Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Despite all his rhetoric and the applause from his libertarian base, Sen. Rand Paul is just another top-down, autocratic, big-government Republican.

Despite all his rhetoric and the applause from his libertarian base, Sen. Rand Paul is just another top-down, autocratic, big-government Republican. (Photo: Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com)

'Do As I Say, Not As I Do:' Rand 'Socialized-Medicine-Is-Slavery' Paul Headed to Canada for Some Surgery

"When a 'libertarian' goes for some socialized medicine..."

Jon Queally

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the most vocal libertarians in Congress, is reportedly headed to Canada later this year to receive hernia surgery and it's pretty clear that a lot people on Monday are going to be calling him out for this.

While building a career on promoting the libertarian myth of what Paul and others like to call the "free market," the "irony of it" was just too rich that he would travel to Canada, which enjoys a socialized, single-payer healthcare system, to have the procedure performed.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal:

He is scheduled to have the outpatient operation at the privately administered Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario during the week of Jan. 21, according to documents from Paul's civil lawsuit against Boucher filed in Warren Circuit Court.

[...]

Shouldice Hernia Hospital markets itself as "the global leader in non-mesh hernia repair," according to the clinic's website.

While Shouldice Hernia Hospital is privately owned — like many Canadian hospitals — it receives a majority of its funding from the Ontario government and accepts the Ontario’s Hospital Insurance Plan.

"Do as I say, not as I do," said in Kat Brezler, co-founder of Organizing for Bernie and a public school teacher in the Bronx, in response to the news about Paul's surgery.

While Kelsey Cooper, a spokesperson for Paul, characterized the story as "fake news," the facts remain: Paul is headed to get surgery in a country that he has said should not be a model for Americans who seek a more rational approach to the current for-profit healthcare system.

In 2011, he also said this: "With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care ... It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery."

Paul Blest at Splinter News offered some great additional coverage and comment:

While Shouldice is a for-profit clinic, it’s very much a part of the Canadian healthcare system. As the National Post wrote in 2012, the government of the province of Ontario “still pays for thousands of patients a year to get operations there at taxpayers’ expense,” and that it “receives yearly funding from the province, and medicare fees for services offered by its doctors.”

Apart from this, however, the fact remains that Paul—an ophthalmologist by trade who once compared the right to healthcare to slavery—is going to another country where healthcare for everyone is guaranteed and funded by the government via a program called Medicare, in order to get better quality care than he would have here in the United States, which has a Frankenstein-like monstrosity of a healthcare system that still leaves tens of millions uninsured.

Turns out the invisible hand isn’t as good at fixing hernias as a real one.

Watch Paul's infamous performance at a Senate hearing, as well as the response to his comments by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.):

Updated: This piece was updated from its original to add additional context and comment from Splinter News.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·


Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo