Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page says that to be fair to the libertarian-minded Ron Paul, he did not say during a recent debate that people without health insurance should be left to die. But his idea of freedom that might lead people to draw such a conclusion.

This impression was unfortunately encouraged by some of his less-temperate supporters during the recent CNN/tea party presidential debate in Tampa, Fla. Moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Paul, a medical doctor and fierce libertarian, if a seriously ill young man who had decided on his own to forgo health insurance suddenly needs expensive hospital care, should the state pay for it?

Paul, shaking his head, lectured, "That's what freedom is all about. Taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody. … " …

So who pays? Paul asserted that in his experience, friends, neighbors, churches and charities step forward to help.

Unfortunately in many cases, people who can't afford medical insurance often fail to receive care, or get the care and can't afford to pay the bill.


Read Clarence Page's entire column at the Chicago Tribune.