Always Solutions, to Problems that Never Were

Ron Paul on Health Care…

In the days before Medicare and Medicaid, for instance, the poor and elderly were admitted to hospitals at about the same rate they are now, and received good care. As a physician I never accepted Medicare or Medicaid money from the government, and instead offered cut-rate or free services to those who could not afford care. Before those programs came into existence, every physician understood that he or she had a responsibility toward the less fortunate, and free medical care for the poor was the norm. Hardly anyone is aware of this today, since it doesn’t fit into the typical, by-the-script story of government rescuing us from a predatory private sector. Laws and regulations that inflated the cost of medical services and imposed unreasonable liability standards on medical professionals even when they were acting in a volunteer capacity later made offering free care cost prohibitive, but free care for the poor was common at a time when America wasn’t so “governmentish” (to borrow a word from William Penn). We have lost our belief that freedom works, because we no longer have the imagination to conceive of how a free people might solve its problems without introducing threats of violence – which is what government solutions ultimately amount to.

On the other hand, just about everyone is unhappy with the health care system we have now, a system some people wrongly blame on the free market. To the contrary, our system is shot through with government intervention, regulation, mandates, and other distortions that have put us in this unenviable situation.

It is easy to forget that for decades the United States had a health care system that was the envy of the world. We had the finest doctors and hospitals, patients received high-quality, affordable medical care, and thousands of privately funded charities provided health services for the poor. I worked in an emergency room where nobody was turned away for lack of funds. People had insurance policies for serious health problems but paid cash for routine doctor visits. That makes sense: insurance is intended to protect against unforeseen and catastrophic events like fire, floods, or grave illness. Insurance, in short, is supposed to measure risk. It has nothing to do with that now. Something has obviously gone wrong with the system when we need insurance for routine visits and checkups, which are entirely predictable parts of our lives.

Yes indeed. We now have a population largely incapable of thinking or providing for itself. They just want to be taken care of, like children… or sheep. It is hard to imagine that just over ten years ago our so-called healthcare system was in way better shape than it is today, as far as actually providing what were even remotely cost effective services and solutions. Special thanks to the do-gooders who endlessly champion the causes of unseen puppet-masters.

Excerpts above taken from Ron Paul’s book The Revolution – A Manifesto, published 2008, pages 85 and 86

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