Rand Paul Wants To Keep His Views On Medicare Out Of Political Campaign

If you read conservative publications and pay close attention to conservative politicians when they are speaking about their beliefs as opposed to campaigning for office you will note that their beliefs are often far more radical than the platforms they campaign on. Rand Paul has been caught trying to pass himself as someone who is not as extreme as he actually is and is furious that is opponent,  Jack Conway, has brought up old statements from Paul which are documented on YouTube:

Democrat Jack Conway appeals to retired voters with his latest attack in the Senate race, airing a television ad that shows Republican Rand Paul saying “the real answer to Medicare” would be for seniors to pay a $2,000 deductible.

Paul denounced the ad that began airing Tuesday as “politics at its lowest form.” The tea party movement-backed Paul said he doesn’t favor a $2,000 Medicare deductible, though he referred to it during a political meeting about 15 months ago to make the point that recipients need to share in the costs of the health care program for seniors, which faces looming shortfalls.

Rand Paul obviously realizes that it is not wise to discuss his actual views in the midst of a political campaign and to try to pretend he is not as radical as he actually is. Paul now claims that Conway’s ad is a lie, but Conway is supported by video of Paul on YouTube:

Conway’s campaign said it culled Paul’s comments from a June 2009 appearance in Lexington. The clip could be viewed on a YouTube video of Paul addressing leaders of the Center-Right Coalition of Lexington. During his remarks, Paul referred to Medicare as “socialized medicine” but also said, “We can’t just eliminate Medicare.”

“But we have to figure out how to get more to a market-based system,” Paul says during the clip. “It’s counterintuitive to a lot of people, but you have to pay for things if you want prices to come down. So you really need higher deductibles. And the real answer to Medicare would be a $2,000 deductible, but try selling that one in an election.”

Paul is clearly wrong in objecting to his own words and ideas being raised in the campaign. He is also wrong about the economic ideas. This gets back to a couple of common misconceptions among Republicans–that most Medicare beneficiaries can afford to pay for needed services out of pocket and that health care is so expensive because people are obtaining unneeded health care.

Obviously the financial status of Medicare beneficiaries varies widely, but many could not afford a $2000 deductible. Such a deductible would lead to lower Medicare expenses in the short run. The ultimate result would be that many people would avoid paying for routine treatment of chronic diseases, which is very common in the Medicare population. This leads to higher costs in the long run (along with a deterioration in the quality of life for our elderly population) as it is far more expensive to pay for the catastrophic results of lack of routine medical care.