2008 Flashback: Ron Paul's campaign manager dies of pneumonia, uninsured, leaving family $400,000 debt

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Big thanks to @cjohanns for catching this one: Back in 2008, Ron Paul's 49-year-old campaign manager died of pneumonia, leaving his family $400,000 worth of medical bills. By the way, this man also  persuaded Ron Paul to run for president:

Mr. Snyder, 49 years old, died of complications from pneumonia on June 26 -- exactly two weeks after Mr. Paul formally ended his presidential campaign. He is survived by his mother and two sisters. Friends of Mr. Snyder created a Web site on July 2 to help his family pay the estimated $400,000 in medical bills accrued because Mr. Snyder didn't have health insurance.

The site is hoping to tap into the same base of small donors that filled Mr. Paul's campaign coffers. "Kent was the man that made the campaign possible, and inspired everyone that he met," wrote Justine Lam, a former Paul campaign aide, on the memorial Web site.

Via a 2008 post at OpEdNews.com:

Sadly, the Libertarian heart apparently does not include health care. The poor guy raised tens of millions of dollars and couldn't afford the $300-$600 a month that COBRA medical insurance would have cost.

Once again, the so-called "pro-lifers" prove their blatant hypocrisy.

That said, we need more people in Congress like Alan Grayson, who gives great email (this one is the source for the photo above) and great voice to the anger a lot of us are feeling. Here's an excerpt:

Last night, the Tea Party showed its true colors, and Alan Grayson called them on it. At the Republican Debate, Tea Party members shouted out that a man in a coma with no health insurance should die [Laffy Note: Our post of the video here]. Grayson called it “sadism.”

Alan Grayson is saying what we’re all thinking, but no one else has the courage to say. Support his campaign now.

Here is how the Huffington Post reported it, drawing almost 10,000 comments already:

The jubilant shouts of members of the GOP audience encouraging the death of a hypothetical uninsured man [at the “Tea Party Debate” last night] bring to mind the 2009 House floor speech delivered by former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, in which he famously charged: "The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick." Members of the crowd at the Tampa debate agree with Grayson.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the event's moderator, posed the hypothetical question to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn't have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? "Are you saying society should just let him die?" Wolf Blitzer asked.

"Yeah!" several members of the crowd yelled out.

Alan Grayson warned us about this two years ago; now it’s out there for everyone to see. Help put Alan Grayson back in Congress.

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  • theAmericanist

    Dude, you're a fool.  That's your business.  You're ignorant. That's your problem.

    But you're attempting to impose an ignorant and foolish, essentially theological notion of "free enterprise" that violates the First Amendment on those of us who are neither ignorant, nor foolish.

    An example: I have not said that "insurers only make profits when they avoid losses".  That's because I understand insurance. You think I've said that -- because you don't.

    The profit model for car insurance works because most people are good drivers, and (not incidentally) they are NOT their cars. That is, a good driver will not drive a car past the point where wear makes is unsafe.  Going too fast for you?  Re-read the graf, I used plain words and simple concepts.

    A profitable car insurance company charges good drivers less than bad drivers, and will refuse to insure some drivers at all, just as they will refuse to insure cars that are not safe.  (Or more precisely, a driver who operates an unsafe vehicle will have trouble with their insurance company collecting a claim.) In general, this works out through volume -- even good drivers will (rarely) have accidents (which is why they are called accidents), which is why every driver is required to have insurance.  It is true that some drivers will be denied insurance -- those who have too many accidents, or those who cannot pass basic tests (like drivers licenses), but that's NOT why car insurance is profitable.  (This is one of the many things you don't understand about market economics.)

    None of those characteristics are the same for health care.  EVERYONE dies, and most folks cost much more than they could ever save or pile up in insurance in their last year or two, which is why I cited the real example of Kent Snyder.  The reality of his case is that he was a freeloader who argued exactly as you do -- and I expect you're just as much a freeloader as he was.

    The sound economic thing to do with freeloaders like you guys, is simply to require you to have health insurance (like the rest of us who work for a living), AND to require that health insurance companies cannot turn you down because of a pre-existing condition, like Snyder's pneumonia.

    That way, health insurance companies will still be enormously profitable -- BUT the rest of us won't be stuck with the health bills for freeloaders like Snyder (and, I expect, YOU, JSebastian) except insofar as the historical model of profitably insuring risk has always worked.

    'Course, if you understood THAT simple fact, you'd actually know something about economics (not to mention insurance), and wouldn't be posting here like the knucklehead you've shown yourself to be.

    Note to mods: I am not abusing this guy. I am merely noting plain facts about him, and what he doubtless considers his "thinking".

  • JSebastian

    You don't need to be condescending.  You're the one who doesn't get it. The insurance company does not make any profit because they turned someone down.  That is a simple fact. 

    You've attempted to turn reality on its ear by stating that insurers only make profits because they avoid losses.  That is the crux of your argument and it is false.  If such a thing were actually true then you wouldn't have to have any customers to make profits. And we know that's not correct. 

    What you are really saying is that just because the government meddles in the market, because it feels that it has the right to dictate which customers insurers can and cannot refuse to insure, and at what rates, etc, that companies should be blamed for the effects that has.   Avoiding bad customers is just good business.  Imposing a rigid rule that every customer should be serviced would be stupid. 

    What private enterprises would benefit from is a free market  in which they are free to make basic decisions about what to sell (within reason, of course) and to whom to sell it.

    And of course, any customer can be profitable. Just not when government shits all over the free market. Regulation distorts reality.

  • theAmericanist

    (Patiently, as one explaining why the sky is blue to a child or someone blessed with Down Syndrome.)

    One reason why people learn about a subject -- like economics -- before they form opinions about it, is because there are simple distinctions that are easy to understand, but which DO require understanding before you can move on to harder, yet still simple concepts.

    One of these simpler concepts is that one way to make a profit, as a business, is not just to make ONLY transactions which are profitable, but also to avoid transactions which are not.

    That is, when a health insurance company collects money from a young, healthy person they are making a very good bet (worked out by actuaries) that this person (being young and healthy) is likely to pay more in premiums than they cost in care -- which is true almost by definition: note the words "young" and "healthy".

    To folks who have actually learned the subject before forming opinions on it, this also helps to explain why Medicare and Medicaid are largely about people who are neither young nor healthy -- that is, the government insures only those people who are NOT profitable for the private sector to cover, which explains both why the private sector is profitable AND why the government role subsidizes private health insurance. (Scroll up, and you will see some of your libertarian colleagues just barely beginning to catch on that  health care is not a market and does not respond to price the way, for example, selling shoes or buying gold does, which is why their hallucination of it  makes no sense and has no relationship to reality -- sorta like yours, JS.)

    But of course, the concept  to START with is very simple -- a private health insurance company will refuse to insure a guy like Snyder IN ORDER TO BE PROFITABLE, in precisely the same way the old vaudeville joke was funny:

    Schmendrick: Such a business I got! I buy these for $5 each, and I sell for $4 -- I can't keep 'em in the store!

    Mensch: But you lose a dollar every time you make a sale.  How you gonna make a profit like that?

    Schmendrick: I make it up in volume.

    But if somebody's gotta explain the joke to you, JS .... it's on you.

  • JSebastian

    "So what about the for-profit health insurance industry? They make money BY TURNING PEOPLE LIKE SNYDER DOWN.6)"

    You just said it was for profit. 
    If they didn't insure him they didn't make any money on him.  So, no, they didn't make any profit by turning him down.

    Try again. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElricStormbringer Kyle Hitchens

    "Charity has been around for millenia, yet we still have poor, destitute and homeless. America has only been around for about 250 years and we have only had social security for the last 100, seems to me the US government is a lot more efficient than charity."
    That's why we still have poor people and poverty in America.. at least to the standards of other Americans. The fact of the matter is there are a lot more people around the WORLD that are in more dire straights than most Americans are. Charity depends on the willingness of people to give their money. The sad fact is the government takes a lot of that money.. and not all of that money goes to healthcare or helping the poor.. it goes to murdering psychopaths that people like you support. You can't have your cake and eat it too.. you either have it or you eat it. Dollars that you spend on destructive practices are dollars that can never be spent again on live saving practices.

    "If so fine, if you don't have the fee to pay for you're health care too bad. I'm afraid your faith in charity is obviously misplaced since we have had charity for how many decades and the plight of the poor is worse and worse? You know what give people Jobs instead of charity, allow them to live on the sweat off their own backs instead of this obviously not efficient charity."

    There's a lot of doctors that don't take insurance, medicare or medicaid and they provide services for free sometimes.. you know why.. because they can afford to do it. People like yourself are stuck in this mentality that government will take care of everything.. it's that mentality right there that makes people give less and less to charity. We also had the government try to give people jobs and welfare.. how has that been working out? You're looking at one side without seeing the other and you're saying that because someone else won't see an ideology that they have read and don't agree with as falling on deaf ears?

    Btw, Charity is efficient.. they have a clear set of funds and income that they are allotted by people who donate.. Governments aren't.. and never will be efficient at doing anything other than killing people.

    "Actually I take it back, you're right INSURANCE COMPANIES are living off the fruits of someone else's labor:Mine, yours and every other working individual who is just trying to live an average, simple, unremarkable life. Even if you do decide to do something spectacular later, that's later you get catastrophically sick (say like in your 30's as that Tea Party Debate question said) and then oh well life is over for you, at 30. You're saying that makes sense to you?"

    That's because Big Business is in bed with Big Government.. you're too blind to see that government power is being abused by government officials and big business.. then when something does go wrong you cry out against Businesses when it was government power that was being abused in the first place.. So your solution is to give them more power? You have no clue what you are talking about.

    If you decide not to get insurance then, save just encase something bad does happen to you. In the society that we live in right now the government doesn't encourage saving.. Banks don't encourage saving.. everyone wants you to spend, spend and spend some more.. it's government encouraging risky behavior that provokes deadly results.

    "It is not the fruits of someone else's labor, even working people can not afford health care costs. Your argument fails right there, people aren't using the fruits of someone else's labor they are breaking their backs just to survive and then find out "oh you got sick now everything you have worked for in life is out the window"."

    It's because you aren't looking at the root cause that drove up the prices, stifled competition, controls all of the medicine and how many people can be doctors.. ding ding ding.. the government.

    "So you don't want affordable health care? You want peoples ability to be healthy to be based on the profit margin of a large company? Do you think being trapped under crippling debt is Liberty?"

    Yes, we all want affordable care.. however, you think that is the fault of large companies when they don't control the laws over prices, they didn't stifle competition with anti-business laws and regulations, they don't control all of the medicine we have and they can't decide who can get a license to be a doctor or not.. so you're going to place blame on large companies when it's the government that decides the rules and how the game will be played?

    You're naive.

  • spdusma

    The real story that isn't told by the mainstream media: Kent
    Snyder was uninsurable due to a terminal illness, yet he still received the
    best possible care, which unfortunately could not save him. While uninsured
    patients are charged 2.5 times what insured patients are charged, in practice
    they are only expected to pay a quarter of what the insured pay. In other
    words, Kent's arbitrarily inflated $400,000 hospital bill could be taken care
    of for about $40,000, and as far as I know that's exactly what happened: about
    $50,000 was voluntarily raised by Ron Paul's supporters and paid to the
    hospital; the hospital was satisfied and did not try to collect the balance
    from Kent's estate. It was a voluntary and charitable solution in a broken
    system. Snyder knew he was not going to last much longer in this world. That's
    why he quit his job and went to work for Dr. Paul. He wanted to make a
    difference in the short time he had left. He gave it his all and SHAME on the
    mainstream media for making a mockery of this man's life and his passion for
    liberty! Kent Snyder is an inspiration to us all... and his spirit will not be
    forgotten.

     

    The true reality is that government intervention
    in healthcare has counter-intuitively driven up the costs of medical attention
    and the cost of medical insurance.  Compare
    the costs of medical treatments not covered by health insurance, such as laser
    eye surgery, and you will see that the costs have consistently gone down over
    time.  The free market dictates that
    companies cannot charge the maximum amount for care.  Contrast these prices to the dramatically increasing
    prices of treatments covered by insurance and government mandate.  Though the intention is good in involving the
    government in healthcare, the results are disastrous.  All too often, people do not distinguish intention
    vs results.  The government, via
    subsidization and regulation, has created growing medical industries of
    uncharitable bureaucracy.  These
    corporate special interests have disturbingly embedded themselves in with the government
    bureaucrats in an incestuous marriage, in which we have the wolves tending to
    the sheep.  The corporate special interests lobby for regulations that
    allow for government-enabled and even government-mandated monopolies.  The first director of the American Cancer
    Society, Clarence Cook Little, resigned in 1954 to become the Scientific
    Director of the Tobacco Industry Research Council.  That move was chillingly convenient for the
    tobacco industry.  “Cut, Poison, Burn” is
    the video that details just how corrupt one of the most government-trusted
    agencies in America, the American Cancer Society, has become.  They have facilitated monopolization of
    cancer treatment and stifled innovation. 
    Google it.  Let’s remember how
    Reagan so inspiringly stated, "Government is not a solution to our
    problem, government is the problem."

  • theAmericanist

    Aww... you're so cute when you pretend to read.  Here (reaching out, turning the book right side up), I'll help.

    See, right here it says that Snyder was, you know, alive when he ran up $400,000 in health care bills?  Take your time.

    And if you look over in this part, you'll see -- I know, these are hard words -- that he applied for health insurance, and was turned down.  Yes, this is related to that "actuarial reality" you were talking about.  We're all so pleased when you try like that.  

    But if you look over here, you'll see that no private company used to sell health insurance to middle- aged gay men with pneumonia -- not before Obamacare made turning people down for pre-existing conditiosn illegal.  It's right here under "Economics 101" -- because pretty much all middle-aged gay men with pneumonia are bad risks, sorta like older people in general, private companies can't make a profit on offering them health insurance. See the example? That'd be like car insurance for a 65 year old car that's thrown a rod, driven by someone with Alzheimer's.  Not a good revenue stream.

    And in this sidebar, there's an explanation why Snyder's family was responsible for his $400k health bills after he died.  See where it explains that hospitals won't provide expensive care unless somebody pays for it? This thing here cross-references that part called "Economics 101" -- somebody always pays for everything, yes, that's right.  So when Snyder needed the care and couldn't pay himself, the property he jointly held with his family was put up to pay for his care.

    And this last part, that's in red? That goes back to the very first part, where Ron Paul claimed that charity would cover this sort of thing, and his supporters claimed that how they helped Snyder and his family proves it.  Now, I understand you have trouble with this, because this part is math: see, Snyder's bills added up to $400,000, His family had to pay all of it after he died.  That's because his health care was very expensive before he died. Yes, this happens to most people -- the last few years, even weeks of life are often very expensive, with hospitals and things: if you check the Economics 101 section again, see where it explains this is why no private insurance covers this for most folks? Now, here's that nasty math -- Ron Paul's supporters raised less than $50,000 to help the Snyders.  Take your time, and you'll see that $50,000 is much, much less than $400,000.

    I know, it all makes your head hurt. But if you try, one day you will be able to keep up with some of the kids on the short bus -- maybe some of the slower ones, if you try.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Was America not formed AFTER the Revolutionary War, it is hard to have a conversation with someone who will so readily not understand facts. We are either still a British Colony, or else half of our current size.

    I'm sorry we can not continue this conversation if you are going to deny that it was a WAR that allowed us to become a country.

  • JSebastian

    EDITED.

    JSebastian and TheAmericanist... read our guidelines. Next time you'll be deleted and/or banned.

    Thanks.

  • JSebastian

    Why do you keep blathering about people dying?  The product that addresses that is called "Life insurance". You're totally mistaken, look at your bullshit idiocy "So the only way for health insurance to make a profit, is to NOT cover people who get sick or injured,  and die.  Period. Full stop."

    Have you never heard of an actuarial table? Its the same thing that powers all insurance.  Mutual risk! Collect enough premiums to cover the costs of the pool.  Health insurance is just like shipping insurance, just like car insurance, just like life insurance.  All based on actuarial reality.

  • JSebastian

    Snyder was an immunocompromised gay man who suffered from chronic health issues. He was not a healthy individual. Hell,  who knows, he might have had AIDS.  His blood disorder could have been acquired, or it could have been hereditary. (there isn't much information available). The point is, his health is not anyone else's responsibility. Not yours, mine, or Ron Paul's. But his own.  So why do people want to force others to be responsible?  I see this issue as one of personal responsibility.  Heck, if poor people can not afford care, then they can make a choice in the market - either don't buy the product, or borrow the money to cover it.  Its not the conundrum that the Socialists have made it out to be.  

    Of course, the reason they don't have any answers but Stealing  - its the basis of their Philosophy.

  • JSebastian

    Your argument is flawed.  And your facts are wrong. 

    First of all, insurance is not health care. Let's be very clear on that.  At least 16% of the premium is spent on other things.  So right there is some built in inefficiency.  

    The other thing you mention, but fail to account for, is that hospitals are allowed to pass on the costs of uncompensated care to other patients. This is wrong. This is why it costs $500 to get an xray in an ER, because you're paying for every deadbeat and wetback who used the ER as their primary medical care facility because they know they won't be forced to pay their bill.  

    Also, nobody should be using insurance coverage to pay for doctor visits. The fees are low enough that basically everyone can pay for an office visit.  These are routine and expected costs that should be in every individual's mindset as necessities, like food or shelter.  

    Also, under ObamaCare costs have already skyrocketed, and the racket has arranged for insurers to be able to charge a middle class family 12% of its income just in health care premiums before a subsidy is paid. That's simply not possible. A middle class family isn't saving 12% of its funds a year, they don't have this money.  And all that will get them is a policy - it doesn't include any deductibles (which could be $5K or $7.5K/family) or co-pays which could be much more.  All this will do is penalize people who buy insurance on their own, and allow insurance companies to charge exorbitant rates to everyone.  

    Plainly put, insurance is a scam - you pay a lot of money that is diverted to cover the costs of uncompensated care (ie, not you or anyone else in the mutual risk pool who has paid to be there, which is the entire basis of insurance), and you get zero for it.  You still have to spend much more money out of your pocket before the insurance company will spend a dime. And even then, they will spend 80 cents, or maybe even only 60 cents, and bill you for the other 20 or 40 cents. Its obscene to think that this abusive arrangement is somehow providing people with health care "security". What a bunch of bullshit.

    What people need is not regular health insurance that covers them everytime they run to the doctor because they have the sniffles or stubbed their toe , but "major medical", which covers them for hospitalizations, major illnesses, and prescription drug coverage that can be used to cover expensive medications.  

  • JSebastian

    If you want to engage in Christian charity, then that is your prerogative to do so, to expend your resources as you see fit. However, it is not your prerogative to steal from your fellow man, even if your intent is to do good works with the stolen funds.  The prohibition against theft is one of the ten Commandments, and as a Jew, surely you give some credence to the Old Testament, right?  

    Show me where the Bible instructs the followers of Christ to steal from their fellow citizens. 

  • JSebastian

    I haven't claimed anyone is surplus.  If the insurance companies don't want to insure him, that's their business decision.  They could insure him at some rate though, the obvious issue is whether or not it makes any sense for a sick individual to pay whatever the offered rate is.  The problem here with our system is that it allows hospitals to pass the costs of indigent and charity care on to other customers, which is immoral. 

  • JSebastian

    Where do you get "freeloading" from any Libertarian position. It is just the opposite.  Everyone should be paying their own way in this world, and not stealing from their fellow man to benefit themselves.  And yes, having the State do the stealing "on your behalf" is not any more morally defensible than doing it yourself.

  • JSebastian

    I understand that. Or perhaps you have a reading comprehension program - I said in my post that discriminatory pricing was at play here, and that's why this was 400K.   No other reason.  We need transparency too, that's another contributing factor. Hospital prices are a mostly black box operation- because they do their best to keep pricing and cost information hidden. Its a racket.  And insurance only exacerbates the problem. If insurance were banned, then prices would become reasonable.

  • JSebastian

    That's just Statist crap.  And you think warfare is the prerequisite of this country? gimme a break. No country has the power to destroy us or occupy us.  But nonetheless here we are fighting four non-defensive wars that serve no purpose and have drained the economy (one of the factors, not the only one).   Majority rules is nothing more than animalistic "might makes right".  Its barely cloaked barbarism.
    If something is truly good, then it will be nearly universally popular. 

  • Ellen Sandbeck

    I don't think that leaving someone on the sidewalk next to his or her wheelchair is a good indication that that person is ready to get on with life unaided, and that is exactly what has been happening; it's been written about repeatedly  in the L.A. Times.  And very unfortunately for the Libertarians who believe that we are all separate, we are not. If we  decide, as a society, that the poor deserve everything that happens to them and that is none of our business whether or not mentally ill or indigent people are dying on the streets without any access to health care, those ill people are inevitably going to spread disease and epidemics to the rest of us. If they have no housing, where do you think their shit is going to end up? If they have no access to preventative health care, how can we possibly deal with  natural or even man-made epidemics? Or should we just round up everyone who is living on the street, prop them up in front of a brick wall somewhere and shoot them?  Denying decent housing and access to health care to a large percentage of our population is not just cruel, it's stupid and dangerous. It doesn't work well in third world countries, and if we decide we want to continue on this trajectory, it won't be long before the U.S. becomes a third world  country.

  • Barry Diller

    nah......they just go bankrupt.

  • Barry Diller

    nah......they just go bankrupt.

  • Barry Diller

    "Sadly, the Libertarian heart apparently does not include health care. The
    poor guy raised tens of millions of dollars and couldn’t afford the
    $300-$600 a month that COBRA medical insurance would have cost."That statement has one opinion and one false statement.

  • Barry Diller

    yeah, agreed. She probably signed for it, in hopes she would save her son. Sad.

  • Barry Diller

    As you may notice, I disagree and have given some reasons. Her comment is pithy, has no teeth and is just a talking point from the left, with huge exaggerations and overblown descriptions.

  • Barry Diller

    Thanks for the links, but they don't wholly support your comment. In the LA Times story, they discuss putting homeless people back on the street (maybe they should house them, too?) only after they are ready to be discharged, and that section of town has more facilities to help the homeless than anywhere else in the city. It's not like you describe: "CRAM them into a taxi and Dumps the patient on the sidewalk".  CRAM? DUMP? Nice bleeding heart position to take. Why don't you go out, sell everything you own, borrow that same amount and give it away to indigent people and go broke. Go do that, then come back here and tell us how you feel, being broke and in debt you can never recover from. JUST LIKE THE GOVERNMENT is doing, now and free health care is just one more SPEND, not a fix for the system. Those folks get FREE health care, they don't work and are not productive members of society and you are complaining that they don't get something they "deserve", or have a "right to" or what? Maybe a limo ride would be better? Or the hospital should GIVE them MORE than the FREE stuff and bed and meals and meds and god knows what all.... They've been covered by the government for ever. The ONLY thing about the health care bill that makes any sense, at all, is the clause that deals with pre-existing conditions.

  • Thorn726

    32,000 of 400 000 is not "paying his expenses" (after it does any good, he's dead), you (the supporters) obviously did not cover his medical costs while living by employing him either, or he would have had insurance.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C3PWJL7LAMTCW43LCX2NCDOEYI Jon G

     How about, "Hospital Charges $400k for Pneumonia Treatment - Patient Dies - Liberals Blame Lack of Health Insurance"

    That kinda sums up the bizarre straw-man core of this article. Whether or not he had insurance is pretty clearly irrelevant. Connection to Ron Paul or Libertarianism is pretty non-existent.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C3PWJL7LAMTCW43LCX2NCDOEYI Jon G

    A pneumonia vaccine prevents *some* types of pneumonia, so the tweeter may be right and may not be.

    One thing I've noticed here after reading about 75% of the responses so far is that the article implies that Snyder died because he didn't have health insurance. And yet, the hospital gave the guy what they valued as $400,000 worth of treatment.

    So far, I've not seen a single liberal respond to that fact.

    Isn't saying that he had no health insurance implying that he received no treatment, and that if he had gotten treatment, he would have lived?

    The only difference I see between him being insured or not is that the $400,000 would have been paid if he was insured, and it was owed since he wasn't. As for his treatment, he got nearly half a million dollars worth of alleged effort to save his life. And that fact renders the entire article pointless and retarded.

    Every time a person with a brain brings it up, the libs ignore it and resurrect theoreticals, rhetoric and politics.

  • Byrondennis99

    Giving us half the story here? Did you choose to take early retirement (otherwise you'd be on Medicare)?  Are you disabled (otherwise you'd be getting more money from Social Security and be on Medicare)? Do you have other income or extensive assets (otherwise you'd be on Medicaid)?  So how does your choice sum up anything? 

  • Anonymous

    There are also efficient free market ways to manage health care. Needless to say, the current system is not one of them. 

    In the early 20th century, they had fraternal HMOs that provided healthcare for its members for as low as several dollars a year. The medical establishment didn't like this, and together with government, found ways to turn healthcare into the bureacratic clusterfuck it is today.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Read the OTHER article that I believe is referenced in this article, yup click on that hyperlinked "once again" up there and it shows his RESPONSE to the question asked at the debate. And she went after them too, but as Ron Paul is there hero, go after the "head of the beast" to effect change not the tip of it's tail.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    The 400,000 is still outstanding ONLY $50,000 was paid, which is a nice amount of money but only a ninth of what was owed.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    So if you are a fetus "You must live" but after your born "I don't care when you die or how painfully," yeah okay I feel ya, nice point of view ya got there. So you can decide how a woman can live her life and you can also decide when a persons life should end, but it's the GOVERNMENT that is too intrusive into other peoples lives, right right gotcha

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    I'm afraid you asked a "Ron Paul for lifer" to read something not said by Ron Paul and to consider anything but their own ideology, that is a huge fail.

    Great points though, just loosed upon deaf ears

  • HiPockets

    How is his MOTHER responsible for a 49-year-old man's medical bills?  He was long past being a minor.  Seems to me that his estate is responsible and if that doesn't cover it--too bad. 

  • victoriam

    My social security check is $ 800.00 per month - my Anthem/Blue Cross health insurance is also $ 800.00 per month.  That about sums up the state of medical care/health insurance in this country.

  • jaxsa

    $400,000 for the flu?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HVUXX5SYXM5FRIVWJTXJKVP3QE mcj 3691

    I think a lot of people are missing the forest for the trees.  Here's a fact:  we spend more per capita on health care than any other country on earth.  We get less for it.  We have over 50 million un-insured people in this country.  People  get sick and rack up huge hospital bills because they can't afford to go to a doctor early, when the doctor could have intervened and avoided a costly medical problem.  If you think this is satisfactory just because you yourself have health insurance and you don't want anyone "stealing from you" so that someone else less fortunate than you might have health insurance, then I think it might be a good idea to take another look at your idealogy, because it's selfish on the one hand, and it's economically working against you on the other hand.   You are ALREADY PAYING for every unpaid hospital bill through two things:  1)  hospital costs are inflated to pay for the uninsured people that the hospital treats, 2) your health insurance premiums are higher than they should be to cover these inflated hospital costs, 3) medical bills for the uninsured are often way higher than they could have been if the patient was seen earlier.   A couple of office visits and some medication might run 400 bucks, or you could wait six months (since you can't afford the 400 bucks), you hope it gets better,  it gets worse instead, you end up in the emergency room, and next thing you know it's 10,000 dollars, 20,000 dollars, etc.   It's not a logical system, it's inefficient, and it's costing all of us a lot of money.   Ask yourself this:  would you rather keep your private insurance, pay your inflated premiums that keep going up beyond the rate of inflation year after year, and look the other way whenever the 50 million people without insurance is mentioned.  OR, would you rather pay more in taxes, and have everyone covered.  Keep in mind that if everyone was covered, the increase in your taxes would be offset by the elimination or reduction of your out of pocket health insurance costs. 

  • theAmericanist

    For JSebastian's edification, one more example of a human being it was not profitable to insure. As Dickens put it, be careful who you claim is surplus, cuz God just might decide, it's you: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/13/1016557/-That-was-my-brothers-death-you-were-cheering,-you-a$-Updated?via=siderec

  • Anonymous

    No one thinks money is more important than life?  Not so:  is my life more important than your money?  That's the rub.  It's a dicey issue, and one not well suited to surface discussions.  I want a culture of personal responsibility in this country, but it's a matter of self-respect that we don't allow children to go unvaccinated because they have irresponsible parents, to pick an easy example. 

    I'm a career insurance worker, and I believe there are efficient ways to run a single payer system in our country.  Like roads and meat inspection and drug quality control, it's an essential benefit that we all need.  The healthy as well as the sick are served by it.  Unless you like having your burgers flipped by people who can't afford to be treated for their hepatitis, basic health benefits for all is a goal worth consideration. 

  • Anonymous

    The hypothetical motorcyclist, in Wolf's question to Dr. Paul, is a young healthy man who has chosen not to buy insurance and been in a bad accident.  He will need months of rehab, and his outlook is good, but he is temporarily on life support.  If he can't pay his bill, what do we do?  Paul's answer amounted to, "he should be responsible for himself," which it's too late for (and no one mentioned that his future earnings, post-rehab, could pay the bill, or, more likely, his bankruptcy would discharge it) -- but the audience shouted for him to be unplugged.  Ugly.  And ERs turn away patients all the time. 

    I agree wholeheartedly about Obama's health plan, but cheering for unplugging a temporarily incapacitated person is terrible. 

  • Daniel Mcelroy7

    Why in hell would his mother be stuck with his medical bills ? He was a grown 49 year old man who made his own decisions. His Mother ? for fxxx-sake ? and $400000.00 in medical bills... PLEASE !

  • Anonymous

    I was referring to the hypothetical injured motorcyclist who had chosen not to buy insurance, not the well-networked man whose family was popular enough to get sufficient donations to cover his bill.   Having an accountant pull the plug on a young man with a good prognosis, simply because his current bills were outstanding -- not even offering to let him pay it off in the future -- is vile.  Especially when you consider the absolute anti-choice stance of Dr. Paul.  Pregnancy and delivery is always a health risk to the mother.  Forcing women to stay pregnant is bad enough, but assuming that pregnant women can afford to pay for delivery, much less complications, is asking too much.  All the bake sales in the world won't cover a
    micro-preemie, and mothers who suffer complications are not in a position to fight bookkeepers for their health.

  • Cypherpunks (a public account)

    The other problem that people seem to avoid talking about is, there are a lot of Americans who do take care of themselves, who are gainfully employed and who do have health insurance, but who get sick or injured,  and the insurance companies essentially DEFRAUD them of the care that they are owed by finding ways not to pay, and medical facilities find ways to charge the patients as much as possible.   So there are plenty of perfectly responsible people who through no fault of their own are bankrupted by the actions of those with power over them.   

    This is fraud, plain and simple;  I am paying money for a service which is supposed to help in case the unexpected happens and when any other company tries to back out of an agreement, it's generally considered fraud.  Why is insurance any different?    It's a kind of bait and switch and ought to be illegal. Clearly the market has failed to fix it.  I don't know why anybody thinks the market will fix everything;  there's no such thing as a magic bullet.  Markets don't fix everything because people can be coerced.

  • Cypherpunks (a public account)

    but....isn't the whole point of the health care plan that if everyone puts money in the pot it's going to be cheaper for everyone else, and how is a hypothetical health care plan different from the taxes you (theoretically) willingly pay to use the roads and have the fire and police departments protect you?   If you don't want interstate highways, there is no checkbox for "don't put my money in the highway fund."  You can't just not pay your property tax because you don't have kids and don't support public education.    The only way to do that is not to own property.  The only way to not pay income taxes is to have an income below the deductible level - which by the way, can only do by being exceedingly rich, or exceedingly poor.

    While you didn't say that you had a problem paying taxes for the services that you use, it's implied by your arguments that you have a problem paying for services you don't.   So, if your house never catches fire, should you get all the money back that went to pay for fire protection? 

    I would also ask you to read about what life was like before there were any entitlements programs, in the 1920s and before.    Charities absolutely did not fill the gap.   I don't know if it's that people just aren't that generous or the country was too poor as a whole.   However right now there is 20% unemployment (counting every adult with no job, not just people on the unemployment rolls), and 15.5% of Americans live below the poverty line.   So where's this charity money going to come from?   Rich people?   It's pretty clear they're keeping theirs, and their attitude is, "I've got mine, f*k you."

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QIUMPQGZLYFJG5FWYK6H6A7XHQ LD

    Life is so precious -- that if you are so selfish a cretan that you want to kill your own child -- you're scum.    The rights of that baby to live for a lifetime trump a woman's self-centered narcissistic demand that she not be pregnant for a mere 9 months after committing the act of conception.   It is appalling the me-centered generation that is so self-centered and narcissistic that they MURDER THEIR OWN BABIES -- and then say, "That's my right".   Such people well deserve the greatest repudiation as the worst people on the planet.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QIUMPQGZLYFJG5FWYK6H6A7XHQ LD

    Yeah.  And WHY does INSURANCE COST SO MUCH -- and WHY do HOSPITAL BILLS COST SO MUCH??  Ans.  The MEDDLING OF BIG GOVT.   You cannot get around it.  If the GOVERNMENT was not MEDDLING - the cost of insurance would be LOW -- and the MARKET would keep prices AFFORDABLE.  There are mandated coverages that drive up insurance costs.  And all of the Govt bureaucracy is why hospital bills are so expensive to begin with.  Don't cry to us that LIBERTY is expensive.  IT'S GOVERNMENT THAT HAS DESTROYED THE FREE MARKET THAT KEPT PRICES LOW!!  AND PEOPLE WORKING WITH HIGH WAGES!! AND IT'S THE FEDERAL RESERVE THAT HAS CREATED INFLATION!!  BURN IT!!  RON PAUL IS RIGHT!!

  • Anonymous

    I think Ms. Ellen has said it all

  • Anonymous

    Ellen has got you there guys. very valid and outstanding point!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LGUZNBEPNIBSTKTFZPXVMTTKHM somervillechangeling

    Sorry about the double post, that was an error.

    We pay more for health care as a society than we get as individuals.  This is as true under the present system as it is under "Obamacare".

    Health care is as crucial as the disaster relief that Texas is accepting from the Federal government. A healthy population needs to support the unhealthy through more than just donations. Government got involved originally because private charity could not do it all.

    The problem I have with Libertarian views is that I'm not a follower of
    Ayn Rand, I'm a Jewish Christian who is firmly in the Biblical social
    justice camp while also believing that traditional Western Bible based
    morality is crucial to a healthy society. That places me at odds with
    post modern Progressives and Tea Party members alike.

  • John Henry Phelan

    This is a legal question.  How could anyone be left with his debts?  Unless someone cosigned a loan or signed a contract saying he or she was co-responsible for the expenses, there is no way to leave someone a debt.  (Not counting a spouse in a community property state.)  His family may have felt ethically or morally obligated to pay but I don't see how they could legally be responsible for his medical bills.

    Kent Snyder did get medical care.  I'm assuming that for $400,000.00 he was admitted to the hospital and given treatment.  If that's true then he was not turned away and left to die.  I wonder if he delayed seeking treatment due to not having insurance.  One day might have made the difference between life and death.

    The evil here is that Kent Snyder should have been able to afford medical insurance.  Everyone should have the option of enrolling in Medicare with the premiums subsidized for people with low incomes.  Abolish for profit medical insurance and for profit hospitals.  Give Medicare the ability to negotiate prices like insurance companies do. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LGUZNBEPNIBSTKTFZPXVMTTKHM somervillechangeling

    Libertarians should not be called pro life. They are not automatically
    pro death, just radical extremists where freedom is concerned. They take
    selfishness to be a virtue.  In that they are wrong.

    As a "1911 Progressive" I've voted for Republicans like John McCain over
    too liberal Democrats but I've often voted for reasonable Democrats
    over Tea Party or Libertarian types in my former party.

    My issue with the Left is that it uses the same irrational anti-social
    compact arguments for abortion that Libertarians use for economic 
    freedom. Our society is ill with a sickness that elevates selfishness
    over community, that bases rights on personal choice, regardless of the
    consequences to both the unborn who cannot advocate for themselves and
    the born who have fallen on hard times.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LGUZNBEPNIBSTKTFZPXVMTTKHM somervillechangeling

    Libertarians should not be called pro life. They are not automatically pro death, just radical extremists where freedom is concerned. They take selfishness to be a virtue.  In that they are wrong.

    As a "1911 Progressive" I've voted for Republicans like John McCain over too liberal Democrats but I've often voted for reasonable Democrats over Tea Party or Libertarian types in my former party.

    My issue with the Left is that it uses the same irrational anti-social compact arguments for abortion that Libertarians use for economic  freedom. Our society is ill with a sickness that elevates selfishness over community, that bases rights on personal choice, regardless of the consequences to both the unborn who cannot advocate for themselves and the born who have fallen on hard times.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Keep it civil in comments, please. No name calling. If we catch that, we either edit or delete. Thanks!

  • theAmericanist

    Man, you really know nothing about economics, do you?  And evidently ,you 've never read a hospital bill: insured medicines and procedures are MUCH cheaper than those for uninsured. (Read that again, cuz it illuminates your delusions.)

    Yanno, my last post was too thoughtful. I should have broken it down a little more for JSebastian, out of pity:  psst -- why didn't Snyder have insurance? BECAUSE THERE WAS NO PROFIT IN INSURING HIM.  That's why he was turned down (as his sisters noted, helpfully): he had a pre-existing condition.And yet, folks note, he still got care -- $400k worth of overpriced care, at that.  See, they say, that proves.... you're wrong. It's not complicated:1) Snyder's care cost more, because the uninsured get charged the highest rates: there is no bulk-price negotiating, which is a great advantage for any insurance, and ESPECIALLY for Obamacare: that's why it saves money.2) Snyder died.  Would he have lived if he'd gotten the care he needed in a timely way, which (perhaps) he didn't, because he couldn't afford it? We don't know, but it's not only a legitimate question about him, it's beyond dispute about uninsured people generally -- they get sicker, and stay sicker longer, and die unnecessarily, BECAUSE they don't get care in a timely way that they can't afford. Ask literally any health professional.  Resort to facts, it's a good idea.3) Snyder's death cost ALL of us. Paul's claim, after all, was that "churches" and "charities" would step up, like they used to, nobody ever got turned away. That's bullshit -- and worse, it's DELIBERATE bullshit.  Before Medicare and Medicaid, people died younger, and sicker, because old and sick people cannot work and did not have the dough to cover their health costs. The Snyder case was a contemporary test of Paul's delusion -- $400,000 in costs, and less than $50,000 raised to cover it.  So who paid the other $350k?4) We did.  When indigent patients get uncompensated care, that's absorbed in the over all costs of the health care system, and winds up on the taxpayer.  5) So what about the for-profit health insurance industry? They make money BY TURNING PEOPLE LIKE SNYDER DOWN.6) That's why folks like Ron Paul -- and JSebastian -- are freeloaders and grifters. They insist on private profit by socializing costs: hypocrisy on stilts, wearing a feather boa.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    No Warfare no America, so yes sometimes depending on the cause Warfare while not to be belittled may be necessary. As for blaming individual reps for spending bills, they are a part of congress, if they are part of a PARTY who was in power and all they did was sit idly by or else their supposed voice is not working for the people I can fairly criticize their methods of enacting the peoples business.

    As far as unanimous decisions no, because that gives too much power to that ONE VOTE, who ever decides to hold out(as in the senate and all those filibusters) can stop business that the country wishes done because THEY aren't happy. People don't always agree but if a majority do I feel that should be enough.

    To be honest ONE person or 100 could be wrong, but if you can convince a majority of the people to go in a direction you deserve a chance to attempt your solution. If that one person can not get the majority possibly their plan is either not fully thought out or else is not palatable. You want the best plan to win out right, if you can't sell you plan to the majority is it really the best? Does one person truly deserve to have more power then 100 people? Even with the president, he can veto a bill but if you get 75% of both houses you can STILL make a bill a law.

    Majority rules is better than a unanimous decision

  • Anonymous

    Nope -- you see, you're an idiot.  That's why you hallucinate that the for-profit model is the only economics.  If you knew a bit more about how the world works, you'd realize that there are a zillion examples on a very long spectrum, from the kind of genuine free-market you rarely see (e.g., in the direct commodities market, where you sell and I buy and we both have to deliver at COB), to the highly regulated insurance industry, to the kind of grifting that is only possible with idiots like you running the government that we saw in 2008.  You're too dumb to know when somebody is taking all those paper things with President's pictures on 'em out of your wallet, cuz they're telling you how smart you are while you buy the drinks. But let's focus on something you might, just possibly, understand:

    For profit health insurance is not like car insurance, because people are not like cars. Going too fast for you? Take your time, I'm using short, simple words.  Re-read as much as you need.

    You have a choice whether you want to own a car or not, or to drive, for that matter. You don't have a choice about being a human being: you were born, deal with it.  That means you will die, eventually.  (Grownups know this sorta thing.)

    The profit MODEL for health insurance is like any other profit model (pay close attention here, cuz you missed it the first time).  Profits in business happen when you earn more in revenue than you pay in expenses.  Those of us who actually know something about profits in business understand that means you cut costs and grow cash flow: buy low, sell high, and all that.  But there are different models for various kinds of business.  We, the People get together to outlaw the ones that aren't fair, which take advantage of suckers like you -- if only because I don't want to have to keep shoveling YOUR shit out of the way when I want to get to my car to drive to a highly professional, well-compensated doctor.   I was talking about a particular business, called INSURANCE -- and how health ain't like cars, cuz people aren't Ford 150s.

    Too clear for you?

    With car insurance (or shipping, or fire, etc.) you want to sell to a lot of people, most of whom legitimately expect that they will never need the insurance they are paying for.  In other forms of insurance, that makes sense for both buyer and seller because even though the buyers expect to pay for something that never benefits them directly, if they DID need the benefits (as Snyder did, especially his family), the fact that they were in the pool means that the $400k (which is actually radically less, because of bulk pricing) gets paid, as it was not by the Snyders. (Which raises the simple question: who DID pay for it? You did, asshole. So did I. The difference is that I know this sucked, and you think it's dandy -- in addition to being ignorant and stooopid, you're a sucker.)  

    It obviously benefits the seller of insurance for cars, ships, etc., because they  collect much more in payments from a large pool of folks who never need to get paid, which means they have plenty of dough, after profits, to cover the few folks who need to get what they pay for. (BTW -- it is a basic fact of insurance REGULATION -- it's a highly regulated industry, to the surprise of libertarians who know nothing whatsoever about commerce -- precisely to make certain that insurers always have the dough to pay claims.)

    But EVERYBODY dies, and most of us get sick (or injured) in a very expensive way, before we die.  (Read that again, cuz being a matter of fact, it also escapedt you the first time.)

    So the only way for health insurance to make a profit, is to NOT cover people who get sick or injured,  and die.  Period. Full stop.

    It's not like insuring shipping, or cars, or against fires: those will happen to SOMEBODY, but not to everybody.  Very expensive health care happens to EVERYBODY. So you can't make a profit insuring everybody from cradle to grave -- the costs at both ends, but particularly at the very End, are more than any profits you make in the middle.

    So what for-profit health insurance does, is sell to young and healthy people (who are a good bet), and abandon older and sicker people (who are not).  

    This is sorta Health Finance 101 -- so I'm not surprised you've never heard of it: ideologically fanatic freeloaders are generally both stooopid AND ignorant.

    But, do strive to keep up.

  • Anonymous

    Meh, your response seems to accept warfare as an acceptable use of societal resources (it isn't), and to blame individual reps in Congress for spending bills (they aren't).   Maybe the way government works is flawed - perhaps to spend money it should have to be unanimous.

  • Anonymous

    Billions? Was it too much trouble to actually tally CEO compensation in the for-profit healthcare industry? Let me ask you something, what should the Board of Directors of a regional hospital pay the guy or gal they hire as CEO?  Why shouldn't they pay whatever they feel is in the best interests of the hospital? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Melber/100000104766294 Robert Melber

    Thank god SOMEONE gets it. Do people not understand when they are in a cage they must work inside the cage?

    You need insurance b/c its EXTREMELY expensive to receive care but no one ever asks why its so expensive do they? NO.

    Freedom is having a choice. You have no choice if you are FORCED either literally or economically to buy a product.

    Inflation is what its ALL ABOUT. Everything, every accept of your life. If you didnt have 42% of your income stolen by a tax in some form and you got paid with real money and not paper, how much better would your life be?

    The system is set up to keep you down and them up. Try opening a business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Melber/100000104766294 Robert Melber

    the question no one is asking is "why did it cost $400,000 to treat a
    man suffering from pneumonia?" Until the medical system is held to
    account, they are the ONLY ones who profit. It is every bit as corrupt
    as the banking institutions. Kent Snyder was a good man who fought for
    what he believed in. This is not a punchline.

    the question no one is asking is "why did it cost $400,000 to treat a
    man suffering from pneumonia?" Until the medical system is held to
    account, they are the ONLY ones who profit. It is every bit as corrupt
    as the banking institutions. Kent Snyder was a good man who fought for
    what he believed in. This is not a punchline.

    the question no one is asking is "why did it cost $400,000 to treat a
    man suffering from pneumonia?" Until the medical system is held to
    account, they are the ONLY ones who profit. It is every bit as corrupt
    as the banking institutions. Kent Snyder was a good man who fought for
    what he believed in. This is not a punchline.

    the question no one is asking is "why did it cost $400,000 to treat a
    man suffering from pneumonia?" Until the medical system is held to
    account, they are the ONLY ones who profit. It is every bit as corrupt
    as the banking institutions. Kent Snyder was a good man who fought for
    what he believed in. This is not a punchline.

    the question no one is asking is "why did it cost $400,000 to treat a
    man suffering from pneumonia?" Until the medical system is held to
    account, they are the ONLY ones who profit. It is every bit as corrupt
    as the banking institutions. Kent Snyder was a good man who fought for
    what he believed in. This is not a punchline.

    the question no one is asking is "why did it cost $400,000 to treat a
    man suffering from pneumonia?" Until the medical system is held to
    account, they are the ONLY ones who profit. It is every bit as corrupt
    as the banking institutions. Kent Snyder was a good man who fought for
    what he believed in. This is not a punchline.

  • Anonymous

    So discriminatory pricing seems to be at play here.

  • Anonymous

    For profit health insurance is the same as any other kind of insurance.  Is the opposite of "for profit" , "operates at enormous losses"? Just so we're clear, in the not for profit model, everyone involved in delivering the health care works for free, they volunteer their time, correct?   And then when they finish their shift, they go to another job that pays wages so they can afford to support themselves, right?   Because what you are indicting, is a few percentage points of profit.  Can that really be the evil you make it out to be?

  • Anonymous

    Look, the tragedy isn't that he didn't have insurance, but that he died. He received care, right?  He died despite getting $400K of care.  Would he have lived if he'd gotten $4M of care? How much is enough? If he'd been asked, "Do you want to spend $4M to save your life?" what would he have said?  And if he spent it, and still died, should the bill be torn up and thrown away because he didn't get what he paid for? 

    Sometimes people die, whether they have insurance or not.   Surely he didn't contract pneumonia because he didn't have insurance.    Insurance doesn't confer any immunity upon a human being.  In this country more people with insurance die than people without...from that should we infer that having insurance increases your risk of death?    It might, if having insurance means you check into the hospital for unnecessary tests and procedures.  And does not having it mean your risk of death is increased? It might, if you are refused treatment when you need it, because of your lack of insurance.  But the two are not automatically related. 

    In this case, he wasn't refused care, and he died anyway.  So where is the story? Was $400K a good use of resources?  Clearly it was not.   Shouldn't we be asking questions about what is reasonable and what is not?  400K to treat someone for a short illness is clearly out of control.  Lets fix out of control health care costs first.  Make health care something that is properly priced by a free market, and the price will drop considerably.

  • guest

    pneumonia vaccine??

  • Anonymous

    A big part of the problem here is the bone-deep economic ignorance of Paul and his supporters, which is oddly enough the thing they most take pride in -- like Mel Gibson waiting on a B'nai B'rith award . But it's not complex -- there is NO economic argument that supports for-profit health insurance.  Period.  Anybody who says there is, is either lying, stoopid, or ignorant.

    Consider any model for profitable insurance, like shipping (which started it), or even easier, cars.  You're a good driver, but it makes sense for you to buy insurance because somebody might hit you. It's cheaper to pay insurance, even if (being a good driver) you  probably won't need it, rather than to risk paying to replace your car: even the best drivers recognize the need for insurance, for the same reason they're called "accidents" -- they don't happen to everybody, but they could happen to anybody.  Car insurance companies are profitable, because they pool the risk -- good drivers pay some, bad drivers pay more, really bad drivers are priced out, and those without insurance cannot legally drive.

    Consider how health insurance cannot work for profit.  It's not the same.  We all WILL die, sooner or later, and most of us will cost a lot of money in care before we do.   A healthy person might choose to take the risk not to have insurance (Blitzer's hypothetical, or the real example of Snyder), but if they DO need care, either they get none (and get worse, cost more, and even die), or somebody else has to pay their bills.  Snyder is a solid test case for Paul's bullshit -- his care cost $400k, Paul claims "charity" would pick it up, but HIS OWN SUPPORTERS bailed after raising just one-eight of what was necessary.

    Chasing profit, health insurance companies want young and healthy people to buy in, and pay so long as their actuarial risk is profitable.  But the various for-profit and MSA-type approaches to long term and catastrophic care run into basic arithmetic -- the last six months or even a few years of many lives run up health care costs that are many times what an individual has saved, or what an insurance company can profitably cover.

    So ALL for-profit plans are based on the idea that older people, or those with pre-existing conditions (as in Snyder's case) are charged to the taxpayer: Medicare and Medicaid.  That's because, unlike cars where a good driver can be insured essentially forever, while the car itself will be junked eventually:  human beings ARE the thing being covered by health insurance. Nobody could make a profit replacing all of the worn-out parts in a 65 year old Ford pickup -- which is why nobody tries to make a profit insuring the old and sick, as opposed to the young and healthy.

    For profit health insurance is all about privatizing profit and socializing cost -- which is what Blitzer's hypothetical and Snyder's real example demonstrate in Paul's response -- not to mention the audience's reaction: all these folks bragging about their self-reliance are actually the biggest freeloaders of all.

  • Ellen Sandbeck

    Hospitals around the country already are dumping indigent patients: as soon as an indigent patient is stabilized, they cram him or her into a taxi, and the driver goes to the nearest poor neighborhood and dumps the patient on the sidewalk...  http://articles.latimes.com/2005/nov/26/local/me-skidrow26   http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5298034   http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-26-homeless_x.htm

  • Dave Garry

    Note that Dr. Paul and Dennis Kucinich introduced a bill to allow states the right to set up single payer systems if they wanted to, instead of "Obamacare" - it went nowhere. We all know how their common sense is constantly ignored by the establishment in both parties...

  • http://twitter.com/wiscoDude Philip Crawford

    Your google thing didn't work, but I found the transcript anyway.  (Mad google skilz)

    BLITZER:  Well, what do you want?

    PAUL:  But what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume
    responsibility for himself.  My advice to him would have a major medical policy, but not be forced –

    BLITZER:  But he doesn’t have that.  He doesn’t have it, 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 –

    (APPLAUSE)

    BLITZER:  But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

    PAUL:  No.  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 hospitals.

    (APPLAUSE)

    PAUL:  And we’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take
    care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves.  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
    insurance companies and the drug companies, and 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.  And we should actually legalize alternative health care,
    allow people to practice what they want.

    Please note above:

    Blitzer: "should we let him die?"

    RP: "No....We never turned anybody away from the hospitals."

    Note the comment about legalizing alternative health care.  Yeah, what a crazy idea that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine could actually work.   RP is a scary guy, eh?  We're better off with the government telling us what kinds of medical treatment actually work?

    I'm not sure what Ron Paul says here in this transcript that bothers so many people.  Seems relatively rational - not that you have to agree with it, but I don't see anything evil or stupid.

    Personally, I think the US would be better off with single payer, but I don't have much beef with RP on his stance.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Gigantic Entities of the state? So you mean the government? I mean is it just state governments you believe in?

  • Bill Cole

    Go read it for yourself.It's not hard to find.:

     http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cnn+%22tea+party%22+september+13+debate+transcript

    Short form: he refused to answer 3 times and ended up giving an anecdote about the hospital he worked in half a century ago where they never turned anyone away, as if that meant no one got turned away anywhere. Of course, that is a gross misrepresentation of history  and he knows it and anyone old enough or minimally skilled at looking up historical facts can confirm it. He might as well have asserted that flying pink  unicorns would appear over hospitals spewing gold coins out their butts to pay for uninsured care: it would have been no less realistic than the answer he eventually gave.

    This is how Ron Paul plays politics: he evades direct policy questions and when pressed he tells blatant lies about a fantasy world that never was. It used to be that he lacked serious competitors in that style of politics.  The meekness of our media in calling out lies and pointing out habitual liars for what they are is why we have a fundamentally broken GOP. The delusional and irrational right wing has always existed, but up on the stage last night all but one of those supposedly serious candidates seemed committed to competing with each other on the basis of how well they can come up with fantasies about the world and proclaim those lies in believable ways. The main feature that makes Ron Paul stand out is that he spins a set of tall tales that diverge from the others in noticeable ways. If he (or any of his rivals) had given a serious answer to the question of how to pay for uninsured care, it would have been news. The fact that dodged the question and eventually proposed a non-solution is not news at all.  

  • Anonymous

    "Unfortunately since your "free market" wanted this legislation so they would have a "captive audience". Since they wrote it, I'm afraid the "free market" doesn't live up to your high ideals of them."

    Gigantic entities of the state != "my free market".

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Aaah but freedom of speech is an AMERICAN RIGHT. I let you speak freely, I don't recall saying you couldn't speak I do wonder though why it is you wish to enjoy the BENEFITS of being an American but don't to have to share in any of the responsibilities.

    Still have yet to tell you you can't speak, don't get mad that this is how freedom of speech works, you say your peace I say mine. As for the Douchey Patriot is that what you guys are trying to do when you ask somebody an ultimatum style question that you know that a "negative" answer would then be more problematic than the actual position you are trying to present or defend?

    I'm an American, your an American in this country nobody has sole ownership of what it means to be an American

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    So you saying that us taking SMALL AMOUNTS of money to help masses makes less sense then you saying I am walking in to the supermarket and taking THE WHOLE THING to feed those without. Okay fine I saw yours I didn't twist it, I was honest about it but hey you don't want to see somebody else's point no law says you have to.

    Once civil war, hmm that actually isn't that bad let's look at Europe how many civil wars have those assorted countries had? And while the name was Civil it was a war people die in war, it happens I'm not even gonna pretend that you have a point here you do not. 14.7 trillion in debt, I agree thats pretty hard to swallow, but unfortunately that happened to come from people in your IDOL'S party. Clinton was leaving a surplus, Bush's leadership put us in debt, and somebody has to find a way out of it. Government is the spender of last resort you let it do it's job things get better you sit off to the side complaining and saying let it burn we have no government and no country.

    Here's my thing, was Ron Paul in congress when this debt was run up? SO exactly what has his presence in the congress done for you and his grassroots movement. Hell seems to me with the amount of conservadems the grassroots Tea Party got rid of looks to me like it was pretty effective.

    Checks and Balances, this is not a dictatorship so while he can make suggestions, he can pass a few executive orders but only the congress makes laws. Or did you forget how our government works

  • Anonymous

    "In the Society that I perceive as a Libertarian Paradise, many would suffer while the few would reign. Somalia, anyone?"

    LOL YOU BELIEVE IN REGULATION SO YOU LOVE BIG GOVERNMENT, NORTH KOREA ANYONE?

    Grow up.

  • Anonymous

    No, we should have put him in a cage for not buying health insurance. That would have saved him.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Unfortunately since your "free market" wanted this legislation so they would have a "captive audience". Since they wrote it, I'm afraid the "free market" doesn't live up to your high ideals of them.

    I hear you though "in THEORY" if the market really was free and there really was competition to give people DECENT health care affordably, that might work. A company is not supposed to be affordable, it is supposed to make a profit and for things that are NECESSITIES RARELY come cheaply. Staying alive is a necessity, and since most of us don't want to die and will pay ANYTHING to stay that way, hey you pay it I will try it.

  • Woodsider

    Emergency rooms only provide on the spot immediate care. If you need any thing longer term, they cannot help you. If you are in pain from cancer, they can give you medication for the pain for that day. They cannot give you the chemotherapy drugs you need.  They can give the treatment for a heart attack to keep you from dying, but they do not treat longer term to stop it from happening again. For that you need to see another doctor, who you may or may not be able to afford.

    Yes, the man was in the hospital for two months, but his mother was left with the bill because he couldn't afford insurance.  

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    So you don't want affordable health care? You want peoples ability to be healthy to be based on the profit margin of a large company? Do you think being trapped under crippling debt is Liberty?

    It is not the fruits of someone else's labor, even working people can not afford health care costs. Your argument fails right there, people aren't using the fruits of someone else's labor they are breaking their backs just to survive and then find out "oh you got sick now everything you have worked for in life is out the window".

    Actually I take it back, you're right INSURANCE COMPANIES are living off the fruits of someone else's labor:Mine, yours and every other working individual who is just trying to live an average, simple, unremarkable life. Even if you do decide to do something spectacular later, that's later you get catastrophically sick (say like in your 30's as that Tea Party Debate question said) and then oh well life is over for you, at 30. You're saying that makes sense to you?

    If so fine, if you don't have the fee to pay for you're health care too bad. I'm afraid your faith in charity is obviously misplaced since we have had charity for how many decades and the plight of the poor is worse and worse? You know what give people Jobs instead of charity, allow them to live on the sweat off their own backs instead of this obviously not efficient charity.

    Charity has been around for millenia, yet we still have poor, destitute and homeless. America has only been around for about 250 years and we have only had social security for the last 100, seems to me the US government is a lot more efficient than charity.

  • theAmericanist

    A few facts:  

    1) CNN is reporting that the effort to pay off the $400,000 bill that Snyder left when he died raised $50,000.  So much for Ron Paul's OWN EXAMPLE, that charity will make up the difference if We, the People are not allowed to take of our own.

    2) Yes, survivors are often required to pay the medical bills incurred by someone who died.  This is generally a requirement BEFORE they get the care.  It's pretty basic free market economics, yanno. It's not like health care providers have never noticed that the recipients of the most expensive care tend to die at the end of it.

    3) In fact, one reason why Snyder's care cost so much is BECAUSE he didn't have insurance.  Insurance companies negotiate cheaper prices. This is a big reason why Obamacare is cheaper. This, too, is pretty basic free market economics.

    Well?

  • John-David Hughes

    It's pretty low to not have the compassion God gave us to use or not. You paid for one guy's debts. That is indeed noble. How many other Libertarians have died whose families you supported when they got sick. See, in a Civil society, the many may choose to help the few. In the Society that I perceive as a Libertarian Paradise, many would suffer while the few would reign. Somalia, anyone?

  • Somethingsavvy

    Now that was an awesome comment!  I was not aware that you Libs could display such sass in public.  I'm impressed :)

  • Somethingsavvy

    "should we all omnipotent, heart-bleeding  liberals let you or any other
    of the 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance die because
    you neglected to buy your health insurance?"

    Snyder did not die because he didn't have health insurance.  No hospital emergency room can turn away patients who don't have insurance.  He received appropriate treatment but still didn't make it.  That's why there was a $400,000 bill.  I suppose it's convenient to ignore that part.

    Your intentions are good but do you think you are doing people a favor by forcing them to buy insurance that they can't afford?  Most of those 50 million Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and now have to handle another significant monthly bill.  I'm sure they're thrilled.

  • Cartujano

    So, Madfoot713, if you were in the same position as Snyder, should we all omnipotent, heart-bleeding  liberals let you or any other of the 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance die because you neglected to buy your health insurance? Can't you see what you are saying here is down right inhuman? Can't you see that healthcare is a human right that needs to be provided by a social agreement? That the US and South Africa are the only "civilized" countries where universal healthcare does not exist? That we spend more $ per capita in healthcare that any other country in the world, yet we rate 38th in the World Health Organization's ranking? Your political dogma won't save your life should you be in the same position as Snyder's.

  • Somethingsavvy

    Where in the pledge of allegiance does is say that certain people are entitled to the fruits of somebody else's labor?  And where did I say that I had a problem with paying taxes for the services that I use?  I was referring to healthcare.

    You said: "I wanted to eat, I gave up 5 bucks, you want working roads, bridges etc pay your taxes."

    That's my whole point, if you want something you should pay for it.  If
    you want healthcare pay for it and if you don't want it or can't afford
    it than don't.  You shouldn't be forced to have it and you shouldn't be
    forced to pay for somebody else's.  There are people that need help and that's what charities are for.  Americans give more to charity than any other country on the planet.  The govt is not a charity.

  • Cartujano

    So, Madfoot713, if you were in the same position as Snyder, should we all omnipotent, heart-bleeding  liberals let you or any other of the 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance die because you neglected to buy your health insurance? Can't you see what you are saying here is down right inhuman? Can't you see that healthcare is a human right that needs to be provided by a social agreement? That the US and South Africa are the only "civilized" countries where universal healthcare does not exist? That we spend more $ per capita in healthcare that any other country in the world, yet we rate 38th in the World Health Organization's ranking? Your political dogma won't save your life should you be in the same position as Snyder's.

  • TheTruth

    My apologies to the writer.  I did not mean to post this in public. I thought comments were being cesored, therefore thought this would become a private message.

    Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Still, it's interesting that you don't have a problem with lying by omission. Don't you think it's fairly important to mention that the campaign actually paid the Snyders' medical expenses for them?

    Never let facts get in the way of a good rant.

  • Thetruth

    Healine "Prostitute Blogger and Shill Makes Up Three Year Old Controversy to Cover Political & elite's Asses as They Run Scared Shitless from Real Change"

  • anon

    Very much doubt it. Archives of the donation-collection web-site show amount collected tapering off around $35k. 

  • anon

    Very much doubt it. Archives of the donation-collection web-site show amount collected tapering off around $35k. 

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • John

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • Peter

    Imagine this headline instead: "Republican Presidential Candidate Hires GAY Campaign Manager Despite Illness" And please note that the Ron Paul campaign never used this fact to court gay or liberal voters. While we are in this headline business, let's imagine two others: "Obama Wins on Change, Delivers on Promise by Starting Four More WARS, and Giving TRILLIONS to Bankers" /// "Political & Banking Elite so Nervous of Real Change from Ron Paul, They Create Old 'News' About His Ex-Gay Campaign Manager"

  • unimportant

    Your super market argument doesn't fit.  Actually you missed the point entirely.  He was treated.  He did not die from lack of care.  He received care yet still he passed away.  The bill was what was remaining.   Do you see my point or are you going to try and twist it again?  

    As for the government being ran effectively... one civil war with hundreds of thousands of Americans killed.  14.7 trillion in debt.  Those are two pretty big facts for you.  But I think that is a debate for another time.   How exactly am I being sold snake oil?  Ron Paul hasn't changed his positions based on the audience or to stay in power.  That is what a lot of people don't get I think. He has beliefs that he wants to implement for the country not to keep his job.  If he had stayed in the "grassroots" then he wouldn't be where he is spreading his message of liberty and freedom.  The president has quite a bit of power to change things in the government.  So I am not sure I really follow that argument either.

  • kpm013

    the question no one is asking is "why did it cost $400,000 to treat a man suffering from pneumonia?" Until the medical system is held to account, they are the ONLY ones who profit. It is every bit as corrupt as the banking institutions. Kent Snyder was a good man who fought for what he believed in. This is not a punchline.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I'm not unbiased. We only do original reporting sometimes. We have an aggregate style blog, very eclectic, that brings a lot of stories and videos to our readers in one place. We may not even agree with some of them, imagine that!

    But since we are a blog, not a newspaper, we have no obligation to remain unbiased. We are the proud editors of a lefty, progressive commie Marxist socialist French Kenyan gay tree-hugging hippie site. And we have opinions.
    You don't like that? Feel free to skip us in your daily reads. We love what we do, and we'll keep doing it.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, Madfoot713, I actually agree with your basic point (vis a vis healthcare), but let's be fair here:  I don't believe this Website EVER claimed to be "100% impartial, unbiased." It's a political blog, for goodness sake! It's not "reporting," just posting stories that pop up. OTOH, I am glad that it allows for pretty broad responses from its readers.  

  • theAmericanist

    Typically what happens is The Patient needs care.  He is only entitled to emergency room care, unless he has either insurance or the cash to pay for it.  So a pneumonia patient might walk around for weeks or months, deteriorating steadily, when an insured patient or someone who could afford care would have been treated and recovered.  

    That evidently did not happen in this case. It is not cost-effective, not to mention it causes worse illness and death.When an uninsured Patient reaches the point that they need intensive care (as in the hypothetical that Blitzer asked), ALL of their personal assets -- a home, car, etc., -- must be gone before , indigent under the law, their treatment is covered under Medicaid. I don't know about the Snyder case (I've asked questions in this thread), but there are a lot of ways in which a family could be on the hook for $400k in medical costs -- for example, there may have been a shared inheritance, like a family home, and so on.One other thing -- BECAUSE Snyder had no insurance, his account was doubtless wildly overcharged for all kinds of medicines and procedures for which insurance companies routinely negotiate much lower prices.So this is stooopid, clueless economics as well as cruel ethics.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I sure wish I knew exactly what "political gain" and "points" I get from posting. So far all I've gotten are a bunch of comments, no money, and some links from Gawker, NY Magazine, and others.

    What do you people think we get out of blogging? We do it to vent, opine, and report. There are very few benefits other than knowing we have some awesome, brilliant readers.

  • http://twitter.com/wiscoDude Philip Crawford

    Heh, your "point" #1 cracks me up.  Just a statement, nothing to support it. 

    #2, I dig.  Except, I don't really think the government has been very effective at choosing when and where to drop bombs. 

    Unfortunately, the points you (and RP) try to make seem to fall on deaf ears.  You're mean.  You don't care.  They are kind.  They care.  Don't you get it.  ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/texaschillibowl William Russell

    As a Paul supporter (ex-liberal) it does not surprise me some progressives and political "enemies" will use a death for political gain. How man of them stood back at the beginning of  the two wars Iraq & Afghanistan and questioned it after seeing the deaths our current foreign policy causes? When I was a liberal I used to always keep in back of my mind: for every crisis there is opportunity (for those without the ammo). Whether we help(ed) this man or not, is not going to change minds, think about it. Have any of them sent his family help? Have any of them wrote his family or cried over what happened ? NO, no, and hell no. You won't win minds here, they fundamentally believe taking from one and giving to another is fine and in fact should be the replicated model to get what "they" want.

  • http://www.facebook.com/texaschillibowl William Russell

    As a Paul supporter (ex-liberal) it does not surprise me some progressives and political "enemies" will use a death for political gain. How man of them stood back at the beginning of  the two wars Iraq & Afghanistan and questioned it after seeing the deaths our current foreign policy causes? When I was a liberal I used to always keep in back of my mind: for every crisis there is opportunity (for those without the ammo). Whether we help(ed) this man or not, is not going to change minds, think about it. Have any of them sent his family help? Have any of them wrote his family or cried over what happened ? NO, no, and hell no. You won't win minds here, they fundamentally believe taking from one and giving to another is fine and in fact should be the replicated model to get what "they" want.

  • Anonymous

    "I point you to the fact that pharmaceutical companies charge more for medications in the US than they do in other countries and have FOUGHT FOR legislation to keep people from being able to buy said cheaper drugs OUTSIDE of this country and have it shipped in, which is usually STILL CHEAPER than the drug they would sell the person here in this country. I believe I will call that Exhibit A."

    This sounds like an excellent argument *AGAINST* regulation and *FOR* free markets.

  • Anonymous

    Should we not let grocery moguls make a profit? Why would anyone want to go into the food industry then?

  • Anonymous

    "Do you call yourself an American? Then you freely agreed to participate, do me a favor:Say the Pledge of allegiance.

    Now if you disagree with that, Get off this internet right now, Never use another road, surrender access to the power grid, stop using the sewage system. Go out in the woods and build yourself a log cabin THEN you won't be a hypocrite."

    Yeah, screw that freedom of speech thing. How weird is it when liberals are trying to play the "douchey patriot" card?

  • Anonymous

    You're free not to work for a mongrel.

  • http://twitter.com/wiscoDude Philip Crawford

    Ad hominem attacks don't help your argument.  If Ron Paul's response was so terrible, why was it omitted?  I'm a progressive and I don't fear opposing views.  I don't call people names or their positions "cartoonish".  I don't need to as I'm normally able to take their words head on and create alternative dialogues to convince otherwise.

    So, again, what was Ron Paul's response?  It was not anything even close to the abysmal response of the audience.  Alan Grayson himself didn't attack RP in this letter.  Yet this blog post seems more focused on attacking Ron Paul and some notion of his political beliefs than the group of people who cheered for death and suffering.

  • theAmericanist

    This begs some questions: Paul's supporters claim to have paid Snyder's $400k in medical expenses.  Has anybody checked that out?  It's a yes or no, and not something to be taken on faith. There are records.

    I gather that Snyder was gay, which at least implies that, if he had a partner, there may have been no legal obligation between them (as there is in marriage) to cover medical expenses.  

    I don't know anything about his family, if his parents were still alive (and may or not may not have had an issue with their son's life and/or partner), and if they were on the hook (since the partner may not have been) that raises other issues.   Siblings? Kids?

    But in many cases like this, bankruptcy is much more common than that a guy's former colleagues would chip in to cover what the employer did not.  It is very hard to raise money for a done deal, whether that is retiring a lost political campaign's debts or the medical expenses for a guy who has died.  Did Paul write letters personally to ask people to kick in?  (It's also not unusual for political campaigns to be bare-bones and not cover health insurance, so that's not really a fair attack on Paul.)   

    What IS fair, though, is that this seems an anecdotal test of Paul's philosophy, with people close to him: How much did Paul personally contribute to pay Snyder's bills -- AFTER he died? Did Paul's supporters cover all the costs -- or did the family wind up stuck with an enormous bill that, as Paul himself said in the debate, was just too bad for them, since Snyder himself took the risk?

    It's grim to say it, but it seems somewhat unlikely that Snyder fit the hypothetical in Blitzer's question -- not so much because he was 49 and not 30, but because when a gay man dies of pneumonia it is sadly reasonable to wonder if he was exactly "healthy", and had taken the risk of being uninsured.  Was the poor guy HIV+, possibly even afflicted with AIDS -- and COULD he even have gotten insurance?

    Without those answers, a reasonable person cannot rule out that Snyder was essentially a free rider, working for Paul and running up enormous bills that he could not pay, and perhaps even realizing that HE would never have to pay them (he didn't ask any of Paul's supports to kick in BEFORE he died, or did he?), which was apparently fine by Ron Paul.  The story means one thing if, as claimed, Paul's supporters kicked in $400k when it meant nothing but helping the family out of a financial hole Snyder dug for them.

    It's another if they raised 20 grand and forgot all about it.

    More answers, please.

  • EndTheWars

    I don't understand what you're saying. The man DID receive medical care; he wasn't "condemned to death." That's where the $400k medical bill came from. Unfortunately the treatment he received didn't save his life. His death had nothing to do with his lack of insurance.

  • Bill Cole

    Why? His response was disconnected from reality and sophomorically inhumane, and was given in a sniveling and evasive way. Ron Paul is a grifter, a charlatan who is in the business of acting like he's running for President, collecting money from a gullible population of fans and fluffing their fantasies of a world that operates according to the cartoonish fantasies of Ayn Rand and Austrian "economics."

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Do you call yourself an American? Then you freely agreed to participate, do me a favor:Say the Pledge of allegiance.

    Now if you disagree with that, Get off this internet right now, Never use another road, surrender access to the power grid, stop using the sewage system. Go out in the woods and build yourself a log cabin THEN you won't be a hypocrite.

    And no it isn't, because you aren't going to feed EVERYONE on one loaf of bread that is unless you expect to be crucified in your 33rd year of life. You do not pay ALL of your salary in taxes, even with the healthcare thing all of your money is not going to be taken. It was a percentage, you still make more at the end of the year than you paid in taxes. And what do you get for that tax participation, all the things I mentioned for you to stop using. I wanted to eat, I gave up 5 bucks, you want working roads, bridges etc pay your taxes.

    Taxes aren't evil, that's the same as saying your salary is evil. You ignore much of what your taxes provide for you because someone has told you "oh, that's evil they should just let you CHOOSE to do it." Newsflash the founding fathers didn't say no taxation, they said no taxation without representation. The tax rate was being changed arbitrarily and they weren't getting any benefit for the tax money they were paying, it was all leaving the country. Here you get benefit, in your stubbornness you wish to ignore it but you do.

    So unless you are willing to give up all that taxes provide for you, my potluck analogy is right, your theft at the grocery store is wrong. Nobody is stealing from you, yes they take a portion of your salary to help provide for you what you can not yet anticipate needing and pool your resources with that of your fellow citizens. Now if you are "to good" for that quit calling yourself an American and move somewhere else

  • anon

    The truth is - (and I have lived in many other countries) this is the worst healthcare system in the world. Europe has the best, even China now has a better system. Here, the name of the game is greed and profit, healthcare should not be a for profit business, with CEO's pocketing billions.

  • anon

    Why would CNN and Blitzer be associated with an evil group like the tea party, when they are not cheering  for executions they are for letting the uninsured die!
    I think they have to keep saying they are christians to try and convince people, I doubt if they really know the bible, they are of the devil!

  • Phil

    Yeah, because if people don't have to beg for help, what's the point, really?

  • Phil

    Here's stealing: Grocery moguls make billions off of people who just need to eat. They're "willing" participants, though, right?

  • Phil

    Oddly, I think it's unjust to let rich people become richer on the backs of poor people.

  • Somethingsavvy

    "By the way it isn't STEALING if everyone is taken care of, just like a
    potluck at work if we all put 5 bucks into a pot and we are able to buy
    enough pizza for us all to eat who stole?"

    Not the same thing.  Everyone willingly participated in the potluck.  The healthcare thing is more like you stealing food from the super market to give to the needy.  It's for a good cause but it's stealing from somebody who didn't agree to participate.

  • Somethingsavvy

    "By the way it isn't STEALING if everyone is taken care of, just like a
    potluck at work if we all put 5 bucks into a pot and we are able to buy
    enough pizza for us all to eat who stole?"

    Not the same thing.  Everyone willingly participated in the potluck.  The healthcare thing is more like you stealing food from the super market to give to the needy.  It's for a good cause but it's stealing from somebody who didn't agree to participate.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    I want the person helped REGARDLESS of the willingness of the parties who's monies were commingled to help him. Money is FUNGIBLE, isn't that the republican parties favorite excuse as to why they should defund things like planned parenthood. Money is fungible so we can't allow them to take it thus saving funds that may have been split thinner in one area to dedicate to another since the government allowed them to better marshall their resources.

    Same thing here, I don't give a damn. If a person is hurt I hope they are helped to get well. Why should they wait for me to find out about their illness before they get help? Why not have the help ready and waiting for them and then if I WISH TO GIVE MORE LATER then I can without the person or their family suffering in the mean time. Do you realize how much damage can be done WAITING for the money first before you administer help.

    Let's treat(in the case of a tragic injury or serious illness) life like a container of ice cream at the super market when lets say you find out there is not enough money in your account and you aren't allowed to take anything back. Now yes you have someone who can go to the bank and put money in their for you, but you can't leave the line, you can't put anything back and you first have to call this other person, wait for them to gather money for you, make it to the bank, and then get their turn at the teller. How long is that ice cream gonna last before it starts melting on the conveyor belt? What if there is no AC in the store and it's just sweltering hot? How long before you have "cream soup" at the register?

    Things government has run effectively for years:Itself, is the Union still here then yup government has run the country quite well. Social Security, thats still here too, the Military, yup still here. These people are campaigning to run the government, many of them are life long politicians, which means they are paid by their actions in the government. My friend you are being sold snake oil, if they had such a problem with Government why are they still working in it and trying to get the highest office in the land instead of standing with you at the grass roots level screaming for better accountability?

  • Somethingsavvy

    "someone too poor to pay his hospital bills will be condemned to death."

    Really?  What emergency room is allowed to turn away patients who can't afford treatment?  Doesn't the fact that he had a $400,000 medical bill show that he received medical care?  And who will be getting free health care under Obama Care?  It will be the people who already get free care via Medicaid or Medicare.  The rest will be forced to either pay for insurance or pay a hefty fine.  This will end up hurting the low income folks who don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford health insurance.

    Insurance companies will be laughing all the way to the bank because they managed to get the government to pass a law requiring all Americans to buy their product.  Awesome.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Hmm sounds to me like you are disputing that Ron Paul Loyalist who just claimed he and other Ron Paul supportes helped to pay the medical bills. See Bills are not just extinguished after death, they go after the estate. I mean if that were true why would one need life insurance? If all bills were extinguished at death all that your loved ones would have to do is sell whatever property you had owned, had stake in, or acquired a piece of during you lifetime and sell it as to cover the expenses to bury you and then why they should be okay.

    Sign for a mortgage but die before it is paid off? Why All bills are extinguished because you died, so that house should belong to the family in the will right? Same as that brand new car, that investment property, the jewelry you boat ALL bills are extinguished at death.

    you know what, show me, I call BS, I want proof of that. If you have no bills you have nothing to pay. But if you do even with a death certificate if there is money to be collected creditors hunt down whatever living relative remains.

    So if you can SHOW ME where it says all bills are extinguished in death I will believe you, but as I know that isn't true I know I will be waiting in vain. I hope though when you can't find proof of bills going POOF, when you do that you will come back here APOLOGIZE and then answer the question yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/calwatch calwatch

    Bills are extinguished upon death. Creditors can no longer collect, unless the family co-signed. This is not an illegitimate question.

  • Turdballz

    Libertarians don't care about people...from this story?!  Are you serious?  A guy died and didn't have health insurance and you claim that people like him don't care about people?  What is wrong with you perpetuating this? I don't need people like you, who know nothing about me, speaking for me.  I can speak for myself.  I care very much about my fellow man and do what I can to help them out whenever I am able to.  But I also believe it is my and your choice to help people out.  Do you think we shouldn't have a choice in the matter of helping someone out?

  • unimportant

    #1 Grayson is dishonest.  Why would you want to put someone in office again who is dishonest?  #2 let us see some facts associated with this rehashed story, which is an attempt to smear Ron Paul no doubt.  The fact that he died had nothing to do with having insurance.  And people choose to donate money to pay for his medical bills out of the goodness of their heart not the goodness of the government, am I wrong?  Which is what Ron Paul explained in the debate on monday night.  So in my opinion, it seems that this whole ordeal actually supports Ron Paul's position.  When someone doesn't have insurance, the goodness of the people will step up, not because they have to but because they want to.  How many of you have donated to help someone with a medical condition? Did you donate to his family?  If you really care, why don't you look them up and donate today?  If you won't then you may be one of the reasons the government might need to take money from you and give it to someone else because you are being selfish with it.  When the government takes someone's money and "donates" it for them, they lose the association of helping out their fellow man.  The government will help them from my taxes so I don't have to do anything.  Please tell me exactly what went wrong with the situation that is stated in the above article.  The money came from the people either way.  Would you rather someone reluctantly give it or willingly give it?  And another really great question for you. What makes you think the government is going to effectively run anything for you other than dropping bombs?  Have you seen our governments efforts thus far?  And please let me know how they will do it.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    Since they were family, I mean honestly are you saying you would let your:Son, Father, Brother or NEPHEW die? Seriously, I mean if that is true does that mean that same mother and sister should expect no help from the father, brother, son, nephew, or even UNCLE when they themselves get sick?

    I mean how far are you willing to go with that depraved position before you admit yeah that is pretty sad?

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    I point you to the fact that pharmaceutical companies charge more for medications in the US than they do in other countries and have FOUGHT FOR legislation to keep people from being able to buy said cheaper drugs OUTSIDE of this country and have it shipped in, which is usually STILL CHEAPER than the drug they would sell the person here in this country. I believe I will call that Exhibit A.

    I now direct your attention to the insurance industry who when you are diagnosed with a disease FIRST check to see if there are any pre existing conditions in your past so that they can cancel your policy and if they find no such pre existing conditions they then set your lifetime benefit so low that if the expense for your treatment runs more than what they would have made off of you in your lifetime they cut off paying for said treatment at such a abysmally low amount of money that USUALLY your family runs up large amounts of debt trying to help you survive, hopefully thrive and then recover from an illness. I will call that Exhibit B

    How about the fact that every year health insurance costs continue to rise at a steady pace while the benefits given to you for said increase do not? How about the fact that drug treatments cost more and more while never promising to CURE a disease but only treat and the treatments can be so deadly the only constant is the amount of money being made by the company from whom you get said product.

    I am afraid there are plenty of COMPANIES who think that money is more important than life, I understand having a belief system, a cause or even a personal commitment to a cause but why lie about that which is easy to see? Health care is extremely expensive in this country, bankruptcy due to medical costs has been steadily rising in this country. I could ask how could one be pro life and ignore that life after birth? I could ask how could you claim MONEY is not more important than life if you know there are companies who have hired actuaries to make sure they figure out a decent cost/risk assessment BEFORE they cancel your payment to see hmm is this worth us paying for or will we not make any money on this. Think about the job of a corporation: to turn a profit. This automatically puts your statement in the realm of impossibility, because if your job, you entire reason for existing is to turn a profit then that means MONEY is more important to you than human life, even the life of said founder if it went against the cause of creating profits.

    While discussions with those in the Tea Party and SOME libertarians may make some of us feel like such issues are rocket science they are not, they are strikingly simple to understand. The same as if I wish to live I must: Breathe, hydrate, eat, expel waste, and repeat these actions on a regular basis. Hopefully I exercise to help maintain my life(unfortunately I don't do it nearly enough) in as high a quality as possibly, but it isn't a necessity. For a company to exist just like I must eat, breathe, hydrate, and expel waste it must make money, it must continue to innovate so that it stays competitive in it's market, it must create a profit which is the process of bringing in more money then you send out. If a company breaks even yes it could remain in business for a while but no company wants to just break even they wish to excel, they wish to turn a profit because as time goes on you usually tend to need more money to keep breaking even. I mean employees are gonna want to make more money because their cost of living will increase, the founders of the company are going to want to begin seeing said dream bear fruits. So unfortunately you statement is untrue, because yes there are some who feel MONEY is more important than life.

    By the way it isn't STEALING if everyone is taken care of, just like a potluck at work if we all put 5 bucks into a pot and we are able to buy enough pizza for us all to eat who stole? If there is enough for all of us to eat and there is money left over that could be used for something else, or else that while ALL of us don't have 5 bucks those of us who do are more than enough to cover all of us who desire to eat. Sooner or later you have to face one very important reality, just because you wish to claim that making it easier on us ALL by standing together is theft does not make it true.  Do you live in a city? Do you not realize that the reason you live in a city is because it is far easier for you and your neighbors to afford Power, Sewage, phone service, fire service, police protection, emergency medical care, education, etc when you don't all have to travel miles between you to get to you.

    Have you seen the difference between a rural area and a surburban one? A suburban area to a city? Do you notice how as you move to a more populated area you get more choices? Or did you not realize that is in direct contradiction to your worldview.

  • http://primaldata.blogspot.com/ PRIMALDATA

    I point you to the fact that pharmaceutical companies charge more for medications in the US than they do in other countries and have FOUGHT FOR legislation to keep people from being able to buy said cheaper drugs OUTSIDE of this country and have it shipped in, which is usually STILL CHEAPER than the drug they would sell the person here in this country. I believe I will call that Exhibit A.

    I now direct your attention to the insurance industry who when you are diagnosed with a disease FIRST check to see if there are any pre existing conditions in your past so that they can cancel your policy and if they find no such pre existing conditions they then set your lifetime benefit so low that if the expense for your treatment runs more than what they would have made off of you in your lifetime they cut off paying for said treatment at such a abysmally low amount of money that USUALLY your family runs up large amounts of debt trying to help you survive, hopefully thrive and then recover from an illness. I will call that Exhibit B

    How about the fact that every year health insurance costs continue to rise at a steady pace while the benefits given to you for said increase do not? How about the fact that drug treatments cost more and more while never promising to CURE a disease but only treat and the treatments can be so deadly the only constant is the amount of money being made by the company from whom you get said product.

    I am afraid there are plenty of COMPANIES who think that money is more important than life, I understand having a belief system, a cause or even a personal commitment to a cause but why lie about that which is easy to see? Health care is extremely expensive in this country, bankruptcy due to medical costs has been steadily rising in this country. I could ask how could one be pro life and ignore that life after birth? I could ask how could you claim MONEY is not more important than life if you know there are companies who have hired actuaries to make sure they figure out a decent cost/risk assessment BEFORE they cancel your payment to see hmm is this worth us paying for or will we not make any money on this. Think about the job of a corporation: to turn a profit. This automatically puts your statement in the realm of impossibility, because if your job, you entire reason for existing is to turn a profit then that means MONEY is more important to you than human life, even the life of said founder if it went against the cause of creating profits.

    While discussions with those in the Tea Party and SOME libertarians may make some of us feel like such issues are rocket science they are not, they are strikingly simple to understand. The same as if I wish to live I must: Breathe, hydrate, eat, expel waste, and repeat these actions on a regular basis. Hopefully I exercise to help maintain my life(unfortunately I don't do it nearly enough) in as high a quality as possibly, but it isn't a necessity. For a company to exist just like I must eat, breathe, hydrate, and expel waste it must make money, it must continue to innovate so that it stays competitive in it's market, it must create a profit which is the process of bringing in more money then you send out. If a company breaks even yes it could remain in business for a while but no company wants to just break even they wish to excel, they wish to turn a profit because as time goes on you usually tend to need more money to keep breaking even. I mean employees are gonna want to make more money because their cost of living will increase, the founders of the company are going to want to begin seeing said dream bear fruits. So unfortunately you statement is untrue, because yes there are some who feel MONEY is more important than life.

    By the way it isn't STEALING if everyone is taken care of, just like a potluck at work if we all put 5 bucks into a pot and we are able to buy enough pizza for us all to eat who stole? If there is enough for all of us to eat and there is money left over that could be used for something else, or else that while ALL of us don't have 5 bucks those of us who do are more than enough to cover all of us who desire to eat. Sooner or later you have to face one very important reality, just because you wish to claim that making it easier on us ALL by standing together is theft does not make it true.  Do you live in a city? Do you not realize that the reason you live in a city is because it is far easier for you and your neighbors to afford Power, Sewage, phone service, fire service, police protection, emergency medical care, education, etc when you don't all have to travel miles between you to get to you.

    Have you seen the difference between a rural area and a surburban one? A suburban area to a city? Do you notice how as you move to a more populated area you get more choices? Or did you not realize that is in direct contradiction to your worldview.

  • Anonymous

    Thank God we have an 100% impartial, unbiased reporter like you. You should run for president.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody thinks money is more important than life. Libertarians just don't think it's just to *steal* from one person to save another, and we think there's other ways to manage a healthcare system than from the top down.

  • HarborGuy

    Go Alan Go! I loves ya man!!

    I just wish you would come out to my district in CA...I would love it.

  • HarborGuy

    Go Alan Go! I loves ya man!!

    I just wish you would come out to my district in CA...I would love it.

  • ProChoiceGrandma

    Did Ron Paul take the Hypocrite Oath when he became a physician?  Is he one of those old coots who accepted payment in chickens, as TeaParty rightwinger Sue Lowden suggested?  

    A tweeter brought up a good point - a cheap $25 pneumonia vaccine  could have saved Mr. Snyder's life.

  • Anonymous

    It's hypocritical to say that life is so sacred that women must be forced to stay pregnant against their will, yet life is less sacred than money, since someone too poor to pay his hospital bills will be condemned to death.

    You're right; it's not hypocritical to say money is more important than life, and that they are both more important that the rights of individual taxpaying citizens who happen to be women.  It's simply monstrous to prioritize it that way.

  • EndTheWars

    Fair enough. I'm glad I could provide more detail on the story. Still, if you weren't trying to disparage Ron Paul, you could answer my question about where the hypocrisy lies. 

  • http://twitter.com/UltraVerified verified ✔

    Even right wing libertarian fools deserve to have decent health care. 

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Nope, not scoring any points, since "points" don't do me any good at all. It was a great story, it got posted.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • EndTheWars

    Hold on a second. As a Ron Paul supporter in 2008, we (the supporters) paid the Snyder family's medical expenses.

    Further, would you please elaborate on what hypocrisy there is about Ron Paul being Pro-Life?

    Kent Snyder literally gave his life supporting a message he believed in;  he had already dedicated his entire career to this message. (I'm sure hard core progressives can imagine the level of passion required to make career sacrifices for a message they believe in.) In the last months of the campaign, Kent literally worked himself to death. When Ron decided that he would not pursue a third-party campaign and would instead set up his Campaign for Liberty, Kent's lost his spirits, and his illness took a turn for the worse. He's a hero to the Paul family and all of his most loyal supporters, which is why we readily obliged when his family asked for help in covering the medical expenses.

    Knock me for being a fan of RP all you want, but it's a pretty low act to use someone's death to score political points.

  • Anonymous

    Meanwhile if this guy's family doesn't pay it off from scamming the Paul campaign some one will pick up the bill, in charity care reimbursements  aka the taxpayers , or increased billing from the people who did pay for their insurance . Sorry the dude died but I'm sure the Teabags will cheer, "if he means to die let him do it and decrease the surplus population" Ebenezer Scrooge  Christmas Eve 1842

  • Ida2001

    Since when are one's mother & sisters responsible for the bills of a grown son & brother??

  • http://twitter.com/wiscoDude Philip Crawford

    You might want to include what Rep. Paul said in response to the question.