Obamacare will further damage the doctor-patient relationship, and if it were a good program, it wouldn’t have to be imposed by force.
Channel: Fox Business
David Asman: Man who spent his life fighting for the freedom to choose life is Ron Paul. He’s a medical doctor by training and congressman by the will of the voters. Congressman Paul, joining us now. Great to see you Congressman, thanks for being here.
Ron Paul: Thank you David, good to be with you.
David Asman: You know, I don’t get your views very often as a physician on this. You’ve got wonderful views as a libertarian on this issue. What do you think about what happened last night as a doctor?
Ron Paul: Well, I think it’s going to ruin the doctor-patient relationship. It’s already been severely undermined because doctors don’t deal with patients, they deal with insurance companies and the government and drug companies and the whole works. So this just makes it that much worse. It’s not all at once. It’s been coming this way a long time. When I practiced medicine in the 1960s and 1970s before I came to Congress, I refused to deal with third parties. If they were on Medicare or Medicaid, if they collected the money from the government that was okay, but I consider something very very important in medicine, and that is the doctor-patient relationship. We should not be taking orders from somebody else, yet today it’s very bureaucratic and this bill is going to make it much much worse. Which means the patients are going to be less happy and the doctors will be less satisfied. Most people think people go into medicine only for the money. But I’ll tell you what, a lot of us enjoy the fact that we can deal with our patients and the bureaucracy ruins that. And I’m afraid this will make it much worse.
David Asman: I remember very clearly when I was a kid the doctor coming for house calls, my father walking the doctor to the door, pulling out his wallet, giving the doctor a 10 dollar bill or 20 dollar bill, whatever it was. Now that’s in the past. You can’t go back in the past. But whenever we can get closer to the ideal that we used to live by, the better, as far as I’m concerned. What about you?
Ron Paul: Well of course. And ironically, a little bit of that is coming back. Some of the doctors who refuse to participate and opt out, those who are still doing family medicine, will go out and make house calls and take appointments and just charge 35 dollars. They don’t do any insurance or any bureaucracy. They don’t carry any malpractice insurance, the whole works, and the patients are happy with it. But that’s just far in between because you need a hospital to deliver babies and do surgery. You need to be in the hospital so that drags you in the system.
You know, during this debate, they talked a whole lot about the public option. I just wish they would protect the private option. Give us a chance to have it private. Just like you should have a chance to have private education and home schooling. You should always protect that in spite of the disaster in public education. If you always had a private option in medicine, some of us could survive and at least we could set an example for the type of medicine that the people should be getting.
David Asman: But now, the private option as you described it and as we both, I think a lot of Americans wanted to return, it’s going to be illegal. And not only will it be illegal, because everybody will be forced to buy insurance, but you’re going to have an IRS agent on your tail if you dare not to have insurance. What do you think of that?
Ron Paul: This is horrible because the people who are going to get charged are the ones who might not have carried insurance on purpose or would have had a major medical policy and they didn’t want a big insurance policy. Insurance policies should be variable. You know, just like we buy for our houses and our car, we look at what kind of coverage we want. In medicine, the people who need the least and would carry the least amount of insurance will be the ones who will have to pay the maximum, and they are the ones who will be hounded by the IRS.
This is a command society now and medicine is right in the forefront of this. I think symbolically, the American people didn’t have concerns, now they just think about it. 16,500 armed bureaucrats coming to make this program work. If it is a good program and everybody liked it, you wouldn’t need 16,500 thugs coming with their guns and putting you in jail if you didn’t follow all the rules.
David Asman: Exactly. I think you just said it. If it was a good program, you wouldn’t need coercion. This is a coercion. Using the power of the state as a coercive body rather than as a representative of the American people’s will. There’s something deeply, deeply wrong with that.
Ron Paul: Well, it came about because people generally in this country have lost confidence in freedom. Freedom really works and is very popular, but it lost its appeal because people became too dependent on government. As long as we were wealthy and able to borrow a lot of money, everybody did get a lot of stuff. But right now the conflict is that the government is bankrupt, the country is bankrupt, and a lot of people are starting to realize we don’t even trust the government anymore. And those are even the people who are on the receiving end. They don’t trust the government because here they are coming up, they’re giving us a trillion dollar of new programs and say they’re going to save money and cut the deficit. At the same time, they have Medicare and Medicaid and the post office all going bankrupt. They think the American people are going to believe this, and I think they’re naive if they think that people will believe this.
David Asman: Most Americans absolutely don’t believe that this thing will pay for itself, that it won’t do anything but dig us deeper into a hole. But I have to ask. Newt Gingrich came out with a piece today that began by saying “This will not stand”. That is, it will be overturned. What do you think the chances of it being overturned are?
Ron Paul: Not real good. Maybe parts of it will be. It’s really hard to reverse trends. I think it won’t stand for economic reasons. I think that our whole system is going to come unglued just because it doesn’t operate very well. And I think it will come unglued that way rather than us going back to the Hill and once again repealing this. But you know, if there’s a change in leadership in this country, at least in the Congress in November, maybe there will be an attempt to back off from this. But I’m not all that optimistic about it. I’m more concerned about what this bill will do to our financial condition of this country. I have been talking about that for a long time and this is just a horrendous new burden that we placed on the economy.
David Asman: By the way, talking about change of leadership,1 I got to ask, we have to wrap, but what about the chances of somebody named Rand Paul in Kentucky? What do you think his chances are?
Ron Paul: Tell you what, he’s doing a lot better than I expected at the beginning, he’s having a good time campaigning and the Republican leadership has done him a big favor, they’re campaigning for the other guy. The Washington politicians are campaigning for his opponent, so he’s doing very well. He’s attending most of the Tea Party meetings.
David Asman: We speak of course of Rand Paul, the son of Ron Paul. Ron Paul, wonderful to see you. Thank you for being here, Doctor.
Ron Paul: Thank you very much.