Rand Paul on Health Care



I'm for vaccines, but don't require bunching them altogether

One of the greatest medical discoveries were vaccines, particularly for smallpox. I'm all for vaccines. But I'm also for freedom. I'm also concerned about how they're bunched up. My kids had all of their vaccines, and even if the science doesn't say bunching them up is a problem, I ought to have the right to spread out my vaccines out a little bit at the very least.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

GOP has been fighting single-payer for a decade

Q [to Donald Trump]: 15 years ago, you were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system.

TRUMP: As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age. What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state.

PAUL: I've got a news flash: the Republican Party's been fighting against a single-payer system for a decade. So I think you're on the wrong side of this if you're still arguing for a single-payer system.

TRUMP: I don't think you heard me. You're having a hard time tonight.

Q: Mr. Trump, it's not just your past support for single-payer health care. You've also supported a host of other liberal policies. Use--you've also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi.

TRUMP: Most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Health system was over-regulated before ObamaCare

I was not a member of the US Senate during the 111th Congress, but if I had been I would have voted against ObamaCare. As your President, one of my first acts would be to repeal the abomination that is ObamaCare.

As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the immense problems facing health care. Prior to the implementation of ObamaCare, our health care system was over-regulated and in need of serious market reforms--but ObamaCare is not the answer.

Government interventions in health care have driven up the cost of coverage and decreased competition within the market. More--not less--freedom to choose and innovate will make sure our health care system remains the best in the world.

As your President, I will ensure that real free-market principles are applied to the American health care system so that it is responsive to patients, families, and doctors, rather than government bureaucracy.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues" , Apr 7, 2015

Encourage vaccines, with religious exceptions

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) continued to walk back his comments that parents should be allowed to choose whether to vaccinate their children, saying he holds the same position as President Barack Obama on the matter. "I got annoyed that people were trying to depict me as someone who doesn't think vaccines were a good idea," Paul said, noting that he had been vaccinated before a recent trip to Guatemala and had vaccinated his children.

"I'm not sure I'm different from the president or anyone else on the position," Paul said. "We have rules to encourage people to have vaccines in the country, but I don't think anybody's recommending that we hold them down."

Pressed on whether vaccinations should be required when an illness could spread to other children, Paul said certain school vaccine requirements were already "somewhat of a mandate," but really more of an encouragement. "Interestingly, 48 out of 50 states do have a religious as well as philosophic exemption if you have a problem," Paul said.

Source: Huffington Post 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 4, 2015

Parents own their children, and can choose to not vaccinate

Amid an outbreak of measles, Gov. Chris Christie & Sen. Rand Paul both came under fire for saying it should be up to parents whether to vaccinate their children. Christie said "parents need to have some measure of choice" in deciding whether to vaccinate but later clarified his position: "There is no question kids should be vaccinated."

Paul, however, doubled down on his view that the decision whether to vaccinate one's child is a matter of personal liberty: "The state doesn't own your children," Paul said. "Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

Paul also said he's heard of cases where children were left with "profound mental disorders" after being vaccinated. Some opponents have drawn links between vaccines and autism, although this has been discredited in the medical community. [Paul recalled his irritation at doctors who tried to press him to vaccinate his own children. He eventually did, he said, but spaced out the vaccinations over a period of time.]

Source: The Hill 2015 weblog on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 2, 2015

Compassion cannot be delivered in the form of coercion

It is a noble aspiration and a moral obligation to make sure our fellow man is provided for, that medical treatment is made available to all. But compassion cannot be delivered in the form of coercion.

President Obama's fundamental promise that if you like your doctor you can keep them--was a lie. ObamaCare, at its core, takes away a patient's right to choose. Under ObamaCare, patients are prohibited from choosing their doctor or their insurance. Today, more Americans may have medical insurance, but Americans are now paying more money for worse care.

The relationship between doctor and patient is withering. Doctors are fleeing the profession they love. Hospitals are straining, closing, or refusing to accept ObamaCare policies. Everyone knows our health care system needed reforming, but it was the wrong prescription to choose more government instead of more consumer choice and competition. How should we fix our healthcare system? Let's try freedom again. It worked for over 200 years!

Source: Tea Party response to the 2015 State of the Union address , Jan 20, 2015

Supports tort reform & free-market principles

As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the vast problems facing health care in the United States. Like other areas of the economy in which the federal government wields its heavy hand, health care is over-regulated and in need of serious market reforms. Government interventions in health care have driven up the cost of coverage. I have long supported making all medical expenses tax deductible, allowing insurance to be bought across state lines, tort reform (state-level), and empowering all citizens to save for health expenses by removing the high-deductible insurance policy requirement to access to Health Savings Accounts.

More freedom to choose and innovate will make sure our health care system remains the best in the world. As your Senator, I am working to ensure that real free market principles are applied to the American health care system so that it is responsive to patients, families, and doctors rather than government bureaucracy.

Source: 2015 official Senate website www.paul.senate.gov , Jan 15, 2015

ObamaCare cuts hundreds of choices down to just four

Q: One of the success stories of ObamaCare is in your own state: 26,000 people have signed up on the Kentucky web site. Can ObamaCare can be a success?

PAUL: Nearly 90% of them are signing up for Medicaid, free health insurance from the government. My concern is not that we shouldn't help people. I do want to help these people to get insurance. But there is going to be a cost. So I see the positive, but I also see the negative. And the real problem is we're driving everyone out of the individual market. Where there were once hundreds of plans that you could choose from, there's now four government-mandated plans. If your insurance is not as good as them, or even if it's too good, you can't buy it.

Q: If the web site problems are fixed, will ObamaCare work?

PAUL: You know, I think government is inherently inept, because they don't work on a profit motive. Government has to do certain things. But government shouldn't take on new things to do when it's not managing what it has now.

Source: ABC This Week 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 3, 2013

It's Congress' job to fight to change ObamaCare

Q: Why is ObamaCare even a matter of a negotiation when it's passed both houses of Congress, and upheld by the Supreme Court?

PAUL: Well, because it's Congress's job to oversee spending. The power of the purse resides with Congress and they fund programs every year. So it's not their obligation once something is law to never change it. So it's a silly argument for Democrats to say, "Oh, the law has been passed. We can't ever change it." Well that's what Congress's job is.

Q: You talk about compromise a lot with regard to ObamaCare. What part of ObamaCare do you like and want to keep?

PAUL: I don't really like any of ObamaCare. But I realize I'm not going to get my way. But we do control a third of the government. People did elect us to fight. I'm supposed to go and fight to make bills either less bad or make them better if possible. So I think it is my job to stand up and provide oversight for legislation. It's precisely what Congress is supposed to be doing. This is Congress's job.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 6, 2013

Protect vitamin manufacturers from unreasonable regulations

I introduced the Health Freedom Act, which would protect vitamin and supplement manufacturers from some of the current unreasonable government regulations The burden of proof or wrongdoing should lie not with private business but with the government. As the Constitution demands, if the government wants to raid your office, shut down your business, and harass you and your customers, it should have to prove its case to a judge first.

Major corporations who manufacture vitamins and supplements are often able to advertise certain health benefits. But what about the small businesses? What about those who sell & promote natural foods and supplements, products that are widely known to have certain health benefits, but the FDA doesn't think these businesses should be allowed to advertise these benefits?

For millions of Americans suffering from a wide range of diseases or other health care problems, the FDA has regularly denied information regarding the therapeutic benefits of using dietary supplements.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.251-253 , Sep 12, 2012

ObamaCare is still unconstitutional, despite Supreme Court

When the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, the first words out of my mouth were: I still think it is unconstitutional!

The leftwing blogs were merciless. Even my wife said--can't you pleeeease count to ten before you speak? So, I've had time now to count to ten and, you know what? I still think it's unconstitutional!

Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds? I think if James Madison himself--the father of the Constitution--were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!

This debate is not new and it's not over. Hamilton and Madison fought from the beginning about how government would be limited by the enumerated powers. Madison was unequivocal. The powers of the federal government are few and defined. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers.

So, how do we fix this travesty of justice? There's only one option left. We have to have a new president!

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 29, 2012

No mandatory mental health screening in schools

S.1800: Parental Consent Act: Sponsor: Sen Rand Paul [KY]Rep. Ron Paul remarks: Universal or mandatory mental-health screening threatens to undermine parents' right to raise their children as the parents see fit. Forced mental-health screening could lead to more children being improperly placed on psychotropic drugs, or stigmatized as "mentally ill" because they adhere to traditional values. Congress has a responsibility to the nation's parents & children to stop this from happening.
Source: Library of Congress, S.1800, Parental Consent Act , Nov 3, 2011

Restrain ObamaCare from using Commerce Clause

For 60 and 70 years now we've been working with this notion that the Commerce Clause says that our government can do anything. Until ObamaCare came along.

They scoffed at us when we said it wasn't constitutional. This Supreme Court case that will be more, about much more than health care. It's going to be about whether or not we believe that our government should be restrained by the Constitution. I think for 60 or 70 years we've been gradually going down this road of becoming more of a majoritarian rule, a democracy. Jefferson said democracy would be nothing more than a mob rule. Our Founding Fathers knew the difference between a republic and a democracy.

Our understanding of the Commerce Clause has become so broad that I often will say, if my shoes were made in Tennessee, they'll regulate my walking in Kentucky.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

Obamacare will cost $3T & health insurance still goes up 15%

CONWAY: I'm not for the $2,000 deductible and taking our health care system back to a pre-World War II system, which is what Rand Paul said. So I'd like to fix health care. He wants to repeal it.

PAUL: It's incredibly foolhardy to have a trillion-dollar stimulus and then another trillion dollars into Obamacare. The thing about government also is they notoriously underestimate the cost of things. What the Democrats tell us will be a trillion- dollar health care could turn into a $3 trillion nightmare, a drag on the economy. It's already causing unemployment in Kentucky. My health insurance went up 15 percent since Obamacare was passed. What is going to happen is it's going to hurt the economy and hurt jobs in Kentucky.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate , Oct 3, 2010

Replace over-regulation with free market principles

As a doctor I have had first-hand experience with the vast problems facing health care in America. Like other areas of the economy where the federal government wields its heavy hand, health care is over-regulated and in need of serious market reforms. As Senator, I would ensure that real free market principles are applied to fix this problem.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.randpaul2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Voted NO on the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts.

Proponent's Arguments for voting Yes:

[Sen. DeMint, R-SC]: The Democrats have Medicare on a course of bankruptcy. Republicans are trying to save Medicare & make sure there are options for seniors in the future. Medicare will not be there 5 or 10 years from now. Doctors will not see Medicare patients at the rate [Congress will] pay.

[Sen. Ayotte, R-NH]: We have 3 choices when it comes to addressing rising health care costs in Medicare. We can do nothing & watch the program go bankrupt in 2024. We can go forward with the President's proposal to ration care through an unelected board of 15 bureaucrats. Or we can show real leadership & strengthen the program to make it solvent for current beneficiaries, and allow future beneficiaries to make choices.

Opponent's Arguments for voting No:

[Sen. Conrad, D-ND]: In the House Republican budget plan, the first thing they do is cut $4 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years. For the wealthiest among us, they give them an additional $1 trillion in tax reductions. To offset these massive new tax cuts, they have decided to shred the social safety net. They have decided to shred Medicare. They have decided to shred program after program so they can give more tax cuts to those who are the wealthiest among us.

[Sen. Merkley, D-TK]: The Republicans chose to end Medicare as we know it. The Republican plan reopens the doughnut hole. That is the hole into which seniors fall when, after they have some assistance with the first drugs they need, they get no assistance until they reach a catastrophic level. It is in that hole that seniors have had their finances devastated. We fixed it. Republicans want to unfix it and throw seniors back into the abyss. Then, instead of guaranteeing Medicare coverage for a fixed set of benefits for every senior--as Medicare does now--the Republican plan gives seniors a coupon and says: Good luck. Go buy your insurance. If the insurance goes up, too bad.
Status: Failed 40-57

Reference: Ryan Budget Plan; Bill HCR34&SCR21 ; vote number 11-SV077 on May 25, 2011

Opposes government-run healthcare.

Paul opposes the CC survey question on government-run healthcare

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal government run health care system"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q5 on Aug 11, 2010

Defund, repeal, & replace federal care with free market.

Paul signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care:

Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA07 on Jul 8, 2010

Repeal any federal health care takeover.

Paul signed Club for Growth's "Repeal-It!" Pledge

The Club for Growth's "Repeal-It!" Pledge for candidates states, "I hereby pledge to the people of my district/state upon my election to the U.S. House of Representatives/U.S. Senate, to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government."

Source: Club for Growth's "Repeal-It!" Pledge 10-CfG-can on Jul 4, 2010

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