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Ron Paul’s heartless stance on health care

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Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul apparently learned nothing from the death of his 2008 campaign chairman, a gay man named Kent Snyder.

Snyder, 49, died of pneumonia in 2008. He was uninsured and left about $400,000 in unpaid medical bills to his surviving mother. Paul was criticized at the time for failing to offer his campaign staffers medical insurance. The Blade covered the story extensively back then and interviewed Paul about it. His lame defense was that no campaign offered health insurance, a false claim — Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s campaigns all offered health insurance to staff.

At last week’s Tea Party debate, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Paul what should happen to an uninsured 30-year-old man who needed six months of hospitalization.

“In a society that you accept socialism and welfarism, he expects the government to take care of him … he should assume responsibility for himself,” came Paul’s heartless response.

Blitzer replied, “Are you saying society should just let him die?”

In response, the bloodthirsty, unsympathetic crowd yelled, “Yeah!”

You’d think that the death of a trusted campaign aide — who Paul said was instrumental in helping him decide to run in 2008 — would prompt some soul-searching and deeper thinking about the state of America’s health care system. But obviously that’s not the case for Paul, who happens to be a medical doctor.

The full 2008 Blade story is re-posted below:

 

Ron Paul supporters mourn death of gay campaign chair

With no health insurance, Snyder leaves $400K in hospital bills

 

By LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Activists belonging to the libertarian wing of the Republican Party continue to mourn the loss of Kent Snyder, a 49-year-old gay political operative credited with propelling the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) into a national, grassroots movement that raised more than $35 million.

Snyder, who served as Paul’s campaign chair, died of pneumonia on June 26 after being hospitalized for about two months and after running up medical bills exceeding $400,000, according to friends and family members, who said he did not have health insurance.

Gay staffers from the Paul campaign, some speaking on condition that they not be identified, said they learned about Snyder’s unpaid medical bills from a web site created by his friends that calls on Paul supporters to contribute to a special fund to help Snyder’s family pay the bills, which come mostly from a two-month hospitalization. So far, the site (kentsnyder.com) has raised about $32,000.

“I can’t believe he didn’t have health insurance,” said one political activist who read about Snyder’s unpaid medical bills in a story published last month in the Wall Street Journal. “I can’t believe that Ron Paul didn’t give him health insurance,” said the activist, who asked not to be identified.

The Journal story did not identify Snyder as gay; a Washington Post obituary reported Snyder died of viral pneumonia but did not mention his sexual orientation.

Craig Max, a D.C. gay Republican activist who sought to become a Ron Paul delegate to the Republican National Convention, said news of Snyder’s death and his lack of health insurance has triggered a behind-the-scenes debate among Paul supporters and libertarian activists over whether or not the Paul campaign should have provided health insurance to its staff.

Among the points raised, according to Max and others involved in the Paul campaign, is the fact that Paul is a practicing physician. Some of the Paul supporters are asking why a medical doctor, whose campaign raised $35 million in contributions, chose not to offer health insurance for his staff.

When asked at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday about concerns raised by critics that his presidential campaign did not provide employee health insurance, Paul said only that he doesn’t believe any political campaigns offer health insurance.

“I don’t know of any campaign that has health insurance for temporary and other employees,” he said. “I’ve never had it and I’ve been in this business for 30 years. I don’t know any campaign that does.”

At least three gay Paul supporters said it was well known among Paul campaign insiders that Snyder was gay. Although Snyder shunned the public spotlight, activists and political operatives working on the campaigns of rival GOP presidential candidates, including officials with the McCain campaign, recognized Snyder’s efforts in building a major campaign operation for Paul, Paul’s gay supporters said.

“As far as his being out, I don’t think that he was ever in or anything like that,” said Jesse Benton, who served as communications director for the Paul presidential campaign. “But his romantic life was just not something that was discussed. He was the boss and that was that.”

Benton said Snyder confided in him that he had a chronic blood disorder. He said that Snyder told him the name of the disorder but Benton said he does not remember it.

“To my knowledge, Kent did not have HIV,” Benton said. “He expressed to me a couple of times what his blood disorder was, but I believe [the HIV speculation] to just be a rumor.”

Benton said it was Snyder himself who made the decision not to provide health insurance to the campaign staff.

“Kent Snyder as the chairman of the campaign ran the business operation,” Benton said. “So it was his decision as to what would be offered to employees.”

Benton said Snyder’s decision was not unusual in the realm of political campaigns.

“As a general practice, virtually no political campaigns offer health insurance,” Benton said. “It’s just not done. A campaign is a temporary organization that could disband at any minute.”

But gay Democratic activist and political consultant Steve Elmendorf disputes Benton’s assessment, saying that in recent years, a growing number of campaigns have begun providing health insurance to paid staffers, with the campaigns of Democratic candidates offering medical coverage in greater numbers than Republican candidates.

Jordan Lieberman, publisher of Campaigns and Elections’ Politics Magazine, which is considered an authority on American political campaigns, said that in the recent past, health insurance was almost never offered by campaigns operated by either Republicans or Democrats. Now, Lieberman said, the trend among larger campaigns, especially presidential campaigns, is to offer health insurance benefits.

Spokespersons for the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain said both campaigns provide full health insurance coverage to their paid staff. A spokesperson for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign said Clinton also provided health insurance coverage to campaign staffers before she ended her campaign in early June.

On his own web site, Paul called Snyder’s death a “great loss” to the libertarian movement.

“Kent poured every ounce of his being into our fight for freedom,” Paul said. “He will always hold a place in my heart and in the hearts of my family. We deeply mourn his loss.”

Paul praised Snyder for playing a key role in advancing libertarian causes and noted that Snyder began his association with him in 1987, when he worked on Paul’s first run for president.

“Over the next 20 years, we worked together on countless projects in the name of freedom,” Paul said. “It was Kent, more than anyone else, who urged me to run again for president” in 2008.

Gay libertarian activists have praised Paul for his longstanding views calling for all Americans to be free from government intrusion into their private lives through laws and regulations. Paul voted against a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

But according to a scorecard on the voting records of members of Congress on gay-related issues, Paul voted against the interests of gays on all issues other than the marriage amendment. In the Human Rights Campaign scorecard for the 109th Congress (2005-2006), the latest scorecard that the group has issued, Paul received a score of 38 on a scale from 0 to 100. According to HRC, Paul received a score of 25 for the 108th Congress (2003-2004) and a 0 in the 107th Congress (2000-2002).

Similar to most libertarians, Paul opposed bills like the Employment Non- Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and a hate crimes bill, which would authorize the federal government to prosecute anti-gay hate crimes, on grounds that such legislation improperly expands government powers.

Liberal blogger Rob Kall, in a July 5 posting on Opednews.com, called Kent Snyder’s death and his unpaid medical bills an ironic twist to Snyder’s libertarian philosophy.

“What a testament to the libertarian creed, which abhors the idea of universal health care,” Kall wrote. “This loyal, passionate man who died too young left his family a debt of $400,000 in medical bills,” he said. “Sadly, the libertarian heart apparently does not include health care.”

Benton and others who knew Snyder said he gave up a lucrative career as a telecommunications industry executive to work for one of Paul’s libertarian organizations before becoming the head of the Paul for president campaign. Benton said Snyder’s friends and associates from the campaign are now especially concerned that Snyder’s unpaid medical bills could adversely impact Snyder’s mother.

“I do know that Kent was an extremely proud man and he was basically financially supporting his mother and allowing her to live in a property he owned,” Benton said. “As someone who respected him very much — he had a lot of people who respected him a lot — we all know that he would turn over in his grave if his mother has to leave that property.

“So it was important for us to do what we could,” Benton said. “And I’m not a wealthy man but I made a small contribution, Dr. Paul has made a personal contribution, and a lot of the campaign staff have given what they could,” he said, referring to the special fund to help pay off Snyder’s medical bills.

 

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97 Comments

97 Comments

  1. Jesse

    September 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    What you fail to point out is that healthcare is at a bare minimum double the cost of what it is in the rest of the developed world. This is largely due to insurance co. and drug co. influence on state and federal government. Healthcare needs reformed in America, I don’t think anyone will argue against that, but we must fix the cause of the problems with healthcare, not apply money to the symptom. A broken arm or a new baby in the family shouldn’t bring financial ruin. When we have proper competition amongst healthcare providers, drug companies, and insurance companies, along with finding a solution to frivolous lawsuits, we may actually have a system where a man can realistically pay his medical bills with his wages. Getting the government further involved just means that corporates will further game the taxpayer through our corrupt politicians. Pretty pathetic article, with no objectivity.

    • RJ

      September 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      thank you jesse. you said everything I was hoping someone would say. Such an awful article, painting a very inaccurate picture and incredibly biased perspective of the situation.

  2. nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan

    September 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    please ask President Obama why he never allowed single-payer to be ‘on the table’

  3. Cam Davis

    September 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    If you’re so worried about Kent’s medical bills, why don’t you mail a check to his family this afternoon? Hypocrite.

    • laurelboy2

      September 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Bingo!!

  4. Chris

    September 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    How can people be so ignorant to Ron Pauls health care statement?
    The question was that a perfectly healthy 30 year old decides he doesnt want health insurance. The 30 year old would have been taking a big risk but knew the risks. It would be the persons choice not to opt in to buying health care. ‘Freedom of choice” is the key here. Ron Paul even went on to say that he and his office while he was a doctor never turned down a single patient regardless. Why? because it should be the moral and American thing to do. Paul was completely right.

    • laurelboy2

      September 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Bingo times 2.

  5. Alan

    September 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    The good, Christian thing to do is to help those in need. The evil thing to do is to hold a gun to someones head and force them to do the same. If you think every dollar the government acquirers is not done so at gun point, then stop paying your taxes.

    • Monster

      September 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Even worse: If I stop paying my taxes I’ll go to prison where I will either be killed, beaten, or raped. I’ll take the gun to my head.

    • Ram Samudrala

      October 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Well, as the Republicans love to say, if you don’t want to pay taxes, leave. Or stop using government provided services, from roads to schools to health care (depending on your age and condition) and so on. It’s an endless list. THEN I will agree it’s evil for the government to take your tax dollars (even though you can always move to another country where the tax burden is lower and you get fewer benefits).

      Isn’t that what “liberty” about? Or is “liberty” taking handouts from other citizens for things you use but not paying for it? Think of the government like any other private entity. Use the service (and every citizen in the US inevitably does), you pay for it. The only issue is whether you’re getting a good value for your money. I believe I do. In fact I think I’m getting a great deal, a bargain so to speak, and I’m in the 1%. I give more to charity than Ron Paul and I believe taxes should be increased. We need to subsidise all those people in those red states who only give back 80 cents for every dollar they take in (the people in many of the coastal states give $1.20 for every dollar they get back).

  6. Josh

    September 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Disgusting article. First of all, Ron Paul firmly said “No” when asked if that person should die.

    But really, that isn’t the point. The aide of his died not because of lack of care (as you said he had a $400k bill) but rather the disease was too much for his body to overcome.

    But that shouldn’t be the point either. The most glaring part of all of this is that the bill was $400k. Do you not ask at all why it costs $400k (the cost of about 2.5 houses where I live) to treat somebody without insurance? Maybe it has something to do with federal involvement in healthcare and no-responsibility insurance plans like Medicare and Medicaid.

    If the government wasn’t involved, insurance would be much more affordable, less bureaucratic, more efficient and every person could have insurance (or not if they choose. Even if they chose not to then, they would still be able to receive care at a more affordable price than $400k. Or maybe you believe the government knows how to run things well (*cough Solyndra *cough*)

    I know this is probably all over your head, but I thought I should at least help you out a little.

    • laurelboy2

      September 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      Agreed.

    • Dimgems

      September 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      What world do you live in? The exact opposite is true. The precise reason for the prohibitively high cost of health insurance is because the government isn’t involved. Until the health insurance industry is forced to adhere to antitrust laws, the government will continue to have zero control over the cost of health insurance. Medicare and Medicaid are a completely different issue.

      • Standard

        September 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm

        Do you know ANYTHING about what you’re talking about? Government price controls in WWI caused the early auto industry to bundle health insurance with other worker benefits so they could stay competitive. The system trickled out from there.

        Governments created the HMO.

        Government banned the importation of cheaper drugs already previously tested more rigorously from places like Canada or the EU.

        You are either a liar or an outrageous fraud if you still insist that government needs to get involved in healthcare. They’ve been involved quite enough.

        For a free market system of healthcare, just look at cosmetic enhancements and laser eye surgery. It used to be you had to pay $2000 per eye for Lasik just a decade ago. Now that price can get down to $500. Now, obviously, you might be skeptical about getting the cheap treatment, but isn’t that your choice as a consumer and a prospective patient?

        Obama’s whole intent with his healthcare plan was to get rid of expensive “cadillac” plans, so he won’t even give you that choice. What he did was permit a mass extortion from the American people to bail out the bankrupt healthcare industry.

        You want cheaper care? I’ll give you 3 things the government can do

        1. Make HSAs fully tax deductible.
        2. Repeal patent laws, grants, and other subsidized allotments to medical research at the federal level. Why is one company allowed to copyright the human genome? Your liberal system of government was the whole impetus for copyrights in the first place. Better fess up to it.
        3. Repeal all healthcare laws, including mandatory employee coverage for full time workers in large businesses.

        There. The government “intervenes” and our problems are solved…. except the government isn’t intervening so much as getting out of the way.

        • HerringTree

          September 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

          You have to be all in or all out. The Canadian system works because it is all in. Yes I pay for other people’s treatment, but because visiting a doctor costs nothing but taxes, people get preventative care and any problems are addressed early. There are few patients waiting until it is an emergency before seeking treatment. This is a huge cost savings. We have no profit for shareholders or salaries for insurance company employees in our costs. There are no advertising costs outside of public service announcements. In 2007 Canada’s per capita cost was around $3800, where the US cost per capita was over $7000 (OECD 2010). We have no deductions in Canada and no co-payments. In 2009 Canadians had a life expectancy of 81.2 vs a US life expectancy of 78.7, so our level of care hasn’t been compromised by our socialist system. The chalenge for a totaly private system is to match the cost and univesality that our Canadian socialist system offers. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but what you are doing now isn’t working.

          Having said all that I still am a fan of Ron Paul for many reasons. He is not opposed to individual states choosing there own path on socialized health care, so I am fine with that. Socialized universal health care started in just one province in Canada. The doctors soon learned that it was better to be paid in cash than in chickens.

      • laurelboy2

        September 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm

        You’re a moron socialist. Let the free enterprise, competitive market system control the costs and those costs will drop immediately. The last thing we need is government control.

        Are you sure you’re not Barack Obama trying endlessly to sell his super-flawed health care program which, after the next election, will be rescinded en toto?? Go have a date night with Michelle, but tell her it’s too chilly to go sleeveless.

    • Roger

      September 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      A person could buy 4-5 houses with $400,000 dollars; really, there’s no excuses for such a high hospital bill, but such high bills are becoming way too common, these days.

      For instance, I had a close friend who crashed his car into a moose on a country highway. He was airlifted to a hospital via helicopter. The bill for the ride in the helicopter? It was $45,000!!!!

      The funny thing is, a person could buy a helicopter with $45,000. Hell, if a person wanted to, a person could buy airplane tickets and fly around the globe 4-6 times.

      Of course, my friend didn’t have insurance, but if he did have insurance and had insurance foot the bill — such a bill still wouldn’t be justifiable.

  7. Andrew D

    September 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    This is one of the most disgusting, dishonest, and shameful peice I have ever read. You distort the views of a kind man and try to make it seem like he is evil. You, although its unintentional, are the true evil. Interesting how you leave out the response he gave after that “blood thirsty” crowd(those two people) yelled yes. Ron Paul is the only one who can save our country.RP12

  8. M. Nolan

    September 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Um, if there was $400,000.00 in medical bills, how can you claim that he died due to lack of health insurance? It would seem to me that he had plenty of medical care, and racked most of it up in a final hospital stay, where presumably he was under 24 hour medical care.

    Are you asserting that if he had been insured, he wouldn’t have died? You crazy left wingers don’t even try to make sense, or report the facts anymore.

    Ruminate on this, brainiacs: If that $400K in medical care would have been able to save his life, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts he (a true believer in Paul’s ideas) would have paid the bill, and reevaluated the importance of insurance in his life. He wouldn’t lie about Paul’s response in a debate, and grasp at straws to redefine the truth to match his script. How dare you dishonestly use a dead man to make a political point!

    • TheThinkingMan

      September 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      I am so glad that you are making this point! I am so sick and tired of people using this obviously tragic and personal story to attack Ron Paul and push teirnown version of events to fit with their talking points. Sickening.

  9. Jay Carper

    September 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Sometimes the truth appears heartless. Sometimes the kindest thing in the world is *not* to help.

    Your article is factually incorrect. I hope that wasn’t deliberate.

    1. The hypothetical person in the question could afford health insurance. He chose not to buy insurance. It had nothing to do with a poor person who could not afford insurance. It was also not about whether he should receive care or not. Paul believes that hospitals should provide emergency care whether or not the person can afford to pay.
    2. The crowd did not cheer the idea of letting this person die. Three or four people out of a crowd of hundreds did.
    3. The crowd cheered the statement that freedom is about taking your own risks. In other words, taking responsibility for yourself.

    • adsd

      September 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Moronic opinion.

    • Monster

      September 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      I’d actually be one of those 30 year old healthy men that would like to opt out of health insurance if the costs would be reduced and that a serious injury wouldn’t break my bank. I’ll take the risk of the small chance of being a coma and save my money to use for my own investment purposes. But I live in a system that forces me to pay for something I probably won’t ever use because I can’t afford to be wrong.

  10. Larry Andrews

    September 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    How would this response have changed if the victim had been a drug addict, or career criminal? No human is, or should be, born with a right for another human to provide care for their own well being, and health. People make choices all through their lives that effect the outcome. The inevitable fact is that people die, most of the time as a direct result of choices they have made. When human compassion is forced by government direction, and funding, we all suffer by the reduction in quality of care, lack of regard for charity, and deterioration of human freedoms and rights. Years of welfare have devastated the most vulnerable in society, by retarding motivation, dignity, and charity by the more fortunate.

    • Joel

      September 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Hear, hear! Kudos, Larry, on one of the best explanations I’ve read. Would to God that more people would come to understand this.

  11. KJ

    September 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    What are you talking about? Kent got $400,000 worth of care and died anyhow. In the olden days church hospitals would have taken care of him, and with government out of the picture it wouldn’t have cost nearly so much. Governement is the REASON costs are so high.

    Insurance does not bestow immortality.

    • laurelboy2

      September 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Bingo times 3.

  12. Jeremy

    September 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    You know what’s heartless?? The government taking a person’s earnings and paying them nonchalantly to someone else. The receiver fills out a form, gets the money, and moves on. There’s absolutely NO compassion in that. Society would be better off (and more prosperous) if as neighbors and friends we looked after each other rather than expecting government agencies to do it.

  13. Jay Poole

    September 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    True to Ron Paul’s libertarian roots, his followers privately funded the bill for his staffer.

    Lame attack piece.

    • laurelboy2

      September 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      Bingo times 4.

  14. Crissy Brown

    September 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    anyone that actually watched the debate knows that you spin the events that transpired. He had tremendous difficultly even answering the question for all the interruption. And the simple fact is that if more people began assuming responisibilty for themselves it would take our nation a long way. We are quickly becoming more and more of a welfare and socialist state in which everyone who encounters difficulty in any aspect turns immediately to the government.

  15. sector7

    September 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    When a person believes he can’t take care of himself and has to have the government take care of him he has lost the most important human traits of self respect and self confidence. It is very degrading for that person and part of human happiness has left him to always have to have others paying. People who say they are charitable should do all they can to help people help themselves. No handout can replace the satisfaction and joy of earning for ones self and more importantly ones family. Ron Paul has said it before that no one can say that freedom of choice and liberty are not compassionate. He says they are the most compassionate of all. The worlds real poor are simply in need of an opportunity to work and earn for themselves. Many problems would be solved if people are given back their self respect.

  16. Grant

    September 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    OH, THIS TRULY IS DRIBBLE!! Ron Paul IS an ob-gyn, so lets not get any BIG ideas about Kevin Naff knowing ANYTHING worthwhile about medicine. Let’s not forget that Dr. Paul has never accepted Medicaid or Medicare from any of his patients, and happily did the work for free! Heartless? Quite the opposite! Of course most doctors tied down by subsidies, regulations, and fear of mal-practice suits, feel the need to squeeze every penny out of it, but I suppose Ron Paul puts, perhaps to much faith in the benevolence of his fellow human beings? What kind of person is Kevin Naff?

  17. Jose

    September 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    So, let me get this staight. Compassion is to forcibly take the fruits of someone’s labor at the point of a gun? Compassion is to raid a senior citizens retirement account to pay for military adventures all over the world? Compassion is driving up prices as a result of fraud so that few can afford medical care? Compassion is counterfeiting money to pay for subsidizing corporations
    Compassion is taking from the poor of rich countries to give to the rich of poor countries?

    Your doublespeak would make Orwell envious!

  18. Brian

    September 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I think we should also insure poor starving Africans, and if you don’t agree, you are a heartless racist who wants them to die. That is just good common sense argument…

  19. Cade

    September 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Why did it cost $400,000? That is the real question.

    • edhelmstetter

      September 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

      right on

  20. Koby in Detroit

    September 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    “Snyder, who served as Paul’s campaign chair, died of pneumonia on June 26 after being hospitalized for about two months and after running up medical bills exceeding $400,000”

    whats wrong with that picture? if the $400K number is accurate, that means that this guy spent 60 days laying in a bed at the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics….AT A COST OF JUST SHY OF $7,000 PER FREAKING DAY. You wonder why no one can afford insurance?

    My Grandmother (90) on medicare, spent 4 days in the hospital recently…they gave her NOTHING but antibiotics for “pneumonia”….the bill, billed to the American people, was $27,000….her copayment was $20…yes, i said $20.

    You health care whiners should pull your heads out of your collective rears, and realize that YOU have made health care “insurance” unaffordable through the unaccountable, unlimited check book that is Medicare and Medicaid. Besides, its INSURANCE, not a complete body maintenance program. Take care of your damn self, buy insurance in case of CATASTROPHE, and pay for your regular office visit…that way the price will fall dramatically, and then EVERYONE COULD AFFORD to buy insurance…but Medicare and Medicaid have to go. If they dont, NO ONE, other than those living off the gov’t program will ever be able to afford it. Common F’n Sense.

    RP 2012

  21. Harleynut

    September 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    “In a society that you accept socialism and welfarism, he expects the government to take care of him … he should assume responsibility for himself,” Dr. Paul is absolutely right on this. People have to be responsible for their own action or inaction. No one is responsible for me or my Children, but me? People MUST start taking responsibility, no more excuses. TRUTH must be told.

    • Kem

      April 4, 2012 at 6:05 am

      you know what is sad. Obama started the health care bill because of his mother he said she troubles with her health insurance when she was diagnosed with cancer. Obama was a lawyer he had money and did not help his own mother and Ron Paul helps Snyder family. and Obama is what we have for a president.

  22. C. Wendt

    September 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    1. Snyder didn’t die from his lack of health insurance; he was fully-treated, but died anyway, as does sometimes happen.
    2. He left his family with a large bill, but as the article says, Dr. Paul and the other staffers helped pay it off; there is no evidence of any great lack of compassion here.
    3. It is stunning, the way that media outlet after media outlet reports the “30-year-old with no insurance” question anecdote almost as though Ron Paul himself had yelled “Yes!” when asked if the man should be allowed to die; Ron Paul’s answer was not heartless at all. I am curious; how many poor and uninsured individuals have YOU provided health care to? Ron Paul has done it dozens of times.

  23. Steve

    September 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    This is quite stupid. Snyder was paid a 5 figure salary per month. What difference does it make whether he buys insurance on his own from his salary or whether the campaign bought if for him and deducted the cost of it out of his paycheck?

  24. David Petty

    September 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    [offensive content censored]

    a.) A group of people in a crowd picked by CNN yelled ‘yes’ to the let him die question: dr. Paul CLEARLY stated ‘No’
    b.) Dr. Paul donated personal funds to help pay for snyder’s medical bills.

    Dr Paul has delivered over 4,000 babies, helped patients without medical insurance, and advocates lowering the cost of health insurance by the only way possible: removing government over-interferance and introducing competition.

    When was the last time you gave Your personal money to a grieving family to help pay for their expenses? My guess: Never.

  25. Sam

    September 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    this is a biased article- I urge readers to youtube the debate and you’ll see Ron makes valid points about the health care system.
    [link removed]

  26. William Delano Gaston

    September 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Wow, you liberals are REALLY reaching…I can understand tho its nearly impossible to dig up dirt on Dr. Paul. I guess if I was a journalist without integrity I would probably write something similar.

    By the way, when you serve 6 years in the armed forces, go to medical school at a top tier university, then practice medicine for 20 years……THEN you can come here and regurgitate your crap about Dr. Paul being “heartless”.

  27. William Delano Gaston

    September 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Oh I left something out of my last post….if you actually WATCHED the debate that you are reporting about you would know it was only 1, maybe 2 people yelling and not “the crowd.”

    Lies will get you nowhere with Paul supporters, but nice try. Lots of better people than you have tried to smear Dr. Paul and failed miserably too.

  28. T Smith

    September 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Chiding Ron Paul for a lack of soul-searching and for a lack of deeper thinking about the state of America’s health care system is like chiding Albert Einstein for a lack of thinking. Ron Paul knows more about the state of America’s health care system than every other politician in Washington combined. Implying that Ron Paul is not compassionate is also intellectually dishonest. As a medical doctor, Ron Paul practiced FREE health care on the indigent. How can one possibly equate Ron Paul with a lack of compassion? The author here has an elementary understanding of the problem and needs to get the facts straight before writing about them.

    But to be clear, if we enjoyed the free-market system Paul advocates, where special interest groups and government agencies are cleansed from the largess responsible for the escalating cost and declining quality of medical care, the young man, whom the author so shamelessly exploits as an example to push his own political agenda, would not have left 400k in unpaid medical bills to his surviving mother. His health-care bills would have literally been 1/4 that cost, and likely even less. At those rates he could have afforded medical insurance, if that was his choice. Further, he would have enjoyed better health-care overall, which may have even saved his life.

    Perhaps the Washington Blade envisions a world in which we are all serfs and slaves to the escalating costs of everything essential to a dignant life. Perhaps the Washing Blade envisions a world in which none of us are responsible for our own lives. Embracing that world under the banner of “compassion” is the furthest thing from anything compassionate.

    This reader, for one, chooses human dignity and freedom over serfdom.

  29. Nicholas King

    September 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Open Letter to Kevin Naff,

    You didn’t mention that Kent Synder, was uninsurable, because of a pre-existing condition. Also, Ron Paul and the campaign helped raise about 50,000 of that money. I would mention facts like that in your article.

    Synder was a close & dear friend to Ron Paul. Many in the campaign, as well as supporters have been deeply affected by the ordeal on many levels. How do you deal with your grief, when someone you love and care about dies tragically? We in the campaign donated money to help Kent Synder’s mother deal with costs. Whatever we can do, is our motto. We help others when in need.

    Furthermore, As a professional medical doctor, Dr. Paul truly does know what makes healthcare prices so expensive and he’s been fighting to change the system his whole career (in and outside of politics). All of his footsteps have been taken toward the goal of making the medical system more compassionate and get costs lower.

    So I’d argue that you are the one who is heartless, not Ron Paul.

    “Nobody can compete with me about compassion because I know and understand how free markets and sound money and a sensible foreign policy are the most compassionate systems ever known to mankind.” -Ron Paul

    postscript:
    If you read Ron Paul’s philosophy “against the use of force” you’ll understand why he can be consistently principled in his stance against: Torture, Endless Wars, Illegal Wiretapping, Corporate Bailouts & Welfare, Income Tax, Handouts to The Medical Industrial Complex (Insurance & Drug Companies), etc, etc, etc. Please do a little extra research; the information is out there IF you want to find it. That’s a big IF.

  30. Old Dan

    September 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    >Blitzer replied, “Are you saying society should just let him die?”
    >In response, the bloodthirsty, unsympathetic crowd yelled, “Yeah!”

    Absolute distortion of the actual event. Here it is again for you to review Mr. Naff.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFYaRp-qlss&t=5m8s

    Do you still stand by your remark?

  31. Tollevin

    September 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    your intro seems really biased compared to the article. if you believe in universal healthcare, it sounds like you should find that website and make a contribution.

  32. FreeDanAvery

    September 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I fail to see how Dr. Paul’s stance on healthcare is heartless. Ron realizes that before everything we must value individual liberty and personal freedoms. Limiting the scope of goverment (which is what RP advocates) would enable everyone to lead much more fufilling lives. Being responsible for one’s actions is the nature of free will. Snyder knew very well that by leaving his field and campaigning for Ron that he would not have health insurance. He was campaigning to help fight for the fact that if people don’t want health care then they don’t have to get it.

    He was the primary advocate for Ron Paul’s candidacy! Was Snyder’s death unfortunate? Of course. However, Dr. Paul and Snyder(and the rest of their supporters) know/knew that our message must still be carried throughout America (no matter whether ironic situations arise). It is time for American’s to look to one another for help. For almost 200 years we relied on eachother for support whether it was financial, medical, or emotional. The reason our country was so strong was because we were ACTUALLY united. You cared for you your neighbor. You would go to war for your neighbor. Can we say that now? I don’t believe so. Nowadays everyone looks to the government for help. Not only is this unnecessary, but it is harmful to the common good.

    The bleeding heart says that we must help everyone in need. However in terms of compassion this, in actuality, is the least. When we start to wean off the teat of government handouts, we will start to wonder why we ever asked them for help in the first place.

    You call it heartless, but what Ron Paul is saying is for all of us to help one another. Not because the government tells us to, but because we know in our hearts that it is the right thing to do. That, my friend, is more compassionate than any answer I have heard in a very long time.

    “Those who value equality over liberty will find themselves with neither. Those who value liberty over equality will find themselves with plenty of both” – Milton Friedman Nobel Peace Price Winner

  33. MIKE

    September 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    THIS ARTICLE IS ONE OF THE WORST ARTICLES I HAVE EVER READ…I THINK I JUST GOT DUMBER BY READING IT. THE AUTHOR CLEARLY IS AN UNEDUCATED WRITER. IT IS A SHAME, HE PROBABLY PAID THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS( OR USED TAXPAYERS DOLLARS TO PUT HIMSELF THROUGH SCHOOL) AND HAS THE KNOWLEDGE OF A ROCK, ( SORRY , I SHOULDNT DEGRADE ROCKS THAT MUCH). TO BACK MY THINKING, TAKE A LOOK AT SENTANCE #9 WILL
    SUM IT UP. SINCE WHEN IS ONE PERSON CONCIDERED A CROWD? WHAT AN IDIOT, CLEARLY AFTER THAT I SHOULDNT HAVE TO WASTE MORE TIME TO EXPLAIN WHY THE ARTICLE IS FIT FOR THE TRASH CAN.

  34. cj

    September 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    the writer is an idiot. paul answered NO when wolf asked him if he should be left to die.

    paul raised $50,000 to help pay for the hospital bills

    the staffer could not get coverage due to a ‘pre-existing’ condition, and because govt and the medical/insurance companies are in bed with one-another, noone offers insurance to these poor people.therefore, he could not have gotten insurance if he wanted it.

    finally, the hospital has not billed the surviving members of snyders families yet. before writing such blatant hit-pieces, try actually investigating the story for yourself (or at least watch the CNN report on it, where they covered all of this UNBIASED)

    you are not a real reporter. you regurgitate things for a no-name website which puts hit peices on Paul just to get hits.

  35. Tim gallien

    September 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I just dont understand what writers and presstitues like this believe they will benifit from, by selling thier souls and thier own people into government dependentcy. I think that it is a child like fear of responsibility for themselves. And then projecting thier own fears and insecurities upon others by suggesting the use of government force, to make all others as dependent and scared as they are. It is a sickness of the soul, and a symptom of a weak mind to want to control and force others down your level. I believe they feel that this form of thought elevates them to “caretaker” of the people. When in reality it is the opposite.

  36. Michael

    September 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Your agruement is based around the idea that because Snyder didn’t have health insurance he is dead, or at least that is what it seems to be. But its important to note that Snyder was still hospitalized for 2 months then died from complications with his disease. In other words he was still treated even though he didn’t have insurance, yes he has medical bills but he wasn’t turned down care.

  37. FL John

    September 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Wow. This is the most deranged Ron Paul article I have ever seen. That’s quite an accomplishment. What a load of garbage.

  38. FL John

    September 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Everybody sees the irony here. Snyder was the Campaign Chairman, “the boss.” It is reasonable to assume that he had a strong influence in the decision to not provide insurance.

  39. Steph

    September 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I concur with the above statements that your article lacks depth and real knowledge of the subject and the facts. In addition to his compassion for those who cannot afford health care, he also has compassion for people who have different sexual orientations and is the only Republican candidate who does not feel the government should “define” marriage. He believes that people should be able to love who they wish and the government should stay out of it. As long as you are not directly hurting another, you should be free to live your life the way you choose. Why don’t you write an article on that compassion?!

  40. laurelboy2

    September 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    My entire life I’ve sensed that the gay community was chocked full of bleeding-heart liberal loony democrats and that I was the lone maverick GOPer. From the responses on this forum, I’m amazed that so many people are dissing Naff’s theory. Did someone get a bunch of RP supporters to respond to this item or is there a sea change occurring in the gay commmunity?

    • Doctor Whom

      September 17, 2011 at 10:36 am

      I used to consider myself the lone maverick Libertarian. Once I left the politically correct echo chamber, I found out just how politically diverse the queer community is.

  41. James

    September 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Wow. There is just so much wrong with this article, and I can see how its been thouroughly discredited by everyones comments. I love how the Ron Paul supporters come out and take down articles like this. RP 2012! As has been said by many others, he didn’t die because of his bill, he died because he was sick. He was working for Dr. Paul!! He obviously knew and understood Ron’s message and ideology, and probably shared in it, and didn’t buy insurance. He made a conscience choice to not buy insurance. Even if he did, the bill would have been the same, and he still would have tragically past. You fail to ask the most important question regarding health care… WHY does it cost so much? Stop complaining just that it is, and start addressing WHY! Until the left can have that conversation, we will continue escalating costs. If you or anyone else actually thinks the affordable healthcare act will make care cheaper, you’re sadly mistaken. There were hardly any cost cutting measures in the bill, and that has been documented. No wonder you write for the ‘Washington Blade’ you can’t even get facts right. “The bloodthirsty, unsympathetic crowd…” was actually only one or two people. You need to do some “soul-searching and deeper thinking about the state of America’s health care system” and stop living in some fairy tale world where everyone is on the hook for other people’s poor choices.

  42. devinesara

    September 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I don’t get the idea that this guy was a victim or a pawn. So, where’s the heartlessness?

  43. Brian

    September 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I’m gay & I support Ron Paul and his CARING stance.

    Ron Paul 2012!

  44. Jackson Baer

    September 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    He’s not heartless, he’s fiscally responsible and right when he says that charities and churches should help instead of the government. Ron Paul is the only honest man running. I disagree with him on a few issues but at least I know he’s telling the truth and not just reciting talking points.

    RON PAUL 2012

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjRcO1Sm0HU

  45. Andy Kent

    September 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    This whole thing is off base.
    You might as well have published this in The National Enquirer.

  46. Dennis

    September 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    After reading these comments I am ASHAMED to be a gay man.Many of your brothers and sisters have pre-existing conditions that preclude us from getting insurance. This community, above all, should now this considering the inordinate impact of HIV in our community. Kent Snyder had a pre-existing condition that precluded him from obtaining insurance in the private market since his employer, Ron Paul, failed to provide any. To all those that say he should take responsibility please tell me what he should have done?

    We have always been compassionate for the downtrodden. If that is not the case anymore,please tell me where to send my proverbial “gay card.”

    • speedotorpedo

      September 17, 2011 at 5:57 am

      Did you even read the article? It said that Kent was the “boss” and it was his decision to not get healthcare for the Paul campaign. It was not a failure on the part of Dr. Paul. Actually there was no failure at all.

      The only failure that I have observed is the failure of the author of this crap article (if it can even be called that) to cite facts and other relevant items to support his claims. He even showed the original article which showed his lack of intelligence when saying that Dr. Paul “failed” to provide insurance.

      So how about this, you and the author can both talk about the failures of free market systems when Dr. Paul implements them and shows you how really uninformed you are.

    • TheThinkingMan

      September 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      First of all, who’s choice was it that caused these brothers and sisters of nine to contract HIV? it certainly wasn’t mine, and they most definitely knew the risks of unprotected sex.
      Second, Snyder was the head of the campaign and therefore in charge of delegating health insurance to campaign staffers. He most definitely made his choice.

  47. Evan

    September 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    All that I’ve learned from this article is that I’ll be blocking the Washington Blade from my Google News flow. Too many mistakes in this article – it’s clear that the author had a bone to pick with Paul before s/he bothered to listen to Paul’s views.

    Paul’s views are not accurately represented by this article.

  48. Anonymous

    September 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    What a blatantly obvious distortion and smearing you’ve engaged in. This article is absolutely disgusting in its use of the late and great Kent Snyder to posit an argument against Free Markets and Ron Paul. How dare you use this campaign manager as a weapon when you never donated a single penny to his charity. The irony here is an intellectual travesty as it is “heartless”. This is going beyond the pale and only hurts your ideology, which is of course using government force to make people pay others’ health care; Socialism, in other words, is a failure you are proving in spades. Not to mention that the commentators here have displayed that the Free Market of Ideas can correct such aberrations of truth and reason.

    Let’s revisit your errors and fallacies; although everybody else here has already so eloquently rebutted your tripe.

    The title is an appeal to emotion, which is an obvious fallacy. Why not title your article as, “Ron Paul Wants to Kill You, Dead!”, or “Ron Paul Hates Gays, Kills Own Staffer!”. It seems fitting for such a propagandist like yourself, Goebbels would be proud. You’ve turned off most of your readers right there which such hyperbole.

    “He was uninsured and left about $400,000 in unpaid medical bills to his surviving mother.”

    That money will be paid by the Estate of Mr. Snyder, not his mother. Your statement is ridiculous and plainly shows how ignorant you really are. Another thing is this shows that not having insurance did not kill him because he was able to rack-up $400k in medical bills. Imagine that! Granted hospitals are required by law to treat people, but to say he died from lack of coverage is a flat-out lie. You also forget that he had a pre-existing condition which made him virtually uninsurable!

    I find your assertion that wanting people to take responsibility for their own actions is “heartless” to be laughable at best. For one you have no idea how dependency on entitlements creates irresponsibility and cost increases. I have seen it first hand. Second, your partisan delusion makes you believe that only progressives are capable of charity while the neo-conservatives are not, regardless of your political persuasion you need to know, because here’s a little secret, both political establishments are Corporatists and are the anti-thesis to charitable action, let alone Free Markets. No, sir. By saying that being against entitlements is heartless, then I could easily say that, your support of entitlements is a decree that Americans are callous, selfish people, who would gladly let people die, hence the need for government intervention. You are wrong.

    “You’d think that the death of a trusted campaign aide — who Paul said was instrumental in helping him decide to run in 2008 — would prompt some soul-searching and deeper thinking about the state of America’s health care system. But obviously that’s not the case for Paul, who happens to be a medical doctor.”

    No, sir. Obviously that’s not the case for you, who happens to be a yellow journalist.

    “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. Government is force; like fire it is a dangerous servant — and a fearful master.” —George Washington, 1797

  49. Mark

    September 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    The Welfare State is so compassionate it is willing to jeopardize everyone’s healthcare and livelihoods to be compassionate. Except of course the aristocrats in Washington and their crony’s.

  50. Steve S

    September 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    A lot of comments make the assertion that the fact that hospital let the guy run up a $400k bill before he died, his lack of insurance had no bearing on his death. Due to health care privacy laws, we can’t know that, unless his estate grants access to his medical records to the media. Even if his estate were to release his medical records, it would be hard to say whether his care suffered due to lack of insurance.

    But his individual case doesn’t change the fact that uninsured people receive much worse health care than those with insurance. One reason is that they often can’t afford preventive care, particularly early treatment of their condition, when it’s in a non-emergency state; instead they have to wait until their condition is an emergency. At that point, it costs a lot more, and they’re a lot more likely to die. Another reason is that medical providers sometimes just say “no” to expensive care, even if that is equivalent to the debate audience’s “yes” response to the “let him die?” question.

    Getting back to Kent Snyder, it’s quite possible that he died because — as a person without insurance — he couldn’t go to a doctor and treat his illness early, when it was readily treatable, and instead had to wait until it was a life-threatening emergency, at which point the hospital had to treat him even if it meant spending $400k and watching him die anyway. (Again, without the medical records, we can’t know.)

    On the other hand, it’s possible that the hospital let him run up the bill because they looked at his assets and said, “OK, he can pay, or if he dies, his estate can pay.” After all, some articles note that Snyder’s mother lives in a house he owned — maybe they expect to get paid by taking that house.

    Some articles noted that donors paid $38k of the guy’s bill, presumably so his mother wouldn’t lose that house. That’s admirable, but it’s still less than a tenth of the bill. If the hospital wants to collect the bill — rather than adding the cost to everyone else’s bill — they’ll get the money from his estate.

    In other comments here, I see people arguing about just why the care was so costly. In his case, we don’t know: medical privacy again. But in the US in general, it’s because we rely so much on private insurance, and cost-shifting in cases of uninsured emergency care. If someone can’t afford early treatment because they don’t have insurance, they’re likely to end up in the emergency room later, when their condition is more dangerous, more expensive to treat because it’s advanced to be more serious, and more expensive because emergency room care is more costly in general. What happens then? The bill ends up increasing costs for everyone else at that hospital, raising the cost of their insurance.

    Not only that, we have all the expenses that result from private medical insurance itself. Everything that goes through an insurance company runs up costs: medical providers have to pay support staff to deal with all the different insurance companies’ quirks, insurance companies have to pay their people to deal with claims (and in many cases, try to figure out how to refuse to pay), insurance companies have to pay for their office overhead, executive salaries, marketing, and shareholder profits. All that adds up: private insurance eats up around 30% of all medical bills, compared to two to three percent of the bill when Medicare pays.

    The right wing sometimes asks, “Do you trust an indifferent government bureaucrat to manage your health insurance?” My answer to that is, “I sure trust an indifferent government bureaucrat a lot more than a private industry bureaucrat who dilligently works to get bonuses by denying benefits for legitimate claims.”

  51. johneverymann

    September 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I never read the article. Can tell by the title your a tool. Research someone better before you write a article. My friend is in the national guard, Obama charges him $300 a month for health insurance. Wow what a excellent system we have.

  52. J. Smetana

    September 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Wow. Wolf Blitzer was asking Ron Paul if “society should let him die” to which Paul responded “No…”, but this article’s heading is that Ron Paul’s stance is “heartless”. And rather than quote Paul’s actual response to the question, the cheering from a couple individuals (in a huge crowd of NON-cheering individuals) is cited as his response. Just goes to show how the author of this article is only looking to smear Dr. Paul rather than acknowledge his actual response. His response being: In the absence of socialized medicine, society would, in other forms, take care of a dying individuals such as the 30-yr old. Not exactly heartless, but I guess the author doesn’t have the integrity to report this story in a more objective thoughtful fashion. This article constitutes libel.

  53. Mickey T. Hobart

    September 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Ron Paul rejects mass robbery and embraces charity, cooperation and compassion. He is full of heart.

  54. Daniel McAdams

    September 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I considered Kent Snyder my best friend. I loved Kent and I miss him every day. I worked with him for seven years and communicated with him in a daily basis. Kent was not ashamed of his personal life, but kept it private as most people do, actually. Kent never once expressed dissatisfaction or dismay at his compensation in the Ron Paul organization and he took sole responsibility for his own health and medical requirements. In the end, a terrible disease killed him but let us not forget that he did get all the healthcare he required. He was not turned out into the street. Ron Paul loved and respected Kent Snyder as well and I knew how much Kent’s death hurt him — why? Because we all talked about it.

    What you are engaging in here is really dishonest and a smear attempt against Dr. Paul.

    Sadly, instead of celebrating the prominence and acceptance of someone like Kent in the Ron Paul organization (any other Republicans would be so accepting?), your publication chooses to smear and attack. Shame on you. Kent deserved better. You all make me very sad.

  55. S W

    September 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    @Steve S
    It would take more time than I am willing to take to type a refute to all of the bogus statements you made. For starters, you make a lot of assumptions to back your view. But your statement, “All that adds up: private insurance eats up around 30% of all medical bills, compared to two to three percent of the bill when Medicare pays” is completely bogus. I work closely with the finances of dozens of doctors offices and medical equipment suppliers. You want to know which ones are barely surviving? The ones that take medicare and medicaid. They are burdensome and costly for the providers. The offices that only accept private pay are the offices that are prospering. When was the last time you saw an office that accepted medicare or medicaid but not private insurance? You haven’t. But you see plenty that do the opposite. And it isn’t because private insurance is more costly. Any one trying to make the assertion that medicare and medicaid are more efficient than private insurance is off their rocker.

  56. Andrew Schwartz

    September 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    To the author: How interesting that you call Ron Paul heartless for his opinion, while leaving out what he mentioned about churches, friends, and family, and his experiences as a doctor pre-medicare/medicaid. I don’t see Ron Paul calling the likes of you heartless for promoting a system that he believes causes more harm than good, all things considered, or for painting him in an unflattering light by leaving out essential details of his position.

    You mention lack of soul searching and lack of depth of thought. In psychology there is something we call “projection.” You might want to find out what it means, and then do some soul searching and deep thinking of your own.

  57. Ray Z

    September 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    The question was designed to appeal to the status quo with the federal government picking up the tab, but Paul cut through the question to give a powerful answer: “ . . .what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. . . . That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody . . . ”
    Blitzer interrupted: “ . . .Are you saying society should just let him die?”
    Some in the audience shouted “yes.” They must have come from the previous debate where Gov. Rick Perry’s pride in executing convicted murderers was wildly applauded.
    Responded Paul: “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. . . . We have lack of competition. There’s no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing.”
    What first needs to be said is that federal law prohibits anyone from being turned away from a hospital emergency room, whether in a coma or not. But Paul’s larger point should not be missed. He is old enough to remember a time when families, neighbors and churches cared for each other. Now, in our two-income households when we buy so much stuff we must rent public storage units for the overflow, we hardly have time for our own families, much less the concerns of others. How many of us know our neighbors?
    I was intrigued by a story I read last month in London’s Sunday Times. The story followed street rioting that shocked Britons and caused Prime Minister David Cameron to lament the loss of moral teaching in British schools and society. The headline read “Tory Ministers to ‘Adopt’ Jobless Families.”
    Some of the jobless have been without work for several generations. A recent survey found that in many homes, no one had ever worked and had no desire or expectation of employment.
    The ministers have pledged to set an example for others to follow by volunteering to become “family champions” to the unemployed. Emma Harrison, who is described by the newspaper as a “social entrepreneur whose company has a 300-million pound contract to help people into meaningful work,” wants the middle classes to follow the ministers’ example.
    Why couldn’t this work in the U.S. government? Why can’t President Obama and his family, his cabinet members and agency heads each “adopt” an unemployed family and help them find meaningful employment? What about the Republican presidential candidates? Michele Bachmann and her husband are experienced in adoptions. How about all of those rich congressmen and senators? Warren Buffett and Bill Gates think we should pay more taxes. Can’t they be asked to personally do more to help others? They would be a fine example.
    If we want smaller government, we will have to pick up the slack. Helping change another life for the better may be the most satisfying work we do on Earth. It is part of my own ethic and I can testify to the satisfaction it has given me. Make it a fad and it could become a trend. Ron Paul’s answer, which to some sounded crass, might prove itself to be the ultimate in compassion.

    Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/14/2407381/paul-is-right-on-health-insurance.html#ixzz1YAVi1BqA

  58. Douglas MacIlroy

    September 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Another smear piece. I’d really like to see the chain of command orders for these hacks that earn a paycheck cobbling together the sentences that most distort the facts. They are the generated in back rooms or boardrooms by those who continue to benefit by the way things are now. They’ve spent millions of dollars buying politicians via lobbyists and they are not going to just stand still and let ‘The People’ take all that away from them.

    Freedom.

    This is what is at stake.

    Wake up people. You can’t stop what’s coming.

  59. Jeff

    September 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    He’s so heartless that he doesn’t want national health-care written by lobbyists of the biggest corporations in the healthcare industries.

    BTW the yell in the audience was done by a member of the Tea Party Express, a neo-con organization

    For the government to provide a service, it must take wealth from another. The transference alone has a cost. Therefore the forceful transference of property by the government is inherently wasteful. Pile on top of that the corruption of our legislature, and you have a black hole of debt.

    Speaking of the legislature, they are ones largely responsible for … legislation such as healthcare. Ron Paul will have limited powers in this regards.

    He will have the power to bring the troops home, and that’s why he is the only candidate for those with a gram of common sense.

  60. Duda

    September 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Why is Paul being bashed for this man’s mistakes? I don’t want people harassing me to get all these plans and services, and I don’t expect anyone to help me either if something goes wrong.

  61. Little Joe...

    September 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got ourselves a Top-Tier the People’s candidate
    Congressman, Dr. Ronald Paul on Medical Care:

    The prevailing attitude of the American people is that everyone has a right to medical care. This is an intellectual error that will lead us down the path toward destroying what is good in the current system and replacing it with a system that will be terrible for everyone. The supposed right to medical care can only be guaranteed at others’ expense. The transfer can only be arranged by force. This creates oppressive bureaucracies, encourages overutilization of resources, and leads to technological stagnation and inevitably to rationing and deprivation.

    It’s true that everyone has a right to pursue medical care without being hindered by government policies. But that is not the system we have today. Today’s messed-up medical system is a result of forty years of government interference in the process. Regulations, inflation, tax laws, and federal mandates to provide care through corporate-run HMOs, interference in providing insurance, massive subsidies, and licensing have all played a negative role in the delivery of medical care in the United States.

    The zealots now demanding even more government involvement do not realize that those in need and the people who require better care are victims of previous misdirected policies. All the well-intentioned humanitarian programs are of no benefit if they are based on false premises.
    Can one imagine what it would be like if, thirty years ago, for national security reasons, the U.S. government took responsibility for guaranteeing that every man, woman, and child had a cell phone, called it a right, and justified it for national defense purposes? It would have been a nightmare. Quality would have never improved, prices would be sky high, and distribution lousy. But we now have affordable cell phones and the prices will continue to drop as more and more competition is encouraged by the market.

    It’s only through government interference that a hospital can charge $1,000 for a toothbrush and get paid for it. In the same way, it’s only the Department of Defense that pays $700 for a $5 hammer. It’s the nature of government to produce low-quality products and services at extremely high prices. Socialist, bureaucratic, and interventionist economic systems inevitably injure most of the people who are supposed to be helped, and at a very high cost.

    Modern technology has been with us for several decades. It has been a real asset to all industries and has helped to keep prices in check as quality improved. This has been especially true in electronics like cell phones, TVs, and computers. Though medicine has greatly benefited from new technology, the cost of medicine, instead of dropping, has significantly increased.

    There’s a reason for this. Managed care and government interference for the past forty-five years, with huge amounts of government money injected into the system, achieved only higher prices and poorer distribution of all medical services. The system of government-managed care has caused doctors, medical insurance companies, managed care companies, hospitals, and especially patients to be unhappy with the system. Very few are satisfied. Even those with Medicaid or Medicare realize that both programs are bankrupt and are unsustainable under current conditions.

    Important in this debate over medical care is a proper understanding of what insurance is and is not (see the section on Insurance for a more in-depth discussion). True insurance measures risk and is an important tool for free markets to function. The current use of the word “insurance” in dealing with government-managed health care has been deliberately substituted for government social welfare schemes. Since the majority of Americans see medical care as a right, the assumption is that “insurance” is a right and thereby qualifies for total government control.

    Authentic price competition exists in providing car insurance for all Americans. It’s sold across state borders, and different policies are available. Owners of older cars frequently drop collision insurance, and the amount of coverage varies. Though auto insurance is required by the states, it’s a far cry from required health insurance. Since government has placed so many mandates on the health insurance companies and doesn’t permit market-based pricing in either premiums or service delivery, the services they offer can no longer qualify as insurance.

    It’s obvious to me what would happen if similar rules were placed on the purchase of car insurance. Suppose the benevolent planners decided that a car was crucial to hold a job, and so the job provided car insurance, which was, in turn, declared a right. It would then be quite logical to say that that person couldn’t get to work unless the insurance companies paid for all services, gasoline, and all repairs. Older cars that went ten miles to the gallon and needed constant repairs would not be charged more, or it would be claimed the insurance companies were discriminating against a “precondition” and the poor.

    Once the “insurance” was provided—with government subsidies—every little problem would be taken care of, whether it was critical or not. It would invite abuse of the system. Excess fuel usage, repairs, and even fraud would prompt a need for thousands of bureaucrats to monitor the whole program, and people would be required to get prior approval. But then again, it is claimed that by rooting out waste and fraud, the government could save enough money to pay for the program and have enough money left over to reduce the national debt. Suddenly, all the problems are miraculously solved!

    Obviously, car insurance companies could not survive if they were forced to repair every car that was damaged or nonfunctional prior to the purchase of insurance. How efficient would it be for government-mandated food insurance, including first-dollar purchases, to assure good eating habits to provide good health? It would be argued that it would “save” billions by promoting good health and eliminating obesity.

    Reasonable people would laugh at such a proposal, and yet that’s parallel to what is being proposed for the medical care system.

  62. Joshua

    September 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Wow. Just wow. Kevin Naff, if I ever see another article with your name on it I’ll promptly induce vomiting to cover the rag your words are written on just to save my eyes the pain of seeing such nonsense. First of all, you don’t point out the fact that Paul and his supporters raised 50,000 dollars to help with that obsene medical bill. Secondly, you fail to accurately represent Dr. Paul by acknowledging that he said “No”, when asked about letting an uninsured person die. Third, If you had an ounce of decency in your entire body you would publicly apoligize for this “article”.

  63. Soulcyon

    September 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    @”Snyder, 49, died of pneumonia in 2008. He was uninsured and left about $400,000 in unpaid medical bills to his surviving mother. Paul was criticized at the time for failing to offer his campaign staffers medical insurance”

    You clearly are ignorant to what Ron Paul’s campaign is all about. That event is one of the stronger reasons why insurance should be reformed, and its proof to show how messed up the current system is right now. Please do your research before writing such crap.

  64. Alux

    September 17, 2011 at 12:04 am

    It is because of bad monetary policy and govt. involvement that 400K of hospital bills were racked up. Even if Paul’s campaign provided insurance, the insurance may have denied coverage. What we need are Paul’s free market principles. Allow other insurance companies to form and compete and prices will drop.

  65. bettydoman

    September 17, 2011 at 2:49 am

    In fact, under new health care reform your health insurance company will no longer be allowed to cancel your policy if you get sick, we should be doing this already! search online “Penny Health” it is a good place to find insurance if you have illness like me.

  66. professorjoe

    September 17, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Ron Paul was asked if the man should die and the “CROWD” said yeah. What did Ron Paul say? You conveniently left that out.During his career as a doctor he treated impoverished patients free.Some facts need emphasis here:1 The man didn’t die because he didn’t have care, he got 4ooK of treatment but died of Pneumonia. 2.As the original article states the Paul Campaign collected 32k for him.3. I don’t know of any State that can legally force a relative of an adult child to pay their bills unless of course they left behind an Estate in which case they could put a lein on it but they couldn’t take any of her own money. I don’t particularly agree with Paul on Med Insurance but lets be fair.One thing for sure if we ended perpetual warfare, like he says we’d actually have the funds to argue of health care.

  67. Gregory J. Chamberlain

    September 17, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Health insurance would NOT have saved Kent’s life. He got $400, 000 worth of care and it did not save him. If people like Kent, who owned Real Estate, did not take the steps to protect himself by transferring the home into a corporation or trust, so that creditors could not get to it, that was his own mistake. But to think that Ron Paul is somehow responsible for Kent Snydor as he worked in a very temporary position is simply ludicrous.

    Ron Paul votes against giving ALL groups special treatment under the law. In his and other libertarians eyes, like Kent Snydor, ALL people are to be created equal under the law. Therefore, there is no need to give anyone special treatment under the law.

  68. tom

    September 17, 2011 at 11:06 am

    There is poison/toxin about the way we are dealing with each other – and by this I mean there’s a problem with how we do business in this country, the Western model – in that we own what we do and to achieve these things/success is to create a divide among people. Call them atheists, Christians, or heathens. The vision that many see as the way things work – is in itself problematic.

    To paraphrase Einstein…”The problem in the world today is manifesting itself in the way we do business with each other. He called it the anarchy of capitalist society.

    I’m not a Socialist. It’s not about the system, socialist or otherwise, it’s about the people that are inhabiting and animating this system and we need to reexamine it.

    The economy is broken because it’s not on long-term wise footing. It can’t sustain itself. You can’t teach a philosophy to your kid to “take all that you can”, “make sure you take for yourself what you can”, “look out for number one”, “beat your neighbor/competitor”, “always get the A don’t worry about other kids”. In law school you can’t even help each other. It’s cut throat. You can’t keep preaching this type of social model and expect it to sustain. It won’t. It doesn’t work in nature and it doesn’t work for us.

  69. Rick Fisk

    September 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    This really is the worst sort of journalism. Ron Paul could not provide health insurance to Snyder anyway since no insurance company would cover him due to a pre-existing condition.

  70. tomas

    September 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Washington Post hates Ron Paul. Here’s why…. The post owns Kaplan, a company that supplies college/education courses. If Ron Paul gets elected, federally insured student loans will likely go away and Kaplan makes a lot of money handing out crappy degrees based on federally insured student loans. It’s a tremendous conflict of interest for the Washington Post. These journalists bash Ron Paul cause they got the memo from their bosses.

  71. Ram Samudrala

    October 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

    First, I agree Ron Paul’s response was compassionate. Second, I don’t get from the article that the staffer died because he didn’t have health insurance. I get that the staffer is stuck with the bill because he didn’t have health insurance. If he had used the ER, the bill would be footed by taxpayers. If his estate or mother declares bankruptcy, the bill would be footed by taxpayers.

    The “left” is trying to fix the system and has been for a while. But the “right” has been shooting it down for a long time. Single payer got taken off because of Lieberman and a couple of other conservative democrats. That said, Obamacare IS moving towards “single payer”. If the mandate gets struck down by SCOTUS, how will people pay for the other parts of the bill? Universal health care is a reality in the US. It may take a few years but it will happen. Even the New Deal wasn’t done in a day or even years. It took decades for everything to be resolved and it still needs to be tweaked.

    I don’t agree with Ron Paul on a lot of other issues including abortion. I love liberty more than Ron Paul does. But also believe health care is a universal human right (and I’ve dedicated to my life to making sure this happens in our lifetimes). I believe it is only when basic needs of humans, food, shelter, healthcare, education, are met that humans can achieve their full potential of life, liberty, and happiness.

    Libertarian views are generally okay but the conservative party that Ron Paul has aligned with are anathema to freedom: they want to regulate what happens in a bed room, a woman’s right to choose, the use of chemical substances recreationally, and so on. Paul himself is fairly consistent about it except for views on abortion (if he cares about life so much, why not care AFTER a baby is born but not before?).

    In short, I think Ron Paul would set this country back by a 100+ years and his solution is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I also think Ron Paul is cheap. Americans are among the most privileged people in the entire world: we get SO much for paying so little in taxes. I’ll say that if you don’t like the deal you have in this country, leave. Isn’t that what liberty is about? Why ask us to subsidise your roads and air travel and sea travel and a ton of other things but yet refuse to pay for it? If you don’t want to pay for services. It comes as a package: I don’t care for or use many services provided by government but for the amount I pay I feel I get a bargain and I’m in the highest tax brackets. I give more to charity than Ron Paul does, I not only research drug discovery but I train MDs routinely, … so yeah, I walk the talk and my opinion is that Ron Paul is simply wrong. The world is becoming more interconnected and there’s no changing the progressive tide. Listen to FDR’s speeches and see why the New Deal had to be done. We need a new New Deal.

  72. Wesley M

    November 25, 2011 at 2:05 am

    I was expecting to scroll down to the comments and see people actually supporting the crap in this article. I was pleased to find that people are not as ignorant as media thinks us to be.

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Opinions

Opinion | Why LGBTQ people should fear new Texas abortion law

Slippery slope measure turns private citizens into enforcers

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Texas State Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

I worry about everything from climate change to violence against transgender people to racism to reproductive freedom for women. But, until recently, I didn’t have to worry that a “$10,000 bounty” could be collected from me if I helped a woman to have an abortion.

Yet, this is now a terrifying concern for abortion providers, advocates of women’s reproductive rights and those who value civil liberties. Especially, for people in Texas.

If you value the right to privacy and are LGBTQ or a queer ally, you should be terrified.

Here’s why everyone with a sense of decency should feel the hair standing up on the back of their necks: It’s no secret, that the Supreme Court, more conservative since the court of the 1930s, is likely eyeing the chance to overthrow or gut Roe V. Wade.

In May, the Supreme Court said that, in its next term (beginning in October 2021), it would consider an abortion case involving a Mississippi law that would prohibit most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy (about two months earlier than permitted by Roe v. Wade).

The Court’s decision to consider this case gives hope to anti-abortion activists seeking the overthrow of Roe v. Wade.   

States with Republican-controlled legislatures, aware of the make-up of the Supreme Court (with its conservative 6 to 3 majority), have acted quickly to severely weaken abortion rights. This has been especially true this year.

“More abortion restrictions — 90 — have already been enacted in 2021 than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down in 1973,” according to a Guttmacher Institute report.

On May 19, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed a draconian abortion bill into law. This measure, known as a “heartbeat law,” bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

Many women, at the six-week point, have no idea that they’re pregnant.

This is bad enough. Other states, including Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina have passed “heartbeat” laws banning abortion (when a fetal heartbeat can be detected).

But the legislation signed into law this spring by Gov. Abbott is even more insidious.

The legislation, scheduled to take effect in September 2021, gives private citizens the right to sue doctors and abortion clinic employees.

It doesn’t stop there. The new law permits a private citizen (from a pastor to an Uber driver to a friend, family member or perfect stranger) to sue anyone who performs or helps anyone to get an abortion. Even private citizens not living in Texas could sue people performing or helping someone to get an abortion.

Each private citizen could potentially be awarded $10,000 for every illegal abortion.

The law doesn’t allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest. Though it would permit abortions in rare medical instances. Thankfully, on July 13, a coalition of abortion rights and civil liberties advocates, including abortion clinics, doctors, clergy, filed a federal lawsuit to challenge this new law.

Six-week abortion bans passed by other states have been successfully challenged because abortion rights advocates sued government officials.

But Texas’s new law prohibits state officials from enforcing it. It’s set up to be enforced by private citizens.

“We had to devise a unique strategy to fight this subversive law,” Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “We will pursue every legal avenue we can to block this pernicious law.”

This new law sets up a dangerous slippery slope for LGBTQ folk.

If a private citizen is allowed to sue anyone assisting a woman having an abortion, what, for example, would prevent anyone (from a minister to a friend to a cab driver) who helps a queer couple to adopt a child? Or suing anyone helping a transgender person to get health care.

Let’s do all we can to support the effort to block this dangerous law.

Kathi Wolfe, a writer and a poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade.

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Opinion | LGBTQ victories are largely legal, not legislative

Leading lobbying groups ineffective as we face hostile Supreme Court

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anti-discrimination laws, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The recent conclusion of last month’s Pride month celebrations marked an annual milestone in both the history and advancements of rights for the LGBTQ community. The progress for LGBTQ rights over the last two decades has been groundbreaking – oftentimes described as an exemplary movement obtaining rights for a marginalized community. It was less than 20 years ago the United States Supreme Court struck down the country’s first real gay rights test in Lawrence v. Texas, decriminalizing “homosexual conduct” among consenting adults. 

Even in the most recent years, we all recognize how major achievements like marriage equality to the protection of gay adoption – to the recent action ensuring a fully inclusive military with transgender service – have benefited the community. But with new attacks arising daily in state capitals around the nation, like transgender sports becoming the new “bathroom bill,” LGBTQ future generations are counting on the leading LGBTQ rights and legal organizations to secure more equality.

Almost unanimously, these groundbreaking rights – while being achieved at almost lightning speed (although not fast enough for the millions of LGBTQ Americans whose lives have been, and still being impacted) – have been won in American courtrooms, not the halls of Congress. 

While the first federal LGBTQ rights bill was introduced in Congress in 1975 by former Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.) making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, it was simply referred to the Judiciary Committee and died. Forty-six years later barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, part of today’s Equality Act, has still not been passed into law by the LGBTQ lobbying organizations – and faces a similar fate this year in the U.S. Senate. 

The Equality Act, the chief legislative target for Washington, D.C.’s LGBTQ lobbying organizations is dead in Congress despite the ripest political environment with a Democratic House, Senate and White House. The Senate’s filibuster and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are major structural problems for the legislation, but there is not even serious discussion or demands from the LGBTQ lobbying community to insist on passage through filibuster reform.  

Must we automatically presume the LGBTQ community is so low a priority we are essentially beholden to prejudice of the minority in the Senate? When, therefore, can we ever expect any action? If not now, then when will gay lobbying succeed?

As an LGBTQ researcher at the University of Sydney in preparation for a new academic piece, I wanted to find out how groundbreaking LGBTQ rights could be won in courtrooms while lingering in Congress for half a century. The central question this research tried to answer was, “what factors contribute to LGBTQ lobbyist and advocate perceptions of movement success by LGBTQ organizations?”  The answer became pretty clear when surveying the top LGBTQ lobbying and government affairs professionals, the ones with the most intimate, front-line view of congressional outreach. 

Overwhelmingly, the research concludes the leading mainstream legal organizations have been primarily responsible for the community’s progress – not the LGBTQ organization’s lobbying efforts. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the wealthiest LGBTQ organization with a $48 million a year budget based in Washington, D.C. and founded 41 years ago, was ranked 10th most effective out of 17 organizations ranked. Since 2018, HRC has fallen six additional positions since the original research was published. In contrast, Lambda Legal, the LGBTQ community’s foremost legal rights organization, followed by the legal powerhouse, the ACLU, have moved ahead of them ranking as the most effective LGBTQ organizations.

The research clearly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the LGBTQ lobby, which has largely focused on gaining access to power structures instead of winning legislative victories.  Fundraising models of these organizations, built largely around monetizing their access to power, has left little evidence of their effectiveness and in turn, has strengthened systems of oppression against an overwhelming number of LGBTQ people of color, transgender individuals and lower-income members of the community. The “access to power” model of LGBTQ lobbying has essentially commercialized gayness (white, cisgender, English-speaking, middle and upper class gayness) as a consumable product that most often benefits those in power. It’s a “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” system of lobbying that shuts the door on the most marginalized LGBTQ people – those most in need of legislative victories to protect their lives.

Today, regardless of all of the progress in LGBTQ legal victories over the last two decades, the community is in the most dangerous place it has been in 25 years. LGBTQ lobbying does not work, and LGBTQ legal avenues have catastrophically changed. The 6-3 Supreme Court is poised to undermine Roe, which some say undermines Lawrence, which undermines Obergefell (the groundbreaking 2015 marriage equality decision). A house of very successful, but delicate legal cards, may begin to fall. The LGBTQ community is holding its collective breath against an anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court majority, and the spotlight is now shining brightly on the LGBTQ lobby and their ability to produce legislative success. 

Unfortunately, the organizations responsible for shaping the community’s relationship with states and the federal government are largely seen as ineffective and oftentimes harmful to progress. This ineffectiveness leaves the LGBTQ community in a dangerous and perilous moment in the movement’s history.  

To be successful, a radical transformation of the movement’s lobbying must happen immediately by shifting to a much more state-based movement, where anti-LGBTQ opponents are already attacking the identity and existence of transgender people with the introduction of more than 100 bills aimed to curb the rights of transgender people nationwide. Secondly, the danger to the lives of LGBTQ people from these legislative harms must be amplified and ready to be fought against. And lastly, a new model of investment is required that prioritizes the lives of transgender individuals and people of color and embraces an intersectional approach to lobbying. 

The LGBTQ movement is about to face darker days ahead. Leaders in Washington’s premier gay rights groups, including their lobbyists, must figure out how to protect our children, protect the poor, and lift up the marginalized or face disastrous consequences in the next few years in legislative bodies from city halls to the U.S. Capitol. Otherwise our hopes to tackle issues like transgender sports and equality will rest solely on the LGBTQ legal apparatus.

Christopher Pepin-Neff, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, is the author of ‘LGBTQ Lobbying in the United States.’

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Opinion | Macha, Byrne for Rehoboth Beach Commission

Aug. 14 election critical after reckless vote on Clear Space permits

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Double L, Diego's Hideaway, Fourth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade

On Saturday, Aug. 14, voters in Rehoboth Beach, Del., have an opportunity to make a strong statement on what they want their city to be in the future. During last year’s election for mayor and Commission, I suggested a vote for Stan Mills, Susan Gay and Patrick Gossett would take Rehoboth back to the Sam Cooper years and put anti-business candidates in control of the City Commission. My prediction has sadly proven accurate. The latest fiasco is the vote to turn down the city’s Planning Commission recommendation for the second time and potentially force the iconic Clear Space Theatre out of Rehoboth.

While voters of Rehoboth Beach can’t turn around the Commission with one election their votes can make a huge difference. That is why I urge support for Rachel Macha and Richard Byrne who have both shown an in-depth understanding of what Rehoboth Beach needs to flourish and promise a fair and balanced look at the future of the city. They understand to be successful for years to come Rehoboth must fairly balance the needs of its residents, businesses, and visitors.

Rachel Macha and her husband Rich have owned property in Rehoboth Beach for more than 21 years. They have a great loving family, 23-year-old triplets and 21-year-old twins. Macha is proud of the fact that since her kids were 14, they have held summer jobs in Rehoboth at Funland, Royal Treat, Jungle Jim’s, Bin 66 and Big Fish Restaurant Group.

She understands Rehoboth’s Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and that within the next year the updated CDP will set forth a strategic vision for Rehoboth Beach. Macha said “It will be the Commissioner’s guide to navigating the way to a sound future to achieve its key strategic objectives, including preserving our sense of place, infrastructure, arts and culture, strategic projects, and safety. As a member of the Planning Commission, I focused intensely to carefully analyze and understand the concerns, desires, and suggestions of residents, businesses, and tourists before, during and after COVID.”

Her professional experience is in the area of improving customer service and customer experience in the technology, software, and service industries. She has spent years serving on various school, church, company, and non-profit boards and committees. For the past three years, she leveraged her experience serving Rehoboth on the Parks, Shade Tree Commission, and Planning Commission.

Macha also understands the future of the city depends on fiscal responsibility and enhancing the sense of community that Rehoboth Beach was developing before the current mayor’s efforts, intentional or not, destroyed it. To foster that sense of community Macha has proposed launching a Customer Experience Committee comprised of residents, organizations such as RBHA and CAMP, and local businesses to generate and openly discuss ways to move Rehoboth forward positively with a unified sense of purpose.

Richard Byrne and his wife Sherri have been coming to Rehoboth for more than 25 years. They bought their home in 2002 and have lived in Rehoboth full-time since 2009. Byrne has more than 30 years of experience in education, running university extension programs in Maryland and Minnesota. Those programs required collaboration among citizens, volunteers, youth, community organizations and working with county and state agencies. He has served in many ways including being a member of the Rehoboth Beach Commission for the past three years and is proud of his many accomplishments during that time.

He authored legislation creating Steve Elkins Way; created the environment committee; and promoted endeavors to take care of the city’s natural environment. He led the review of the city’s wireless communications facilities ordinance; has been involved with bringing back recycling to the boardwalk; brought forward several measures to improve pedestrian safety; and secured a grant to support the beautification of the public triangle on State Road.

He said, “If I am re-elected I will continue to preserve residential neighborhoods, protect the city’s natural environment and promote ethical, open, fair, and transparent government. I will continue listening to concerns of residents and business owners and look for new ideas for improving our city.” So on Aug. 14, vote Rachel Macha and Richard Byrne for a better Rehoboth Beach.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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