Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) isn’t a fan of universal healthcare in the U.S., but apparently trusts the system in Canada enough to operate on him.
That’s according to a recent article from the Louisville Courier-Journal, which reported Monday that Sen. Paul is going to Ontario, Canada, to get surgery relating to a 2017 incident in which his neighbor in Kentucky tackled him from behind while he was doing yard work.
Paul will specifically be going to Canada for hernia surgery, booking an appointment at Shouldice Hernia Hospital, which markets itself as “the global leader in non-mesh hernia repair.” The Courier-Journal reported that Sen. Paul can expect to pay between $5,000 and $8,000 for the surgery. That’s significantly cheaper than what Paul would pay in the U.S., in which an inpatient hernia procedure costs more than $11,000 on average.
While Sen. Paul certainly can’t be faulted for trying to save money, choosing to fly to Canada for a healthcare procedure flies in the face of his political philosophy. As early as 2011, Sen. Paul, who is an ophthalmologist, described a universal healthcare system as “slavery.”
“You have to realize what [demanding a right to healthcare] implies. 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,” Paul said in a committee hearing. “It means 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.”
While the hospital Paul is going to is privately owned, it’s still publicly funded as part of Canada’s healthcare system, in which everyone is guaranteed healthcare as a right, funded by taxpayer dollars. Even though Canada doesn’t allow for private hospitals, Shouldice is one of the few private institutions that was grandfathered into the nation’s current universal healthcare system.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.