Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dr. Ron Paul Has A Heart Of Stone. And Plenty Of Company In Today's GOP.

There was a special moment during the CNN/Tea Party presidential debate on Monday evening when moderator Wolf Blitzer threw out a red-meat hypothetical: What do the candidates think about the case of a young man who could afford health insurance but chose not to buy it and became gravely ill? Should the state pay his bills?

"That's what freedom is all about; taking your own risks," replied Ron Paul. "This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody--"

Paul's response was drowned out by cheers from the audience, as well as shouts of "Let him die! Let him die!"

The response and applause was a defining moment for today's Republican Party, which has been hijacked by right-wing zealots who are so twisted that they are pro-life when it comes to abortion but pro-death when it comes to health-care reform.

Ron Paul, however, is even more twisted than his ardent acolytes. You see, Ron Paul is a medical doctor and knows first hand what happens when young people don't have health insurance: In 2008, Kent Snyder, his friend and former campaign manager, died of complications from pneumonia at age 49.

Snyder was relatively young and seemingly healthy when the illness struck. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Dr. Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs totaled $400,000. His mother was incapable of paying the bill.

"Let him die! Let him die!"

The issue that defines America and its people in coming years will not be reducing the federal budget deficit or what to do about income taxes. It will be health care.

Health care is an inalienable right. Other industrialized countries recognized this years ago. Only the U.S. stands alone in letting tens of millions of its citizens, including many children, go without adequate health care or the insurance to pay for that care.

The rights of insurance and drug companies and for-profit hospital chains trump those of Joe and Jane Sixpack, and Dr. Paul and virtually all of the Republican presidential field are just fine with that.

"Let him die! Let him die!"

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