Here's an interesting sidebar to this week's Tea Party debate cheers for letting uninsured people die. If this (via Jane) is true, Ron Paul has some up close and personal familiarity with the treatment of the uninsured.
At CNN's Tea Party-indulging debate on Monday, Ron Paul, a medical doctor, faced a pointed line of questioning from Wolf Blitzer regarding the case of an uninsured young man who suddenly found himself in dire need of intensive health care.
Should the state pay his bills? Paul responded, "That's what freedom is all about: taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody—"
He never quite finished that point, letting the audience's loud applause finish it for him. So Blitzer pressed on, asking if he meant that "society should just let him die," which earned a chilling round of approving hoots from the crowd.[...]
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, who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.
So Mr. Snyder received treatment--very costly treatment. I found no information on how much of the bill was actually paid and how much the hospital absorbed, passing on the cost to the other patients. If the law was changed on mandatory emergency treatment, as Ron Paul advocates, Mr. Snyder could have been turned away at the door to the hospital. And the South Carolina Tea Partiers would have cheered his death.