Rand Paul Under Fire for Equating the Right to Health Care With Slavery

James R. Carroll, Courier-Journal (Louisville), May 13, 2011

Sen. Rand Paul has come under fire from African American leaders for saying that people who believe in the right to health care also believe in enslaving health care workers.

“With regard to the idea of whether or not you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies,” Paul, a Bowling Green, Ky., ophthalmologist, said at a Senate hearing Wednesday on community health care centers. “It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me.”

“It means you believe in slavery,” he said.

Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville chapter of the NAACP, called the Kentucky Republican’s remarks “ludicrous.”

“If the statement were not made by a United States senator from the state of Kentucky, before a subcommittee of the United States Senate, I would dismiss it as ridiculous,” Cunningham said in an interview.

“To compare (the right to health care) to slavery, come on,” he added. “Does he think the president of the United States, who is African American, or the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus, who certainly understand slavery, would support health care?”

{snip}

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and a member of the black caucus, said the Kentucky senator should apologize to the nation for his insensitive remarks, which he said were an attack on President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

“As an anti-federalist, pro-states’ rights proponent, Senator Rand Paul’s statements linking slavery to the Affordable Care Act demonstrate a dangerous, ignorant, and unsupportable revisionist view of American history that should not be allowed to stand unchallenged under the guise of his concern about the role of the federal government,” Jackson said in a statement.

“From before the Civil War to the present, states’ rights have been the operative legal philosophy of anti-government activists like Senator Paul,” the congressman said. “Throughout history conservatives have argued that slavery was a state right. If slavery was a state right, then states’ rights can never be human rights.”

In response, Paul’s office issued a statement Friday saying Jackson’s “accusations are insulting and his arguments invalid.”

The senator’s remarks Wednesday came during a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s retirement and aging subcommittee. Paul is the ranking Republican on the panel.

{snip}

Paul complained about that spending and used the slavery analogy at some length in a discussion about the right to health care.

“It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses,” Paul said.

“If you have right to their services–basically, once you imply a belief in a right to one’s services–do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have a right to food? You’re basically saying that you believe in slavery. You’re saying you believe in taking and extracting from another person,” he said.

“Our founding documents were very clear about this,” he said. “You have a right to pursue happiness, but there’s no guarantee of physical comfort. There’s no guarantee of concrete items. In order to give something concrete or someone’s service, you’ve got to take it from someone. So there’s an implied threat of force.

“If I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care, do you have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be,” Paul asserted. “If you believe in a right to health care, you’re believing in basically the use of force to conscript someone to do your bidding.”

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Tom from UK

    Well said, that man.

    I think that one of the biggest problems to emanate from the post-war political class has been the notion of positive rights, specifically those at the expense of others. All too often people conflate what is desirable (affordable health care / housing / transport for all, as examples) and what is a right (not to be deprived of life/liberty except by due process of law, freedom of speech / assembly etc.)

    Rights that ipso facto infringe the rights of others are a logical absurdity. While I do think the US healthcare system could do with improvement, the single payer system is neither a right, nor is it especially desirable except to those who see it as getting something for free.

  • Anonymous

    Blacks’ complete lack of understanding of free market systems and economics is completely absurd and laughable. No wonder these people get all heated up about referring to slavery at all. Of course, they are also historically ignorant of the fact that other groups of people have endured slavery at different times in history, and yes, it’s still going on in some parts of the world. But getting back to sheer economic ignorance-what does one expect of a group of people who have High bankruptcy and student loan default rates. Every time I think I’m seen it all and heard it all at your website among others, some other reminder pops up to make us whites realize that like it or not, there are significant intelligence differences among the races.

  • shaunantijihad

    He’s not doing himself any favours with this one. The logic of the argument may be sound, but in principle it means that the government would be obliged to hire health workers, and pay enough to attract them from other institutions, or from abroad, or encourage more to take up medical professions, and limit working hours for safety reasons.

    Keep it real Rand. Future President’s need to keep their feet on the ground.

    The real comparison with slavery, is the unconstitutional issuance of currency at interest, which the government must pay back plus interest to the private company the Federal Reserve (or other central banks), via taxation. That is genuinely a hidden form of economic slavery.

    Socialism is also a form of slavery. Different racial groups have differing propensities to live on welfare, with Muslims and Blacks being the worst offenders. In the UK 50% of Muslim males and 75% of Muslim females have never worked. Blacks are similar. Thus, in a multiracial society, Blacks and Muslims are more likely to live off the work of others who must pay up or face prison. This too is economic slavery of the most productive citzens, mostly Whites, Jews and non-Muslim Asians.

  • BO_Bill

    When congressmen are given a day to review thousand-plus page bills authored by no one knows who, it can be observed that we no longer live in a functioning Representative Republic. Who writes these pieces of legislation and what are their goals? The Founding documents recognize that good government is based upon principles of Natural Law. James Madison writes in Federalist 10:

    ‘The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government… The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society.’

    Madison advocates a weak government that allows Natural ability to operate freely. The factions Madison writes of were between 12% of Americans, those actively involved in the economy, who were politically empowered at the Founding of the country. The Natural diversity of the faculties of politically empowered Americans have, um, grown in the years since.

    It probably seems Logical to Jesse Jackson Jr. and ‘his people’ to support a central government powerful enough to use force to take wealth and services from those like Dr. Paul who receive compensation for their contributions to society. Jesse and ‘his people’ advocate a strong government that conscripts Natural ability.

    However Jesse and ‘his people’ are not in general implanted with longer range cyclic thought abilities. If they were, they would realize that any government powerful enough to conscript Natural ability can quickly morph into a government powerful enough to run itself like a business. In a business, if you are unable or unwilling to actively contribute, you are made to leave.

  • Wayne Engle

    It’s typical of the Courier-Journal, a liberal newspaper that did its best to get Rand Paul defeated in last year’s Senate race, to try to blow something he says out of all proportion.

    It’s also typical of blacks to get all huffy if someone White suggests that anyone but THEIR ancestors were, or are ever likely to be, slaves. “How dare they?!” This is like a badge of honor for American blacks, this idiotic idea that no one else has ever suffered like “they” suffered.

    The fact remains that every race of man has had its share of enslaved people (to use the trendy term popular nowadays), and every race has owned slaves, of its own race or some other race — including blacks. The equating of “slave” with “black” has been so pervasive in our schools for so many years that, when as I child I learned that Aesop was a slave, I immediately imagined an old black man. Imagine my amazement when as an adult I first learned he was Greek!

  • Anonymous

    Senator Jackson,

    It’s with great irony, which you no doubt missed, that you attempt to peg Rand Paul as a supporter of human rights abuses by linking him with “anti-government” movements, implying that he supports slavery. The greatest abusers of human rights in history, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, etc. have all been nationalizing, big governement, centralizing goons. Like you.

    No tyrant or madman has ever sounded like Rand Paul, however, a lot of them sound like “progressive” Democrats and all of them start out as socialist.

    That you can call Rand Paul ignorant shows you don’t know what the word means.

    BTW Senator Jackson, you know who else in history openly criticized “states’ rights”? Yeah, Adolf Hitler. Funny how that works, how you Dems keep accusing we who don’t want you to run our lives of being Nazis, yet it’s you all who behave like Nazis in all but your name. Funny indeed.

  • Anonymous

    >

    Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville chapter of the NAACP, called the Kentucky Republican’s remarks “ludicrous.”

    In response, Paul’s office issued a statement Friday saying Jackson’s “accusations are insulting and his arguments invalid.”

    >

    Pot, meet Kettle.

    Both are of course, ridiculous claims (blacks enslave anyone who is not cold enough to shrug off their pity-me act and not well connnected enough to laugh off strong-arming) but where they differ is not:

    1. ‘In Theory’, any medical action which a doctor undertakes on behalf of an indigent or unqualified insurance patient will, even today, be paid from from public taxes as MCare or MCaid. Any extensive procedure requiring say, expensive drugs and/or surgery, may also (commercially) be legitimately denied by the hospital, even if he is loyal to his Hypocratic oath.

    2. The above will change to bring the ultra poor onboard only until massive spending and financial collapse resulting from an entitlement state mentality results in the fragmentation of the Republic as the USD will no longer be able to purchase anything. Once whites have literally nothing to gain from using as much as obeying a system, that system will collapse. And currency shifts in the face of massive inflation and debt is the easiest way to do it.

    3. Blacks don’t like doctors. Hispanics do. I doubt if this will alter much under Obamacare but what will shift is the attitudes of whites who will come to despise black-specific medical bias towards racial specific treatments that compensate for shortcomings in personal habits, developed immune system frailties, acute kidney and hypertensive cardio risks etc. As well as the ‘exotic’ diseases and defects that south of the border patients bring with them. We will still pay for it, of course. But only until nobody can pay the cops or military to make us. ‘Whiskey Tax’ comes to mind as the precursors to the moonshine industry and a barter trade…

    4. The obvious counter is that doctors are part of the Elite classes, albeit the low end, by definition. A 120,000 dollar a year salary (which is a low end, applicable only for non-specialists)is probably ‘overpaid’ anyway (See: Greenspan and Engineers), if there are outsourceable quacks that can be brought in and be happy to take 30,000 instead.

    Given there will be an exclusive community to serve the million-a-year Elites, that hierarchy will also be severely restricted, similar to professional athletes (2,500 of the worlds highest paid idiots). I’m sorry but while I recognize their superior skills when I am down at 10,000 or less, I will have little pity for white doctors who think that they are above and beyond outsourcing, like the manufacturing and professional/office classes. Can we say ‘H-1B’ and ‘Mandatory Immigration Quotas’ of certain skillsets from certain regions?

    5. Since nobody is doing this solely from altruistic concerns, I doubt, _seriously_, if we are done with death boards and social engineering through age or class based quota systems. I hope that the Elites take a page from the prison systems and don’t try forced integration of communities or the need for doctors will be greatly exceeded by that of morticians.

    Of course there may be some good to come from this too. _If_ the Feds are sitting atop some serious sterilization and genomic therapy improvements to social cohesion and intelligence as hidden wonder drugs, it will help a great deal in the execution of ‘the plan’ if we are all getting a uniform snowjob in terms of equal care access as equal coverup for the change in our genetics.

    I seriously hope that that 25 year lead between real world and laboratory science has not been wasted because we are about to hit some major Malthusian stumbling blocks in the survivability of the human race overall (103 nuclear reactors and nobody smart enough to run them or shut them down…).

    CONCLUSION:

    The high end professional classses are about to take a REALLY hard fall, across the board. If we value our own health carre as quality of life, we might ease our doctor’s bottoming out process by offering some fringe benefits in racially isolated = paying communities.

    Especially if the alternative is relying on 20,000 dollar a year graduates of the Indian Medical School Of Degree Scalping.

    I’m thinking a house and some lawn care in trade for avoiding the wonders of diversity could be a real wakeup, for both sides.

  • Anonymous

    The premise of this argument is ridiculous. No one expects health care workers to work for nothing. It is that the idea that only the wealthy should have health care is equally repugnant to me and flies in the face of the Hippocratic Oath. I volunteered medical services for well over a decade. In a modern, civilized society, we ought to care for our least. It is just that they ought truly be our own. It can’t work if everyone in the world is welcomed. The truth is that no nation can serve all applicants, this is one reason for sovereignty. However,when it comes to healthcare, it ought not be the path to wealth and the idea that it is for profits by investors and companies that make money by withholding services. That is obscene and immoral. No one who thinks this is right can call themselves a Christian or even a civilized, ethical person.

    As far as race realism in health care goes, insurance companies like Kaiser recruit non-white doctors from foreign countries with shorter medical programs in order to make better profits. In a nationalistic, sovereign nation like Slovenia, the doctors are nationals both genetically and culturally, and they are happy to pay their taxes to keep it that way. I know, I worked in health care there. I have a dear friend there who had a very nasty form of cancer treated for nearly a decade. He not only recovered and is doing well, but he fathers two children with his second wife, and built a home. When he had to close his private business, the government gave him a job so that he could support his family and paid medical leave, which included recovery time at a spa. I can tell you that that is one country where the people are far happier than we are. I just don’t know if it will last because they joined the EU. But the EU’s power looks to be waning.

  • Vick

    Paul’s notion of “the right to health care” is overblown.

    Some society’s decide amongst themselves, democratically, that they would like to go the route of using the largest possible number of people paying into a single pool in order to cover health care costs for everyone.

    We can call it something grandiose sounding, like “a right to health care” – or we can be more sober and call it the most efficient, least expensive way to provide health care to everyone considering that the largest number of people are sharing the costs and all chipping in.

    At any rate, from the point of view of AmRen’s concern with race issues, Paul’s comments are a bit silly and knowing that he’s a libertarian, I’m fairly certain race had nothing to do with what he was talking about. And likewise, the response of these black leaders is dependably silly, taking umbrage over very little and achieving next to nothing for the efforts.

  • Bret

    I live in Louisville and I can ASSURE you the CJ is to the left of left…….thankfully, subscriptions are way down……

  • Tusky

    The question is, do you own your own body?

    If so, and someone makes you do a service (in the case of Rand Paul, physician services) for below-market prices, they are stealing your labor. Theft or slavery? If you are otherwise free, just theft.

    A more Draconian instance of this coerced labor system is the full-time & dangerous labor of a drafted soldier. In my mind, this is clearly slavery, and immediately outlawed by the Constitution.

    Tusky

  • mark

    Anonymous #8,

    You are making a typical socialistic argument. Evil money hungry doctors, evil pharmaceutical companies etc. What’s next? Are you going to blame food producers for not giving away food to feed the hungry? How about the home builders not giving the free shelter to the homeless? You could claim it is also obscene and immoral not to help them.

    My suggestion to you is to pack-up quickly and move to Slovenia….before you get a chance to vote for obama…again.

  • Anonymous

    Poster 8 says,

    I volunteered medical services for well over a decade. In a modern, civilized society, we ought to care for our least. It is just that they ought truly be our own. It can’t work if everyone in the world is welcomed. The truth is that no nation can serve all applicants, this is one reason for sovereignty.

    —————————————————————–

    Yes, if a nation is comprised of ones own racial people, we can afford to help those in need and most would want to. Blood IS truly thicker than water. In America, as well as most of Europe, it is not “our people” that have eaten up everything we have and then stab us in the back, it is foreign aliens to our race and lands that have and will destroy all vestiges of charity.

  • Nathaniel Branden, Jr.

    Paul is right and Vick is dead wrong. No society can decide to violate an individual’s rights by making his voluntary service a ‘right’ that some other folks are entitled to. It’s simply theft, it’s slavery since your virtue, your successful livelihood, is at the mercy of another person’s need. Needs do not overrule rights.

    Since no goods and services come free in nature this means that individuals must provide them, if they are forced to provide them against their will they are simply slaves. That they may be left ‘free’ in some private area of their life is irrelevant to their actual slavery.

    I’m glad that Paul used a universal, across the board principle that transcends race. That the black leaders, so-called, can’t see this shows their own racism and glaring stupidity.

    Let’s do not emulate them.

  • Anonymous

    Some society’s decide amongst themselves, democratically, that they would like to go the route of using the largest possible number of people paying into a single pool in order to cover health care costs for everyone.

    Learn some punctuation. An apostrophe is an humble,but useful tool,and it is well to know when,where,and how it is used.

    And here’s a question for you,regarding that democratically deciding issue:

    If 51 people out of 100 people vote to steal from the other 49 people,is this stealing mysteriously and magically transformed into not stealing?

    Your arguments,please.

  • John Engelman

    “With regard to the idea of whether or not you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies,” Paul, a Bowling Green, Ky., ophthalmologist, said at a Senate hearing Wednesday on community health care centers. “It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me.”

    “It means you believe in slavery,” he said.

    – James R. Carroll, Courier-Journal (Louisville), May 13, 2011

  • Question Diversity

    I think the debate so far in this thread is a semantically misguided, though not factually incorrect. Rand Paul is right in saying that there cannot be any such thing as a “right” to health care, in the same way there is a “right” to free expression or worship. The reason is that standing in front of a court house with a picket demanding that your favorite inmate be freed costs nobody anything, while as Paul points out, a “right” to health care, if interpreted in the same way, means that he and his staff are subject to involuntary servitude.

    Health care can neither be a “civil right,” properly understood. “Civil rights” are taking away the natural civil liberties of one person so that another person has the ability to exercise civil liberties.

    Now, just because Paul properly recognizes that health care can’t be a “right” (either natural or civil), doesn’t necessarily meant that he doesn’t think that there should be state-based social welfare programs for increased access to health care. It may be tempting to jump to the “easy” conclusion and state that he doesn’t believe in those, either, for the libertarian mind who recognizes that HC can’t be a right wouldn’t also want health care-based transfer programs. But, Paul is for the “Doc Fix” for Medicare, (for very obvious and personal reasons), and you can’t be for the Doc Fix without being for Medicare to begin with.

  • Nathaniel Branden, Jr.

    Universal health care enforced by government is indeed slavery. Any form of coercion which forces an individual to provide goods or services against his will to others is slavery. It’s the very essence of slavery as you do not possess the right of self-ownership but are compelled to serve others and thus owned by others.

    Engelman, your last sentence perfectly describes yourself.

  • Lex Concord

    The NAACP guy is outraged that Paul would make the comparison, but he doesn’t bother to present a logical rebuttal.

    I am opposed to anyone receiving any government benefit if they are not (1) citizens or documented immigrants and (2) a productive-as in tax-paying-member of society. I’m willing to say that people who are citizens, but who are genuinely unable to help themselves, deserve compassion. But I don’t believe that compassion should be coerced. If it is, it isn’t compassion. It is, as Paul states, confiscated labor.

  • Vick

    @ 15 — Anonymous wrote at 12:41 PM on May 17:

    Learn some punctuation. An apostrophe is an humble,but

    useful tool,and it is well to know when,where,and how it is used.

    And here’s a question for you,regarding that democratically deciding issue:

    If 51 people out of 100 people vote to steal from the other 49 people,is this stealing mysteriously and magically transformed into not stealing?

    Your arguments,please.

    My apologies for the bad punctuation.

    At any rate, these sorts of issues of minority and majority rights are hashed out all the time in democratic societies. Some societies lean toward the individualist side of equation, others lean toward the group.

    I don’t have any great new insights into these arguments – they’re well rehearsed in other places – I would merely point out that some of the most successful, most advanced countries in human history are Northern European white countries where the sense of community, kin and blood are strong enough that people are willing to give up some individual freedom in order to pitch in for the common good. It is clearly the right of such societies to decide this amongst themselves and I’m not aware of any popular discontent demanding reform of their national health care systems, for example. The democratic institutions of these countries and the rule of law there certainly appear strong enough to allow for such popular reform, if enough people wanted them. They don’t.

    The sense of community and shared destiny in the US is much, much weaker and the fact that US is a multiracial society is a main reason why. One could argue that libertarianism in the US is in a sense a particularly American reaction to a diverse society with weak group bonds, where people are looking for justifications for avoiding systems of shared responsibility. We veer towards the individualist side, and probably with good reason. Who wants to pay into a system which benefits someone else’s large extended racial family (for example, blacks) who don’t do for themselves and in turn hate us?

    I suppose that for the extreme individualist, life in a Northern European social democracy must be miserable. My recommendation for them (or for any such individualist) is to find less inhabited parts of the world where they can be away and free from the herd that they despise. Certainly there is enough freedom and enough open spaces left where someone who hates systems of sharing costs and responsibilities can still find a spot to be themselves. I’m thinking Patagonia, Siberia, parts of the Sahara, the southern Amazon… Perhaps outer space.

  • Fr. John

    “Calling universal health care “slavery” is as intellectually dishonest as calling race realism “Nazism.” Those who commit either offense against logic reveal their inability to compose better arguments.”

    And yet, the second opinion is uttered ten times a day by leftists, against any and all they wish to delegitimize.

    WHich hardly makes it any less effective a tool of shaping public opinion.

    Sen. Paul is one of those unique individuals, a THINKING WHITE MAN.

    He is making a point, and used a simple analogy. Which is very clear, and well stated.

    Which, of course, those with deficient IQ’s (below 90, even given a ‘nod of the head’ toward increased IQ by inter-breeding with those of superior intellect) cannot grasp, understand, or respond to in any cogent manner.

    He has NOTHING to apologize for- especially from the likes of race hucksters… like the son of Jesse, Sr.

  • Nathaniel Branden, Jr.

    There is no right to violate rights, whether via the ballot or anyplace. I am totally unimpressed with the cultural relativism nonarguments put forth by Vick and others.

    Stealing is simply the forcible taking of someone else’s money regardless of the number of people that are committing the crime. You don’t have to be an Einstein to figure this out nor should you have to move to Patagonia to escape theft or enslavement.

    With this kind of conservative acceptance of collectivist principles I can see why Obama will be reelected. He has no opposition worthy of the name.

  • Techno Dan

    From before the Civil War to the present, states’ rights have been the operative legal philosophy of anti-government activists like Senator Paul,” the congressman said.

    I love how those opposed to excessive federal power are twisted into “anti-government activists”. I notice this kind of slander all over the media.