in an active germ warfare, right? We call it an act of terrorism today if somebody else were doing it into the US.

Ron Paul: No, no, that’s verging on conspiracy.

Lew Rockwell: Yeah.

Ron Paul: Now, you’re telling the truth, telling the truth about what our CIA has done over the years. You know, you might find out that not too… in recent years or decades, when they did this survey and find out that we’ve attempted over 50 assassination of government leaders. So whether it’s the health matters or oil or whatever, I think we’re way too much involved, so…

Lew Rockwell: That’s for sure. Ron, thank you so much.

Ron Paul: Okay, good. It’s good to talk to you, Lew.

Lew Rockwell: And also to you.