It’s doubtful whether anyone opposes President Obama’s health care law more than Ron Paul, but the Texas congressman said Wednesday that the sweeping legislation is not socialized medicine — contrary to claims made by his fellow presidential contenders Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain.
Instead, Mr. Paul called the Affordable Care Act “corporate medicine leading toward fascism,” insisting that his definition was much worse.
“It’s not socialized medicine, but it’s characteristic and creates the same things,” he said in comments before the Congressional Health Care Caucus, which invited him to speak on Capitol Hill.
“You always have shortages on socialized medicine, but you always have shortages when you have government intervention — like we do now.
“You keep the businessman involved, but the businessman makes a lot of profit and he’s in bed [with] and gets protection from the government,” said Mr. Paul, one of a handful of doctors who serve in Congress. “That’s not a very good alternative. They’re both very bad and some of the bad aspects would overlap.”
Mr. Obama had originally hoped for a universal health care system where a public option would compete with private plans on insurance exchanges, but was forced to compromise when his plan appeared politically untenable.
While the final law dramatically expands Medicaid, it still depends on Americans obtaining private insurance plans through state-based exchanges.
Nonetheless, some candidates vociferously opposed to the overhaul — namely, Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Cain — still say it’s socialized medicine.
“In some socialized medicine countries, you can’t get a CAT scan in nine months, let alone an operation,” Mr. Cain said, speaking before the caucus two weeks ago. “We have the best health care system in the world. And … if we allow this government sponsored socialized medicine approach to prevail, we will no longer have the best health care system in the world.”