Senator Rand Paul holds a healthcare round table in Columbia

09/12/2018 09:55 PM

COLUMBIA- Senator Rand Paul got back to his physician roots Tuesday morning, speaking to a group of medical professionals in Columbia.

The Junior Senator addressed the group about issues he sees with healthcare before hearing from the round table about issues they are seeing.
The first thing they brought up- the opioid crisis and what Congress will do to combat it.

Paul responded, “We’ve appropriated a significant amount already. My only complaint about doing it again, there’s another bill, they’re going to do another bill, haven’t made a final decision on what the price tag will be, but we gave out like a billion and a half, or something like that in the past year, and it still hasn’t been spent yet.” Paul added, “I’m sort of a believer that, if I give you a billion, show me how you spend it.”

Paul also spoke about the deficit and how that plays a part into how that impacts health facilities and care in rural areas. He voted for the tax bill- which the Congressional Budget Office calculated will add $1.9 trillion to the deficit in the next 10 years. Paul admitted, “As much as I complained about President Obama having a trillion dollar deficit, now all I have to do is blame my own party because my own party is in charge of all three branches and we’re going to be about $900 billion in debt this year. And, some of that is because I think we need to make some choices. And if you think we need health centers of something to put some tax dollars to, maybe you need to say well, what are the things we shouldn’t put it towards.” Paul answered his own question, saying “I’ll give you a couple of thoughts, and you can either agree, disagree, or tell your elected officials if you want to. We’re spending $50 billion a year in Afghanistan right now. We’ve been there for 17 years. I was for going there initially. We can’t let people attack us, we have to defend the country. But, 17 years later, we’re not doing any of that.”
Kentucky is facing a $300 million deficit when it comes to Medicaid. Paul says more rules need to be made about the program, saying “Medicaid for the most part is funded both at the Federal and State level. I think what you can’t have is unlimited free healthcare, and so what you have to have are some rules, and some of those rules are co-pays. So, I think we have to look at the copay structure, and I think there have to be some participation by the others getting their healthcare.” Paul continued, “If you don’t have that- if it’s completely free, people tend to use too much of it and we’re out of resources.” Paul added, “Government at all levels, Medicaid, Medicare, we’re short of money. Medicare is $35-40 Trillion dollars in the hole. Medicaid is increasing and expanding. We have to decide do we want everybody to be on Medicaid, or do we want only those who can’t help themselves.”
He closed out his thought saying “What we need to do, is really in a boom time, convert people from Medicaid to to actually private health insurance as much as we can. For those who can’t help themselves, can’t work, I think we have a way to help them, but we just need to make sure that’s a small- that should be ten percent of your community, not 60 percent of your community.”


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