The largest audience cheers in the Republican presidential debate came when Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul whether he wanted an uninsured 30 year old with a treatable disease to die because he didn’t have health insurance. You can hear the crowd
shout cheer, “let him die.” (video provided by ThinkProgress)
Blitzer >> You’re a physician, ron paul, you’re a doctor. You know something about this subject. Let me ask you this hypothetical question. A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides I’m not going to spend 200 or $300 a month because I’m healthy, i don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who will pay if he goes into a coma, who pays for that?
Paul >> In a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him.
Blitzer >> What do you want?
Paul >> What he should do is whatever he wants to do and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would have a major al policy.
Blitzer >> He doesn’t have that and he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?
Paul >> That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody —
Audience >> [applause]
Blitzer >> but congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?
Audience >> [shouts of “yeah!”]
Paul >> I practiced medicine before we had medicaid in the early 1960s when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospital. And we’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourself, our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea — that’s the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests, it kowtows to the special interests and the drug company, then on top of that you have the inflation, the inflation devalues the dollar. We have lack of competition. There’s no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing. We should legalize alternative health care. Allow people to practice what they want.
Update: After listening to the video no one in the crowd yells “let him die.” They do however cheer when Wolf Blitzer asks if Ron Paul would just “let him die.”