Paul jokingly scolded King earlier in the debate for almost forgetting to let him respond to a question about health care. “Congressmen Paul, you have the floor. Do you trust these men to handle Obamacare,” King said.
To which, Paul replied: “Whew! Thank you. … I thought maybe you were prejudiced against doctors and a doctor who practiced medicine in the military or something. No, I want to address the question.
“The gentleman asked whether he thinks we can repeal Obamacare. Theoretically, we can. The likelihood isn’t all that good. We can diminish some of the effect. But I’m more concerned about a bigger picture of what’s happening, and that is government involvement in medicine,” said the Texas congressman.
“I had the privilege of practicing medicine in the early 60s before we had any government, and it worked rather well, and there was nobody on the street suffering with no medical care. But Medicare and Medicaid came in, and it just expanded, but even when we had the chance to cut back on it, when we had a Republican Congress and a Republican president, we gave them prescription drug programs. Senator Santorum supported it. You know, that’s expanding the government,” he said.
“So, it’s endless, and most of them are bankrupt. Prescription drugs – they’re not going to be financed. Medicare’s not financeable. Medicaid’s in trouble, but nobody talks about where the money’s going to come from,” Paul said.
He said while he opposed Medicare and Medicaid, he proposed getting the money by cutting overseas funding.
“My suggestion is: look at some of the overseas spending that we don’t need to be doing. We have troops in Korea since the Korean War, in Japan since World War II, in Germany since World War… Those are subsidies to these countries. And we keep fighting these wars that don’t need to be fought. They’re undeclared. They never end. Newt pointed out, you know, World War II was won in less than four years. Afghanistan, we’re there for 10 years,” Paul said.
The congressman said there needs to be an end to “the current philosophy of the government taking care of everybody forever on medical care, cradle to grave and being the policemen of the world.”
“Unfortunately, because we’re going bankrupt and you’re going to have runaway inflation, and our checks are gonna bounce, and that’s gonna be a lot worse problem than we’re facing tonight,” Paul added.
Later, when the other candidates had completed their answers to a question about abortion, the audience went into an uproar, booing the host and calling attention to the fact that Paul had not been given the opportunity to answer.
“John, once again, it’s a medical subject, and I’m a doctor,” said Paul. “No, I do want to make a couple comments, because I can remember the very early years studying obstetrics, and I was told – and it was before the age of abortion – and I was told, ‘Taking care of a woman that’s pregnant, you have two patients.’
Paul said that philosophy answers the question of when life begins. He added that in the 1960s during the Vietnam War, the culture had changed, with the introduction of drugs, pornography, and “abortion became prevalent even though it was illegal.”
“So the morality of the country changed, but then the law followed up,” Paul said, adding that when the morality changes, it will reflect in some of the laws. “The law is very important. We should have these laws, but law will not correct the basic problem, and that’s the morality of the people.”
“Now, just very briefly, I want to talk a little bit about that funding, because the flaw there is, if you send funding out, and you say, ‘Well, you can have it for birth control but not for abortion,’ all funds are fungible, even funds that go to any hospital,” he added.
“If you say, ‘Well, it’s not for birth control, and it’s not for Planned Parenthood, and it’s not for abortion, if you send it to the hospital, they can still use that money. This is an indictment of government-run medicine, because you never can sort that all out. You need the government out of that business, or you will always arguing over who’s paying what bills,” Paul said.
GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum assumed Paul’s comments were directed at him.
“I think that was directed at me, and so I would just say this: Congressman Paul has a National Right to Life voting record of 50 percent, which is pretty much what Harry Reid’s Right to Life voting record is. So … to go out and say you’re someone who stands up for the right to life. You repeatedly vote against bills on a federal level to promote the right to life, and you say this is an individual, personal decision or a state decision,” he said.
“Life should be protected, and you should have the willingness to stand up on a federal level on any level of government and protect what … our Declaration protects, which is the life of our creator to life, and that is a federal issue – not a state issue,” Santorum added.
Paul replied: “Just for the record, I wasn’t even thinking about you when I was giving my statement, so you are overly sensitive. But it is true that we have a disagreement on how we approach it. I followed what my understanding is of the Constitution, and it does allow for the states to deal with difficult problems. Matter of fact, it allows the states to deal with almost all the problems, if you look at it.
“These powers aren’t given to the Congress. I see abortion as a violent act. All other violence is handled by the states – murder, burglary, violence – that’s a state issue, so don’t try to say that I’m less pro-life, because I want to be particular about the way we do it and allow the states the prerogative,” the Texas congressman said.
“This is the solution … because if we would allow the states to right their laws, take away the jurisdiction by a majority vote in the Congress, you repeal Roe v. Wade overnight, instead of waiting year after year to change the court system,” he added.