Poll: Should people without insurance be denied treatment?

If a person without health insurance shows up at a hospital with a serious illness, should he get medical treatment he cannot pay for out of his own pocket?

This question was posed to Representative Ron Paul during the CNN/Tea Party debate on Monday. Representative Paul said the hospital and government should not pay for that person’s care, and when Wolf Blitzer asked if the person should be left to die,  the audience applauded and hooted their approval.

I’ve written about this issue and my mixed emotions when it comes to people who go without health insurance, get sick, and stick hospitals, and ultimately taxpayers, with their bills. (Arizona-ends-medical-expense-deduction-program)

What do you think?

[tnipoll]

 

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22 Responses to "Poll: Should people without insurance be denied treatment?"

  1. Martin says:

    This article is inaccurate.  Paul did not say that the person should be refused treatment.  In fact, when asked if we should let the hypothetical uninsured man die, he said “No”, and he argued that when he practiced medicine at a hospital before Medicaid nobody was turned away.  Watch the full clip for yourself.  Don’t trust these misleading articles that lie to make a point.

  2. Mike says:

    Wow.. Someone didn’t watch the debate.. Report correctly or don’t report at all.

  3. medicareblogger says:

    You are correct.  It wasn’t Ron Paul who thought the uninsured person should be left to die – it was many in the audience. 

    Here’s how the LA Times reported the exchange:

    “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks.,” Paul said, repeating the standard libertarian view as some in the audience cheered.

    “But congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die,” Blitzer asked.

    “Yeah,” came the shout from the audience. That affirmative was repeated at least three times. Paul, who has always had a reputation for being a charitable man, disagreed with the idea that sick people should die, but insisted that the answer to the healthcare problem was not a large government.

    “I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s when I got out of medical school,” Paul said. “I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio. And the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals. And we’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends; our churches would do it. This whole idea — that’s the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because we dump it on the government. It becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests. It kowtows to the insurance companies, then the drug companies.”

  4. Entropy says:

    I saw the debate live. When the tea-party audience yelled that they would have the guy die (BEFORE Ron Paul could answer), I immediately thought, “Wow.. these tea-party people are the anti-Christ! Really, what would Jesus do?”

  5. Mike says:

    I believe that money does indeed talk, If you believe one should have medical service at the tax payers expense, than put your money where your mouth is—-have the State and Fed. Gov. Taxes increased to cover it.  You can declare to pay more in taxes on your income tax return, and those of us that wish not,  don’t pay as much.  WORKS FOR ME.  This will work on everything else as well.  Comes down to if you want it you can pay for it attitude. Don’t burden those of us with your way of thinking.   

  6. fyi2day says:

    “Let’em Die”

    I am glad you are not attributing the “let’em die” quote to Paul as many others are in the media are. If you will pardon the pun, Paul is “dead” right on this. I will try and expand for you if I can on what many people believe who support Paul.

    I am sure we all hope and agree, that those shouting from the audience, “whose affiliations we can not know,” do not themselves find a need for the kind of help and compassion someday our hypothetical 30 year old needs.

    This issue is not complicated it has only been made so by special interest. And yes, government bureaucracies are special interests too! Their job is to sustain or grow themselves and maintain their own jobs.

    Rhetoric aside, we all know the hypothetical man here will get treatment if for no other reason than the compassion of our great doctors and their own Hippocratic Oath. That has always been the way in America. Americans are a compassionate people already.

    Now the question defining how these costs should be paid for?
    Re-empowering our religious and other private charities through tax incentives provided to their donors is the simple answer. It is a free market approach that creates all the benefits of free market checks and balances. You create accountability here where there is little in government bureaucracy, especially one as large as to deal with this challenge nation wide. Charities get donors by doing good work and good work attracts “tax incented” donors to give support. As a culture we need to get back to looking to ourselves and our neighbors rather than putting faith in a far off federal government to handle challenges that are literally right in front of us locally.

    Localization should be reflected in the urging of our States to take back jurisdiction on issues that can be dealt with creatively at the state level. Empowering all 50 states & 1000’s of communities nationwide to solve these important issues we will create innovation that would be sought modified and perfected throughout the nation just as is done in any true free market. The benefits are undeniable and give us all the greatest opportunity to participate in real compassion in our country.

    Today a group of people lifted a burning car from a man and saved his life. People saw the need banded together and helped their neighbor the concept is the same. Where would that man be if they all just waited for the government to solve that? How successful would they have been and in the end what would it have cost?
    Those people created direct action to a problem in front of them in their community. They created a positive and successful outcome and it cost only the compassion in there hearts to do it. I’ll bet it made them feel good too!!!

    We can do this America! He may not be slick, but he is correct about many of these things and seldom gets his full message out through the corrupt media. Do not let the media machine be judge and jury on Ron Paul. Take back your liberty and your country.

    Here is an article on media consolidation from 2004 by Ted Turner –
    My Beef With Big Media http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0407.turner.html
    I do not support all Turner’s politics but, commend him as a great American entrepreneur in writing this article after selling to Time Warner.
    The MSM achieved power by successfully lobbing for changes allowing mass consolidation. Ron Paul threatens this. Other candidates and the president supported this consolidation and are beholden to one corporation or the other. Therefore, you will most likely never hear ideas like this discussed in open debate. “Now more than ever liberty needs advocates.” With the American free press, an essential part of a successful democracy, all but dead, we must all be vigilant now.

    Do the American people really care if Goldman Sachs let’s General Electric (Obama/Biden) or Halliburton (Bush/Cheney “insert Perry or Romney here”) run the place this time? I guess that’s yet to be seen. But, I can tell you many of us traditionally Non-politicals are fed up with losing the essence of our great country to communists and carpetbaggers alike.
    Ron Paul is offering an alternative to the corporatist model that Eisenhower warned of, and has all but taken over already. A vanished free press has left us with the left and right media outlets complicit in keeping Paul’s message from a waiting public.
    If not Ron Paul we will surely end up with Clint Webb as president. So you must continue spread the word, educate your busy family, friends, and neighbors to spend an “honest hour” looking at Paul and convey the importance of Ron Paul getting that republican slot. Switch parties if you have to…

    “First they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.”
    -Gandhi-
    They are beginning to fight… Make no mistake this is a fight for your very freedom and the fate of American liberty.
    The Government has too much, does too much, and in our high tech world now, knows far too much about the lives of private citizens and we are paying for it all…
    This can not stand it is not necessary and the temptation for corruption is far too great.
    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    – Ben Franklin –
    Peace!

  7. Al says:

    ‘I saw the debate live. When the tea-party audience yelled that they would have the guy die (BEFORE Ron Paul could answer), I immediately thought, “Wow.. these tea-party people are the anti-Christ! Really, what would Jesus do?” ‘
     
    Answer your own question. How do you know if it was TEA Party people yelling out? Maybe it was a plant from the haters who were there to attempt to make TEA Party people look bad at any opportunity. BTW, what sort of health insurance was available two thousand years ago?

  8. alohapuna says:

    To those voting no: Let’s turn it around. Should YOU or SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY without health insurance be denied emergency care?
    I believe most of those without health coverage is not necessarily because of choice, but lack of ability to afford it. It’s so easy to be critical when you’re fortunate enough to not have to worry about such things. Or if you never watched a friend die because of inability to afford health care.

  9. tayronachan says:

    Someone didn’t watch the debate. I see the media is taking the question out of context. Ron Paul said,

    “I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s when I got out of medical school,” Paul said. “I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio. And the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals. And we’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends; our churches would do it. This whole idea — that’s the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because we dump it on the government. It becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests. It kowtows to the insurance companies, then the drug companies.” This guy makes a lot of sense.

  10. RH says:

    The question was should the person be denied medical care, now I know for the tea party geniuses, right wingers addicted to that right wing snake oil, its a hard thing for them to grasp but being denied a medical treatment when one has a serious illness can result in ones demise, one can argue symantics of the question but there was no doubt in the crowd hoots and hollars went up “let him die”!

  11. RH says:

    The tea party stuck their left foot in their proverbial mouths during the deficit debate, stalling any action till the last moment, driving the US bond rating from AAA to AA, and swearing it was a good thing for america, how patriotic, how funny these geniuses are! Now they have almost as comically stuck that right foot in their proverbial mouths by advocating in video/audio glory “let the sick uninsured die”, all they have left now is their heads, one can speculate where they will shove that next!:-) The good thing folks is the tea party is merely a creation of the GOP, even their elite have come to a buyers remorse, since like the old classic frankenstein movies their “creation has turned on them” and we all know how that movie ended with the creator and creation being destroyed!

  12. RH says:

    During the 1960’s civil rights era, it was seemingly popular in the south for the anti-segregation movement, it often had wide “white support”, but as time went by the real movement behind it the white supremacists bit off to much for their mouths to digest, and it was seen on television constantly unarmed blacks men, women & children being brutalized, and the ones in the anti-segreation movement who were truly believers in the states rights/10th amendment argument fell back in disgust at the racists/xenophobes who thought they had carte blanche to do what ever they wished and everyone was behind them! Now I see a Deja Vu moment with the tea party and their masters the GOP elite, folks are starting to see what they truly represent and who they truly care about its not the 98% of us two pay/pension/annuity/dividend checks away from homelessness and poverty, not its them 2% who have been doing well all during this economic crisis!:-)

  13. RH says:

    http://www.suntimes.com/7656284-417/judge-scolds-rep-joe-walsh-orders-him-to-prove-he-doesnt-owe-back-child-support.html

    I think the above story on the most vocal icon in the freshmen tea party congressman is pretty much a way to sum up the tea party, they say they are concerned about their kids futures due to the deficit, the particular tea party congressman was the most vocal during the deficit debate, going on television, now it seems he is each and every day being shown as nothing but a “dead beat dad” and a hypocrite to boot!  

  14. RH says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/14/wheelchair-bound-vietnam-vet-uncovers-multimillion-dollar-medical-aid-fraud/?test=latestnews

    A wheel chair bound veteran discovers multi-million dollar medicare fraud and gets a whistle blower reward, if one wishes to know who is the biggest crooks in america its not them folks on welfare or food stamps, medicare, medicaid, its them doctors/health providers submitting false bills which often never get discovered, this fellow had to file a law suit himself since no one seemed interested at what he was saying!  

  15. RH says:

    My one question is why don’t they make the criminal penalties for these medicare/medicaid fraudesters so severe it scares the daylights out of them and if they are foolish enough to do it anyway put them away for a few decades to contemplate the error of their ways, we give more prison time to a robber with a gun who steals less than $100 than a thief in a suit with a stethoscope and white frock who steals millions!

  16. Martin says:

    Also, this wasn’t a “tea party debate”, it was put on by CNN and a neocon group that calls itself “The Tea Party Express” to try to harness some power from the movement – those people that yelled out “Yes” to Wolf’s question to Ron Paul are probably some of the same ones that booed Ron Paul when he criticized our current foreign policy and the wars.

  17. medicareblogger says:

    And you are taking Ron Paul’s answer out of context. The reporting of that moment in the “debate” shows that the audience hooting and cheering “let ’em die” was a shocking (and telling?) reaction to many observers.

  18. medicareblogger says:

    Did you read my last post? http://tucsoncitizen.com/medicare/2011/09/13/medicare-the-fight-against-fraud/
    The Affordable Care Act required, for the first time ever, a well-financed campaign against fraud in Medicare and Medicare programs.

  19. Themistocles says:

    It is a trick question like when did you stop beating your wife?

    The issue is not whether a dieing person should be denied medical care, but should the government provide it.

    Paul answer at the debate was that the medical care should be provided.  It should be provided by charity.  We can debate whether charity is a workable solution, but lets be honest about paul’s position.

  20. medicareblogger says:

    I watched the clip one more time of Ron Paul’s answer to the question about an uninsured person needing extensive and expensive care.  As it turns out, Ron Paul never answers the question – like a true politician.  He said back in the day when he practiced medicine, charities helped people with their medical bills. 
     
    He also said  that people should do whatever they want to do as far as health insurance – get it or don’t get it.  But he completely avoided answering the question that was posed to him as to whether or not that uninsured person who needs six months of intensive care should get it.  Normally, I find Ron Paul to be a straight talker, but in this case he gave the typical politician’s talk-around-the-issue-non-answer.  And as usual, the moderator let him get away with it and did not delve any further into a very important subject. And, the moderator, Blitzer, did not ask the other candidates the same question. 

  21. nobody says:

    The real focus should be “How do we fix the corruption in the medical industry and the medical insurance industry?”.  The extreme costs are not due to the salaries of medical personnel.  The fraud perpetrated by administrators and their boards, insurance companies, medical supply and pharmaceutical companies and government officials are the main causes. 

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