Ron Paul: We Need Free-Market Healthcare, NOT Obamacare

Healthcare Reform Passes

by Ron Paul

Following months of heated public debate and aggressive closed-door negotiations, Congress finally cast a historic vote on healthcare late Sunday evening. It was truly a sad weekend on the House floor as we witnessed further dismantling of the Constitution, disregard of the will of the people, explosive expansion of the reach of government, unprecedented corporate favoritism, and the impending end of quality healthcare as we know it.

Those in favor of this bill touted their good intentions of ensuring quality healthcare for all Americans, as if those of us against the bill are against good medical care. They cite fanciful statistics of deficit reduction, while simultaneously planning to expand the already struggling medical welfare programs we currently have. They somehow think that healthcare in this country will be improved by swelling our welfare rolls and cutting reimbursement payments to doctors who are already losing money. It is estimated that thousands of doctors will be economically forced out of the profession should this government fuzzy math actually try to become healthcare reality. No one has thought to ask what good mandatory health insurance will be if people can’t find a doctor.

Legislative hopes and dreams don’t always stand up well against economic realities.

Frustratingly, this legislation does not deal at all with the real reasons access to healthcare is a struggle for so many – the astronomical costs. If tort reform was seriously discussed, if the massive regulatory burden on healthcare was reduced and reformed, if the free market was allowed to function and apply downward pressure on healthcare costs as it does with everything else, perhaps people wouldn’t be so beholden to insurance companies in the first place. If costs were lowered, more people could simply pay for what they need out of pocket, as they were able to do before government got so involved. Instead, in the name of going after greedy insurance companies, the federal government is going to make people even more beholden to them by mandating that everyone buy their product! Hefty fines are due from anyone found to have committed the heinous crime of not being a customer of a health insurance company. We will need to hire some 16,500 new IRS agents to police compliance with all these new mandates and administer various fines. So in government terms, this is also a jobs bill. Never mind that this program is also likely to cost the private sector some 5 million jobs.

Of course, the most troubling aspect of this bill is that it is so blatantly unconstitutional and contrary to the ideals of liberty. Nowhere in the constitution is there anything approaching authority for the Federal government to do any of this. The founders would have been horrified at the idea of government forcing citizens to become consumers of a particular product from certain government approved companies. 38 states are said to already be preparing legal and constitutional challenges to this legislation, and if the courts stand by their oaths, they will win. Protecting the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, should be the court’s responsibility. Citizens have a responsibility over their own life, but they also have the liberty to choose how they will live and protect their lives. Healthcare choices are a part of liberty, another part that is being stripped away. Government interference in healthcare has already infringed on choices available to people, but rather than getting out of the way, it is entrenching itself, and its corporatist cronies, even more deeply.


  • jamfreak

    lol….because “free market health-care” works so great, that’s why America is #37 in the world. Lost a LOT of respect for Ron Paul on this issue…after all he IS a Republican.

    • longshotlouie

      We haven’t had a totally frree market in healthcare since the 60’s.
      That’s when the government jumped into the game, and prices have been heading up ever since.

    • Libertarian777

      ok jamfreak, please explain to me where we have a ‘free market’ health-care system?

      This bill notwithstanding, healthcare has NOT been free market.

      Compare your health insurance through your employer (or self insured if you could afford it), to your car insurance.

      How many car insurance companies are there? Almost too many to count. And dont’ you find they are all competing to give you lower and lower costs?

      How many health insurance companies are there? There’s only about 6 large ones (Kaiser, Cigna, Aetna, UnitedHealth, BlueCross/BlueShield group, and one or two others). These companies are exempt from anti-trust. There is no ‘free market’ (i.e. competition) between them.

      Please elaborate on WHY you say you’ve Ron Paul has lost your confidence. What specifically in his health care reform proposals do you disagree with and why?

  • Renee

    If we must have Health insurance or be penalized, why cannot we choose our own modality of health care? This new reform forces all to have Health insurance for Allopathic Medicine and not the health and healing modality of our own choice and the only health care we believe in. To many Americans do not even use any form of Allopathic health care but use naturopathic and Holistic alternative medicine instead. I included. Why pay for a health insurance I would never use?
    This new reform is a slap in the face to our freedom of choice.

    It would have made more sense to get rid of the malpractice insurance Physicians must have and pay that is so high cost for them. No wonder their prices are so high!

    • Libertarian777

      “Why pay for a health insurance I would never use?”

      Because SOMEONE (YOU) has to pay for the 32 million uninsured. And heaven forbid Congress pass a bill to open competition to lower health care costs. No, they rather pass a bill to add more people to the entitlement state.

      Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Congress to work on reducing healthcare costs. Then we, the people, can make our own choices on how much health insurance coverage we wish to buy?

  • luz

    some of these comments are really scary, not because of the content but because of the bad grammar… (english is not my native language and I even notice that!)

    healthcare need it a reform but obviously not the one passed; what’s really need it is affordability, control on the high-price premiums and deductibles…

    for example: a single rate for single women from 25-35 (non smoker), no dependent a different rate for single mothers with option to cover a dependent for only a $100.00 more… control on the pharma industry and their overpriced medicines doing “branding” and “positioning” their new drugs making desapear the low cost medicine that was still effective but not so popular… stop the pharma company from giving incentives to Doctors who prescribe the most-expensive and not the most-effective… etc

    the goverment should be only punishing the big evil healthcare and pharma industry not the people because still poor or rich we all need a doctor, a hospital, an ER and medicine…

    • Ryan

      Text Book definition of irony!
      No offense meant, truly, but it’s obvious that English is not your native language. Your grammar is atrocious, so maybe you shouldn’t complain about other people’s grammar. I could hardly understand your point.

      That said, if I understand you correctly, I agree with your point; affordability is what should be the focus of Health Care reform.

      • Libertarian777

        but please remember, when we’re talking ‘costs’ we mean actual COST OF SERVICE.

        Everyone seems to relate healthcare costs to health insurance PREMIUMS. There is a HUGE difference.

        Imagine if the government said “everyone shall buy car insurance” even if you don’t own a car. To cover those drivers who don’t have car insurance but own a car.
        They’ll limit your car insurance premium to $30pm.

        Everyone would love that

        But who would pay for the fund, when the cost of all the insurance claims exceeds the premiums received?

        In congress’ eyes, we just add it to the deficit.

        Actually this is directed more at luz than you Ryan.

        • Ryan

          No problem, I assumed that you were talking to Luz. Due to the grammar issue I wasn’t even sure what his/her point was, precisely. I agree completely that it is the actual cost of service that should be reduced.

  • Bob

    Maybe somewhere around 1861??? an interesting paralel.

  • LEE



  • Lee

    Americans not the only one that have health care look at Germany the oldest over 120 years Healthplan and it work HOW CAN THIS HAPPEND ???AND HOW MANY OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE IT GO GOOGLE

  • lee

    We go erery Sunday to Church and pray to help the sick , what do you want god? to pay for it!!! I am a good christian dont you see

  • Lee

    I dont need healtcare why should i care if people cand pai for it !!!i have tricare

  • DJ

    I work in the health care industry. First of all, Since when is having insurance = to good health care? How can they even pretend this is a health care reform? It’s will be genicide for the elderly. They cannot afford to wait long periods for care. I cannot believe intelligent people could make this law and not realize they were signing the death warrant on millions of our most medically vunerable citizens. Is this their way of dealing with the failing social security system? Afterall, older people will not be able to draw social security if they’re all dead.

  • That’s the main problem I have with this Obamacare bill, the mandating healthcare for ALL Americans and fining those who refuse to buy it. If someone doesn’t want it, why should they have to pay for it?

    • This also means longer waiting periods to get surgery for diseases, illnesses, and injuries, and more people will die because of this misguided bill.

  • Mitch E

    Too late folks we are now in ObamaCare!! Be READY to Carry Arms! IRS Agents will be knocking on doors and if you don’t have Health Care YOU are in Trouble! and if someone doesn’t have health care……WE the people are NOW going to pay for it with our TAXES…be ready for more Cuts from your paychecks folks and budget cuts….our country will get WORSE and WORSE thanks alot Obama you and your brainwashed Cabinet will one day wake up with the rest of us and we will see that we are in debt to YOU and every generation will have to CARRY that debt for the rest of our lives…..

    Goodbye America! The Reign of the Free man has ended…a NEW Era has begin! and its all communism

  • Luz

    this type of “healthcare” reform is only promoting more abuse and fraud…
    more third parties will be involved in selling you insurance policies good for nothing and generating more problems to get real-care

    and let’s not even point at the fact that preventive care will soon disappear

    what about the price of meds and the control over the pharmaceutical industry?

  • jischinger

    but Dr. Paul Government tax payer health care is good enough for you, isn’t it?

    Look, I don’t like that private insurance companies get a gift from Democrats, but I didn’t like it when Bush Paulson gave Wall Street a bailout, those toxic assist on our backs was a gift to them. Nor do I like that both parties shell out tons on these ridiculous wars.

    When Bush gave out tax cuts every republicans was happy, they said, ” So what if we go into debt I’m taking what I can get!” Did you think democrats would think differently about health care?

    So let’s try this, tax the crap out of Wall Street for Universal Health Care for now, then cut the pentagon in half, we’ll save tons, then we can all afford our own health care.

    Let’s do that first, least until Wall Streets stops robbing blind us and gambling with our futures.

    • Libertarian777

      while this sounds like i’m defending them (and I sure as hell am not), over taxing wall street will just result in them moving overseas.

      This is the exact problem London is having and how they are losing their status as financial capital of Europe. They are proposing and enacting so many taxes on banks, everyone has moved offshore.

    • Citizen

      Hey jischinger
      your ignorance is simply overwhelming.
      Go read a book, I’d recommend Dr. Zeus for your intellect.

      • Kale R.

        There’s no reason for name calling. Let’s act like adults here.

  • roheney

    Dr. Paul,

    I’m falling somewhere between healthcare being and not being a right of all Americans. Are all those who do not have the means to secure their own form of health coverage supposed to be just left on the streets to die? I wholeheartedly support you from a standpoint of constitutionality. But such rigid adherence feels like a brand of political fundamentalism. Do we want to be a country that lets our weak and underprivileged suffer? That can’t be the mark of a successful civilization. So in reality if we’re not expecting the ER’s to turn away uncovered people, then we’re accepting the burden of that costly care that could’ve been prevented for less. I don’t know the answer but it seems like there has to be an option for those that don’t have the means like I do. Unless we let them die, we’re paying for them one way or another. Which is the cheapest alternative?

    • The health care system is rationed, and what’s even worse is this flawed bill which will rationed it even more. & I have heard that the banks and insurance companies will make even more money.

    • Libertarian777

      why do people always say this?
      “Are all those who do not have the means to secure their own form of health coverage supposed to be just left on the streets to die?”

      Is your city littered with dead and dying people on the streets?

      My city must be really good at cleaning up all these dead people from the streets then, and the newspapers must be under government control to prevent them from reporting this, since I never see it either on the streets or in the newspaper.

      • Libertarian777 You do make a great point. The government has censored the real stories of people. Government has always had false promises that they just can’t keep to disguise what they’re really hiding.

  • Matt

    Thank you Ron Paul! Seemingly the lone voice of reason in a lair of greed and corruption. Could you do us two big favors Dr Paul?

    #1. Shine a light on other Representatives who, like yourself, are Representing the people by whom they were elected. Hopefully there are more than just 1!

    #2. Seize the current state of unrest among the People and direct them toward your Audit the Fed bill! Surely they will be as outraged with the lack if visibility into where all of our money is going. Our best option now is to start sweeping the legs out from under plans like this by demanding audits and, ultimately, control of our money back!!

    Thank you for your continuing efforts in what must be an increasingly difficult climate for those like yourself who still hold to (or even know about) the original founding principals.

    • Citizen

      Sadly Ron Paul is a rare intellect in the political arena.
      Its the air-head Nancy Pelosi types that don’t care about the cost, they are well insulated from the total collapse of our economy. It’s us dumb middle class working fools who will be striped clean of our futures.

      • Kale R.

        It’s true. Today’s American’s are totally fine with handing over their freedom in exchange for “safer living”. I suggest the lot of you should move to some communist country before you let ours turn into one!!

  • It should’ve just focus on the cost and we pick our own healthcare! It shouldn’t be mandatory.

  • Derek

    on Collective Bargainer’s point … USE CASH.. thats great but almost all employers require direct deposit now. so in order to do this everybody will have to go and cash out after every pay day

    oh and Ron Paul, I stand behind you the whole way. Things are getting way out of hand…

    as Thomas Jefferson once said, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. “

    • Yes. We would have to cash our checks instead of direct deposit. Or withdraw our paycheck if direct deposited.

      A small inconvenience is a small price to pay for liberty. Money talks .. I’m adding to the Banking RFP list :

      5.) Funds held in precious metals and other tangible assets

  • Omar

    God bless you Dr Paul. I agree with you most of the time, but have disagreement when it comes to healthcare.

    Martin Luther King jr and the rest of the world all share something in common when it comes to healthcare & that is that healthcare should be perceived as a civil right, and NOT a luxury.

    And that is where I and many other Americans stand on the issue.


    • Matt

      You are confusing this recent bill with health care. This bill merely offers discounted insurance premiums via tax-credits to qualifying individuals. The reason there are no prior-condition exemptions is because all plans will be drawing from the same pool of money. It’s no magic wand, it’s the pooling of money by means of law-enforceable IRS tax code changes. The penalty for non-compliance will be an extra 2% tax, if you elect to remain in a plan that is not government-approved (so you too would be paying into the same pool either way).

      This doesn’t cover anything that current insurance doesn’t cover. Low income people who qualify still have to pay for services. The providers still get to charge the maximum as set by the government guidelines. And, most of all, the choices will be even more limited.

      The real problem with health care right now is the outrageous cost. And that has been largely influenced by the minor role that the Federal government already plays. When Ron Paul talks about free market health care he is talking about a system of competitive services and pricing that will actually drive the prices DOWN. What you mistake as free-market economics is largely corporatism (and even statism at certain levels). For example take a look at auto insurance. There are a large number of private insurance providers all competing for your business. They are constantly adjusting their services and trying to best each other with cheaper rates or more convenience. When is the last time you have seen that with health insurance providers? Instead, premiums go up, copays go up, out of pocket maximums go down, annual maximums go down, coverage as a whole deteriorates. So you have to ask the question: where is all that money going?

      We need to start with the answer to that question before we can even begin to propose a solution. I’m not sure what quotes from Martin Luther King you are looking at, but I’ll give you a quote from a man who I wish was here to lead us again:

      “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the
      people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become
      happy.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1802

    • Libertarian777

      Omar, I think you, along with a lot of other people are being misled by various groups as to what ‘rights’ truly are.

      The government (and constitution) should enforce your right to life and liberty by preventing hospitals, doctors etc. from doing things such as refusing to see black/hispanic/asian patients due to their skin colour, race, age, religion etc.

      Currently no hospital can turn ANY patient away from an ER. That there enumerates your ‘right’ to healthcare.

      The difference here is this ‘bill’ is not about healthCARE. How can the government MANDATE that everyone join a health insurance plan, any more than they can mandate everyone to take public transit, or eat healthy foods etc?

      These are choices best left to the people to make.

      This bill does NOTHING about the COSTS of healthcare (price controls are NOT cost controls), it just grants further entitlements to everyone, and funds it with deficits (and more taxes). Rand Paul made a good argument about how where things are competitive costs go down (e.g. cellphones). People called in arguing “but i’m not a cellphone plan, i’m a person” etc. etc.

      Ok, but 15 years ago cellphones were seen as things only ‘wealthy’ people could afford or need. Nowdays EVERYONE has a cellphone. Even in rural India, and Africa cellphones are prevalent.

      Now if this technology which was only needed by the ‘wealthy’ is accessible to even the poorest of the poor in 15 years, why is it that government needs to get MORE involved in healthcare? Even pet care is run better than human care, since it is a private enterprise without government involvement.

      Even before this bill was passed, government was the issue of creating this huge insurance companies with ogilopoly pricing power. The government should have removed this (anti-competitive / anti-freemarket) subsidy to the health insurance companies.

      Mandating healthcare insurance is no more a right than the government mandating everyone have a cellphone and computer due to their 1st Amendment right.

    • Ryan

      Omar, that’s the wrong attitude.
      We do not have a RIGHT to Health Care, let alone a RIGHT to Socialized Health Care, like ObamaCare. That’s absurd!
      We The People have a RESPONSIBILITY to pay our own debts, including Health Care costs.
      If we focus on the cost of Health Care, reducing it to affordable levels via Tort Reform and reduced Bureaucracy and reduced Regulations across the board, we can then all afford to have decent Health Care.
      Nationalized Heath Care is nothing less than organized theft with Government approval. Which in turn increases the cost down the road, and at the same time reduces our personal Liberty and self-determination.

      • Libertarian777

        also don’t forget, your ‘right’ to healthcare as people believe they have cannot override my rights!

        I have a right to life, but not at the expense of yours.

        So if healthcare is a ‘right’… that’s fine, but how do you define the limits of that right? do you get ‘free’ coverage for every ailment? and does that mean that I must be taxed at 50%/80% to pay for your coverage?

        So my right to the fruits of my labour are superceded by your ‘right’ to healthcare?

        if that happens, what incentive do I have to work?

        If we are insistent about healthCARE as a right, we need to define it very narrowly. The ‘right’ to healthcare would only encompass hospitals and doctors not being allowed to refuse treating anyone due to their financial, religious beliefs, social status etc. And this right already exists. ER’s abide by this.

        However mandating that everyone be in the same insurance pool flies in the face of actuarial and statistical practices. Why aren’t car insurance prices the same for 16 year old drivers as it is for 40 year old married women with 2 children? Why does it differ across states?

        • Ryan

          Agreed! The far left never ceases to amaze me at how much theft they are eager to justify as an imaginary “Right”.

          **Why aren’t car insurance prices the same for 16 year old drivers as it is for 40 year old married women with 2 children? ***

          Shhh! Don’t give them any more crazy ideas. 😉

  • Ryan

    Ron Paul is right point-by-point!
    If they would just focus on the real problem, the insanely high cost of health care, more people would be insured than the 32 million Obamacare supposedly insures… And it wouldn’t infringe on the people’s right to manage their own lives. Furthermore, that approach wouldn’t add one penny to our suicidally large deficit.


    I have discovered the way to take back our country without a single assembly or protest.

    Since our Government has become a corporation, we too can collectively act as a corporation.

    If we form a social network (not a company but just a membership association), we can collectively publish a RFPs (Request for Proposal) for services.

    The instrument of the RFP is used on a daily basis as a means for corporations to solicit purchasing requirements and conditions to suppliers.

    As a first ‘peoples RFP’, I recommend we collectively publish an RFP for banking services.

    1.) Bank shall not charge more than 5% interest on credit card

    2.) Zero dollar ATM fees

    3.) Bear interest on savings equal to or better than best rates available internationally

    4.) Offer true multi-currency accounts.

    If no Bank is willing to respond to the people’s RFP, then the we the people shall USE CASH.

    In this way, our wallet will become our collective lobby. I think this is the only way to get our message across. Enough talk.

    The USE CASH movement has begun!

    Game on bureaucrats!

    • Kale R.

      This is genius! The banks can’t do shit if we carry our money out of our accounts.. they loose all their power. It’s like I said before, American’s today are much too comfortable letting others take care of them. That isn’t the way humanity is meant to live. You are entitled to the sweat of your brow, the shirt on your back, and so forth. This healthcare bill is just another example of the government seemingly “catering” to our wants and needs.
      What people don’t understand is this all has to be paid for SOMEHOW. And HOW does the Fed get money for these programs? You, the tax payer, and them, the foreign banks overseas, thus deepening our national debt, furthering the recession and eventually leading to a dollar crisis where our paper money isn’t worth the ink used to make it! HISTORY HAS TAUGHT US MANY THINGS, BUT THOSE FOOLISH ENOUGH TO FORGET ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT’S MISTAKES.