Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama on Individual Liberty and Healthcare

There are legitimate concerns on both sides of the debate in relation to public health care. Libertarians like Ron Paul believe that if it is mandatory for everyone to be insured then people are going to be subject to state coercion which infringes upon their civil liberties.

However, Progressive Liberals and Democrats like Barack Obama will argue that it’s the “free riders” who do not have insurance because they are either too cheap or too poor to afford it that contribute to the rise in health care and thus health insurance costs. They claim it is because they go to the ER and never pay the bill, leaving the industry to pass the costs along to the paying customers and insurance companies.

Democrats would have you believe that in order for healthcare to be cheap for everyone, many peoples’ rights are going to be violated. Isn’t there a way to provide affordable healthcare and insurance for those who need it without coercion? Maybe there is. One thing is for sure, mandated healthcare like ObamaCare, especially at the federal level as it currently is sure seems to be a violation of individual liberties.

In reference to the healthcare issue, Ron Paul has said he, “would like to see the government out completely because that would be a much better system.” I agree, but if the government must interfere, individuals should at least be able to retain their right to opt-out of the program, otherwise their rights are in violation. Big government apologists try to defend the constitutionality of the individual mandate, citing the Interstate Commerce Clause (ICC,) but the truth is that the ICC only gives Congress the authority to regulate ‘interstate commerce.’ An individual deciding whether or not to purchase health insurance is not intrinsically ‘interstate’ in nature, and thus the ICC does not grant Congress the right to pass laws containing individual mandates. 

Ron Paul also understands the cost of government mandates. There is absolutely no way the country can pay to employ a bunch of bureaucrats and cut a bunch of back room deals with Big Pharma and the Medical Industrial Complex and somehow reduce the cost of healthcare. A government study in Texas shows that, “mandates increase the cost of health insurance, particularly for small businesses and individuals who cannot self-insure and who must purchase policies subject to state regulation.” Attempting to reduce the cost of healthcare by installing federal level mandates is not going to work. Texas is evidence that the more the government tries to manipulate an industry, the more expensive that industry’s services become.

The health care issue is a complex situation. On one side, the side of Barack Obama and Progressive Liberals we have Public Healthcare, at the cost of our Liberty. On the other side, Ron Paul and Conservative Libertarians promote Liberty at the cost of increased personal responsibility.


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