A couple of days ago, a story we posted got a lot of attention and unsurprisingly stirred up some of our readers, who are still involved in a spirited, er, discussion. It’s title: “2008 Flashback: Ron Paul’s campaign manager dies of pneumonia, uninsured, leaving family $400,000 debt.” It was about Ron Paul’s 49-year-old campaign manager whose death left his family burdened with overwhelming medical bills. It turns out he had a pre-existing medical condition.
During the Teabate the other night, Wolf Blitzer brought up a hypothetical situation in which a comatose 30-year-old man has no insurance, and asked presidential candidate Ron Paul what should be done about someone in that predicament: Should he be left to die? A few remarkably insensitive people in the audience yelled “Yes!” Yes, they thought he should be left to die.
Paul said no. But Ron Paul also feels that neighbors and churches would be ready, able, and willing to come up with thousands and thousands of dollars to help their friends. Somehow I can’t see my neighbors forking out that much money to pay for someone’s chemo or brain surgery.
According to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, by 2014 insurance companies won’t be able to charge people with pre-existing conditions more than they would any other patient, nor will they be able to reject them, as long as the individual health insurance mandate remains intact. And you know what the GOP has been trying to do about that.
Which brings us back to Ron Paul’s former staffer, Kent Snyder.
But even before 2014, Snyder could potentially have been eligible for a federal high-risk insurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions, which was established last year.
People like Snyder, who cannot find affordable insurance, are exactly who the law is intended to help. Perhaps Paul — who has said “Obamacare” is “monstrous” and “bad for your health” — will soften his opposition to the law, given that it potentially could have saved his friend’s life.