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Kate Nocera reports: "A hearing of the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging looked at emergency room use and took an odd turn Wednesday when Sen. Rand Paul compared the 'right to health care' to slavery. 'With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses.... You are basically saying you believe in slavery,' said Paul (R-Ky.), who is an ophthalmologist."

Tea Party favorite Sen. Paul Rand, 11/03/10. (photo: Ed Reinke/AP)
Tea Party favorite Sen. Paul Rand, 11/03/10. (photo: Ed Reinke/AP)

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+45 # Kayjay 2011-05-11 18:19
A note to Rand. Following your logic, there must be a lot of miserable enslaved European physicians pining for freedom.
+28 # PhilO 2011-05-11 22:51
Clearly, Rand has the same grasp of logic, reason, and systematic thinking as does a 7 year old. Is it any wonder the GOP/TEA/Me party denies evolution and climate change?!

Pretty frightening!
+14 # Activista 2011-05-11 23:56
many middle -class Americans travel to Europe to get modern, quality health care.
Americans doctors = money, PROFIT - greed corrupted - do NOT trust doctor under 40.
+14 # AndreM5 2011-05-12 11:09
Both Pauls are so frighteningly absurd I hope they keep blabbing away so their true colors are clear for all to see.

Where you suppose little Randy got the name "Rand?" Pretty transparent, I'd say.
+1 # George D 2011-05-14 10:48
I put off reading this article because I don't like to focus on demonizing individuals and I had already made up my mind about Newt, Rand and others. But then I thought; Maybe he's making a valid point about "forcing" people to "buy" insurance; So I read the article.

He thinks he would be a "slave" if America passed a law making healthcare a right? Needless to say, my opinion hasn't changed about Rand; Well, it has degraded substantially from where it was. I'm pretty quick to tune out "loonies" that are worse than just misguided but actually; Well, NUTS.

Rand seems to have no grasp of what "slavery" is, what a "right" is, and what "freedom" means. And the Teabaggers voted to put him into Congress; What a surprise. They also put GWB in the White House.

Stupid people vote for their own to rule them. As a friend once said; "People get the government that they deserve".

I could probably become a convert to "states rights" and "limited government" if that means letting states handle their own social agendas and not anything else. They would have to relinquish their representation in Congress on those issues.

How about a "partial secession" bill?
+20 # Ken Hall 2011-05-11 22:44
Typical rightwing Hypocrisy and Hot Air.
+33 # angelfish 2011-05-11 23:35
Medicine USED to be a "calling" taken up by men and women interested in alleviating pain, suffering and illness of all kinds. NOW, it is BIG BUSINESS. Once the Insurance Companies found out how much MONEY is generated by Health Care Services, they jumped in with BOTH feet and recruited like-minded drones who don't give a hoot about people, let alone, sick people! They created HMO's and Medical Cartels, dictating to Doctors what illnesses would be covered and who was eligible to receive treatment. They're doing it in the Penal System too, running "For Profit" Prisons along with their "for Profit" Hospitals. EVERYTHING is "For Profit" these days! The Fat Cats don't care about Health Care because they can AFFORD it. It's the rest of us that have to go begging or mortgage our homes to pay our medical bills and "well care" visits for our children. Back in the day when I was a child, my Mother told me that they had "Well Baby" Clinics in the City of New York, as well as Free College (CCNY) for residents. Where did it all go? You're WRONG Mr. Paul. WE are the slaves and YOU and your like0-minded Cretins in Congress are the Simon LeGrees!
+14 # JustJim 2011-05-12 11:25

Your summary made me realize that forces similar to those behind "Big-Oil" are now behind "Big-Medicine". Not just healthcare, but pharmacuticals as well.
+8 # m 2011-05-12 17:36
''Medicine USED to be a "calling" taken up by men and women interested in alleviating pain, suffering and illness of all kinds. NOW, it is BIG BUSINESS...''

Yes... True..!

I feel the same has happened to NEWS REPORTING also... Being a Reporter used to be a profession taken up by men and women who were seekers of facts and truth... Now, after 30 years of obsessive compulsive Conservative Deregulation schemes in the name of 'BARELY-THERE-G OVERNMENT' for the sake of greater Global Corporate Profit.., which included the deregulation of Media Ownership rules--- the once 'FREE PRESS' in America has now largely become the extremely narrowly owned GLOBAL Corporate Information Manipulation Business filled with mega-millionair es more concerned with how to sway votes AND how to keep the 'drones' on the couch when the commercials come on in order to maintain the high numbers necessary for profits galore..!
Stirring Fear of EVERYTHING including each other, along with National Division and Hatred and Intolerance seems to be highly profitable if you ask me.
+27 # bruin75 2011-05-11 23:39
Dr Rand's view is one not held by other physicians, particularly those who became physicians to help our fellow human beings and not concerned with social status and driving a Mercedes, BMW or Lexus. As a physician, my life's work is treating those who come to me with illness, real or imagined. I frankly don't care what their socio-economic status is. They all have a humane right to health care. To assume that those of us in the profession as physicians or, to quote his argument, "hospital janitors" are enslaved by the creation of a national health insurance plan is, in my view, preposterous rubbish. Every European country has a national health plan and it works just fine. In this country private insurance companies are reaping huge profits and excluding those who need their product most. That is criminal! Conservatives will argue otherwise, ie, those who can't afford health insurance have not worked hard enough and have not pulled themselves up by the bootstraps to be useful citizens in their social paradigm. Hence, they deserve their place and will have to suffer the consequences of their failure. George Lakoff is correct when he defined the stark differences between those of us who are progressive and the conservatives in his book, Moral Politics.
+15 # Nori Muster 2011-05-11 23:41
You have to feel sorry for the doctors. All that medical school, only to be enslaved by hordes of senior citizens and legislators with government health care.
+7 # Arika 2011-05-11 23:45
Talk about falling far from the tree! You should go listen to your father! You must really hate him! He makes so much sense, and you are an idiot!
You can't really be related to Ron Paul, because you're so stupid, and clueless!
+13 # Linda 2011-05-12 10:22
Are you kidding me ? Ron Paul's agenda is his sons agenda haven't you been paying attention. Ron Paul is a Tea Party freak just like his son . He advocates small government and doing away with all social programs .
Just because the guy talks ending taxation and the Federal Reserve you don't look any further into what he advocates . He really would love to do away with Social Security and when recently backed into a corner in an interview ,,he back peddled and said well yes I would but only if Congress and the people agreed . Well guess what his people are the Tea Party and Congress right now is overrun by them so the true answer would have been yes period .
+16 # Linda 2011-05-12 10:33
Less you forget Ron Paul is a Libertarian and believes in the same John Birch Society,"that was founded by the Koch brothers father ," BS that the Koch brothers and most of the Tea baggers.
No the apple didn't fall far from the tree !
-3 # Activista 2011-05-12 20:59
Ron Paul's agenda - is to END THE 3 WARS.
This is what is killing/killed USA.
+4 # billy bob 2011-05-13 15:31
So, by your logic, are you saying the only way to end the "wars", is to should accept all of the other damage ron paul wants to do to our country? That's a compromise I'm not willing to make.
+20 # m 2011-05-11 23:50
'''Right to health care' is slavery..''
Here are my suggestion of other possible 'quotes and utterances' from the TEA-ple side of the Moat which we may hear someday.
How About:
-'American Labor is simply another Global Commodity to render profit from however a Corporation can.'
-'Work Safety Laws are a form of Corporate Bondage.'
-'The Environmental Protection Agency is a threat to The Universal Global Corporate Right to use the Environment as a Common Corporate Garbage Can.'
-'The FDA is an unnecessary affront to Freedom and Liberty loving Americans everywhere as all Americans should have the right to decide for themselves whether or not a product is safe and if they would want to use whatever a Corporation went to the trouble to produce.'
-'Unions are evil things which force the Super Wealthy Global Corporate Class to redistribute their hard earned money in the form of so-called 'living wages' to Workers as if Unions have the right to determine where bonded servitude begins and ends.'
-'Bonded Servitude' worked just fine for centuries... why not again?..'
-'Bonded Servants never whined about living standards or conditions or even the quality of swill they were often given as Benefits because they could legally be beaten senseless without fear of a litigious society run amok and overrun with litigious Lawyers!' :-D
+12 # giraffee2012 2011-05-12 01:30
The "excuses" Rand comes up with to support the dictates of the Koch brothers are so lame I wonder who actually believes his statements. He will never be re-elected.

I want all of the expenses by our federal government on the table (and on the Web) so we the people can see WHERE our money is spent.

If Congress continues to give subsidies to the OIL companies -- all hell will break lose.

We must stop waging wars and not stop caring (medically too) for our people.

Rand's proposition to cut deficiet (debt) is a bloody joke. Who can "buy his rhetoric"? The GOP has stepped in "it" and they smell -- corruption is too mild a term.

I want my Democracy and Rand/Koch/Chene y/Rove (you know the list -- are out to destroy our freedoms and "rights"

BAD -- Vote Dem in 2012 - you will get another "W" (etc) if you vote R

And that is my opinion
+10 # in deo veritas 2011-05-12 09:02
And you are 100% right! I hope those whop refuse to listen to reason and do what is right will be the first ones to bite the dust. They are too stupid to realize they are being betrayed. If they got hit upside the head they would have to ask a third party if it hurt! The Repugs (corporate fascists) would of course say that it hurt them more than it hurt you. That has been their line of crap forever.
+20 # ER444 2011-05-12 02:04
Mr. Rand, why is it OK to "enslave" the doctors in emergency rooms ?? Because Hippocrates said it is OK. Your logic is as flawed as your ethics. We are trying to find a way to give every American proper and AFFORDABLE health care. The only way to do this is to get everyone on board and paying his share into the pot. This includes you and every other freeloading politician enjoying the only really socialised medicine in the country, that is your free health care paid for by the rest of us. Put your money where your mouth is! When you have 40 million patients going to the ER, which you suggest works, the rest of us pick up the tab. It is unaffordable and hypocritical. Not to mention the fact that these same 40 million patients are excluded from preventative medicine which saves millions and increases the quality of life by keeping people healthy and out of the hospital. You and your people are on the edge. Gooble Gabble.
+22 # michelle 2011-05-12 02:21
Can anyone believe the mean spirited, twisted logic of this clown from Kentucky? What worries me most is the word slavery. When republicans accuse the government of anything (like death panels) it's really what republicans are planning for the American people. Using his logic, teachers must be slaves because you have a right to an education and let's extend it to voting and any other right you have. Shame on Kentucky for sending this person to the senate.
+8 # in deo veritas 2011-05-12 09:06
"Animal Kingdom" Derby winner would be a better representative for the state of Kentucky. Caligula once appointed his horse as a consul in Rome. Guess he had the same type of morons in the government as we do.
+11 # Linda 2011-05-12 10:41
I agree with everything you said especially Shame on Kentucky. These states who are now receiving the blow back from their ignorance in the voting booths I hope learn a lesson and stop voting for these clowns and do their homework before they ever vote again.
+12 # Ninure 2011-05-12 03:38
Does this mean that the "right to life" is slavery?
+14 # in deo veritas 2011-05-12 09:08
Who knows? For many pro-life simply means birthing many more slaves to the system. Strange how once you ARE born they don't care what happens to you (or your parents).
+17 # futhark 2011-05-12 05:28
You want to talk about slavery and not having a choice? I was hospitalized all of last summer (4 months) with a serious medical condition requiring weeks of IV hookups, surgery, chemotherapy, the whole nine yards... During this time, while I was confined to my bed, with no operational access to communications devices, I was assigned to the care of several physicians, not that I was in a position to actually "comparison shop" any of them.

One physician to which I was assigned was an "out of network provider", who subsequently has billed me for over $20 000, even though I have one of the better private insurance plans, Anthem Blue Cross, for which, as a retiree, I pay over $500 a month to stay on my former employer's plan. If your car engine has a leaky water pump, in California the mechanic is required to provide the consumer with an estimate of cost for repairs. Not so with medical conditions.

Legal action is pending concerning my "obligation" to pay, with all the unpleasantness of legal fees and threatening letters from the physician's collection agency. I think my "right to choose" was violated when I was presented with a single "choice" of a physician to provide for my treatment and not apprised of the potential financial consequences.

I'm hoping for a favorable ruling that may set a legal precedent for patient's rights.
+14 # Capn Canard 2011-05-12 06:24
poor Rand Paul, if we had universal Healthcare Rand would be held in SLAVERY! Poor Rand, if the USA were to actually enact a universal Healthcare system, Doctors like Rand Paul would be forced flee to a place with freedom for it's Doctors, like Canada or Europe. Good luck little Rand our hearts bleed for you.
+6 # Alice 2011-05-12 08:15
Or Uganda...
+6 # in deo veritas 2011-05-12 09:09
Sooner this cluck and all his corporate fascist associates are forced to flee the country the better. Turn them over to Gaddafy. They would have a love feast!
+13 # propsguy 2011-05-12 06:34
his argument is not even worthy of comment. he must be getting big bucks from the insurance companies to argue against something so obviously right and this is the best he could come up with
+11 # Alice 2011-05-12 08:15
and remember, he invented his own ophthalmologica l board, of which he is the president...
+12 # in deo veritas 2011-05-12 09:09
His main source of $ is the Krotch Brothers.
+18 # Paul 2011-05-12 06:49
Rand Paul misses a very important point, which makes his reference to slavery completely idiotic. No one forces doctors to be doctors in the first place and in addition to this basic fact, no one forces them to continue to practice. So, how can it possibly be called slavery? The man is out of his mind and has no business in congress!
+9 # Linda 2011-05-12 10:52
Secondly if he and his father really went into the medical field because they really want to help people then why did both of them decide to get involved in politics and leave their professions behind or at the very least limit their practice. The money was greater in politics with all the perks they could get from lobbiests and they know that . The bottom line is they are rich and want to get richer which is why they are both backed by the Koch brothers.
+19 # JayR 2011-05-12 07:00
Rand Paul and all of his self-identifing "libertarians" are freeloaders. The day he stops driving/riding on publicly financed roads and in cars that are subject to safety regs, stops flying on airplanes that ATCs keep from colliding and that are subject to safety regs, stops breathing relatively unpolluted air that's subject to environmental regs ... oh yeah, he wants to get rid of all of that, too, 'cuz market forces will result in private, for-profit industry making all that stuff safe for us. Rand Paul is as big a hypocrit as his namesake Ayn Rand, only one whale of a lot more dangerous.
+12 # W 2011-05-12 08:00
So Rand, using your argument, since I have a "right" to a speedy trial, that makes judges, attorneys, clerks, and the janitor who cleans the courthouse SLAVES.

We have lots of rights in this country; I guess we have a lot of slaves.

Who voted for this idiot? Oh yeah, the baggers.
+13 # fredboy 2011-05-12 08:19
Following Rand's reasoning, all military personnel, police, firefighters, municipal and state and federal workers, teachers, professors--all of us--are slaves. We have to show up and work or we will be fired. Most of us don't think of it that way--we chose our work and love it or enjoy the challenge, and recognize we have a DUTY to fulfill both our pledge (in our employment agreement) and personal goal to be good at what we do.

The Rand seems to see the work of doctors as a hobby. This is strange, as most docs I know are superb, dedicated professionals, not hobbyists.
+13 # swrussel 2011-05-12 08:36
Two comments.

EVEN IF YOU ATTENDED A PRIVATE SCHOOL, the taxpayers paid the lion's share of your medical education.

And there is the matter of conscription conscription. As in, the government claims it can take your life. Want to give that up?

Since I have a law degree, I'm used to being conscripted for the public interest. Since I would never have become a lawyer without the GI Bill, the duty to engage in pro bono work has never troubled me.
+15 # CenTexDem 2011-05-12 08:37
Rand Paul says that a right implies the use of force. The rich and corporate elite in our country have certainly enjoyed their right to happiness by forcing a lower standard of living upon 90% of Americans through deregulation, regressive taxation, and hidden costs to society due to their self-aggrandize ment.
+11 # in deo veritas 2011-05-12 08:55
No way a simple SOB like this would ever provide any kind of care for my eyes. I can see quite clearly what he is- a throwback to antebellum times. Like many of his state back then he wants to have slaves-us. Slaves to his benefactors on Wall Street.
+10 # Linda 2011-05-12 09:50
Rand Paul is just as insane as his father. They would both see this country going backwards into those days when people died young from lack of health care and pre-natal care . These people make no sense yet there are people voting for them because they don't have the brains to figure out that those weren't the good old days they think they were .If you call people starving to death and dying young from lack of health care the good old days then your last name must he Hitler.
+10 # MylesJ 2011-05-12 10:46
Hey Rand,

That Hippocratic oath, not hypocritic oath.
+3 # fredboy 2011-05-12 13:09
The Rand also mentions our founding documents, citing the Declaration of Independence. Its most famous line is "LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." I always read LIFE as honoring our existence, health, and quality of life--that we may, healthy, live our lives fully. Does The Rand oppose this? Does he believe in bestowing it selectively to only those who can pay? That would be a scary ER!
+3 # wanda 2011-05-12 15:05
Rand Paul is an idiot. I knew this before he was elected by watching him on the Rachel Maddox show. Shame on Ky but then again they continue sending that other idiot to the senate every year. Must be some thing in the water!!!!!
+5 # Regina 2011-05-12 15:59
Doctor Paul is in dire need of the services of a fellow-physicia n, a psychiatrist. Maybe he can get a professional-co urtesy discount. Unfortunately, medical schools don't guarantee that their graduates are sane.
+5 # billy bob 2011-05-12 17:46
The claim that universal health care is "slavery" is interesting,

coming from someone who believes "big government" had no right to end ACTUAL slavery.
+3 # Rick Levy 2011-05-12 20:51
Well, Paul is showing his true colors (although in all fairness I don't know that he ever successfully hid them). This is the Libertarian/ Tea Party Character in action. If a physician considers the basic human right to health care as slavery for the provider, don't get sick if his kind take over.
0 # rumigirl 2011-05-13 09:54
I guess that means that teachers are really slaves.
+1 # eolemons 2011-05-14 07:08
“Our founding documents said you have a right to pursue happiness, but there’s no guarantee about physical comfort."

Someone needs to tell Rand Paul that part of being happy is being physically comfortable. So according to his logic, since those who seek to feel physically comfortable are actually enslaving doctors and healthcare providers by merely seeking out their knowledge and expertise in a given profession, they actually do not have a right to pursue such happiness. A clear contradiction, for it seems to me that one can hardly pursue happiness if they are constantly feeling like crap and do not attempt to do anything about it. Likewise, Doctors and healthcare providers are pursuing happiness by engaging in a career of their choice, otherwise they would not be in that career, regardless of what one calls it. Everyone is pursuing happiness here. But according to Rand's logic, one should not call the police or seek any type of help if they are being attacked and suffering physical pain from it, for they would be enslaving those who they are calling on to help them. More grand logic from our apparent leaders. Good grief.
+2 # rm 2011-05-14 14:21
If Rand Paul really believes the quotation attributed to him at the beginning of this article, then he is the stupidest person on earth. What an imagination. Are we are all slaves if someone wants to purchase the services we offer. Does he think he'd be practicing for free? Most doctors now take Medicare patients; they may complain that Medicare pays too little but their Medicare patients don't convert them into slaves.
+1 # rm 2011-05-14 14:26
Healthcare is a human RIGHT. Everyone on earth has a RIGHT to the best healthcare possible. That is what it means to live in a modern society. Modern advancements in medicine did not take place because of private investment. Rather, governments and tax payers spend huge amounts of money on medical research and training of medical personnel. Everyone pays and everyone has a right to the benefits of this expenditure of money.

It will be quite some time before these rights are fully implemented worldwide. But that is the same for all rights. Most people now recognize the equal rights of women, but they are not fully implemented everywhere. The world is making progress. Rand Paul is just a neanderthal. He's a throwback to an earlier age. There are lots of people like him. They will all die out someday. They are not being reproduced. They are a vanishing breed.
0 # Pickwicky 2011-05-15 15:40
Larry, Moe, Curly, and Rand--with apologies to the Three Stooges.

Ask yourself, Rand, what would you think of a 'civilized' society in a galaxy far, far away, if they only gave medical care to those who could pay for it--that is, ALL of it?
+1 # jeenious 2011-05-16 13:06

Don't tell me, let me guess. When you were in that hospital bed, fighting for your life, did any physicians you did not know, and had not asked for, drop by your room and say, "How are you feeling?"

You may have responded, "Not well at all."

And they may have taken your pulse and departed, all in about three minutes.

And how many of those doctors charged you hundreds, or cumulatively thousands, of dollars, as "specialists." I have physicians and attorneys in my family, and must say that even they admit to me in private that they think some of the things they do are expensive and unnecessary, but "everybody's doing it."

Insurance companies gouge people if they are not prevented from it by regulation.
Yet many of the very people doing the gouging talk the right wing nut talk about how Obama is ruining the country by trying to curtail some of the preying on system.

Many of the people who gripe the most about how the Democrats are out to destroy them have blinders on, and do not take into account that the Republicans had the White House and BOTH houses of the Congress for the three full years leading up to and including the inception of the Great Recession.

They TALK with forked tongues, when the nation is still trying to crawl from under the ruins they left it in in 2008.

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