Could President Obama's health care plan have saved Ron Paul staffer’s life?


Ron Paul and Kent Snyder, his late campaign manager

 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.

Think Progress:

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.

  • Yup, you so answered my questions there or even proved YOUR point about the free market being better. The man died, I wish he would have had insurance BEFORE he died maybe he would still be alive.

    I guess that is unimportant, just constantly repeating the same NON information about some mystical magical free market is supposed to make me feel like you showed me something. Which is far more important that SHOWING me right.

    Okay, whatever I'M the one speaking incoherent rhetoric, okay. Bye Bye any time you are ready to return to reality you can come on back and try and show me PROOF(not just your words based on HOPE or FAITH in an ideology that is STILL in the minority in this country) of your idea working in a real life situation. Just because you call yourself a LIBERTARIAN doesn't mean you actually believe or understand what liberty is.

  • Anonymous

    Your very first statement proves beyond the shadow of a doubt you have no idea how our system works, nor have you ever had any education in economics or our political system.

    I'm not going to let you drag me into a political discussion, when you
    didn't even know our system encourages corporatism and is not a free
    market system. Ignorance, isn't that what makes you sick?

    So go right ahead keyboard commando, continue to tell me I'm wrong when you do not have even the most basic idea of what I'm talking about. I'm not making a political point, I'm simply telling you facts. You are accusing me of doing it because you know this is exactly what you were doing and as a result felt bad. The truth hurts doesn't it?

    The reply to this message will no doubt be another incoherent tirade laced with little to no information but overflowing with political rhetoric and generic talking points. So congratulations you win, I hope you feel real proud of yourself trying to promote your view on health care by utilizing a mans death just as the article did. You did so without so much as an ounce of class or respect for the dead.

  • I don't want government or corporations working together, I'm afraid you might want to learn to read before you make accusations. I want the government to do its job and REGULATE corporations.

    I'm sorry that this is all you have, this constant cry of "free market", if this isn't the free market exactly where does your euphoric "free market" exist at? How can you claim that something is going to work if you don't have an example to point to, I can point to Europe for low cost social medicine, please show me your low cost "free market" version.

    By the way, an Economics course wouldn't prove your point, it would continue to prove mine. As I see your comment has been edited I realize that you have no real argument or case here. Name calling(while it can be fun, especially when you are trouncing your opponent)is rarely helpful if you are actually trying to have respectful debate or even a spirited discussion.

    I read, thus why I said what I did. You have a political point to make, unfortunately you are having a hard time making it thus the name calling and the anger. Say what you will about what drove prices up, but since health care is a for profit industry easiest way to make profit is to not only increase your customer base but also to increase your revenues by raising costs.

    I'm sorry you don't understand that, but I'm afraid the real world doesn't agree with your convictions.

  • Anonymous

    You clearly didn't even read my post you self aggrandizing loon.

    Stop trying to use a mans death to make a POLITICAL POINT. Atleast Ron Paul had the dignity to not mention this even though it proved his point that those that are uninsured aren't left to die. He has a lot more class than you apparently.

    You don't even understand the rhetoric you are dropping in this nonsensical argument.

    Under the free market it wouldn't have cost 400,00 dollars you dolt. It's the corporations and the government working in collusion to drive health care costs to a premium. Wake the hell up and learn about corporatism. The free market didn't make health care costs sky rocket, that is the most detached statement I have heard in months. How can you even make the correlation that the free market raised health care costs when we don't have real free market competition in HEALTH CARE.

    Jesus people, take an economics course before you start spewing this unintelligent drivel. You're constant " we need more government and corporations working together so i can feel better about myself" is hurting the very people you are trying to help.

    Ignorance makes you sick?
    Then don't look the mirror.

  • Lldunn2000

    Yes this say alot about Ron Paul, I am confident that he  did not do all in his power to help. Because in all actuality had it already been in place that insurance companies could not charge more for pre-esisting conditions or deny coverage than Synder, Ron Pauls ...friend may have gotten better health care early on. Now if it is true that Obama's health care would be more expensive than sherlock figure out how to cut the cost....sounds like there are too many people joining in on the knocking, but not coming up with "real solutions." I give obama an "E" for excellence at least he tried to fix it when many others just walked away. Stating a fact is not extortion. The real of it all we need a better health care system...So go ahead and use extortion of the President to make you feel better when in fact every american deserves health care. What insurance companies have done in the past was "monstrous". Seem like Obama is the only one caring about people at all Ron Paul was a "fake friend" with a friend like him who needs enemies ? Why wait untill a situation exist to try an help a real friend would have taken care of things prior too and that is what the article is stating...the rule of law is that it be fair and just...sounds like to me that covers all people and not targeting sick people we know who will get sick in in advance? The word proactive exist intending to get people thing about planning ahead. Ron Pauls's of the world get on this some real compassion and start ahead thinking about solutions instead of wasting tax payers time with all of that negativity....!

  • Anonymous

    The hypocrites are the ones who pawn THEIR responsibility off on other people.  You can't do good by going to the voting booth and telling people with guns to do Jesus' bidding.  You aren't doing good when you use force on others to do what you think is good on your behalf.

    And what you want is NOT good for anyone.  It will result in MORE people going without medical care because medical care will effectively become much more limited in supply.  While "bleeding heart" liberals try to paint every instance of health care access as crucial and life-saving, in fact, most health care is optional.  When the government makes it free, it will be over utilized and the truly needy people will not be able to get it.  Only the very wealthy will have access to truly good care.

    Complex medical procedures like LASIK that don't have lots of government or HMO influence DROP in price, while other less complex procedures that are interfered with dramatically INCREASE in price.  That should tell the person who isn't interested in demagogy and building a more powerful voting block something.

  • Jackbauer331986

    Correct, but Jesus also said of that neighbor, "If your neighbor is in need of an in need of an emergency appendectomy...Um, send him to a church or something. Just give him directions. Thou can evenst drive him, assuming of course, there's no football on. The point is an organized system where the strongest take care of the weakest is akin to socialism. And I of course am a free market fundamentalist"

    For serious: if you honestly think Jesus would be anything other than the most bleeding heart liberal you've ever seen, you're willfully ignorant. Remember that please next time you pray to him or go to church. B/c nobody, even Jesus, likes a hypocrite. 

  • And by the way I know he got treatment, his family was left with a crippling bill of $450,000 of which only $50,000 could be raised by family, churches, and charities thus an outstanding bill of $400,000.

    Now if $400,000 isn't crippling to you how about you pony up that money for Mr. Snyder's family so that said debt is no longer out there floating and threatening. Put your money where your mouth is or else admit my point is not only valid but true.

  • Question, is the health care system completely under government control or is it mostly private. You're mad at the free market, you can say what you will but tell me how much did the health care industry make the year Mr. Snyder died? How much did Big Pharma make?

    I can call it like I see it, if you know that Churches, charities and AVERAGE families have a hard time coming up with 400,000 and yet you won't change you mind even for a close friend? He is remorseful that his friend died but his conviction has not been tempered with compassion.

    Political gain? I wanted him covered, I want you covered, I want to be more fully covered. I'm not the one who drove health care costs up, that would be your precious "free market". Seems to me health care in Europe and Canada is cheaper than it is here.

    The rhetoric you are spitting helps keep health care costs high, you allow companies who's ONLY goal is to make more money to continue to raise health care costs arbitrarily.

    The rule of law huh, exactly what LAW drove up health care costs? I made not a dime on the price of health care, can you say the same about insurance companies?

    You know what makes me sick IGNORANCE, if you are more about party line than people yes I will continue to say you lack compassion. Of course I'm wrong for telling the truth right? Your major complaint is about health care being so expensive and yet you wish to do nothing about it, in fact you would allow it to continue to get worse.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Jesus said "If you can't obtain something for yourself, steal it from your neighbor."

    You are not being charitable if you're taking the "charity" by force.

  • Anonymous

    You should actually know what you are talking about before you open your mouth. Know that he "amazingly" still didn't get refused treatment. Snyder talked Paul into running and was one of Ron's closest friend's for 12 years and Ron did everything in his power to help Snyder.

    How dare you accuse Dr.Paul of not being compassionate.

    The health care system in this country made Mr.Snyder's treatment cost far more than it would have under natural market conditions. Without it, it would have been a substantial amount less and would have been easily afforded by family and friends.

    Is it compassionate to disrespect the rule of law?
    Is it compassionate to force the cost of health care through the roof so you can feel better about yourself?
    Is it compassionate to extort a good man's death for political gain?

    People make me sick.

  • Jackbauer331986

    So well said. Genius maybe? I like many Republicans, am a Conservative Christian.  And Jesus clearly said in Luke 12 : 27, "And if man cannot afford the healing gifts that God hath given him, well, fuck em"

  • Anonymous

    Obviously Ron Paul is correct.  Kent Snyder wasn't turned away because he didn't have insurance; he received $400,000.00 in care.  That you would place the cost on nameless, faceless taxpayers doesn't change the fact that Snyder didn't die from lack of care.  What's amazing is that you think somehow when the burden is placed on taxpayers, that it is somehow suddenly free.  As things stand today, we will all die.  As unfortunate as it is that "s#1t happens,"  it is immoral to steal from one set of people to pay for the expenses of other people -- even if those expenses are medical in nature.

  • Annoakgrove

    I find it hard to equate the philosophy of the Paul's of this world with any moral or ethical standard. The feeling that churches, neighbors, family will step in to carry the load is unrealistic. How many fund raisers do we see to help pay for a person's medical bills that raise the full amount needed? 

  • This is a shame. 

  • I can appreciate a man for having convictions, I am also allowed to say I feel the man is wrong. If you know churches and charities can rarely come up with $400,000 to spend on one person, yet the government can make it easier for this person to get care I say ask yourself what you want to happen when it is your son or daughter. If you response is still let them die, fine your family, let them die me I'll pay the extra 5 or 10 bucks in hopes that whether it's my family member or yours they can not only get the best care possible but hopefully have a quick recovery. Or if not at least prevent it from crippling their family going forward.

    It's nice to be principled but it's far better to be compassionate