In his questioning of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. (D, 62%), Wednesday at the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee confirmation hearing, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (F, 17%), asked the HHS nominee if he thought health care is a “right of all Americans whether they’re rich or they’re poor?”
“We’re a compassionate society,” Price began his reply before Sanders cut him off, stating, “No, we’re not a compassionate society in terms of our relationship to poor and working people. Our record is worse than virtually any other country on earth. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty than any other major country on earth and half of our senior, older workers have nothing set aside for retirement. So I don’t think compared to other countries we are particularly compassionate.”
When it was the turn of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. (A, 92%), to question Rep. Price, Paul, a former practicing physician, centered his comments on rebutting Sen. Sanders:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 18, 2017
“It’s also been insinuated that America is this horrible, rotten place, and that we don’t have compassion. And by extension, the physicians don’t. As you worked as an emergency room physician or as you worked, did you always agree that as part of your engagement with a hospital to treat all, regardless of whether they had the ability to pay?” questioned Sen. Paul, a trained ophthalmologist who has completed medical missions since taking office.
Price answered, “It’s one of the things we pride ourselves on, and that is, anybody that showed up in need of care was provided that care. And that was true not only in our residency but in our private orthopedic practice as well.”
Paul continued: “It’s interesting that those who say we have no compassion, you know, extol the virtues of socialism. And you look at a country like Venezuela, with great resources and an utter disaster where people can’t eat, devolving into violence. I think it’s important that we do have a debate ultimately in our country between socialism and communism and America and capitalism.
“One of things that’s extraordinary about our country is that just two years ago, in 2014, we gave away $400 billion privately. Not the government — individually, through churches and charities. We’re an incredibly compassionate society and I think often this was misplaced in sort of the wonky numbers … within health care. How much we do help each other — not only do we help each other in our country, I bet you half of the physicians in my community in Bowling Green have gone on international trips and done international charity work.
“And all that is lost in saying that we’re this heartless, terrible country. I would just argue the opposite. I think the greatness of our country and the greatness of the compassion of our country, we give away most of the gross domestic product of most of these socialized countries around the world.”
Sen. Rand Paul’s smackdown of Sanders’ empty, predictable rhetoric on capitalism and America was an immediate hit on social media.
@RandPaul YES! Thank you for your explanation of American compassion.
— Lisa Holmes (@lisamcholmes) January 18, 2017
— Artie Dow (@artiedow) January 18, 2017
— Stephanie Klipple (@StephanieOHM) January 18, 2017
No word yet on how Bernie Sanders is nursing his wounds.