You may remember the CNN/Tea Party debate dust-up over health care in the recent televised debate. Physician and Congressman Ron Paul was asked if “society should let” a young person with no health insurance die, and who should pay the bill? See the video below for Paul’s statement. Today, a story is out that Ron Paul’s former, and now deceased, campaign manager, Kent Snyder, died of pneumonia at the age of 49. He died without insurance, but had a Master’s Degree.
As it turns out, Paul was not speaking purely in hypotheticals. Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul’s former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer’s example, the 49-year-old Snyder (pictured) was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder’s surviving mother (pictured, left), who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations. Source
The source of the story quoted Paul saying freedom is all about taking your own risks, and then the source explained for us what Paul meant: “So basically, yeah. He’d let him die.”
Mr. Snyder may not have been all that healthy, as his sister is quoted saying he had a pre-existing condition and premiums were too expensive. It is clear that Snyder did not die without medical care, but his mother was held responsible for the $400,000 bill. She couldn’t pay, and friends launched a website to help her out. As a campaign manager for Ron Paul, who raised a monumental $19.5 Million for Paul, I suspect the debt was paid.
But then, what is “too expensive,” especially when you have a Masters degree, and you know your own health is vulnerable? Would you try to find a job that paid enough to cover housing and food and insurance first? I would. Snyder was a believer of Paul’s philosophies and he choose not to do so. See a video of Kent Snyder on Conservative Roundtable in July 2007.
Ron Paul is right. We should not have to take care of “everybody,” but we can maintain a reasonable way for most people to take care of themselves, and we can enable States to find a way to do this for their residents. We allow all the freedom within our medical community possible, without a panel of government bureaucrats sitting in Washington, D.C. reviewing our records. We revamp how states buy insurance – let them buy services competitively. In the meantime, we cut-off Medicaid to those undeserving, and eliminate fraud in both Medicaid and Medicare. It’s like building the border fence, we can do it and it will work in most cases. Memeorandum has a thread here.
Ron Paul on Health Care and Who Pays the Bill (video)